July 1 Free Agency Recap

  • C Martin Hanzal signs with Dallas for 3 years with an AAV of $4.75 million
    • Previous Contract: 5 years, $15.5 million with an AAV of $3.1 million signed with Arizona
    • Original Projection: I predicted that Hanzal would sign with Dallas for 5 years with an AAV of $4.5 million
    • Thoughts: I initially thought that Dallas appeared to be the perfect landing spot for Hanzal, and that feeling only got stronger after the Stars lost Cody Eakin in the Expansion Draft.  Hanzal is a perfect center to slot in down the middle behind Tyler Seguin.  He is typically good for 30-40 points each season and that production should only increase now that he will be playing with better forwards than he had in Arizona.  After the trade deadline, when he was with the Wild, he was nearly a point-per-game player and could easily put up 50 points with Dallas.  I am surprised that the deal is only for three years and am uncertain if that was Hanzal’s preference or Dallas’ decision to not offer a longer deal. Either way, it gives Hanzal a raise over his previous contract while not having to pay state income tax in Texas, while also protecting Dallas from a long-term deal.  The cap hit is also manageable, considering it’s less than $1 million more than Eakin’s cap hit and Hanzal is a much better play-driving center.
  • D Dan Girardi signs with Tampa Bay for 2 years with an AAV of $3 million
    • Previous Contract: 6 years, $33 million with an AAV of $5.5 million signed with the Rangers. Bought out on 6/14
    • Thoughts: I really don’t understand this deal for the Lightning. Girardi has widely been considered one of the worst defensemen in all of hockey in recent seasons and was bought out by the Rangers this offseason with three years left on his previous deal.  I get that the Lightning needed defense help, and specifically on the right side, but Girardi is not a good defenseman.  He has been a below 50% Corsi player every season since the 2009-10 season and has only had a positive Corsi twice in his career.  I feel that if the Lightning really wanted a right shot defenseman then signing Cody Franson would have been a better move.  Franson is a better skater and I feel confident that they could have signed him for the same contract that they signed Girardi to.
  • G Ryan Miller signs with Anaheim for 2 years with an AAV of $2 million
    • Previous Contract: 5 years, $31.25 million with an AAV of $6.25 million signed with Vancouver
    • Original Projection: I predicted that Miller would sign with Anaheim for 2 years with an AAV of $2.5 million
    • Thoughts: I think this is an excellent signing for the Ducks and a very good landing spot for Miller.  If Miller wanted the opportunity to compete for a Stanley Cup, then he wasn’t going to be able to be a starting goaltender.  At this point in his career he is, at most, a split starter, which is close to what I think he will find in Anaheim. John Gibson is certainly the starting goaltender but I could see there being a 60/40 split in percentage of starts between the two.  Miller is a really good security net for the Ducks to have when considering how inconsistent Gibson has the tendency to be and with the number of injuries he has faced in his short NHL career.  They were able to sign Miller to a very cheap contract, something that was important for the Ducks, a team that doesn’t always have an excess of cap space.  There was reason for Miller to sign with either Anaheim or Los Angeles because he is married to an actress and already had a home in Southern California.
  • G Ondrej Pavelec signs with the New York Rangers for 1 year worth $1.3 million
    • Previous Contract: 5 years, $19.5 million with an AAV of $3.9 million signed with Winnipeg
    • Thoughts: Pavelec hasn’t been very good the past two seasons and actually spent most of last season in the NHL.  When he was with the Jets, he had just an .888 save percentage and a 3.55 GAA in 8 starts.  He will look to get his career back on track with the Rangers and market himself in the same way that Antti Raanta did in his two seasons in New York.  The Rangers needed a new backup goaltender after trading Raanta to Arizona earlier this offseason and were looking for a good one.  Raanta played more last season than a typical backup goaltender does, appearing in 30 games and was a large reason for the Rangers making the playoffs.  With Henrik Lundqvist facing various injuries in recent seasons, the Rangers will likely need to rely on Pavelec at somepoint in the upcoming season.  I like the contract that they signed Pavelec to but I think that they could have done a better job at finding a backup goaltender who is more competent that Pavelec.  I think that Antti Niemi or Chad Johnson would have been better options and would have cost roughly the same salary.
