- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy41 mins ago
The combination of Jonas Hiller and Kari Ramo was surprisingly effective for the surprising Calgary Flames who surprisingly made the playoffs in the Western Conference.
So Calgary decided not to fix what isn’t broken, and brought Ramo back at a $3.8 million cap hit for one season.
Ramo, 29, had 34 starts last season and was 15-9-3 with a .912 save percentage and a 2.60 GAA. Overall, the Flames had a 2.60 team GAA, good for 17th in the league last season.
The only curious thing about this signing: Goalie prospect Joni Ortio, who has a one-way NHL contract and will have to pass through waivers to get down the AHL. The risk, apparently, is one Calgary will take.
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy1 hr ago
Kevin Bieksa has signed a two-year contract extension with the Anaheim Ducks according to Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman.
On top of his current contract, which pays him $4.6 million per-year through this season, he will get paid $4 million per-year through the following two seasons.
He’s also 34 years old, so that’ll take him through age 36.
Good for Bieksa to get that type of security late in his career when a lot of players seem to get chopped off and make way less money in their mid-30. Interesting move by the Ducks, who have a ton of younger D, three of which – Sami Vatanen, Simon Despres and Hampus Lindholm, are all restricted free agents following this season per General Fanager. Vatanen ($1.2625M) and Lindholm ($894,166) will no doubt merit mega-raises from the Ducks -- especially in Lindholm's case.
Part the Bieksa extension this may have to do with general manager Bob Murray and his thoughts on Bieksa’s game per the Orange County Register:
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy1 hr ago
The Chicago Blackhawks had their hand forced by restricted free-agent forward Brandon Saad, who was asking for a salary too rich for them and was going to get an offer sheet from someone. So they traded him to the Columbus Blue Jackets. Part of the return was a player they coveted anyway.
Artem Anisimov has 86 goals and 106 assists in 412 regular-season games. He was a strong supporting cast player for the New York Rangers and the Blue Jackets; as coach Todd Richards said when he was acquired in 2012:
“Artem is a very versatile guy, but there’s one part of his game that never changes, and that’s his attention to detail,” Richards said. “Coaches and scouts who see him on a nightly basis will tell you he’s rarely out of position, and he rarely leaves the puck in the wrong spot when he’s coming off the ice.”
If that sounds like the kind of player Chicagi GM Stan Bowman wants on his roster, you’d be right: The Blackhawks signed Anisimov to a 5-year deal, $22.75-million contract, good for a $4.55 million cap hit annually. It kicks in for the 2016-17 season.
From ESPN Chicago:
- Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy2 hrs ago
[Author's note: Power rankings are usually three things: Bad, wrong, and boring. You typically know just as well as the authors which teams won what games against who and what it all means, so our moving the Red Wings up four spots or whatever really doesn't tell you anything you didn't know. Who's hot, who's not, who cares? For this reason, we're doing a power ranking of things that are usually not teams. You'll see what I mean.]
9. Trading for Zac Rinaldo
Don Sweeney had a bad weekend. No two ways about it. So he's swimming around, looking for a life preserver that will improve his team. Then he promptly grabs the nearest trillion-ton weight and sinks to the bottom of the ocean silently screaming, “Courage!” into a cold, ink-black void.
8. The difference between “bad” and “overrated”
Today is the day when a lot of bad contracts will be signed, but contrary to popular opinion in the hockey world these days, a player with a bad contract is not a bad player.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy3 hrs ago
It's the 2015 NHL Free Agent Frenzy Chatterbox!
The Chatterbox offers breaking news and insider insight in one place; to have, at the end of the day, a chronological review of the NHL Free Agent Frenzy's rumors and trades; and as a place for your friends at Puck Daddy to pop in and out during the day for quick chats.
For NHL Free Agent Frenzy, we've compiled Twitter feeds from some of the best hockey journalists, news-breakers and entertaining analysts for your viewing enjoyment.
The free-agent signing period begins at noon ET!
Kevin Allen of USA Today; Pierre LeBrun of ESPN; Nick Kypreos of Sportsnet; Michael Russo of the Star Tribune; Bob McKenzie of TSN; Darren Dreger of TSN; Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet; John Shannon of Sportsnet; Craig Custance of ESPN; Andy Strickland of KRTS; Dave Pagnotta of The Fourth Period; Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun; Tom Gulitti of the Bergen Record; Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch; Chris Johnston of Sportsnet; your Puck Daddy buddies Wyshynski, Leahy, Cooper, Lambert and many more!
