NHL Free Agent Signings up to July 1

  • Tampa Bay re-signs G Peter Budaj to a 2 year deal with an AAV of $1,025,000
    • Thoughts: The Lightning needed a second goaltender for the upcoming season after trading Ben Bishop to the Kings at the trade deadline.  Budaj re-emerged as an NHL goaltender after almost two full seasons of being relegated to the AHL.  With the Kings this past season he almost single-handedly kept their playoff hopes alive before being moved to Tampa in the Bishop trade.  He will be a quality veteran back up to Andrei Vasilevskiy, who will be given the reins full-time for the first time in his career.
  • Pittsburgh re-signs D Chad Ruhwedel to a 2 year deal with an AAV of $650,000
    • Original Projection:  I thought that Ruhwedel would end up signing with the Kings this offseason for 2 years with an AAV of $1.5 million.
    • Thoughts: I didn’t think that Ruhwedel was going to sign for as cheap as he did and thought that LA would be a good landing spot for him since he is from Southern California.  I think re-signing him was smart for the Penguins as he is a good depth defenseman who can fill in when a regular is injured.
  • Edmonton re-signs D Kris Russell to a 4 year deal with an AAV of $4 million
    • Additional Details: Modified NTC the last two years of the deal.
    • Original Projection: I thought that Russell was going to sign with Dallas for 5 years with an AAV of $3.75 million.
    • Thoughts: This was a very important signing for Edmonton to get done for the upcoming season.  Russell was a key part of their team last season and helped to insulate goaltender Cam Talbot.  It was important for the Oilers front office to get a longer term deal done with Russell as there will be some turnover in the upcoming seasons as their young players get expensive.  I like the term on this deal a lot because Russell is already 30 and most likely won’t regress much over the length of the contract.  The salary also isn’t bad and it would probably cost the Oilers more money on the open market to sign a top four defenseman.
  • Washington re-signs RW T.J. Oshie to an 8 year deal with an AAV of $5.75 million
    • Additional Details: Modified NTC for all 8 years; Years 1-4: 15 team no trade list, years 5-8: 10 team no trade list.
    • Original Projection: I thought that Oshie was going to re-sign with Washington on a 6 year deal with an AAV of $5 million.
    • Thoughts: On the very basic level of Oshie coming back to Washington this coming season, it is a smart move for Washington. That view changes a bit when you realize that Oshie is already 30 years old and there is no way he will live up to that deal when he is 38.  He is coming off the two best seasons of his career when he has scored 26 and 33 goals, respectively.  But a closer look at his statistics and you begin to see that he has also had the two highest shooting percentages of his career the past two seasons, including a league-leading 23.1% this past season.  That is a number that is unsustainable and he is likely to see some regression this season. I’m truly surprised that the Capitals were willing to go the maximum of eight years with Oshie but perhaps that is the only way they could get him to sign this early in the offseason.  There were rumors that the Blackhawks were going to make a big push to sign Oshie this offseason and I think that may have accelerated Washington’s signing.  I think in the short-term this is a smart move for the Capitals as it keeps them in contention to win a Stanley Cup. In the long-term they are going to regret this deal as Oshie most likely won’t be able to live up to the deal.
  • Anaheim re-signs RW Patrick Eaves to a 3 year deal with an AAV of $3.15 million
    • Additional Details: Modified no-trade clause for all three years – player submits an 8 team no trade list.
    • Original Projection: I thought that Eaves would sign with Carolina for 4 years with an AAV of $3 million.
    • Thoughts: I was close with the salary but thought that Eaves would get four years.  I’m surprised that Eaves, who just turned 33, wouldn’t want the fourth year on his new deal.  Instead, he will reach free agency again at 36 and may have a difficult time finding suitors.  I think it was smart for Anaheim to re-sign Eaves because they had a difficult time finding offense all season long, a trend that continued into the playoffs even after acquiring Eaves.  They were going to need him or someone even more productive to be a true Stanley Cup contender this upcoming season.  For Eaves, re-signing with Anaheim was smart because it ensures that he will be able to skate on a line with talented forwards who can help get him the puck.
  • Winnipeg re-signs D Ben Chiarot to a 2 year deal with an AAV of $1.4 million
  • Anaheim re-signs D Korbinian Holzer to a 2 year deal with an AAV of $900,000
  • Tampa Bay re-signs D Andrej Sustr to a 1 year deal worth $1.95 million
    • Original Projection: Re-signing with Tampa Bay for 2 years with an AAV of $3.25 million.
    • Thoughts: I don’t understand how Tampa Bay was able to get Sustr to accept a raise of just $500,000 over last season’s salary. I thought that he would get more of a traditional bridge contract – two years with a modest salary increase before signing a long-term deal with his next contract.  Good on the Lightning for being able to get Sustr to agree to such a modest deal but I have to expect that he will want to get paid in a big way next offseason.
  • Carolina re-signs C Derek Ryan to a 1 year deal worth $1.425 million
    • Original Projection: I thought that Ryan would re-sign with Carolina for 3 years with an AAV of $1.2 million.
    • Thoughts: I thought that Carolina would want to sign Ryan to a multi-year deal and attempt to lock him in at a lower AAV. Instead, I think that the team wants to Ryan to prove he can produce at a high level in the NHL for more than one season before they give him a lengthier contract.
  • Carolina re-signs D Trevor Carrick to a 1 year deal worth $670,000
  • Dallas re-signs D Esa Lindell to a 2 year deal with an AAV of $2.2 million
    • Original Projection: I predicted that Lindell would re-sign with Dallas for 7 years with an AAV of $4 million.
    • Thoughts: I really thought that Dallas was going to want sign Lindell to a deal similar to the one signed by John Klingberg. Instead the two sides agreed on a bridge deal that still gives Lindell a sizable raise over his $925,000 contract from last season.
