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NHL Update: Sebastian Aho Inks Multi-year Deal with Hurricanes; Panthers Extend Luostarinen

Sebastian Aho inks multi-year deal with Hurricanes – The Carolina Hurricanes and Florida Panthers gave their key players multi-year extensions following excellent performances last season. The Hurricanes sign center Sebastian Aho to an eight-year, US$78-million contract extension while the Panthers offered Eetu Luostarinen a three-year deal that the 24-year-old agreed in principle. The retention of Aho and Luostarinen to Carolina and Florida, respectively, ensure that the key pieces of their NHL Eastern Conference playoff runs are still with them. More importantly, the transactions allow both teams to be listed among the NHL betting picks top favorites for the 2023-24 season.

Sebastian Aho Inks Multi-year Deal with Hurricanes: Carolina Secures Franchise Star Aho

It’s Stanley Cup or bust for the Hurricanes as they handed one of their key players a lucrative deal that will keep him with the squad until the 2032 season. Carolina, which reached the 2022-23 Eastern Conference Finals, signed the Finnish center to a franchise-record deal that kicks in for the 2024-25 season. Clearly, the Hurricanes are building around the in-form Sebastian Aho, who is one of the team’s vital cogs. The Rauma-born center has produced big-time for Carolina and helped the squad make the playoffs each of the past five seasons. The 26 year old has 468 points in 520 career regular-season games and also nearly a point-a-game player in the playoffs with 58 in 63. Team general manager Don Waddell described Aho as their top piece that helped the squad make the postseason. 

Tarasenko and Karlsson Rumors Fuel Eastern Conference Ambitions

The franchise is serious to improve on their Eastern Conference Finals appearance as the team signed key pieces in the roster before Aho agreed to an extension. Coach Rod Brind’Amour signed to a two-year extension while captain Jordan Staal, winger Jesper Fast and goaltenders Frederik Andersen and Antti Raanta re-signed to new deals. The development kept the team’s core intact as Teuvo Teravainen remains under contract and fellow Finn Jesperi Kotkaniemi is locked up through 2029. Waddell made sure that the key pieces of the Hurricanes’ squad signed to lucrative deals before giving the offer to Aho and the scheme worked wonders.

Aside from retaining the reliable stars, the Hurricanes acquired defenseman Dmitry Orlov, forward Michael Bunting and welcomed back defenseman Tony DeAngelo a year after he was traded to Philadelphia. The Carolina franchise are still on the hunt for getting quality players from free agency. There are reports that they are one of the contenders to get scoring winger Vladimir Tarasenko and are in talks to acquire Norris Trophy-winning defenseman Erik Karlsson via trade.

Luostarinen Agree to Three-Year Extension with Panthers

Stanley Cup finalists Florida Panthers made sure that they secured one of their vital cogs. This as the team and 24-year-old center Eetu Luostarinen agreed to an extension. The three-year deal allows the Panthers to keep Luostarinen’s services until the 2026-27 season. The Siilinjarvi, Finland, native had a breakout season in 2022, as he set career highs in goals (17), assists (26) and points (43). The 6-foot-3 player registered five points in 16 playoff games for the Panthers, which made the Stanley Cup Finals, losing to Vegas Golden Knights in five games. Luostarinen was selected in the second round (42nd overall) by Carolina in the 2017 NHL Draft. He was traded to Florida in 2020. He has skated in 212 NHL games, with 78 career points.

Dallas Stars GM Jim Nill Pens Two-year Deal

Less than a month after being named general manager of the year, Jim Nill signed a two-year contract extension with the Dallas Stars. The deal will keep Nill, who won the Jim Gregory General Manager of the Year Award by leading the Stars to the 2022-23 Western Conference Final, with Dallas through the 2025-26 season. The 65-year-old manager just finished his 10th season in Dallas, which ended with a six-game loss to the Vegas Golden Knights. Nill, who helped Dallas reach the postseason six times, also led the Stars to the 2020 Stanley Cup Final in the playoff bubble in Canada, losing to Tampa Bay in six games. Last year, Nill hired Pete DeBoer as Dallas’ coach. DeBoer did not waste Nill’s trust as he became the second coach in league history to reach the conference finals with four different squads. 

Vladimir Tarasenko Signs with Ottawa Senators

Free agent right wing Vladimir Tarasenko has found a new home as he signed to a one-year, US$5-million deal with the Ottawa Senators. Team general manager Pierre Dorion welcomed the addition of the 31-year-old Russian forward, saying that he admires his dynamic style and team play. Last season, Tarasenko scored 18 goals and 32 assists in 69 games while playing for the St. Louis Blues and New York Rangers. He played his first 11 seasons with the Blues and helped the team won the Stanley Cup in 2019.

Tarasenko scored 270 goals and 204 assists in 675 career regular-season games and 40 goals and 20 assists in 97 playoff games. The forward’s addition to the Senators give Ottawa an additional offensive weapon that is ready to help the squad in their quest to win the Stanley Cup. The veteran can still be a dependable force that can help the Senators emerge among the sports betting favorites in the 2023-24 NHL season.