  • G Jonathan Bernier signs with Colorado for 1 year worth $2.75 million
    • Previous Contract: 2 years, $8.3 million with an AAV of $4.15 million signed with Toronto
    • Original Projection: I predicted that Bernier would sign with Edmonton for 2 years with an AAV of $3 million
    • Thoughts: I thought that Bernier was going to get a better contract than the one he ended up signing with Colorado.  I thought that with the way he played in Anaheim this past season he would have earned a chance to at the very least split starts with a goaltender. Colorado likely won’t give him that opportunity as they have Semyon Varlamov, whom the Avalanche believe in.  I also think that Bernier won’t have as good of a season in Colorado considering how poor their defense is, making me question why he wanted to sign with the team.
  • LW Patrick Sharp signs with Chicago for 1 year worth up to $1 million – $800,000 base salary with $200,000 in performance bonuses based on number of games played
    • Previous Contract: 5 years, $29.5 million with an AAV of $5.9 million signed with Chicago
    • Original Projection: I predicted that Sharp was going to sign with Montreal for 1 year and $3 million
    • Thoughts: Sharp absolutely could have gotten more money from another team but he obviously wanted to return to a comfortable situation and to have a chance to win another Stanley Cup.  At this point in his career, I don’t think that salary is much of a concern as he has made just under $48 million in his career before taxes and other dues.  I think this was a great landing spot for Sharp because he does have chemistry with the Blackhawks.  It is also a smart signing by Chicago because he is very cheap and could provide good production for such a low salary.  Being as successful as the Blackhawks have been the past decade brings them the opportunities to sign quality players at such low contracts.
  • G Chad Johnson signs with Buffalo for 1 year worth $2.5 million
    • Previous Contract: 1 year and $1.7 million signed with Calgary
    • Original Projection: I predicted that Johnson was going to re-sign with Calgary for 2 years with an AAV of $2.5 million
    • Thoughts: I think this is a great signing by Buffalo to bring in a quality goaltender who can succeed in a split role with Robin Lehner, assuming they re-sign him.  Johnson was really good for the Sabres in the 2015-16 season and has relationships with a lot of the players on the team.  He was also very good last season and helped save the Calgary Flames season while Brian Elliott was struggling at the start of the season.
  • G Brian Elliott signs with Philadelphia for 2 years with an AAV of $2.75 million
    • Previous Contract: 3 years, $7.5 million with an AAV of $2.5 million signed with St. Louis
    • Original Projection: I predicted that Elliott would sign with the Rangers for 2 years with an AAV of $2 million
    • Thoughts: I’m not certain what role Elliott is going to have with the Flyers since they already have Michal Neuvirth on their roster as well as Anthony Stolarz, who appears to be their goaltender of the future.  It seems like they will go with Neuvirth and Elliott in split roles and Stolarz will be the starter in the AHL, allowing him to develop further.  I think this was a smart deal for the Flyers to make as they will likely be trying to compete for a playoff spot in the upcoming season.  I do question as to why they went to years with both Neuvirth and Elliott and that means that Stolarz will likely have to wait for two more seasons until he can take the reins as Philadelphia’s starting goaltender.
  • RW Evgeni Dadonov signs with Florida for 3 years with an AAV of $4 million
    • Thoughts: With the success Alexander Radulov had in Montreal last season, I think more teams are willing to take risks on successful KHL players coming to North America.  Dadonov was really good in the KHL with SKA St. Petersburg the last couple of seasons and was a point-per-game player last season and scored 30 goals.  I think that he is a very good player for Florida to take a chance on especially considering they lost quite a bit of production this offseason.
  • C Micheal Haley signs with Florida – Details have yet to be confirmed
    • Previous Contract: 1 year, $625,000 contract signed with San Jose
    • Thoughts: Just a good depth forward signing for a potential playoff team.
