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New Jersey Devils mascot shatters window at child’s birthday party

Westlake Legal Group New-Jersey-Devils-mascot1 New Jersey Devils mascot shatters window at child's birthday party Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/nhl/new-jersey-devils fox-news/sports/nhl fox news fnc/sports fnc article 8aae8bd0-580a-5e85-8546-4a8483b45b7b

The New Jersey Devils mascot might have partied too hard Sunday.

The mascot, NJ Devil, was at a child’s birthday party in New Jersey when he ran into and shattered a glass window during a parachute game with several children.

CONVINCING HALL TO STAY IS A DEVIL OF A TASK FOR NEW JERSEY

The “breaking” news was caught on video and The Devils posted the footage to the team’s Instagram account.

Another parent posted a video on their Twitter account showing a different angle of the strange incident.

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Nobody was injured, according to one parent.

It’s unclear what the mascot was trying to accomplish by running straight into the window. One commenter suggested it was “practicing storming Area 51.”

Westlake Legal Group New-Jersey-Devils-mascot1 New Jersey Devils mascot shatters window at child's birthday party Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/nhl/new-jersey-devils fox-news/sports/nhl fox news fnc/sports fnc article 8aae8bd0-580a-5e85-8546-4a8483b45b7b   Westlake Legal Group New-Jersey-Devils-mascot1 New Jersey Devils mascot shatters window at child's birthday party Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/nhl/new-jersey-devils fox-news/sports/nhl fox news fnc/sports fnc article 8aae8bd0-580a-5e85-8546-4a8483b45b7b

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Convincing Hall to stay is a Devil of a task for New Jersey

After the New Jersey Devils acquired P.K. Subban, Taylor Hall texted Ray Shero a green checkmark.

“Like, ‘Check that box off,'” Shero said. “I guess that’s good.”

The Devils have a much longer checklist to complete to convince Hall to re-sign and not leave as a free agent next summer. There is no rush from either side on negotiating an extension for the 2018 NHL MVP, and as much offseason work as Shero has done to improve the roster, the process will likely take into next season for Hall to see if New Jersey is actually a place he wants to be for the long term.

“You want to play on the best team possible, and I’ve played nine seasons in the NHL and only won one playoff game,” Hall said. “You want to be on a team that’s not only a playoff contender but a Stanley Cup contender every year because I only have so many more years left in this league and so many more chances to win a Stanley Cup. It hasn’t even come close yet. I kind of want to make up for lost time, but at the same time want to be smart with everything that’s going on.”

New Jersey traded for a top-pairing defenseman in Subban, won the draft lottery to select center Jack Hughes first overall and signed winger Wayne Simmonds .

“This is a team that’s (trending) up, getting better and better,” Simmonds said. “They’ve added some pieces including myself this offseason. Obviously P.K. and Jack Hughes. There’s a lot of young talent. Definitely really excited to be part of it.”

After a disappointing season — Hall missed half of it with a knee injury and New Jersey finished third to last in the league — Shero understood the All-Star winger wanted more talent around him.

“Obviously some of the things that we’ve done prove that we want to improve the hockey team not just for Taylor Hall but for our team,” Shero said. “My job is to obviously build the best team I can for the short and long term and also when it comes to dealing with players and relationships to sit down with them and explain to them as to what we’re doing and I want them to be aware of it.”

Shero asked Hall what he thought of Subban before making the move to get the 2013 Norris Trophy winner and got a resounding vote of confidence. Even before New Jersey signed Simmonds, Hall gave the Devils’ upgrades a thumbs up.

“I’ve always liked it in New Jersey. That’s never changed,” Hall said. “I think it adds to the talent level, the skill level of our team, and as a player in the offseason that’s what you want to see. It’s exciting. We’re going to have more than a couple new faces next year. It’s important that we have a good start and all that stuff. Just injecting some new blood into the team is going to be really good.”

No single player is more important to the Devils’ success than Hall, who carried them into the playoffs two seasons ago with 93 points and whose injury derailed any hopes of contending in 2018-19. The 27-year-old who spent his first six NHL seasons in Edmonton doesn’t want to commit until he thinks the mix in New Jersey could be enough to win a championship.

Maybe that’s why Hall talked well before the start of the regular season about the Devils getting off to a hot start. Winning on the ice is more important than winning the offseason when it comes to Hall’s future.

