- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy16 mins ago
The St. Louis Blues have signed young goaltender Jake Allen to a four-year contract extension worth $17.4 million.
The deal doesn’t officially kick in until 2017-18 and Allen is still signed for one more year at a $2.35 million salary cap hit. Friday was the first day the 25-year-old Allen could have been signed to a deal by the Blues.
At the NHL Draft the Blues traded Brian Elliott to the Calgary Flames, in order to hand the team over to Allen, who had platooned with Elliott last season.
In 2015-16, Allen held a 2.35 goal-against average and .920 save percentage in 47 games played. He started two playoff games and had a 2.49 goal-against average and .904 save percentage.
The prior year he started for St. Louis in the postseason and had a 2.20 goal-against average and .904 save percentage in a six-game loss to the Minnesota Wild in the first-round.
The Blues also announced they signed former Nashville Predators backup goaltender to a two-year, $2.25 million contract, giving them a solid, experienced tandem in goal for the next several years.
Last season, Allen ranked 13th amongst 23 goaltenders who had played at least 2,000 5-on-5 minutes with a .9263 save percentage.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy38 mins ago
Eric Staal did not have a good year.
The Carolina Hurricanes captain had his lowest points per game average since his rookie year at 0.47, which was a byproduct of his disastrous stint with the New York Rangers in which he had six points in 20 games. He followed that with zero points in five games in the playoffs, skating to a minus-7.
After the season, Staal faced unrestricted free agency. His primary consideration for the next step of his career: To play a large, important role. Preferably at center, his natural position, where the Rangers didn’t play him.
“I think I can have a good bunch of years left. I can be effective offensively, more than I have been. I can be better. But I have to stay confident and know that I have the ability to be a difference-maker on an important team, in a larger role,” he said in April.
He found such a role in Minnesota.
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy48 mins ago
The Calgary Flames have added a solid veteran scoring presence in Troy Brouwer on a four-year contract worth $4.5 million per-year.
The 30-year-old Brouwer spent last season with the St. Louis Blues after four years with the Washington Capitals. St. Louis acquired Brouwer in a trade for T.J. Oshie last offseason.
In 2015-16, Brouwer scored 18 goals and notched 21 assists in 82 games played. The last seven years, Brouwer has scored in between 17 and 25 goals between the Chicago Blackhawks, Capitals and Blues.
His prior contract was for three years at $11 million.
It was believed Brouwer would cash in heavily in free agency this summer after he scored eight goals and notched five assists in 20 playoff games – helping the Blues to the Western Conference Final.
“Brouwer is a guy in these type of big games has kept coming and showing up,” Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk said during the playoffs. “He¹s showed that to us all playoff. That¹s comforting for us.”
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy52 mins ago
While the New York Islanders added Andrew Ladd and Jason Chimera early in free agency, they also said goodbye to a trio of players.
With Matt Martin still shopping his services and Kyle Okposo moving on to Buffalo, Frans Nielsen, the team’s longest-tenured player, signed a six-year, $31.5 million deal with the Detroit Red Wings.
Nielsen, a third-round pick by New York in 2002, will help the Red Wings’ middle of the road special teams. He was tied for second on the Islanders in 2015-16 with seven power play goals and tied for first with two shorthanded tallies.
Nielsen told TSN after signing that after such a long time in New York he felt it was time to try something new.
A versatile forward, Nielsen will fill Detroit’s need for a top-six forward following Pavel Datysuk’s exit and likely take over second-line center duties.
- Puck Daddy at Puck Daddy55 mins ago
Loui Eriksson was one of the highly sought after belles of the free agent ball with his left handed shot. He had eight teams looking into his services and he decided to take his talents to … the Vancouver Canucks?
Yes, Eriksson has signed a six year, $36-million contract with the Canucks; holding an average annual value of $6-million per year.
Vancouver feels like a curious choice for the winger who turns 31-years-old on July 17. However, if you look at the roster there are two identical men who are used to playing with Eriksson that probably helped in a securing his services.
In international competition, Eriksson has slotted on to the wing with Daniel and Henrik Sedin. The Canucks website referred to him as “… the Alex Burrows of the Swedish National men’s Ice Hockey Team since winning World Championship gold with the Sedin twins back in 2013. ”
(Hmm… isn’t Alex Burrows still on the Canucks?)
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy1 hr ago
David Backes has carved out a reputation in the NHL over the last 10 seasons with the St. Louis Blues as a rugged, blue-collar player.
