Friday, July 2, 2010

Burish Signs With Stars; Stepan Makes It Official

The flamboyant, energetic, quotable pest that every Badger fan loves, Adam Burish, has signed a free agent contract with the Dallas Stars. The deal is set to pay the former Wisconsin captain $1 million in 2010-2011 and $1.3 million in 2011-2012.

"There was a bunch of teams interested," Burish said. "It was a little overwhelming. I've never gone through this before. I was in the gym kind of working out and by 11:20 [a.m. CT] teams had been calling my agent. There were like five or six."

Burish would have loved to stay with Stanley Cup Champion Chicago but became a victim of the the salary cap crunch. The expected 59 million dollar salary cap is actually 55 million for Chicago next season who is penalized for going over the cap with bonuses from last seasons playoffs. With the expensive deals of Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Duncan Keith, Marian Hossa, and Brian Campbell already on the books, the Hawks have been forced to trade away, or let go in free agency a lot of mid level players who will be replaced with players expected to make around the league minimum so that they can sneak in under the cap and still keep their high end players like Patrick Sharp.

"He's a hard-nosed kid and very hard to play against," Stars general manager Joe Nieuwendyk said. "He plays with a lot of energy and pulls people into the fight with him. He skates really well and works hard. The games I watched in the playoffs, he was the first guy in on the forecheck and finished with authority." Nieuwendyk sees Burish as a third-line winger or a fourth-line winger or center.
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Wisconsin's leading scorer last season Derek Stepan has officially signed with the New York Rangers. Per NHL rules, the Rangers were forced to wait until July 1st to officially announce the signing even though they had a deal in place weeks ago.

According to the website CapGeek.com, Stepan will have a cap hit of $820,333 for the three years on his entry level contract. Officially he will receive $712,500 if he is in the NHL this season, and $875,000 if he is in the NHL for the next two seasons. Additionally, per the terms of the CBA, he will receive a signing bonus of $87,500 each of the next three seasons weather is in the NHL or not. Stepans salary in the AHL next season will be $65,000.

Stepan, 20, served as captain of Team USA at the 2010 World Junior Championships, leading the United States to a gold medal. He led all skaters in assists (10) and points (14) in seven games en route to being named to the tournament All-Star Team, as selected by the media.

This season, Stepan scored 12 goals and 42 assists and had 8 penalty minutes in 41 games with the University of Wisconsin. He established career-highs in games played, goals, assists, points and penalty minutes. Stepan ranked among the NCAA leaders in several scoring categories, finishing tied for first in the nation in assists and ranked second in points. He also led the WCHA in points, assists and power play assists (22), and tied for fifth in power play points (23). The second-year player led his team in assists and points, tied for third in game-winning goals (3) and seventh in goals while surpassing the 40-assist and 50-point marks for the first time in his collegiate career.