“It’s a big decision for Taylor,” Shero said. “It’s a big decision for the team here. Both sides need the information to have a real fruitful dialogue that’s meaningful, and that’s been the relationship we’ve had with Taylor since Day One, so that hasn’t changed.”

Subban said the Devils “have to get (Hall) signed” because he’s a go-to player. Based on the $81.5 million, seven-year contract the cross-river rival New York Rangers just gave winger Artemi Panarin, it’s realistically to think Hall could command $10 million or more a season no matter where he signs.

In-depth negotiations are yet to come, even though money shouldn’t be an impediment to the Devils locking up Hall for the remainder of his prime and more.

“We’re both on the same page and both groups have been on the same page,” Shero said. “I don’t have the crystal ball as to when or how or what the story will be, but I think we’ll know it when we get to it.”

Westlake Legal Group NHL-Taylor-Hall Convincing Hall to stay is a Devil of a task for New Jersey fox-news/sports/nhl/new-jersey-devils fox-news/sports/nhl fnc/sports fnc Associated Press article 5ce5d154-abf7-52ec-8727-368b0c266a6a   Westlake Legal Group NHL-Taylor-Hall Convincing Hall to stay is a Devil of a task for New Jersey fox-news/sports/nhl/new-jersey-devils fox-news/sports/nhl fnc/sports fnc Associated Press article 5ce5d154-abf7-52ec-8727-368b0c266a6a

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Former NHL great Jeremy Roenick drives ball off tee hanging out of caddie’s mouth

Westlake Legal Group Jeremy-Roenick-e1441059675331-7b55fd011a68f410VgnVCM100000d7c1a8c0____-1 Former NHL great Jeremy Roenick drives ball off tee hanging out of caddie's mouth Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/nhl fox-news/sports/golf fox news fnc/sports fnc article 3b6e88ef-50cc-5ccd-aeed-b0b4444500a8

Former NHL great Jeremy Roenick is among the former celebrities and athletes taking part in the American Century Championship this weekend in Lake Tahoe.

One caddie put his complete trust in Roenick’s arms Thursday and let nine-time NHL All-Star drive the ball from a tee that was in his mouth.

JOHN DALY WITHDRAWS FROM THE OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP AFTER BEING BARRED FROM USING GOLF CART

According to TMZ Sports, the caddie was really nervous about the stunt and kept moving as Roenick was getting ready to swing. The ball fell out of the caddie’s mouth multiple times.

The 49-year-old former center then crushed the ball down the seventh-hole fairway.

Roenick is among a few hockey players who are taking part in the tournament. Joe Pavelski, Mike Modano, Tyler Seguin and T.J. Oshie were also listed as competitors.

Roenick has a 15-1 shot at winning the event, according to oddsmaker Sportsbetting.ag.

Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo has the best odds at 5-2.

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Romo won the event last year. Roenick finished in seventh.

Westlake Legal Group Jeremy-Roenick-e1441059675331-7b55fd011a68f410VgnVCM100000d7c1a8c0____-1 Former NHL great Jeremy Roenick drives ball off tee hanging out of caddie's mouth Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/nhl fox-news/sports/golf fox news fnc/sports fnc article 3b6e88ef-50cc-5ccd-aeed-b0b4444500a8   Westlake Legal Group Jeremy-Roenick-e1441059675331-7b55fd011a68f410VgnVCM100000d7c1a8c0____-1 Former NHL great Jeremy Roenick drives ball off tee hanging out of caddie's mouth Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/nhl fox-news/sports/golf fox news fnc/sports fnc article 3b6e88ef-50cc-5ccd-aeed-b0b4444500a8

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Weird AHL app notifications include request for $6,000 payment

Westlake Legal Group istock-469569130 Weird AHL app notifications include request for $6,000 payment New York Post fox-news/tech/technologies/apps fox-news/sports/nhl fnc/sports fnc Ethan Sears e506eca7-eb4a-545b-b981-6e3ebf387459 article

Of all the ways for Stewart Zimmel to gain some notoriety, this probably wasn’t one he saw coming.

Zimmel is the COO of a company called HockeyTech according to his LinkedIn page, and before that, he worked for a company called Buzzer Apps. If you’re wondering why he’s important, here’s the reason: the American Hockey League app started sending push notifications demanding money from Zimmel on Wednesday. About $6,000, according to the alerts from the NHL’s top minor league.

