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Rickard Rakell signs six-year extension with Ducks

Rickard Rakell signs six-year extension with Ducks
It is unclear when Ducks center Rickard Rakell, shown in a March 14 photo, will be able to play his next game. (Chris Carlson / Associated Press)

One Swede signed, another to go?

One half of the monthslong stalemates between the Ducks and restricted free agents Rickard Rakell and Hampus Lindholm ended Friday when Rakell signed a six-year contract extension worth $3.8 million annually.

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Rakell's deal took more than three months and was delayed by surgery to repair scar tissue that forced him to miss representing Sweden at last month's World Cup of Hockey.

Ducks General Manager Bob Murray usually does not like long-term contracts but likes the distance to Rakell's next chance for free agency. Murray wanted to secure Rakell, 23, a forward with terrific hands who earned a pay raise with a career-high 20 goals last season.

"I think this is something we both agreed is common ground for the two of us," Murray said.

Rakell can play center or fill a much-needed wing spot as he did at times last season, playing with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry. Rakell isn't expected to be available for one to two weeks because he must secure a work visa and get reacclimated physically, although he has resumed skating.

Rakell is roommates with countryman Lindholm in Orange County but the reunion is on hold. Murray remained optimistic at being able to re-sign the 22-year-old defenseman even though the Ducks are up against the salary cap.

"We're trying hard to get that accomplished," Murray said.

Lindholm's camp is believed to seek a contract worth around $6 million annually, which would price out the Ducks. The sides talked Friday. Murray was vague about the possibilities, such as a trade to free up money.

"There's lots of different things that can happen with Hampus' deal," Murray said. "Both sides are talking. It could be a situation where we don't have to do something. It could be a situation where we do. It's not as if it's right around the corner."

Despres update

Defenseman Simon Despres will consult doctors concerning an upper-body injury that Murray alluded to being related to a concussion from last season.

Despres left Thursday's game after no apparent collision and "wasn't feeling good," Murray said. Despres was concussed at the start of last season and missed 42 games before he returned in January. He said he played through symptoms at the end of the season and declared himself healthy in training camp.

"Something's wrong here and we've got to get to the bottom of it," Murray said.

Etc.

Forward Emerson Etem joined the team but was unable to practice because his equipment hadn't arrived, Murray said. Etem, the Ducks' 2010 first-round draft pick from Long Beach, was claimed off waivers Thursday … Forward Joseph Cramarossa was assigned to San Diego.

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Update: Pittsburgh center Sidney Crosby is progressing from a concussion but remains day-to-day, Penguins Coach Mike Sullivan told reporters. Last season the Ducks began a long February trip with a 6-2 loss in Pittsburgh in which Ducks goalie and Pittsburgh product John Gibson allowed all six goals. The Ducks have lost three straight at Consol Energy Center and last won there in 2012.

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