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Larkin becomes first Red Wings player in 10 years to reach 30 goal mark

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When he scored his second goal of the third period during the Detroit Red Wings’ 5-4 overtime win over the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday night, Dylan Larkin accomplished something that no other Red Wing had done for over a decade.

The goal was his 30th of the season, which made him the first player in the franchise to reach 30 goals in a single season since 2008/2009. Fun fact: They had three 30+ goal scorers (Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk, Johan Franzen) and one 40+ goal scorer (Marian Hossa) that season.

The 22-year old, who is in his fourth NHL season, has already exceeded his career high by seven goals with still five games remaining in their regular season schedule. He has also been one of the few bright spots for what has been a troubling season for the bottom dwelling Red Wings team that ranks 24th in goals scored.

His 66 points (30 goals, 36 assists) give him a comfortable 17 point cushion over the next best statiscal player on the team.

Larkin’s teammate Andreas Athanasiou needs just one more goal to join him in the 30-goal club.

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Ovechkin will serve as NHL Ambassador in China next month

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A big name NHL star is going to be the face of hockey in China.

The league announced Thursday that Washington Capitals great Alex Ovechkin will serve as an international ambassador for the NHL when he visits Beijing, China during the week of August 4 next month

“It is a huge honour for me to be an ambassador for the entire Washington Capitals organization and the National Hockey League for this special trip to China,” said Ovechkin.

“I think it is very important to spend time to help make people all over the world see how great a game hockey is. I can’t wait to spend time with all the hockey fans there and I hope to meet young kids who will be future NHL players. I can’t wait for this trip!”

Among the things Ovechkin will do when in the country is do a full on media tour, attend business meetings, and participate in various youth hockey clinics.

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Former Nashville Predators captain Greg Johnson’s death most likely a suicide

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Some more sobering information has been revealed about the tragic death of former Nashville Predators captain Greg Johnson.

According to the Detroit News, Rochester police documents confirm that his death was more likely than not a suicide after a gun and a single bullet were near his body when he was discovered by his wife in the morning on July 7.

No further details of the autopsy have been made public.

Johnson, who was 48 at the time of his passing, spent 12 seasons in the NHL from 1993-2006.

The second round pick in the 1989 NHL Draft amassed 145 goals, 224 assists and 345 penalty minutes over a span of 785 games split between the Predators, Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins and Chicago Blackhawks.

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Capitals ink Jakub Vrana to two-year extension

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Another restricted free agent is off the market.

The Washington Capitals announced Tuesday that they have signed forward Jakub Vrana to a two-year, $6.7 million contract extension.

“Jakub is a highly skilled player with a tremendous upside and is a big part of our future” said Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan.

“We are pleased with his development the past two seasons and are looking forward for him to continue to develop and reach his full potential with our organization.”

The 23-year old, who was selected 13th overall in the 2014 NHL Draft, posted a career-best 47 points (24 goals, 23 assists) and a plus-20 rating in 82 games last season.

He will be entering his fourth NHL season in 2019/2020.

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