ST. LOUIS BLUES’ RYAN O’REILLY STUNS ESPYS CROWD BY REMOVING FRONT TOOTH BEFORE ACCEPTANCE SPEECH

“Stewart. Since I have no way to contact you are you owe me nearly $6,000 I would ask you contact me about a payment,” the notification, which was sent repeatedly, reads. “Also, I’m filing a workplace report against you for threatening to punch me in the throat nemours [sic] times.”

Another notification sent read: “Stewart Zimmel please pay the outstanding monies owed.”

A third: “Stewart Zimmel threatened to punch Ian Bowman in the throat.”

When users opened the app, they were treated to a picture of a computer screen with messages between Zimmel and someone else, in which Zimmel (using scare quotes) threatens to punch someone in the throat.

The AHL, which was ready for a schedule-release announcement on Wednesday, was forced to issue an apology for the mess.

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“We have worked with out app host to resolve today’s issue of unauthorized notifications coming from the AHL app,” the league said on yet another alert. “We apologize for the inconvenience.”

CLICK FOR MORE FROM THE NEW YORK POST.

Westlake Legal Group istock-469569130 Weird AHL app notifications include request for $6,000 payment New York Post fox-news/tech/technologies/apps fox-news/sports/nhl fnc/sports fnc Ethan Sears e506eca7-eb4a-545b-b981-6e3ebf387459 article   Westlake Legal Group istock-469569130 Weird AHL app notifications include request for $6,000 payment New York Post fox-news/tech/technologies/apps fox-news/sports/nhl fnc/sports fnc Ethan Sears e506eca7-eb4a-545b-b981-6e3ebf387459 article

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Hockey coach who went viral for pro-national anthem message: ‘I take pride in my country’

Westlake Legal Group hockeycoach Hockey coach who went viral for pro-national anthem message: 'I take pride in my country' Ryan Gaydos fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/topic/fox-news-flash fox-news/sports/nhl fox-news/shows/fox-friends fox-news/entertainment/media fox news fnc/sports fnc article 193f6ba4-f5da-5a05-b698-f14a4effe0d2

A Connecticut hockey coach who went viral for telling his players to stand for the American and Canadian national anthems said Thursday he is not going to apologize for asking his players to show respect.

John Krupinsky, an assistant coach for the Danbury Hat Tricks of the Federal Hockey League, appeared on “Fox & Friends” and said the national anthem is important to him.

TODD STARNES: HOCKEY COACH DELIVERS MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN NATIONAL ANTHEM TRUTH BOMB TO TEAM

“I take pride in my country,” said Krupinksy, who is also a police sergeant with the Danbury Police Department.

“I’ve unfortunately seen it cover too many coffins. I think we can take a timeout to give two minutes’ worth of respect to our soldiers, to our firemen, to your policemen. I don’t think that’s asking too much. I’m not going to apologize for asking players to show a little bit of respect when it’s either the American or Canadian national anthem.”

Krupinsky insisted he would let his players protest, but on their own time.

“Some people said, ‘oh you wouldn’t let your players protest.’ I wanna be clear: My players would be free to protest on their day off,” he said. “If they had something they wanted to do. My owners are awesome – they would give them the team bus to go.

OTTAWA SENATORS OWNER, SPORT MINISTER HAVE BEEF AFTER STRANGE INCIDENT AT CONCERT

“But when they’re playing the national anthem, I don’t think it’s too much to ask your employees to show some respect for the flag and for the country.”

Krupinsky’s video went viral earlier this week. He was seen telling his players that he wouldn’t tolerate anyone disrespecting the national anthem.

“If there’s anybody here who is going to be disrespectful to either the American or the Canadian national anthem, grab your gear and get the f–k out now because you’ll never see the ice in this arena,” he said. “We don’t have that problem in hockey. We’re better than that, but there was no sense in wasting anybody’s time if that s–t was going to happen.”

He told Todd Starnes on “The Todd Starnes Radio Show” he didn’t expect the video to gain as much traction as it did.

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The Hat Tricks are about to enter their first season in the Federal Hockey League. The team will open the season Oct. 25 at the Danbury Ice Arena against the Port Huron Howlers.

