The Cleveland Cavaliers and coach Tyronn Lue have started talking about a contract extension, and the two sides are confident they will reach a deal soon, Cleveland. Anthony Fabiano Jersey .com reports.Lue did not sign a new contract when he was promoted from associate head coach to take over for David Blatt in January, sources previously told ESPN.Lue led Cleveland to a 27-14 mark in the second half of the season and through the playoffs to the NBA championship.He was already the leagues top-paid assistant coach when he was added to Blatts staff in the summer of 2014 with a four-year deal worth a total of $6.5 million.The Cavs and Lues representatives came to a verbal agreement on a renegotiated deal after his promotion that would pay him $3 million prorated for 2015-16 and $3 million next season, with a team option for a third year at $3.5 million with a buyout, ESPNs Ramona Shelburne reported in January.There were no performance standards or stipulations for Lue to meet to keep the verbal agreement valid after the season, a source familiar with the negotiations said.Despite not inking an augmented contract since becoming the Cavs head coach, Lue is signed under his old deal through the 2016-17 season.The $3.2 million average annual salary reportedly agreed upon by Lues representatives and the Cavs would put Lue among the bottom half of the leagues coaches, in terms of compensation.ESPNs Dave McMenamin contributed to this report. 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SUNRISE, Fla. -- Aaron Ekblad is fully aware that the Florida Panthers will be dealing with a new issue this season, that being the burden of preseason expectations.Hes not bothered.The Panthers reached the playoffs and won the Atlantic Division last season, two major steps for a franchise that has known almost nothing but struggle since reaching the Stanley Cup final for the first and only time in 1996. And with a young core of talent now basically locked up for years -- the 20-year-old Ekblad is under contract through 2025 -- anything less than a playoff run next spring would be a disappointment for Florida.In the end, your guys expectations and everyone elses expectations mean absolutely nothing, Ekblad said. Its our expectations. As players, on a personal level and on a team level, we have expectations that exceed all of yours times 10. In the end, were the ones who have gotten here. Were the ones who have pushed ourselves beyond measure to get into this situation.And what is this situation?We believe we can do it, Ekblad said.Ekblad has been an All-Star defenseman in each of his first two NHL seasons, and hes already one of the faces of the franchise. Hockey hasnt caught basketball -- even after Dwyane Wade left the Miami Heat this week for the Chicago Bulls -- or football in terms of popularity among the South Florida sports landscape, but the fact that these Panthers are getting attention in the summertime shows how far the franchise has come.The Panthers announced his $60 million, eight-yeaar extension (which kicks in next summer) last week, then held a news conference at their arena on Thursday to announce the deal again. Devin Ross Jersey. . Theres some offseason rebuilding projects going on in the arena, and there was some remodeling of the roster this summer as well.Theres more than two months before the start of training camp, but its hard to find a time when optimism has been this high for Florida.We put ourselves in a good position, Panthers general manager Tom Rowe said. Are we a definite Stanley Cup, going-away winner right now? I dont think you can rule us out but its not a guarantee by any stretch of the imagination. But I think weve got the horses now to have a deep run in the playoffs.Ekblad will be a big key, if or when that deep run ever comes.Hes seemed unfazed by whatever came his way in his first two seasons with the Panthers. His confession came Thursday: Hes not always as cool as he appears.I try to keep it all in my head, Ekblad said. I really try to put a face on that no one really knows whats going on inside my head and I think a lot of players from a lot of different sports have that. Obviously, every night, I go to bed and I think about all those things and all those pressures. But more or less just have to use it as motivation and thats what Ive done over the last couple years.Its working for him, and its working for the Panthers as well. Wholeslae Jerseys NFL Jerseys Cheap Wholesale NBA Jerseys Cheap NHL Jerseys Cheap MLB Jerseys Wholesale Soccer Jerseys Cheap College Jerseys Cheap Football Jerseys Cheap Basketball Jerseys Cheap Baseball Jerseys ' ' '