- Jen Neale at Puck Daddy22 mins ago
Bye, bye, Ray Emery. Hello, Michal Neuvirth!
The Philadelphia Flyers have themselves a new backup goaltender in the 27-year-old Neuvirth. As reported first by Pierre LeBrun of ESPN:
Flyers have signed goalie Michal Neuvirth to two-year deal, $1.5 M in Year 1 and $1.75 million in Year 2
In Philadelphia, Neuvirth is in a purely backup role and the new contract reflects just that. Steve Mason is the team's No. 1 netminder. Last season, Ray Emery and Mason shared roles as the team dealt with injuries and inconsistency from the start. The signing of Neuvirth allows Emery to walk into the sunset of unrestricted free agency.
Last season was not an easy one for Neuvirth.
He started the year as a part of the tanking abyss in Buffalo where he amassed a 6-17-3 record in 27 games played. Thankfully he was given some relief at the deadline in a trade to the Islanders. Yet in 5 games, he was 1-3-1. (Have to wonder if the situation in Buffalo played into his psyche.) He missed a total of 18 games with a mix of back and knee injuries.
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy28 mins ago
Michael Frolik has been signed by the Flames as Calgary continues to muscle up for the pending Battle of Alberta with the refreshed Edmonton Oilers.
Frolik was one of the better free agents on the markets, a two-time 20 goal scorer who had 42 points and 19 scores a year ago with the Winnipeg Jets. The contract is for five years at $4.3 million per-season according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.
Amazing to think that a year ago, we thought the Flames would be in the McDavid sweepstakes, and now they’re muscling up to try to beat the Oilers, who landed the Canadian wunderkind with the No. 1 pick in the NHL Draft.
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy43 mins ago
We’re keeping track of the big unrestricted free agent names here at Puck Daddy. But how are some of the smaller signings working out?
Sometimes it's the little pieces that can help your team fill in the puzzle and push it to the Stanley Cup. Not everyone today is named Cody Franson or Matt Beleskey. Could one of these guys play a big role this season? Take a look at the players and their new (or same) teams.
Mark Letestu, C, Edmonton Oilers: Three years, $5.4 million
Nate Prosser, D, Minnesota Wild: Two years $1.25M
Blake Comeau, LW, Colorado Avalanche: Three years $7.2M
Matt Halischuk, RW, Winnipeg Jets: One year $750,000
Thomas Greiss, G, New York Islanders: Two years, $3M
Adam Pardy, D, Winnipg Jets: One year $1M
Patrick Eaves, RW, Dallas Stars: One year $1.15M
MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy46 mins ago
The Edmonton Oilers started their shopping early by nabbing center Mark Letestu and defenseman Andrej Sekera 30 minutes into the opening of the free agent period.
Connor McDavid is now an Oiler. Peter Chiarelli is now running the show as general manager. Todd McLellan is behind the bench. There will be plenty more change coming in Edmonton, and with the amount of young talent already on the roster, this is a big summer for the franchise to finally turn things around.
Sekera’s deal is six years and worth $33 million. It also includes a no-movement clause.
The pickup of Sekera is big for the Edmonton defense, an area that needed upgrading. The 29-year old blueliner was dealt in February from Carolina to LA for a conditional first-rounder and prospect Roland McKeown. The Kings only got 16 games out of him since they missed the playoffs, which also meant the pick would be a 2016 one and not one in last weekend’s NHL Draft.
"I thought about that,” Sekera told TSN of playing on the same team as McDavid. “He's going to be a really good player."
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy49 mins ago
The Pittsburgh Penguins wanted to add top-end offense talent to their roster. GM Jim Rutherford added one of the best pure goal-scorers in the NHL, if also one of the most maligned.
Phil Kessel is a Penguin.
