While most Ducks players relaxed and got mentally refreshed during the team’s five-day bye, Andrew Cogliano got reassurance about his future.
The tenacious left wing, whose streak of 829 consecutive regular-season games played is the fourth-longest in NHL history, spent his time negotiating a three-year contract extension worth $3.25 million per year. Cogliano, 30, could have become an unrestricted free agent after this season, but he wanted to stay in Anaheim and hoped to earn a new contract through his play this season. However, he hadn’t discussed his status with general manager Bob Murray until Murray contacted him recently. They concluded their talks quickly and announced his signing on Friday.
“I was hopefully waiting for Bob to call and he did,” Cogliano said at Honda Center after the Ducks’ first post-break practice. “When he made the call and expressed interest I was ecstatic and wanted to get the deal done as soon as possible.”
Cogliano has been a valuable addition since the Ducks acquired him from Edmonton in 2011 for a second-round pick in the 2013 entry draft. Since joining the Ducks before the 2011-12 season he ranks second in the NHL with 14 shorthanded goals and fourth in shorthanded points, with 19. He scored 21 goals and 42 points in 2013-14 and 16 goals and 35 points last season but has only five goals and 18 points in 43 games this season.
“He doesn’t get any power-play time compared to anybody else. He goes out and he does the grunt work on the penalty killing. He puts pressure on pucks. Always first on the forecheck,” coach Randy Carlyle said. “He’s not a guy that shies away from the grit part of the game and the work-ethic part of the game, and if you view players and watch coaches, they seem to find ways to keep those players in the lineup.”
Cogliano is happy the Ducks wanted to keep him. “This has been a great place for me. I’ve played seven years here and I’ve had a great time. We’ve had great teams,” he said. “The guys in the room are special people and I think I just made a home here and I love everything about this organization, about this team, and I’m very proud to be a Duck.”
Rakell will be Ducks’ lone All-Star
Forward Rickard Rakell, who leads the Ducks in goals (15) and points (31), will make his first All-Star appearance during the NHL’s All-Star weekend Jan. 26-28 at Tampa, Fla. Rakell’s performance is a strong carryover from his career-best totals last season of 33 goals and 51 points. “I thought it was a lot of fun. I think it’s something that everybody dreams of and it’s an honor to represent this club,” he said of his reaction to being selected.