So naturally, as he leaves the Blues as a free agent, he joins the NHL’s epitome of the blue-collar aesthetic, the Boston Bruins.
“Just the ideology those players have. They’re all-in. That mentality,” said Backes on TSN on Friday, after signing a five-year, $30-million deal. “It was a fit on all accords.”
Backes played 79 games with the Blues last season, scoring 21 goals and 24 assists. He had 460 points in 727 games with the Blues, who drafted him No. 62 overall in 2003. Backes has been a Selke Trophy finalist and finished fourth in the voting twice.
The Bruins were flush with cash heading into the summer. Backes, 32, gives Boston one of the deepest groups at center in the NHL: David Krejci, Patrice Bergeron and Backes. (In the case of the latter two, they have a pair of the best defensive centers in hockey.) And when you have to get past a team with Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Nick Bonino to win the Cup, well, there you do.
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy1 hr ago
David Perron has decided to return to the place where he started his NHL career.
The 28-year-old winger signed a two-year contract worth $7.5 million with the St. Louis Blues. The team picked Perron in the first-round of the of the 2007 NHL Draft. He spent his first six NHL seasons with the club before he was traded to the Edmonton Oilersin the 2013 offseason.
Perron spent his first 43 games last season with the Pittsburgh Penguins, where he had 16 points. After a January trade to the Anaheim Ducks for Carl Hagelin, Perron notched 20 points in 28 games.
In his first 20 games he notched 17 points and helped captain Ryan Getzlaf get his game back. But after suffering a shoulder injury in late March, Perron struggled to find his groove when he returned for the playoffs.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy1 hr ago
The Edmonton Oilers signed Milan Lucic, one of the biggest fish in the free-agency pool in name and bulk, as the NHL frenzy started on July 1.
And it’s the first palpable example of the Connor McDavid Effect.
“I think it’s self explanatory. They have a pretty special young player there. That’s what the decision comes down to. Getting a chance to play with one of the best young players that I’ve seen since I’ve come into the NHL,” Lucic said on TSN. “Whether I play with him or not, there’s light at the end of the tunnel with him [on the team].”
Lucic, 28, spent last season with the Los Angeles Kings, scoring 20 goals and 35 assists in 81 games, with 79 penalty minutes. That was after eight years with the Boston Bruins in which he tallied 342 points in 566 games. Many of those eight years were spent with Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli, with whom Lucic won the Stanley Cup in 2011.
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy1 hr ago
The Florida Panthers have signed goaltender James Reimer to a five-year contract worth $3.4 million per-year.
The decision to bring in Reimer should help the 37-year-old Roberto Luongo get added rest during the regular season and could enable the Panthers to shift to Reimer once Luongo decides to retire.
The 28-year-old Reimer played 40 games last season between the Toronto Maple Leafs and San Jose Sharks. In 32 games with the Leafs he had a 2.49 goal-against average and .918 save percentage. In eight games with San Jose, Reimer held a 1.62 goal-against average and .938 save percentage.
Reimer led goaltenders who had played at least 1,500 5-on-5 minutes with a .9404 save percentage.
In 207 career NHL games, Reimer is 85-76-23 with a 2.83 goal-against average and .914 save percentage.
Luongo is under contract on a long-term deal that runs through 2021-22. Last season, Luongo finished fourth in Vezina Trophy voting and held a 2.35 goal-against average and .922 save percentage.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy2 hrs ago
The Chicago Blackhawks were done after one round last season partially because their defense was exposed.
Trevor van Riemsdyk, Erik Gustafsson and David Rundblad all weren’t ready for prime time. The loss of Johnny Oduya in the previous offseason – and the team’s inability to replace him with either Trevor Daley or Rob Scuderi, whom they acquired from the Pittsburgh Penguins for Daley – left the team’s blue line thin.
So the Blackhawks have decided to dip into the past for some help: Brian Campbell, who won a Stanley Cup with the Blackhawks in 2010. According to Pierre LeBrun of TSN, the deal is done for July 1.
Campbell’s massive 8-year, $57-million contract that he signed with the Blackhaws in 2008 was moved by the team to the Florida Panthers and former GM Dale Tallon in 2011. He’s spent the last five years there, scoring 175 points in 376 games and being a steady hand on the blue line – especially in helping along phenom Aaron Ekblad. Campbell was a plus-31 last season.
He doesn’t have the wheels he once did with the Blackhawks, but he brings a palpable durability: Campbell hasn’t missed a game since the 2010-11 season, even as he’s 37 years old now.