The New York Rangers have locked up a key piece of their future, signing center Mika Zibanejad to a five-year deal with a cap hit of $5.35 million. Zibanejad had an arbitration hearing scheduled for today, but that won’t be required anymore. The 24-year-old had 14 goals and 23 assists in 56 games last season. It was his first year in New York after getting traded from Ottawa for Derick Brassard. With Derek Stepan in Arizona now, Zibanejad is arguably the Rangers’ No. 1 center. Kevin Hayes is in that conversation as well, and perhaps Lias Andersson will be soon. But getting Zibanejad signed long term was a top priority for GM Jeff Gorton this offseason. Hayes can become a restricted free agent
For almost a decade, Niklas Hjalmarsson was a mainstay on the Blackhawks’ back end, quietly providing some of the most effective defense in the league. In addition to Hjalmarsson, the ‘Hawks also bid adieu to Brian Campbell, Johnny Oduya, and Trevor van Riemsdyk this offseason. “We’re going to see when we’re putting the pairs together, whether we’re going to reunite [Duncan Keith] and [Brent Seabrook] or look for some balance,” head coach Joel Quenneville said, per CSN Chicago.
The NHL’s last big date of the offseason has passed — the start of free agency on July 1. While the news has slowed down after the rush to sign free agents on Saturday, there will likely be a lot of signings from here on out. To help you keep track of everything this summer, we have put all the free agency signings in one place! So, when Kevin Shattenkirk inevitably goes home to New York — which he did —- or when Jarome Iginla goes to yet another contender to try to win a Stanley Cup — which has not happened yet — you can see all the deals made right in one spot. Not only that, we’ll update this all summer long. Yes, even in the doldrums of the offseason we will have you covered. Regardless,