- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy23 mins 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 (terms were not yet disclosed), giving them a 34-year-old lefty with a lot of experience in the regular season and playoffs.
Martin 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.
Can we expect Martin to serve the same type of role with Brent Burns next season?
MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy34 mins 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 Daddy41 mins 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 Daddy52 mins 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 Daddy1 hr 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.
- 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 Daddy2 hrs 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 Daddy4 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 Daddy14 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.