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NHL Notebook: Rangers sign Jonathan Quick to a one-year contract extension and Capitals Evgeny Kuznetsov becomes highest-salaried AHL player after clearing waivers

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Photo credit:Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports
Aleena Aksenchuk
1 month ago
The New York Rangers have extended veteran goaltender Jonathan Quick on Sunday, inking him to a one-year extension.
The pact will see Quick earn an average annual value of $1.275 million and includes a notable 20-team no-trade clause, as reported by Daily Faceoff‘s Frank Seravalli.
When Quick joined the Rangers as a free agent in July 2023, his arrival was viewed by many as a gamble, considering his role as the third-string netminder for the Vegas Golden Knights behind Laurent Broissoit and Adin Hill during their Stanley Cup triumph last spring.
However, this season has seen a resurgence for the 38-year-old behind Rangers No. 1 netminder Igor Shesterkin. As of March 2nd, Quick has posted a 13-5-2 record with a 2.45 goals against average and a .916 save percentage and has won four of his last five starts. Additionally, Quick’s performance this season ranks him sixth amongst netminders who have appeared in 20 or more games, both in save percentage and goals against average.
The dynamic of Shesterkin and Quick between the pipes has proven successful this season, as the Rangers currently top all teams in the Metropolitan Division with 84 points and a record of 40-17-4 after 61 games. They hold a six-point lead over the second-place Carolina Hurricanes.
The former Conn Smythe recipient has amassed 388 wins throughout 16 seasons in the NHL — just three wins shy of tying the record of former Buffalo Sabres netminder Ryan Miller for the most wins by an American goaltender in league history at 391.
Having spent most of his career with the Los Angeles Kings, winning two Stanley Cup Championships in 2012 and 2014, Quick was expected to retire as a King. However, the organization had other plans and traded him to the Columbus Blue Jackets in March 2023. Columbus flipped the trade a day later and sent him to the Golden Knights, where he made 10 appearances.
Looking ahead, the Rangers will host the first-place team in the Atlantic Divisions, the Florida Panthers (41-16-4), on Monday night as they look to redeem themselves following a shootout loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday.

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Kuznetsov becomes highest-salaried AHL player after clearing waivers

Washington Capitals’ veteran Evgeny Kuznetsov has cleared waivers Sunday and will report to the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League, making him the highest-paid player in AHL history.
On Saturday, the Capitals announced they had placed Kuznetsov on waivers hours after he was cleared to resume practicing with the team following his admission into the NHL and NHLPA’s players’ assistance program on February 5th.
Now that he has cleared waivers, the Capitals believe that a stint in the minors will help him rediscover his game after an underwhelming performance throughout 43 games of the 2023-24 campaign that saw him record six goals and 17 points.
As Kuznetsov is set to join the Bears — who sit first place in the AHL’s Atlantic Division — making him the highest-paid AHL player in history with one year remaining on his contract after this season, costing $7.8 million against the Capitals salary cap. They will save $1.2-million with his salary buried.
Additionally, it will be the first time Kuznetsov will play in the AHL in his career, as he went straight from the KHL to the NHL four years after being drafted by the Capitals in 2010. 
Bears head coach Todd Nelson revealed during the team’s pre-game show on Sunday that the club is welcome to have the former Stanley Cup Champion as they finish off the regular season, and could be a considerable asset to the team’s offensive output if he were to remain there for their playoff run. 
“Anytime if we’re able to get a player like Kuzy, exceptional talent, there’s a reason he’s played in the National Hockey League for 11 years,” Nelson said.
“We’ll just have to wait and see what happens, how everything unfolds. If he reports to Hershey, we’re more than welcome to have him.”

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