The Penguins and the Toronto Maple Leafs finally came to terms on a deal that sent Kessel to Pittsburgh for forward Kasperi Kapanen, defensive prospect Scott Harrington, depth forward Nick Spaling, a 2016 first-round pick and a third-rounder. Along with Kessel, defenseman Tim Erixon, forward Tyler Biggs and a second-round pick were sent to Pittsburgh so the roster numbers worked.
Kapanen was a first-round pick for the Penguins last season.
The Leafs will eat $1.25 million of Kessel's $8 million cap hit through the contract. Phil Kessel for $6.75 million is a lot easier to stomach than $8 million.
This is a much different deal that what was rumored to be rejected by the Leafs at the draft, via Rob Rossi: 2016 1st round pick, Derrick Pouliot, Rob Scuderi and Chris Kunitz for Phil Kessel.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy1 hr ago
The San Jose Sharks finally landed their veteran defenseman on Wednesday, and it’s someone with whom Larry Robinson is familiar.
Robinson, still a member of the Sharks’ braintrust, worked with Paul Martin when he was a young defenseman in the New Jersey Devils organization. Martin signed a four-year deal with the Sharks on Wednesday with a $4.85 million annual cap hit, giving them a 34-year-old lefty with a lot of experience in the regular season and playoffs.
Martin was given some grief as a member of the Penguins, but he was never going to be worth the $5.5 million over five years the Pittsburgh Penguins handed him as an unrestricted free agent in 2010.
He’s a player that’s good for around 25 points. He handled the puck very well, can get you upwards of 24 minutes a night and is smart in his own zone. Best of all: He can be the defensive rock in a paring, as he was with the Penguins playing with Kris Letang last season.
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy1 hr ago
Brandon Saad said he was shocked, but understood it’s a business.
Saad knew the Chicago Blackhawks would see changes to their roster after a third Stanley Cup in six seasons. He knew the team’s cap issues would force trades. He understood players don’t play with one team their entire careers anymore. Still, it’s was first time being traded. Just two weeks ago he was celebrating another championship. Now he’s a Columbus Blue Jacket.
“It’s definitely going to be a change,” Saad said Wednesday morning. “At the same time, I’ve watched Columbus in the past and they’ve had some tight playoff series where they’ve played really well."
The threat of an offer sheet coupled with Chicago’s cap issues forced Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman to make the move. The Blue Jackets are in the midst of working out a contract for Saad, but at the moment, he’s still a restricted free agent and subject to an offer sheet should a team approach his camp with a tempting offer.
Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen said on a Tuesday conference call that the team will match any offer sheet.
“My agent is taking care of that side of the business and I’m waiting to hear from him," Saad said.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy1 hr ago
Guess we know who set the market rate for Francois Beauchemin.
The free-agent defenseman’s agent said that his client had a 3-year deal on the table from a suitor. That was too rich for the Anaheim Ducks’ blood, and they opted to trade for Kevin Bieksa from the Vancouver Canucks rather than give Beauchemin that term.
On Wednesday, moments after NHL free agency kicked off, the Colorado Avalanche announced that Beauchemin had inked a 3-year deal with $4.5 million annually.The contract has a no-movement claus.
(The Ducks, meanwhile, signed Bieksa to a 2-year deal with $4 million annually that kicks in for 2016-17.)
That’s a million-dollar jump for Beachemin, who will be 38 years old at the end of this contract.
Beauchemin becomes the third defenseman over 32 years old on the roster next season, along with Nate Guenin (32) and Brad Staurt (35).
It’s not a bad signing at all for Colorado, which had a pay a little more to land him.
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy1 hr ago
The Nashville Predators have re-signed forward Mike Ribeiro to a two-year contract extension – ignoring moral cries to not bring back the center who is in the middle of a civil sexual assault case.
The deal is for $7 million over the next two seasons, Ribeiro is 35 years old.
At a Tuesday news conference, team general manager David Poile went to great lengths to explain his desire to bring back Ribeiro, who was bought out a year ago by the Arizona Coyotes for what that team called “behavioral issues.”
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy2 hrs ago
The combination of Jonas Hiller and Karri 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.