Westlake Legal Group hockeycoach Hockey coach who went viral for pro-national anthem message: 'I take pride in my country' Ryan Gaydos fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/topic/fox-news-flash fox-news/sports/nhl fox-news/shows/fox-friends fox-news/entertainment/media fox news fnc/sports fnc article 193f6ba4-f5da-5a05-b698-f14a4effe0d2   Westlake Legal Group hockeycoach Hockey coach who went viral for pro-national anthem message: 'I take pride in my country' Ryan Gaydos fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/topic/fox-news-flash fox-news/sports/nhl fox-news/shows/fox-friends fox-news/entertainment/media fox news fnc/sports fnc article 193f6ba4-f5da-5a05-b698-f14a4effe0d2

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Ottawa Senators owner, sport minister have beef after strange incident at concert

A beef is brewing in Canada between Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk and Ontario Sport Minister Lisa MacLeod about an incident between the two at a Rolling Stones concert late last month.

MacLeod attended the concert June 29 and went off on a tirade at Melnyk, according to the Ottawa Citizen. He told the paper MacLeod accosted him during the event.

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“So I’m just there, we’ve got families and friends in a small group and I’m surrounded by people from Ottawa — and I see from the corner of my eye somebody trying to bust through,” Melnyk said. “I’m thinking, ‘OK, might be a crazed fan and that’s fine.’ I’ve gotten used to it. And all of a sudden it’s this woman and she yells at me, ‘Do you know who I am?’

“I can’t place her so I said, ‘I’m sorry. No.’ And she yells, ‘I am your minister and you’re a f—ing piece of s–t and you’re a f—ing loser.’”

Westlake Legal Group Lisa-MacLeod-split Ottawa Senators owner, sport minister have beef after strange incident at concert Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/nhl/ottawa-senators fox-news/sports/nhl fox news fnc/sports fnc article 0bae865b-6f24-5bec-90b3-ef62995b13a9

Ontario Sport Minister Lisa MacLeod and Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk are beefing. (Getty Images)

MacLeod tweeted Friday trying to “set the record straight” on her interaction with Melnyk.

NHL PLAYERS FACING ASSAULT CHARGES AFTER NEW YORK CITY ARRESTS

“Let me set the record straight, I gave @MelnykEugene some feedback at the Rolling Stones concert and I apologized to him for being so blunt,” she wrote. “I have serious concerns about the state of our beloved Ottawa Senators! We need to get our team back on the road to winning the cup!”

Melnyk responded by saying their interaction “had nothing to do with the Ottawa Senators.”

“She didn’t even mention the Ottawa Senators,” he said. “She’s trying to justify it, but she didn’t even acknowledge that she made a mistake.”

Melnyk said MacLeod called him to try and start over, according to the Ottawa Citizen. He said she “thought it was a joke.”

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Melnyk said he complained to Premier Doug Ford about the incident. It’s unclear whether there will be any discipline handed down.

Westlake Legal Group Lisa-MacLeod-split Ottawa Senators owner, sport minister have beef after strange incident at concert Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/nhl/ottawa-senators fox-news/sports/nhl fox news fnc/sports fnc article 0bae865b-6f24-5bec-90b3-ef62995b13a9   Westlake Legal Group Lisa-MacLeod-split Ottawa Senators owner, sport minister have beef after strange incident at concert Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/nhl/ottawa-senators fox-news/sports/nhl fox news fnc/sports fnc article 0bae865b-6f24-5bec-90b3-ef62995b13a9

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NHL players facing assault charges after New York City arrests

The penalty box for two NHL players arrested on assault charges Sunday in New York City could be a jail cell.

Sonny Milano of the Columbus Blue Jackets and A.J. Greer of the Colorado Avalanche were charged after a dispute over money, NYPD spokesman Detective Ahmed Nasser told Fox News.

A 28-year-old man said he was injured when the dispute turned into a physical altercation, Nasser said. The man refused medical attention when cops arrived.

NEW YORK RANGERS SUFFER APPARENT MISCUE WHILE TRYING TO COURT TOP FREE AGENT

Milano, 23, and Greer, 22, were issued desk appearance tickets ordering them to return to court Sept. 4, Nasser said. The charges are misdemeanors punishable by up to a year in jail.

