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
The Ottawa Senators have added some depth to their blue line, as they’ve signed Johnny Oduya to a one-year deal that comes with a base salary of $1 million. Interestingly enough, Oduya can earn another $1.25 million in performance bonuses (games played, time -on-ice, playoff bonuses), per the Sens’ Twitter account. The 35-year-old started last season with the Dallas Stars, but he was traded back to the Chicago Blackhawks on Feb. 28.
The figures and briefs are in for the Bruins and Ryan Spooner for their arbitration hearing Wednesday, but both sides are still hoping that a deal can be reached prior to it. The Bruins have submitted a one-year contract offer for $2 million. Spooner’s camp countered with $3.85 million, creating a sizeable gap of almost $2 million between the two. Spooner, 25, has averaged 12 goals and 44 points the past two seasons with the B’s, including 35 power-play points while working the half-wall for a Boston PP that’s been ranked seventh overall two seasons in a row. MORE BRUINS What's left out there in free agency for Bruins? Haggerty: Touting Bruins' defense as "strength" of the team is a tad premature