  • D Trevor Daley signs with Detroit for 3 years with an AAV of $3.178 million
    • Previous Contract: 4 years, $19.8 million with an AAV of $3.3 million signed with Dallas
    • Original Projection: I predicted that Daley was going to sign with the Rangers for 4 years with an AAV of $4 million
    • Thoughts: I’m surprised that Daley was interested in signing with Detroit after winning back-to-back Stanley Cups with the Penguins. It doesn’t seem likely that the Red Wings will be competitive during his contract with them.  I also feel confident that he could have signed a more lucrative contract elsewhere so I believe that he had interest in specifically playing for the Red Wings.  For Detroit, I think this was a very smart move as they attempt to rebuild their blueline and attempt to get back to the playoffs without completely tearing down their roster.
  • G Steve Mason signs with Winnipeg for 2 years with an AAV of $4.1 million
    • Previous Contract: 3 years, $12.3 million with an AAV of $4.1 million signed with Philadelphia
    • Original Projection: I predicted that Mason would sign with Vancouver for 3 years with an AAV of $4 million
    • Thoughts: This is a really good move by Winnipeg as they needed a solid veteran goaltender to help develop Connor Hellebuyck into a starting NHL goaltender.  The Jets were an average goaltender away from making the playoffs last season and Mason could be the netminder they need to help them reach that goal.
  • C Sam Gagner signs with Vancouver for 3 years with an AAV of $3.15 million
    • Previous Contract: 1 year, $650,000 contract signed with Columbus
    • Original Projection: I predicted that Gagner was going to re-sign with Columbus for 1 year and $2 million
    • Thoughts: I am really happy for Sam Gagner, who completely revitalized his career with a solid season in Columbus last season. He was electric on the Blue Jackets’ very good powerplay and I feel confident that this is a reason for Vancouver signing him.  I am curious as to why the Canucks continue to try and better their NHL team when they are clearly in need of a rebuild in order to be competitive again in the future.  I do understand, however, that they need to ice a 23 man roster and signing Gagner could present them with an opportunity to trade him for assets in the future.
  • D Michael Del Zotto signs with Vancouver for 2 years with an AAV of $3 million
    • Previous Contract: 2 years, $7.75 million with an AAV of $3.875 million signed with Philadelphia
    • Original Projection: I predicted that Del Zotto was going to sign with Dallas for 2 years with an AAV of $3.5 million
    • Thoughts: Del Zotto had a tough season last year with Philadelphia but has proven himself to be a pretty good puck-moving defenseman on a good team’s third pairing.  On Vancouver, he will likely be a top four defenseman and will receive big minutes.  That could be either good for his career and allow him to develop into that role, despite already being 27, or it could completely expose him and remove any trade value he could have in the future.
  • G Anders Nilsson signs with Vancouver for 2 years with an AAV of $2.5 million
    • Previous Contract: 1 year, $1 million signed with Buffalo
    • Original Projecction: I predicted that Nilsson would re-sign with Buffalo for 4 years with an AAV of $2.5 million
    • Thoughts: Nilsson is a good goaltender who has probably earned himself the opportunity to get close to a 50/50 split in playing time. He may get the opportunity in Vancouver in a tandem with Jacob Markstrom.  I think it was a good landing spot for Nilsson as well as a good signing for Vancouver.
  • D Patrick Wiercioch signs with Vancouver for 1 year worth $650,000
    • Previous Contract: 1 year, $800,000 deal signed with Colorado
  • RW Beau Bennett signs with St. Louis for 1 year worth $650,000
    • Previous Contract: 1 year, $725,000 deal signed with New Jersey.
    • Original Projection: I predicted that Bennett would re-sign with New Jersey for 2 years with an AAV of $1 million.
    • Thoughts: Bennett is coming off his best season in the NHL and has obviously shown enough to continue receiving one year deals. I think that he could be good in a depth role and provide some surprising scoring.
  • LW Mike Cammalleri signs with Los Angeles for 1 year worth $1 million
    • Previous Contract: 5 years, $25 million with an AAV of $5 million signed with New Jersey. Bought out on 6/30.
    • Thoughts: This signing is the epitome of those signed by the Kings and Blackhawks with how both teams have been in salary cap purgatory as a result of their Stanley Cup runs.  Cammalleri was bought out by the Devils with two years left on his old deal and accepted a very cheap one year deal to play with the Kings.  I think this is a great signing by the Kings as Cammalleri can still score 15-20 goals, something the Kings desperately needed last season.