Westlake Legal Group AJ-Greer-Sonny-Milano_Getty NHL players facing assault charges after New York City arrests Robert Gearty fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/us/crime fox-news/sports/nhl fox news fnc/sports fnc f81a297e-1e87-5ddc-ae7f-91e36bcffc06 article

A.J. Greer, left, of the Colorado Avalanche, and Sonny Milano, right, of the Columbus Blue Jackets, were arrested in New York City on misdemeanor assault charges stemming from a dispute over a bar tab at a nightclub. (Getty, File)

It all started with an argument over a bar bill at a nightclub and celebrity hangout in Manhattan, 1 Oak, The New York Post reported citing police sources.

PHILADELPHIA FLYERS MASCOT SURPRISES 7-YEAR-OLD SUPERFAN WHO REQUESTED CUSTOM GRITTY-THEMED PROSTHETIC

The three left the club, went to a Greenwich Village apartment and about an hour later started arguing, the paper said.

Milano, of Long Island, N.Y., and Greer, of Joliette, Quebec, played in a limited number of games for their respective teams last season.

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The two teams issued statements saying they were aware of the allegations and were investigating, according to reports.

Westlake Legal Group AJ-Greer-Sonny-Milano_Getty NHL players facing assault charges after New York City arrests Robert Gearty fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/us/crime fox-news/sports/nhl fox news fnc/sports fnc f81a297e-1e87-5ddc-ae7f-91e36bcffc06 article   Westlake Legal Group AJ-Greer-Sonny-Milano_Getty NHL players facing assault charges after New York City arrests Robert Gearty fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/us/crime fox-news/sports/nhl fox news fnc/sports fnc f81a297e-1e87-5ddc-ae7f-91e36bcffc06 article

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New York Rangers agree to contract with star winger Artemi Panarin

The New York Rangers on Monday agreed to a contract with star winger Artemi Panarin.

The Rangers didn’t immediately announce the terms of the deal. According to Sportsnet, the Rangers and Panarin agreed to a seven-year, $81.5 million contract.

NEW YORK RANGERS SUFFER APPARENT MISCUE WHILE TRYING TO COURT TOP FREE AGENT

Panarin was arguably the best player on the free-agent market this summer. The Rangers met with Panarin last week and it was speculated that they may have flubbed during the get together because of an errant photo that appeared on the Madison Square Garden video board.

That was apparently not the case.

Panarin, a Russian winger who played two seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks and two seasons with the Columbus Blue Jackets, has been linked to the Florida Panthers and New York Islanders aside from the Rangers.

ST. LOUIS BLUES’ TEAM PUPPY EATS ‘DINNER OF CHAMPIONS’ OUT OF STANLEY CUP

Panarin scored 28 goals in 79 games for the Blue Jackets last season.

Westlake Legal Group NHL-Artemi-Panarin New York Rangers agree to contract with star winger Artemi Panarin Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/nhl/new-york-rangers fox-news/sports/nhl fox news fnc/sports fnc c8b94607-6ab9-5dba-ae3d-c24412deee41 article   Westlake Legal Group NHL-Artemi-Panarin New York Rangers agree to contract with star winger Artemi Panarin Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/nhl/new-york-rangers fox-news/sports/nhl fox news fnc/sports fnc c8b94607-6ab9-5dba-ae3d-c24412deee41 article

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Perry, Pavelski among veteran NHL free agents to watch

The goodbye came quickly if respectfully for Anaheim Ducks veteran Corey Perry.

After a knee injury limited the 34-year-old forward to 31 games, general manager Bob Murray last week bought out the final two years of Perry’s contract and sent the franchise cornerstone unexpectedly into free agency.

“This is one of the most difficult decisions I’ve had to make in my 44 years in the NHL,” Murray said. “Corey gave everything to this franchise for 14 years, never giving an inch to his competitors.”

Now, one of those competitors will get to see what Perry has left. Big money will flow to forward Artemi Panarin, center Matt Duchene and goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky on July 1 as the top three free agents available, though Perry and other seasoned veterans are worth watching when the market opens.

Joining Perry as a one-organization player potentially changing teams is San Jose captain Joe Pavelski, who had 38 goals and 64 points in 75 games last season. The Sharks are in a salary-cap squeeze and also might have to say goodbye to forward Joonas Donskoi, but general manager Doug Wilson wasn’t giving up on bringing Pavelski back after signing defenseman Erik Karlsson to a $92 million contract.

