NHL NOTES

1. THORNTON STAYING IN SAN JOSE,
Veteran forward Joe Thornton showed his commitment to the San Jose Sharks last week by agreeing to a three-year extension worth an estimated $21 million. This former 1997 Boston Bruins first overall draft pick was traded to the Sharks during the 2005/06 season and has been the team’s number one forward ever since. Prior to signing the extension Thornton, who scored 20 goals and 89 points last season was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent this coming summer. “Joe stepped up and made a tremendous commitment to the franchise, his teammates and the fans in San Jose,” Sharks GM Doug Wilson said. “We are very pleased that we now have another key piece of this team’s core under contract for the next four seasons.” So far this season the 31 year-old Thornton has scored two assists in as many games.
2. ROLSTON OUT OF DEVIL’S LINE-UP
Things have gone from bad to worse for the struggling New Jersey Devils who have recently lost 20 goal scorer Brian Rolston who last Thursday underwent surgery to repair a sports hernia. This injury couldn’t have come at a worse time for the Devils who have one victory in their first five regular season games. Rolston who scored 20 goals and 37 points last season with the Minnesota Wild was put on long term reserve as it’s been estimated that he’ll be out for 4-6 weeks.

3. BRUNNSTROM SENT DOWN TO THE MINORS
Fabien Brunnstrom might have played his last game with the Dallas Stars. On Friday Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk put the 25 year-old forward on waivers after the team found no takers for a possible trade. “He’s cool with it. He needs to play,” Nieuwendyk said about Brunnstrom, who’s been a healthy scratch for all three games this year. “He wouldn’t have been in the line-up tomorrow. So, we put him on waivers today.” Last season in only 44 games he struggled in producing only 2 goals and 11 points. “I just want to play,” he said. “Of course, I want to play in the NHL. I just want to play, have some fun, get the rhythm going and start over.” For now he’ll be playing lots of minutes for the Texas Stars of the American Hockey League.

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