- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy15 hrs ago
Joel Ward and his glorious behind are going to the San Jose Sharks.
The 34-year-old Ward signed a three-year $9.825 million for an annual salary cap hit of $3.275 million.
This is a per-year raise from Ward’s prior deal, a four-year contract signed with Washington that paid him $12 million overall. Ward was one of the clutch glue type players on the free agent market, along with new Caps forward Justin Williams. The latter actually saw his salary drop to $3.25 million over two years as an essential replacement for Ward.
How does Ward fit with the Sharks? He’s a big, powerful forward with a strong cycle game. These attributes would fit nicely on Joe Thornton’s wing. But they have yet another 30 something under contract into the second half of that decade for a lot of money. However, he should fit nicely in the puck possession system favored by new coach Peter DeBoer.
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy18 hrs ago
Ryan O’Reilly and the Buffalo Sabres have agreed to a seven-year, $52.5 million extension for the 24-year old forward.
The cap hit comes in at $7.5 million per year.
O’Reilly, who spent the first six seasons of his NHL with the Colorado Avalanche, is another young piece acquired by Sabres GM Tim Murray. He’ll join 23-year old Evander Kane, who they traded for in February, 18-year old No. 2 overall pick Jack Eichel and 25-year old Tyler Ennis, who was extended last summer.
The makeup of the extension is interesting. According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, all seven years come with a $1 million salary and the rest coming via signing bonuses. So O’Reilly protects himself from escrow and with all the bonus money, a buyout, sort of like what we saw with David Clarkson’s deal with the Maple Leafs.
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy18 hrs ago
Brandon Saad has been signed to a six-year contract worth a reported $6 million per-year by the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Saad, who was an integral part of Chicago’s last two Stanley Cups and was acquired by Columbus the day before his restricted free agency was set to begin. So the questioning starts – if you’re the Blackhawks, who at one point intimated they would go to the mat to re-sign Saad, would you have spent that type of money and term on a 22-year-old forward who has never scored 30 goals and hit a career-high of 52 points last season?
There was always the question of whether Saad was prone to an offer sheet with the salary cap strapped Blackhawks, and Chicago at least got NHL-ready players in Mako Dano and Artem Anisimov in the package for Saad.
- Jen Neale at Puck Daddy18 hrs ago
Here are your Puck Headlines: A glorious collection of news and views collected from the greatest blogosphere in sports and the few, the proud, the mainstream hockey media. Have a link you want to submit? Email us at email@example.com.
The thighs are great but this is still the best photo of Martin St. Louis and my life goal. pic.twitter.com/tKL16cy9j2
• For your Hall of Fame consideration: Martin St. Louis laying on a gurney while having beer fed to him as he appears to be getting stitches. Like a boss. [@DaveLozo]
• Anaheim welcomes back another former member of management, and a former Toronto Maple Leafs GM, Dave Nonis, as assistant to the regional manager "Special Assignment Scout and Consultant to Bob Murray." [Ducks]
• Great first person read from Harley Haggarty on the life of a junior league enforcer. [Players Tribune]
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy19 hrs ago
It's a (gettin' down on Fridays) edition of Marek vs. Wyshynski beginning at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT, and we're talking about the following and more:
Special Guest Star: Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
• NHL Free Agency!
• Hockey News and Views
Question of the Day: Who impressed you the most in the free agent frenzy!? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or hit us on Twitter with the hashtag #MvsW to @wyshynski or @jeffmarek. Click here for the Sportsnet live stream or click the play button above!
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy20 hrs ago
The St. Louis Blues have solidfied their net for next season, inking goaltender Jake Allen to a two-year, $4.7 million extension on Friday,according to Jeremy Rutherford of the Post-Dispatch.
The 24-year old Allen, a two-time NHL All-Rookie Team netminder, was a restricted free agent as of Wednesday and sees a nice raise from the $850,000 he made in 2014-15.
This now means that both Allen and 1B goaltender Brian Elliott are on two-year deals.
Allen played well down the stretch for the Blues, allowing two goals or less in 12 of the final 13 regular season games, but couldn’t help lead them past the Minnesota Wild in the first round. GM Doug Armstrong obviously feels confident in the 1A/1B setup, hoping both can continue pushing one another and find success. But the two-year term also allows some flexibility if the plan falls apart.
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy20 hrs ago
The Vancouver Canucks have a big name on their development camp roster.
It’s John McLean – who is of no relation to the former Devils coach/player because his name is spelled differently. He’s a 6-foot-9 goaltender – which is freaking huge!.
Game changer? Project? Maybe a publicity stunt?
The 25-year-old McLean spent four years at Gustavus Adolphus College, a Division-III school in Minnesota. In 2013-14 he had a 1.96 goals against average and .920 save percentage in 26 games.
Look at how low he gets in his goaltender’s position ... such a low crouch:
It used to be teams would put the ‘fat kid’ in goal. Now they’re just putting super tall guys in net. The man is a freaking giant. (Humming ‘In the valley of the Jolly Green Giant …’).
Please give us a caption for the below photo? He's like a goaltending Gandalf to Frodo and Samwise -- sincewe're on a Hobbit theme today.
- Josh Cooper at Puck Daddy21 hrs ago
The Edmonton Oilers have agreed to an entry level deal with Canadian wunderkind Connor McDavid.
Alas, for those of us wishing both he and Jack Eichel (picked No. 2 in the 2015 Draft by the Sabres) would pull a Lindros and hold out to go somewhere else – this is not the case. Eichel signed his contract Wednesday.
Above is the photo of McDavid (the No. 1 pick in last weekend's draft) and Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli – shaking on The Chosen One’s first contract. All these photos are pretty awkward for most prospects, but Chiarelli is way more photogenic than Sabres mad scientist/GM Tim Murray. Also, they’re not as bad as high schoolers putting on college team hats on National Signing Day.
McDavid is currently at Oilers development camp. And he’s drawing quite a crowd, via Rob Tychkowski of the Edmonton Sun.
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy21 hrs ago
He has three Stanley Cups, two Olympic gold medals, one Conn Smythe Trophy, alake named after him and, of course, one Mark Messier Leadership Award. But one achievement Jonathan Toews had yet to earn? Having a beer named after him.
Enter Tinley Park, Il.-based Hailstorm Brewing Company who earlier this week introduced a brew in honor of the Chicago Blackhawks captain.
Welcome, Captain Serious #19 Pale Ale:
According to I Heart Beer, the brew is “a dry, hoppy, west coast style pale ale brewed with Simcoe, Mosaic, and Galaxy hops. It’s 45 IBU and 5.6% ABV.”
That all sounds pretty great for the captain, who enjoyed himself a beer or a few during the Blackhawks’ previous two Cups of this era.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy21 hrs ago
According to Igor Eronko of Sports-Express, Los Angeles Kings defenseman Slava Voynov will begin his jail sentence on Monday, July 6.
Voynov pled no-contest on Thursday to a misdemeanor count of corporal injury to a spouse, and his jail time will be up to 90 days along with 52 weeks of domestic violence counseling and eight hours of community service (that better damn well be at a women’s shelter).
Voynov’s NHL agent, Rolland Hedges, said in statement: “Mr. Voynov accepts responsibility for his actions the night of the incident and will complete his sentence as required by the court. Mr. Voynov and his wife believe that ending domestic violence both inside and outside of professional sports must be a high priority.”
Another priority, according to Helene Elliott of the Los Angeles Times?
Ending Slava Voynov’s time with the Kings.