Has the season started yet? After Zach Parise and Ryan Suter landed in Minnesota (and promptly named alternate captains), it’s become a summer snoozefest for the NHL. The two big names still out there are Bobby Ryan and Rick Nash, and there seems to be more buyers than sellers now. Maybe this is what Scott Howson’s been waiting for all along, or maybe I’m just giving him too much credit. Either way, it’ll be interesting to see how contending teams fill the cap space they have.
Jamie Langenbrunner re-signs with St. Louis, $1.5 million for one year
This signing prompted the Blues to ship BJ Crombeen to the Lightning for picks, who keep looking with each acquisition. With Langenbrunner, this brings up speculation on Jason Arnott, who was Langenbrunner’s linemate for most of last year. Good veteran presence and has an extensive history with Ken Hitchcock.
Teddy Purcell hits the jackpot with Tampa Bay, $13.5 million for three years
Purcell’s projections just keep going up year after year. Part of it is playing with Stamkos and St. Louis, but he’s also getting the ice-time he never had. Purcell went from playing 12 minutes a night in LA to 14 in his first full year in Tampa Bay, and just finished the season averaging 16:07. I would’ve liked to see what Purcell can do in a contract year, but if Purcell continues to deliver like he has been, his salary is comparable to Milan Lucic ($4.25m), Loui Eriksson ($4.6m) and Andrew Ladd ($4.5m). It’s not a bargain deal, but if Purcell continues to pot 25-30 goals every year it’s a fair value deal.
Matt Taormina signs with Tampa Bay, $700,000 for one year
I’m a little surprised the Devils let him go. The former Providence College star was nearly half a point per game in AHL Albany and scored another seven points in 30 games with the Devils. Steve Yzerman just keeps shoring up that blueline.
Korbinian Holzer gets $575,000, one-year, one-way deal from Toronto
A one-way deal for Holzer essentially means he’s, at the very least, the No. 7 defenseman on the Leafs. Nothing significant, whether Holzer pans out or not (I’m thinking no) won’t change the Leafs fortunes either way anyway. Good depth signing, a right-shooting with pro experience already.
Krys Barch signs with New Jersey, $750,000 for two years
One of those grinders like Steve Bernier and Ryan Carter who haven’t found any real success until they came to the Rock. I like this fit and there’s plenty of spots to fill in New Jersey’s lineup.
Jeff Hapern signs with the Rangers, $700,000 for one year
Even more cannon fodder to use at John Tortorella’s disposal, and a centreman to boot. You can never have enough centres and Halpern’s also an insurance policy in case Brian Boyle’s concussion doesn’t go to well.
Mason Raymond re-signs with Vancouver, $2,275,000 for one year
The two sides avoid arbitration and come to terms with Raymond coming back at a pay cut to prove himself once again with the caveat that he gets unrestricted free agency next year. Good deal for both sides, but the key for Raymond is who he gets to play with on the second line without Ryan Kesler. I’ve been a Raymond believer since the beginning, and while he does drive me nuts I can still see this guy hitting 30 goals in the NHL some day, just maybe not with Vancouver.
Radek Faksa turns pro, signs entry-level deal with Dallas
Faksa’s dreams are finally realized and while he may not make the team out of training camp, his future, for the next three years at least, is set. This was one of my favourite picks at the draft and I think he’ll be a very solid NHLer.
Keaton Ellerby re-signs with Florida, $700,000, one-year, one-way
A one-way deal pretty much ensures Ellerby is reading to join the Panthers’ defensive corps full-time. He might get a chance to play alongside Brian Campbell if he’s lucky to fill the void left by Jason Garrison, but he’ll probably line up next to Tyson Strachan or Mike Weaver instead.