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy13 hrs ago
The New York Post reported late Tuesday night that the Arizona Coyotes were being sold to billionaire Bill Foley and moved to Las Vegas for the 2016-17 season.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, well, refuted the report.
"The Post was told the story was completely untrue. They ran it anyway. The story is garbage. Team is staying put,” said Bettman, via Craig Morgan of Fox Sports Arizona.
Anthony LeBlanc also offered a strong denial. "The article in the Post is 100 percent false. No truth to it whatsoever. I'm not an unidentified source, I'm a principal, so I think I should know."
Bill Daly, NHL deputy commissioner, sounded the same tone with a statement to TSN:
“The most ridiculous and irresponsible story I’ve ever been associated with. (The idea) has never been contemplated or discussed. Not even notionally.”
The report comes at an interesting time for both the Coyotes and hockey in Vegas.
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy14 hrs ago
Hours after the San Jose Sharks acquired Martin Jones, they locked him up with a three-year, $9 million deal, avoiding any threat of an offer sheet for the netminder who was set to become a restricted free agent on Wednesday.
On Tuesday afternoon, the Sharks sent the Boston Bruins a 2016 first-round pick and prospect Sean Kuraly in exchange for Jones, who was traded from the LA Kings to Boston on Saturday during the NHL Draft.
“Even draft picks, none of those are guaranteed. This is a guy we’ve seen,” said Sharks GM Doug Wilson, via CSN Bay Area. “We know a lot about him. It’s his style, his size – he’s a big goalie and highly competitive. You probably have more information on a player like this than you do a guy that you’d be drafting.”
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy14 hrs ago
The Stephen Weiss era in Detroit never really got underway after the forward signed a five-year, $24.9 million deal with the Red Wings in 2013. In two seasons, the former Florida Panthers captain missed 86 games as nagging injuries prevented him from being iproductive.
On Tuesday, the Red Wings ended Weiss’ time in Detroit, announcing they would be buying out the final three years of his deal.
According to General Fanager, Detroit will pay Weiss $1.67 million over the next six seasons and carry a $1.066 million cap hit for the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons; a $2.56 million charge in 2017-18; and $1.67 million for the final three years.
Via MLive.com, Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said cap issues were the driving force behind buying Weiss out this summer as opposed to last year. This season, players like Gustav Nyquist and Tomas Jurco need new deals, while Justin Abdelkader, Riley Sheahan, Petr Mrazek and Danny DeKeyser are just some of the names who will have to be extended next summer.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy14 hrs ago
The Anaheim Ducks wanted free-agent defenseman Francois Beauchemin back next season. General Manager Bob Murray even called him “a warrior.”
Francois Beauchemin wanted to return, too, but on his terms. And those terms started at three years at $5 million annually, which was allegedly an offer on the table for him from another suitor.
These were not terms Murray felt were all that favorable for the Ducks. So he started to explore a Plan B, and that led him to talks with the Vancouver Canucks involving defenseman Kevin Bieksa at last weekend’s NHL Draft.
The Canucks, however, were in talks with the San Jose Sharks regarding Bieksa. Vancouver wanted a second-round pick in the 2015 draft; the Sharks balked. So the trade was off.
Meanwhile, Beauchemin appeared on the way out of Anaheim.
“After we had discussed a few things, we made them a 1- or 2-year offer and it wasn’t good enough,” said Murray. “I was told they were going to the market early his morning. He told me what he was going to get in free agency, and I couldn’t get anywhere close to it. We had prepared for that circumstance and made the move for Kevin.”
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy16 hrs ago
Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen sees newly acquired winger Brandon Saad and center Ryan Johansen as making sweet, sweet music together for a number of years.
“We’ve been looking for a left winger, left shot, left wing for Ryan Johansen who’s a right shot centerman,” Kekalainen said after he dealt for the power winger from Chicago for a package that included Artem Anisimov and Marko Dano.
“Brandon seems to be a very good fit and good candidate for that role, he’s played on the first line, first line minutes first line role for the Chicago Blackhawks in winning two Stanley Cups and I think there can be some good chemistry between those two.”
There is that pesky issue of getting Saad, who reportedly wanted upwards of $6.5 million per-year on a six-year contract, signed as a restricted free agent. But Kekalainen didn’t seem to think that would be an issue he said on a conference call.