Morning Hits: Hawks-Pens at Soldier Field, Ribeiro not thinking contract, Jets, Avalanche and Bergeron talks

  • Hockey Central: The Blackhawks will host the Penguins at Soldier Field on March 1st.
  • Stephen Whyno of the Washington Times: Capitals UFA Mike Ribeiro said he’s not worried about his next contract. He could earn his next contact with a good playoffs. He’s looking for a long-term deal and has already rejected a Capitals offer of three-years, $14 million.

    “I think playoff or not playoff, I’m probably going to have a good deal so I’m really worried about my deal right now,” Ribeiro said. “It’s going to signed at some point. So the focus since the beginning was to get to the playoffs and now that we’re here it’s about how far can we go as a team. But I’m not worried; I’m going to sign and it’s just going to happen when the time is right.”

  • Ed Tait of the Winnipeg Free Press: Jets coach Claude Noel has one year left on his contract and GM Kevin Cheveldayoff had this to say:

    “Claude Noel is the head coach of the Winnipeg Jets. He’s under contract. I know you’re going to ask me about an extension. There’s processes that have to go through, there’s different things you discuss, you talk about, you meet as a group, as a staff.”

    The Jets have nine RFAs who are  “very much priorities” according to Cheveldayoff. No formal contract discussions have taken place with RFAs: Zach Bogosian, Bryan Little, Blake Wheeler, Alex Burmistrov, Eric Tangradi, Anthony Peluso, Zach Redmond, Paul Postma and Arturs Kulda.

  • Elliotte Friedman of CBC: If the Avalanche didn’t win the lottery and get the first overall pick, there were rumors that they would look to trade up. Avs GM Greg Sherman is still with the team, but it may come down to what role Joe Sakic wants to take. If Sakic decides to take over, VP of Player Development Craig Billington could have a bigger role. If Sakic declines for family or other reasons, does Sherman remain? The Avalanche asked for Derek Stepan when they were in talks with the Rangers about Ryan O’Reilly. Sounding like the Bruins and Patrice Bergeron have already talked contract extension. He has one year left on his deal and can’t sign a deal until after July 5th.