  • D Adam Clendening signs with Arizona for 1 year worth $650,000
    • Previous Contract: 1 year, $600,000 deal signed with the New York Rangers.
  • C Byron Froese signs with Montreal for 2 years with an AAV of $650,000
    • Previous Contract: 2 years, $1.15 million with an AAV of $575,000 signed with Toronto.
  • G Antti Niemi signs with Pittsburgh for 1 year worth $700,000
    • Previous Contract: 3 years, $13.5 million with an AAV of $4.5 million signed with Dallas. Bought out on 6/27.
    • Thoughts: The Penguins needed a backup goaltender to Matt Murray following the departure of Marc-Andre Fleury in the Expansion Draft.  Niemi should be able to fill that role admirably provided he doesn’t have to be the starter for a time period due to an injury to Murray.  I actually think that there were better goaltenders out there to fill the Penguins need for a backup goaltender.
  • G Jean-Francois Berube signs with Chicago for 2 years with an AAV of $750,000
    • Previous Contract: 1 year, $675,000 signed with the New York Islanders.
  • C Josh Jooris signs with Arizona for 1 year worth $775,000
    • Previous Contract: 1 year, $600,000 signed with the New York Rangers.
  • RW Tyler Pitlick signs with Dallas for 3 years with an AAV of $1 million
    • Previous Contract: 1 year, $725,000 signed with Edmonton.
  • RW Chris Thorburn signs with St. Louis for 2 years with an AAV of $900,000
    • Previous Contract: 3 years, $3.6 million with an AAV of $1.2 million.
  • RW Justin Williams signs with Carolina for 2 years with an AAV of $4.5 million
    • Previous Contract: 2 years, $6.5 million with an AAV of $3.25 million signed with Washington.
    • Original Projection: I predicted that Williams would sign with Edmonton for 2 years with an AAV of $3 million.
    • Thoughts: I thought that Williams was going to go to more of a contender than Carolina.  However, I am (and apparently Williams is) a big fan of what GM Ron Francis is doing with the Hurricanes. He was with the team before and helped them win their only Stanley Cup in franchise history back in 2006.  I think that he could be a very important piece to any success the team has in the upcoming season.
  • C Tommy Wingels signs with Chicago for 1 year – Details have yet to be confirmed
    • Previous Contract: 3 years, $7.425 million with an AAV of $2.475 million.
    • Thoughts: Assuming that Wingels signed for $1 million or less, it is an excellent signing for the Blackhawks.  He has scored 15 or more goals twice and can put up 30 or more points.  I think that playing in a system that can make the most out of their depth forwards like Chicago does could be really good for Wingels.
  • D Matt Hunwick signs with Pittsburgh for 3 years with an AAV of $2.25 million
    • Previous Contract: 2 years, $2.4 million with an AAV of $1.2 million signed with Toronto.
    • Thoughts: This signing makes almost no sense for the Penguins to me.  Hunwick is a third pairing defenseman with little upside to play up in the depth order.  I think that if Toronto was willing to let Hunwick walk, despite them needing defense help, it should be evident that perhaps he isn’t the kind of defenseman the Penguins need.  He hasn’t had an above 50% Corsi in two seasons, an aspect the Penguins may attention to.  I think this signing has potential to be bad for Pittsburgh as his contract progresses, especially if they are unable to re-sign Ian Cole after the upcoming season.
  • LW Benoit Pouliot signs with Buffalo for 1 year worth $1.15 million
    • Previous Contract: 5 years, $20 million with an AAV of $4 million signed with Edmonton. Bought out on 6/29.
    • Thoughts: Pouliot was bought out by the Oilers prior to free agency opening.  That was more of a reflection of his salary than his actual production and Edmonton needed to free up his $4 million salary to be able to re-sign Leon Draisaitl and extend Connor McDavid.  I really like this signing by the Sabres because they get a player in Pouliot who has been productive throughout his career and he will be hungry to produce once again.
  • D Dmitry Kulikov signs with Winnipeg for 3 years with an AAV of $4.33 million
    • Contract Details: Modified NTC all three years – player submits a 6 team trade list.
    • Previous Contract: 3 years, $13 million with an AAV of $4,333,333 signed with Florida.