“I don’t think anybody should rush to conclusions on anything,” Wilson said. “There’s many ways to accomplish different things. My history over the years, you explore everything.”

Pavelski, 34, is drawing interest around the NHL and could follow the lead of former Sharks forward Patrick Marleau, who opted two years ago to depart in free agency and signed in Toronto. The cap will almost certainly keep the Maple Leafs from retaining Jake Gardiner after the defenseman spent his entire eight-year career with them.

Perry had been a fixture in Anaheim during the entire salary cap era that began in 2005. The 2011 Hart Trophy winner has spoken to several teams since the interview period opened Sunday.

Other free agents to watch:

ANDERS LEE

Could the New York Islanders lose their captain in back-to-back offseasons? It’s possible Anders Lee follows John Tavares out the door following another 50-point year. One difference this time: The Islanders are coming off a trip to the second round of the playoffs, clearly have something cooking with coach Barry Trotz and are heading in the right direction. Forwards Brock Nelson and Jordan Eberle already re-signed, but keep an eye on Vezina Trophy finalist goaltender Robin Lehner’s decision.

BOB AND BREAD

Panarin signed up with Bobrovsky’s agent during the season, and there is reason to believe they are a package deal. The Florida Panthers hosted the Columbus forward and goalie this week and are seen as the favorites to sign them, especially after Roberto Luongo retired.

BRETT CONNOLLY

The sixth overall pick in 2010 struggled to find his place in the NHL until three years with Washington allowed him to establish himself. Connolly scored six goals on the Capitals’ 2018 Stanley Cup run and followed that up by setting career highs with 22 goals, 24 assists and 46 points.

“I think we brought stability to his game,” Capitals GM Brian MacLellan said. “He just found stability, found a place where he could play. There wasn’t a lot of pressure on him to score because he had guys in front of him. I think it was just a good fit team-wise and for him, and he took advantage of it.”

Washington’s salary-cap crunch is likely to send Connolly into the market, where he could get a big payday and a bigger role with another team.

YOUNG’INS

A handful of intriguing players under age 27 were not tendered qualifying offers as restricted free agents and are now free to sign with any team. That list includes 24-year-old forward Ryan Hartman, who has been traded three times in 18 months, 25-year-old defenseman Derrick Pouliot and underachieving 2013 first-round picks Kirby Reichel and Curtis Lazar.

Westlake Legal Group NHL-Artemi-Panarin Perry, Pavelski among veteran NHL free agents to watch fox-news/sports/nhl/washington-capitals fox-news/sports/nhl/san-jose-sharks fox-news/sports/nhl/new-york-islanders fox-news/sports/nhl/anaheim-ducks fox-news/sports/nhl fnc/sports fnc e8935b07-f779-5865-a0c9-3d87851474c2 Associated Press article   Westlake Legal Group NHL-Artemi-Panarin Perry, Pavelski among veteran NHL free agents to watch fox-news/sports/nhl/washington-capitals fox-news/sports/nhl/san-jose-sharks fox-news/sports/nhl/new-york-islanders fox-news/sports/nhl/anaheim-ducks fox-news/sports/nhl fnc/sports fnc e8935b07-f779-5865-a0c9-3d87851474c2 Associated Press article

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Goalie Roberto Luongo retires after 19 NHL seasons

Roberto Luongo wanted to keep playing and keep chasing the elusive Stanley Cup, largely because he believes the Florida Panthers are finally in position to be a playoff contender.

His body wanted otherwise.

And Luongo ultimately listened.

The most popular player in Panthers history announced his retirement Wednesday — doing so via Twitter in two different voices, one to support each side of his personality. The first was in his usual self-deprecating comic fashion, saying he “decided to take my talents to a South Beach retirement home.” The other was a heartfelt open letter to fans, where he revealed that he cried when he told his children he was done.

“This is one of the toughest decisions I’ve faced in my life and it took me a long time to make it,” Luongo wrote. “After thinking about it a lot over the past two months and listening to my body, I made up my mind. It just feels like the right time for me to step away from the game. I love the game so much, but the commitment I required to prepare, to keep my body ready, has become overwhelming.”

Luongo never hoisted the Stanley Cup, though his legacy is secure regardless. His 489 career victories are third in NHL history behind only Martin Brodeur and Patrick Roy, and Brodeur is the only goalie to have appeared in more games or made more saves than Luongo.

