Kings extend Mikey Anderson, Alex Ovechkin says farewell to father, and more

Los Angeles Kings defenseman Mikey Anderson signed an eight-year, $33 million contract extension on Wednesday.

The deal will extend through the 2030-31 season for Anderson, who was scheduled to be a restricted free agent this summer.

Kings extend Mikey Anderson

“We’re excited to have a player of Mikey Anderson’s caliber signed to the Kings long-term,” team vice president and general manager Rob Blake said. “Mikey has not only developed into a trusted, shut-down player on the ice, but a well-respected individual in the room that we envision continuing to grow into our leadership core.”

Anderson, 23, has recorded 13 points (two goals, 11 assists) and a plus-10 rating while appearing in all 55 of the Kings’ games this season.

He has totaled 33 points (six goals, 27 assists) in 172 career games since being selected by the Kings in the fourth round of the 2017 NHL Draft. He played collegiately at Minnesota-Duluth, helping the team win back-to-back NCAA championships.

Alex Ovechkin mourns loss of father

alex ovechkin
Mar 20, 2022; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (8) during the first period against the Dallas Stars at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

Washington Capitals superstar Alex Ovechkin on Wednesday announced the passing of his father, Mikhail Ovechkin. He was 71.

The announcement comes one day after the Capitals revealed their captain would be taking a leave from the team to attend to a family matter and the health of a loved one.

“Today I lost my father,” Ovechkin posted to Instagram in Russian, as translated by Google. “I thank everyone for the support, but please be understanding and not disturb my family at such a difficult time for us. Thank you.”

Mikhail Ovechkin played soccer professionally before an injury halted his career. Health issues reportedly prevented the elder Ovechkin from traveling from Russia to North America to see his son play in the NHL in recent years.

The Capitals on Wednesday had yet to comment on when Ovechkin would return to the team. Coach Peter Laviolette, however, said Tuesday that he didn’t see Ovechkin returning to the club “in the foreseeable future.”

“When it comes to your family and parents, that’s what matters,” Laviolette said Tuesday. “He’s going to deal with some things right now, and we’re going to be supportive.”

Ovechkin, 37, has recorded team-leading totals in goals (32) and points (54) in 54 games this season. With 812 career goals, the three-time Hart Trophy winner trails only Hall of Famer Wayne Gretzky (894) on the NHL’s career list.

Forward Joe Snively was recalled from Hershey of the American Hockey League on Tuesday. He collected a goal and an assist in Washington’s 3-2 setback to the Carolina Hurricanes.

Auston Matthew to return Wednesday

Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews will return to the lineup on Wednesday night against the visiting Chicago Blackhawks, coach Sheldon Keefe confirmed.

Matthews, who is the reigning Hart Trophy winner, hasn’t played since Jan. 25 when he sustained a knee sprain in a 3-2 win against the New York Rangers.

In his absence, the Maple Leafs have a 2-3-0 record.

Matthews, 25, was given a three-week recovery timeline, and Wednesday’s home game marks exactly three weeks since the injury.

Matthews has 25 goals and 28 assists in 47 games this season.

Erik Johnson out indefinitely

Already without defensemen Cale Makar (lower body) and Josh Manson (head), the Colorado Avalanche lost another blueliner as Erik Johnson is out indefinitely with a lower-body injury.

Johnson, 34, left Saturday’s 5-3 win at the Florida Panthers after blocking a shot. It’s unknown if the 16-year veteran will be ready to help the defending Stanley Cup champions make a potential playoff run.

“I don’t have a tight timeline on him, but he’s out indefinitely,” Colorado coach Jared Bednar said Tuesday. “It will be weeks.”

The first overall pick in the 2006 draft by the St. Louis Blues, Johnson is the longest-tenured player on the Avalanche. This season, he has seven assists in 51 games.

In 908 games with the Blues (2007-11) and Avalanche (2011-present) Johnson has 88 goals and 248 assists.

–Field Level Media