    • Original Projection: I predicted that Kulikov would sign with Dallas for 2 years with an AAV of $3.75 million.
    • Thoughts: I really like this deal for the Jets.  Getting Kulikov in on a deal that matches his previous contract was really good and now they will have a defense that rivals that of the Flames, Predators, Hurricanes, and Ducks.  I believe that they looked at the teams in the Western Conference with elite defenses and wanted to imitate it, seeing it as a path to the playoffs.  Kulikov also protects the Jets in case Jacob Trouba doesn’t want to re-sign with them next offseason or if they trade him, as well as Toby Enstrom’s free agency looming after the upcoming season.  Kulikov will also help to further insulate Winnipeg’s goaltenders and make them a better all-around team.  I like this move for Kulikov because being left-handed ensures that he will skate on a pairing with Tyler Myers, Dustin Byfuglien, or Trouba, all three of which will elevate Kulikov’s game.
  • C Brian Boyle signs with New Jersey for 2 years with an AAV of $2.55 million
    • Previous Contract: 3 years, $6 million with an AAV of $2 million signed with Tampa Bay.
    • Original Projection: I predicted that Boyle would sign with Tampa Bay for 2 years with an AAV of $2 million.
    • Thoughts: I think this was a smart signing for the Devils as Boyle is a veteran with a winning pedigree who can help with the development of Nico Hischier.  Boyle is also an excellent depth center who can help anchor the third or fourth lines of any team and is an excellent penalty killer.  For Boyle, I don’t understand the intention behind signing with New Jersey, unless he really wanted to return to the New York City area and the Rangers and Islanders didn’t offer him a contract.  I thought that it made sense for Boyle to return to the Lightning this offseason as they will likely look to replace Valtteri Filppula.
  • D Karl Alzner signs with Montreal for 5 years with an AAV of $4.625 million.
    • Contract Details: Modified NTC all five years – player submits 7 team no-trade list
    • Previous Contract: 4 years, $11.2 million with an AAV of $2.8 million signed with Washington.
    • Original Projection: I predicted that Alzner would sign with Toronto for 5 years with an AAV of $4.5 million.
    • Thoughts: I was pretty close on predicting the deal Alzner would sign but was wrong with which Canadian team he would sign. Despite being close on predicting his contract, I’m actually a bit surprised that Alzner didn’t get a longer contract and that he didn’t get more than $5 million per season.  I actually think this was a smart deal for the Canadiens, who desperately needed help on the blueline.  I don’t think he is the kind of defenseman they need, however, as Alzner is a defensive-first defenseman and not the puck-moving one they are missing.  I do like the term they gave Alzner as he is unlikely to regress significantly during the five years as he will be only 33 when the contract expires.  I wonder if teams have finally gotten smarter and not giving out seven year deals to free agents who will never be able to live up to the contract at the back end of the deal.  I think that signing with Montreal was smart for Alzner because playing in front of Carey Price makes any defenseman look better and the possibility of playing with Shea Weber is also a good thing.
  • G Curtis McElhinney re-signs with Toronto for 2 years with an AAV of $850,000
    • Previous Contract: 2 years, $1.6 million with an AAV of $800,000 signed with Columbus.
  • G Garret Sparks re-signs with Toronto for 2 years with an AAV of $675,00
    • Previous Contract: 1 year, $575,000 signed with Toronto.
  • C Nick Bonino signs with Nashville for 4 years with an AAV of $4.1 million – Details have yet to be confirmed
    • Previous Contract: 3 years, $5.7 million with an AAV of $1.9 million signed with Anaheim.
    • Original Projection: I predicted that Bonino would sign with either Buffalo or the Rangers for 5 years with an AAV of $3.5 million.
    • Thoughts: I love this deal for both sides.  Bonino is going from a Stanley Cup champion to the team he just beat in the Final, which is also a team that should be competitive longer than the Penguins. Bonino will likely take on a big role with the Predators and could see his offensive production increase with the likelihood of him playing on a line with more talented forwards than he did in Pittsburgh.  Bonino also gives Nashville protection against the potential loss of Mike Fisher.  I thought that Bonino was going to want to play close to where he grew up and would likely sign with one of the New York City teams, Buffalo, or Boston, but perhaps he values the opportunity to win more Stanley Cups more.  I am very happy for him and that he was able to get a significant raise over his previous contract.  He has earned the deal considering he plays in every area of the game, is very good at taking faceoffs, and sacrifices his body for the team.  I love this deal.
