NHL News: Hurricanes table contract talks with Dougie Hamilton, Alex Ovechkin extension, and Rangers offer onsite testing on game days

The Carolina Hurricanes and Dougie Hamilton have decided to table contract negotiations until after the season. GM Don Waddell appeared on the DFO Rundown podcast to explain the decision.

NHL News: Canes and Hamilton shutdown talks

With the Hurricanes competing for a division title and also postseason play, both sides want the focus to be on hockey.

“We’ve both decided that it would be best for both sides to just wait until the end of the year,” Hurricanes general manager Don Waddell said on the “DFO Rundown” podcast Monday. “Let’s sit down and see if we can hammer out a deal, put it on the back burner so Dougie can worry about playing hockey at this point.”

via NHL.com

Waddell also reiterated that he wants Hamilton to stay in Carolina and that the feeling is mutual. We noted at the beginning of this month that the situation was leaning towards the two sides coming together on a new deal. However, there is always risk that the impasse will continue. Would Carolina be comfortable letting him get to free agency and walking for nothing? Probably not, so if an extension isn’t in place by the draft his rights could be dealt.

Hamilton is seeking $8 million deal and has 24 points in 30 games this season.

NHL News: Alex Ovechkin deal is still a matter of when

alex ovechkin contract
Mar 16, 2021; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (8) celebrates after scoring a goal against the New York Islanders in the second period at Capital One Arena. Ovechkin passed Phil Esposito for sixth all time on the NHL goal scoring list with the goal. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Alex Ovechkin is going to be a UFA this season, but no one should be getting their hopes up in him reaching that point. It’s well known that Ovechkin is negotiating his next deal on his own, and his plan is to play a few more years for the Caps and one final season in the KHL with Moscow Dynamo.

“I don’t really have an update,” MacLellan said on March 12. “It’s the same as it’s been all year. We want him to finish his career here, and I think he wants to finish his career here, and at some point we’ll get it done. We’ve just got to find a sweet spot that we agree on.”

via Sportsnet

New York Rangers offering onsite testing

The Rangers have announced onsite testing for game days to make it easier for fans to get into the game. For $30, fans can take a test at MSG and results with be ready in 30 minutes. Here’s some details from the team’s press release.

New York, NY – March 22, 2021 – MSG Sports announced today that starting April 1, it will be easier for guests to attend Knicks and Rangers games at Madison Square Garden. Guests will have two new options to demonstrate they are eligible to attend an event – proof from a healthcare provider of a negative antigen COVID-19 test or full vaccination – in addition to a negative PCR COVID-19 test.

Starting April 1, fans can utilize antigen testing or provide proof of full vaccination to gain entry to Madison Square Garden. Guests may choose any healthcare provider that offers antigen COVID-19 tests, which will need to be taken within six hours of the event start time. To make things more convenient, The Garden is partnering with Ambulnz, a DocGo company, to offer onsite antigen testing on event days. Ambulnz will deliver results within 30 minutes for $30. MSG Sports will provide more information soon, including how to schedule an appointment.  

New York State has also launched the NY Forward Rapid Test Program, which has multiple testing center locations – including several near Madison Square Garden – that provide antigen COVID-19 testing, with results available within 30 minutes and for no more than $30