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(The Sports Xchange) - The Pittsburgh Penguins re-signed goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury to a four-year, $23 million contract extension Wednesday.
The deal begins with the 2015-16 season and runs through the 2018-19 campaign, and has an average annual value of $5.75 million.
Fleury, 29, is off to one of the best starts of his career, posting a 7-2 record, 1.89 goals-against average, .931 save percentage and a league-leading (tied) three shutouts in nine starts. He had back-to-back shutouts in his previous two starts for the first time in his career.
Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson was suspended three games without pay Wednesday for an illegal hit to the head of Carolina Hurricanes forward Jiri Tlusty.
Johnson was given a two-minute minor penalty at 7:31 of the third period for an illegal check to the head of Tlusty, who left the game and did not return. Carolina won the game 4-2.
The Detroit Red Wings released a statement Tuesday from the Howe family regarding the much-improved condition of hockey legend Gordie Howe after he suffered a major stroke Oct. 26.
"The Howe family is pleased to report that over the past week Mr. Hockey has been recovering at a remarkable rate, including his speech, and his ability to walk with the assistance of a walker," the statement read.
Howe, 86, is the Red Wings franchise leader in goals (786) and points (1,809) and the NHL career leader in games played (1,967).
Minnesota Wild forward Zach Parise sustained an upper-body injury and will not accompany the team on the upcoming three-game road trip, coach Mike Yeo said.
Yeo said Parise will meet with doctors to determine the extent of his injury.
Colorado Avalanche head coach Patrick Roy said Wednesday that defenseman Brad Stuart will be out a couple weeks with a hamstring injury.
Stuart, who turns 35 on Thursday, left Tuesday night's 5-2 loss to the Vancouver Canucks after playing just four shifts in the second period.
The New York Rangers assigned defenseman Dylan McIlrath to Hartford of the American Hockey League on Wednesday.
McIlrath, 22, skated in one game with the Rangers since he was recalled from Hartford on Sunday.
The Philadelphia Flyers sent defenseman Brandon Manning to Lehigh Valley of the American Hockey League on Wednesday.
Manning, 24, appeared in two games with the Flyers, recording one assist and an average ice time of 11:45 since being recalled on Oct. 29.
Editing by Frank Pingue