  • C Peter Holland signs with Montreal for 2 years with an AAV of $675,000
    • Previous Contract: 1 year, $1.3 million deal signed with Toronto.
  • LW Scott Hartnell signs with Nashville for 1 year worth $1 million
    • Previous Contract: 6 years, $28.5 million with an AAV of $4.75 million signed with Philadelphia. Bought out on 6/29.
    • Thoughts: I think this was a great signing by Nashville to bring in the veteran power forward at such a cheap contract.  Hartnell is still a very good hockey player and was bought out more to free up cap space than because of his play.  He scored 23 goals just two seasons ago and likely has that level of production within him still. This deal is very similar to the deal Brad Richards signed with Chicago after he was bought out by the New York Rangers.  He signed a one year deal with the Blackhawks and was able to win a Stanley Cup with them.  I could easily see that being how this trade works out for Hartnell as he is still being paid from Columbus. Hartnell started his career in Nashville and played for head coach Peter Laviolette while playing in Philadelphia, so he will have some familiarity with the Predators.
  • D Ron Hainsey signs with Toronto for 2 years with an AAV of $3 million
    • Previous Contract: 3 years, $8.5 million with an AAV of $2,833,333 signed with Carolina.
    • Original Projection: I predicted that Hainsey would re-sign with Pittsburgh for 1 year and $2 million.
    • Thoughts: I thought that Pittsburgh was going to attempt to re-sign Hainsey to a one year deal seeing as how they were going to lose Trevor Daley this offseason.  I think that signing Hainsey was a smart move for the Maple Leafs, a team that needed a veteran defenseman on a unit that is relatively young.  Hainsey should be the steady stay-at-home defenseman that can pair well with one of Toronto’s more offensively-minded defenseman.
  • C Seth Griffith signs with Buffalo for 1 year worth $650,000
    • Previous Contract: 1 year, $625,000 signed with Boston.
  • C Brian Flynn signs with Dallas for 1 year worth $700,000
    • Previous Contract: 2 years, $1.9 million with an AAV of $950,000 signed with Montreal.
  • G Michael Leighton signs with Tampa Bay for 1 year worth $650,000
    • Previous Contract: 1 year, $700,000 signed with Carolina.
  • G Darcy Kuemper signs with Los Angeles for 1 year worth $650,000
    • Previous Contract: 1 year, $1.55 million signed with Minnesota.
  • C Jacob Josefson signs with Buffalo for 1 year worth $700,000
    • Previous Contract: 1 year, $1.1 million signed with New Jersey.
  • LW Chris Kunitz signs with Tampa Bay for 1 year worth $2 million – Details have yet to be confirmed
    • Contract Details: NTC
    • Previous Contract: 3 years, $11.55 million with an AAV of $3.85 million signed with Pittsburgh.
    • Original Projection: I predicted that Kunitz would sign with Calgary for 2 years with an AAV of $2 million.
    • Thoughts: After there was basically no way that the Penguins were going to re-sign Kunitz, he was a free agent for the first time in his career.  He brings with him a championship pedigree, having won four Stanley Cups in his career, one with Anaheim and four with Pittsburgh.  He also became a quality goalscorer with Pittsburgh, even scoring 35 goals during the 2013-14 season.  A large reason for that output was playing on Sidney Crosby’s wing and, depending on whose line he will skate on in Tampa Bay, he could be very productive once again.  He is a gritty forward who is never afraid to place himself in front of the net and take abuse from opposing defensemen and goaltenders.  He should be a great addition for an already talented Lightning team and was a smart move by him to sign with him.  I also think it was a good move by Tampa Bay to sign him to such a cheap contract and bring in that veteran presence.
  • D Kevin Shattenkirk signs with the New York Rangers for 4 years with an AAV of $6.65 million – Detail have yet to be confirmed
    • Previous Contract: 4 years, $17 million with an AAV of $4.25 million signed with St. Louis.
