CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Defensive end Greg Hardy has signed his franchise tag tender with the Carolina Panthers, a person familiar with the situation said Tuesday. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the signing has not been made official. Hardy, who said in January hed have no issue if the team used the franchise tag to keep him, will make $13.1 million for one season if he doesnt sign a long-term extension. The Panthers have until July 15 to sign Hardy to a long-term deal. After that date they cant discuss a contract extension until after the season is over. When the Panthers used the franchise tag on Hardy Friday, general manager Dave Gettleman said in a press release it was done so to buy more time to potentially work out a long-term extension with the former Mississippi star. "The franchise mechanism gives us time to secure the services of a very good player while we continue to look at the future of Greg with the Carolina Panthers," Gettleman said. "We have had great dialogue with both Greg and his agent. It was important to keep our defensive front together." The four-year NFL veteran had 15 sacks last season, tying a franchise record previously established by Kevin Greene in 1996, and was selected to his first Pro Bowl. Hardy has 26 sacks in his last two seasons. Hardy led the Panthers with 38 quarterback pressures last season and posted a career-high 67 tackles for the NFC South champions. The Panthers led the league in sacks last season with 60. Gettleman said Hardy was "a big reason we were able to lead the league in sacks last year and keeps our defensive line intact." Cheap Lions Jerseys . Napoli hit two home runs, Jonny Gomes and prized rookie Xander Bogaerts also connected, and the Red Sox kept up their dizzying scoring spree at Yankee Stadium by bashing New York 13-9 Saturday for a fifth straight win. Wholesale Lions Jerseys . Particularly when speaking in the stadium of Tuesdays opponent: Manchester City. "Maybe they dont fear us as before," Pique said on Monday, "because in the last two years we didnt win the Champions League. http://www.cheaplionsjerseyselite.com/.Derrick Rose scored 23 points, and the Bulls pulled away from the Nets for a 105-80 victory on Wednesday night. Chicago held Brooklyn to 29 points on 26. ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Last year, the Chicago Blackhawks gave the Minnesota Wild a quick exit from the playoffs. This year, the Wild are giving the defending Stanley Cup champions all they can handle. Jason Pominville and Matt Cooke scored first-period goals and Darcy Kuemper made 33 saves and the Minnesota Wild defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 2-1 on Thursday night. After losing a five-game series in the first round of last years playoffs, the Wild have won three of four against the Blackhawks this season. "I know we get geared up to play that team," Wild coach Mike Yeo said. "I think the fact that weve played them as much as we have, I think our guys are confident going into the game knowing we can play with them. "Obviously theyre such a great team, and we have so much respect for them, we havent taken any nights off against that hockey team." Kuemper was making his sixth consecutive start as Minnesotas top two goalies, Josh Harding and Niklas Backstrom, have been sidelined with health problems. The Wild are 5-3 with rookie in the net this season. "Im pretty confident right now," Kuemper said. "Obviously I just want to go in there and every time I get a chance, help the team win. And when youre getting wins like this, obviously its easy to keep rolling and come to the rink every day with a smile." Patrick Kane spoiled Kuempers shutout bid when he scored his 24th goal of the season with 31.2 seconds left to bring the Blackhawks to within one. But Kuemper stopped one final flurry in the last 10 seconds and Zach Parise cleared the puck from Minnesotas zone to run out the clock. Pominville opened the scoring at 8:08 of the first period. Dany Heatley carried the puck across the Chicago blue line and passed to Mikael Granlund near the goal mouth. Granlund spun back around and slid the puck across the slot, where Pominville was waiting to send it in the open net for his 20th of the season. "Hes the type of player that doesnt really need to know Im there," Pominville said of Granlund. "He just has a feel for it." The Blackhawks killed off a 5-on-3 power play, but Minnesota doubled its lead late iin the first period.dddddddddddd Justin Fontaine won a race to a loose puck and tipped it to Cooke, who slipped it past Antti Raanta from the left faceoff circle. "They made a decent play," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "After the big kill that was a deflating goal, but there was still a lot of hockey left." Raanta, who entered the game with a 12-1-3 record this season, was upset with himself after the game for putting his team in a 2-0 hole early. "Their first goal was pretty nice, tic-tac-toe, but the second one was too easy," Raanta said. "When they get two goals in the first period youre behind all the time. Its much harder to play because Minnesota was defensively so good. Every goal counts and today there was one easy goal so thats not a good thing." Kuemper got a little help from his defence to keep it 2-0 late in the second. During a Minnesota power play, Pominville tripped at the Chicago blue line and Marian Hossa pounced for a short-handed breakaway. But defenceman Ryan Suter caught up to Hossa just in time to prevent him from getting a clean shot. Kanes goal prevented them from being shut out for the first time in 120 games, but the Blackhawks lost in regulation for only the second time since Dec. 15. "Theyre the best team in the league and ... theyre going to see every teams best game. Its pretty impressive what theyre doing, even this year," said Parise, who returned to the lineup after missing 14 games with a broken left foot. "For whatever reason, our game elevates when we play them. And I thought ... we did a good job of containing their top players. Other than Kane getting that one at the end, we did a pretty good job of neutralizing them." Notes: Blackhawks D Duncan Keith missed his first game of the season Thursday. He was a pregame scratch due to illness. ... Blackhawks senior adviser Scotty Bowman is scheduled to have right knee replacement surgery Friday in Tampa, Fla. The 13-time Stanley Cup champion has a residence about an hour from Tampa. ... Kuempers mask broke during the second period, and he used Backstroms mask for about 10 minutes while it was being fixed. 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