It could be argued that no one was better for longer than Luongo was. Among the seven goaltenders to appear in at least 900 games, Luongo’s .919 save percentage is the best.

“From the moment I was fortunate enough to share a locker room with him, Roberto has exemplified leadership for me,” Panthers forward Vincent Trocheck said in a statement distributed by the Panthers. “There isn’t a classier, more professional guy in this league. He’s a great hockey player and somehow an even better person.”

Luongo leaves as a five-time All-Star and the Montreal native helped Canada win Olympic gold in 2010 and 2014. Also in his collection: two world championship gold medals, along with another one from the 2004 World Cup of Hockey.

The Panthers were prepared for the likelihood that Luongo may step away. General manager Dale Tallon said last week Luongo’s career had been “illustrious” and the franchise was giving its most beloved player all the time he needed to make his decision.

“The impact that he has had on the developing core of our team, its culture and our community are undeniable,” Tallon said. “He has always approached everything with a determination and level of class that was second to none. He leaves not only a legacy in South Florida, but a legacy in the game itself.”

Luongo was the fourth overall pick in the 1997 draft by the New York Islanders, with whom he made his NHL debut on Nov. 28, 1999. Luongo then spent five years with Florida, the next eight with Vancouver and returned to the Panthers on March 14, 2014. His last game was April 6, two days after his 40th birthday.

“I’m in awe of the legacy that he left on this franchise and on the sport,” Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov said.

One of the lasting memories of Luongo’s time in Florida won’t be anything that happened in a game. Luongo lives in Parkland, Florida, the town that is still grieving the 17 people who were shot and killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14, 2018. The Panthers’ next home game was eight days later, and Luongo spoke for three minutes in a pregame on-ice ceremony that paid tribute to the victims.

He’s moving now, to a new home — but still in Parkland. He is never leaving there.

“I’m building a home in Parkland and it’s going to be my family’s permanent home for the rest of our time on this earth,” Luongo said.

Hip problems took a toll on Luongo over the past couple years, requiring him to be at the rink hours before every practice and every game just to get the joint loose enough and strong enough to be on the ice.

He went into this offseason with an open mind about coming back. But when it was time in May to resume offseason workouts, the fire wasn’t there. And when he realized that he was dreading getting back onto the ice next month, the decision seemed academic.

“For the first time in my career, I wasn’t excited about it,” Luongo said. “That was the sign for me. It’s not that I don’t love playing hockey anymore, but I had to listen to my body. I’m at the point where my body was telling me it just needed a rest. It didn’t really want to get going.”

Luongo was under contract for three more seasons. He is giving up about $10 million in future salary.

He is also giving up a chance to play for a Panthers team that has designs on becoming a major contender.

Florida hired Joel Quenneville as coach earlier this offseason, and is believed to be a front-runner to sign top free agent goalie Sergei Bobrovsky along with Artemi Panerin — both of whom were in Florida earlier this week to meet with the Panthers in advance of the signing period that starts Monday. Bobrovsky was a top priority for Florida even before Luongo let the team know that he was retiring.

“We play the game to win the Stanley Cup, to give ourselves a chance,” Luongo said. “It’s hard because I think that this team is right there, close to taking the next step. I wanted nothing more than to be a part of that. With Coach Q coming in, it’s an exciting time for the Florida Panthers.”

He will undoubtedly have a role with the Panthers going forward.

“For now though, I’m just another retiree in South Florida,” Luongo said. “I’ll be going to get my senior citizen’s card here pretty soon.”

Westlake Legal Group NHL-Roberto-Luongo Goalie Roberto Luongo retires after 19 NHL seasons fox-news/sports/nhl/new-york-islanders fox-news/sports/nhl/florida-panthers fox-news/sports/nhl fnc/sports fnc fba1cf8e-b08e-51dd-8796-7acd62c9e59c Associated Press article   Westlake Legal Group NHL-Roberto-Luongo Goalie Roberto Luongo retires after 19 NHL seasons fox-news/sports/nhl/new-york-islanders fox-news/sports/nhl/florida-panthers fox-news/sports/nhl fnc/sports fnc fba1cf8e-b08e-51dd-8796-7acd62c9e59c Associated Press article

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