    • Original Projection: I predicted that Shattenkirk was going to sign with Buffalo for 7 years with an AAV of $8 million.
    • Thoughts: I really thought that Shattenkirk was going to push for the maximum of seven years with this deal.  He is already 28 years old and I didn’t think he would want to test free agency again when he will be out of him prime.  I feel pretty confident that he could have found a seven year deal on the open market.  I certainly thought that if he went with a shorter deal like he did, that the deal would be quite pricey and his cap hit was going to be north of $9 million.  I never thought that he would agree to such a short deal with such a low cap hit.  Evidently his desire to maximize his earning potential wasn’t as important as his desire to try and win a Stanley Cup or as important as his desire to play close to where he grew up.  I do think that if he wanted to try and win a Stanley Cup in the next few seasons that there were better teams for him to sign with, such as Toronto.  I really don’t think that there is much of a chance for the Rangers to win a Stanley Cup in the next few seasons with how much Henrik Lundqvist has regressed in recent years.  I also don’t think that the team has enough offense to advance multiple rounds in the playoffs.  I do think that the signing was a smart one for the Rangers as they needed a good right shot defenseman to play on a pairing with Ryan McDonagh.  The fact that they were able to sign Shattenkirk without having to fall into the trap that is free agency was brilliant by the team.  I just don’t think that the addition of Shattenkirk is enough to make them a true Cup contender.
  • G Niklas Svedberg signs with Minnesota for 1 year worth $700,000
    • Previous Contract: N/A

Extensions

  • San Jose extends G Martin Jones 6 years with an AAV of $5.75 million
    • Contract Details: Modified NTC for all 6 years – player submits a 3 team trade list.
    • Thoughts: Jones has been really good for the Sharks in his two seasons as their starting goaltender.  He has been good enough that he deserves to be paid like an NHL starting goaltender instead of the $3 million cap hit he is currently playing under.  He will be tied with Marc-Andre Fleury as the 10th highest cap hit for a goaltender in the league.  I think it is a very good deal for Jones, who was stuck as Jonathan Quick’s backup his first two seasons in the league.  It is also a good signing by the Sharks as they are able to get an above average goaltender locked down through his prime years without taking on too much chance for regression.
  • San Jose extends D Marc-Edouard Vlasic 8 years with an AAV of $7 million
    • Contract Details: NMC for the first 5 years and a Modified NTC for the final 3 years – Player submits a 3 team trade list.
    • Thoughts: The Sharks have certainly gone all-in on winning in the present because they are going to pay for it in the future.  Vlasic is a very good defenseman and is the defensive defenseman to Burns’ offensive skillset.  Vlasic is also already 30 years old and giving a player of that age an eight year contract is dangerous.  I don’t think that there is anyway that Burns or Vlasic live up to their deals at the end but the Sharks had to do what they did in order to keep both players on their roster.
  • Anaheim extends D Cam Fowler 8 years with an AAV of $6.5 million
    • Contract Details: Modified NTC for all 8 years – Player submits a 4 team trade list.
    • Thoughts: Fowler has run the gambit of how people perceive him in recent seasons.  Last year he was criticized pretty severely and now he is seen as one of the smoothest skating defensemen in the league.  I tend to agree with the latter view of him and felt that it was vital for the Ducks to lock him down long-term.  Signing him to an eight year deal when he is just 25 years old was brilliant because they have him signed through his prime with little chance of him regressing.  They also got him locked down at a very reasonable cap hit while still ensuring that he is there highest paid defenseman, a contract he has earned.

Trades Made in Recent Days

  • Vegas traded D Alexei Emelin to Nashville for a 2019 3rd RD Pick
  • Calgary traded G Tom McCollum to Detroit for a Conditional 7th RD Draft Pick
  • Tampa Bay traded G Kristers Gudlevskis to the New York Islanders for F Carter Verhaeghe
  • Nashville traded C Colin Wilson to Colorado for a 2019 4th RD Pick

Big Name Free Agents Still Available

  • Joe Thornton
  • Patrick Marleau
  • Alexander Radulov
  • Jaromir Jagr
  • Andrei Markov
  • Jussi Jokinen

 

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