  • Edmonton re-signs RW Zack Kassian to a 3 year deal with an AAV of $1.95 million
    • Original Projection: I predicted that Kassian would re-sign with Edmonton for 4 years with an AAV of $2 million.
    • Thoughts: I think that this was a good deal for both sides.  Kassian had his best season in the NHL last year and was rewarded with a multi-year contract.  The numbers he put up last season are likely repeatable as he didn’t have an elevated shooting percentage and will be able to skate with generally the same linemates he had this past season.  I think that he has put himself in a place to be one of Edmonton’s core forwards and likely recognized that when signing this deal.
  • Chicago re-signs G Anton Forsberg to a 2 year deal with an AAV of $750,000
  • Chicago re-signs LW Tomas Jurco to a 1 year deal worth $800,000
  • Ottawa re-signs LW Tom Pyatt to a 2 year deal with an AAV of $1.1 million
  • Washington re-signs RW Brett Connolly to a 2 year deal with an AAV of $1.5 million
    • Original Projection: I predicted that Connolly would re-sign with Washington for 2 years with an AAV of $1 million
    • Thoughts: I thought that this was a great signing by the Capitals, who will need Connolly to provide depth scoring during the upcoming season.  They also got him to agree to a cheap contract but still give him a raise over the $850,000 he made last season.
  • Edmonton re-signs D Eric Gryba to a 2 year deal with an AAV of $900,000
  • The New York Rangers re-signed D Brendan Smith to a 4 year deal with an AAV of $4.35 million
    • Original Projection: I predicted that Smith would re-sign with the Rangers for 4 years with an AAV of $4.25 million
    • Thoughts: I was right on with the term given to Smith by the Rangers and very close in terms of salary.  I think that this is a smart move by both the Rangers and Smith to come together on a new deal.  Smith gets the security that comes with a multi-year deal and will have the opportunity to play for a Stanley Cup during the contract.  The Rangers get a replacement defenseman for Dan Girardi after they bought him out.  They still have the cap space to be able to sign Kevin Shattenkirk if the two sides can agree on a deal this summer.
  • Ottawa re-signed G Mike Condon to a 3 year deal with an AAV of $2.4 million
    • Thoughts: I, for some unknown reason, didn’t project a new deal for Condon, but am very happy that he will be returning to Ottawa. I am also happy to see him rewarded for saving the Senators’ year last season.  While I hope that he isn’t needed to play for the same reasons he did last season, I do think he’ll be called upon quite a bit and is a more than capable backup.
  • Carolina re-signed LW Brock McGinn to a 2 year deal with an AAV of $887,500
    • Original Projection: I predicted that McGinn would re-sign with Carolina for 2 years with an AAV of $2 million.
    • Thoughts: I thought that McGinn was going to re-sign with the Hurricanes but never thought that he would actually receive a salary reduction to make the deal possible.  I feel that if he had pushed for arbitration that he would have gotten a better deal from an arbitrator and certainly would have received a bigger offer on the open market.
  • Tampa Bay re-signed C Gabriel Dumont to a 2 year deal with an AAV of $650,000
  • Colorado re-signed RW Sven Andrighetto to a 2 year deal with an AAV of $1.4 million
    • Original Projection: I predicted that he would end up signing with Calgary for 2 years with an AAV of $1 million
    • Thoughts: I have no actual thoughts regarding this contract but that it makes sense for him to return to the Avalanche.
  • New Jersey re-signed G Keith Kinkaid to a 2 year deal with an AAV of $1.25 million
  • Philadelphia re-signed C Jordan Weal to a 2 year deal with an AAV of $1.75 million
  • Calgary re-signed RW Kris Versteeg to a 1 year deal with an AAV of $1.75 million
    • Additional Details: Includes a modified no-trade clause where Versteeg submits a 10 team no trade list
    • Thoughts: I think this is a great deal for the Flames because they were able to re-sign Versteeg at a very low contract while also signing him to just a one year deal.  It did help them that Versteeg had an interest in returning to the Flames since he is from Alberta. He was very productive last season (37 points) for someone who made just $950,000 last year and will be a vital member of the Flames depth in the upcoming season.
  • Detroit re-signed D Dylan McIlrath to a 2 year deal with an AAV of $650,000
  • Washington re-signed D Dmitry Orlov to a 6 year deal with an AAV of $5.1 million
    • Additional Details: Years 3-6 include a modified 5 team no-trade clause.
    • Original Projection: I predicted that he would re-sign with Washington for 8 years with an AAV of $5 million
    • Thoughts: I definitely thought that Orlov was going to get the maximum eight years from the Capitals since he was basically in control of his contract negotiations.  I was pretty close in the salary, however, but thought that his salary was going to be this low because of the term.  This was an important signing by Washington because he is going to be a key member of their top two defense pairing moving forward.
  • Calgary re-signed D Michael Stone to a 3 year deal with an AAV of $3.5 million
    • Original Projection: I predicted that Stone would re-sign with Calgary for 6 years with an AAV of $5 million
    • Thoughts: I never thought that Stone was going to re-sign for as short a contract as he did.  I also never thought that he would agree to a contract that would give him a contract reduction compared to last season’s salary.  I’m guessing that when the final contract details are announced, he will have some type of a no-trade clause in his contract, making it more understandable as to why he agreed to such a team-friendly deal.  This was a smart move by the Flames to re-sign Stone because with the other moves the team has made this offseason, in addition to their already-quality defense, they now have one of the best defense groups in all of hockey.  They have a top four that rivals any in the league and may have a top six that is better than any other team’s.

*All stats and information came from tsn.ca, capfriendly.com, and hockey-reference.com.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s