The Leafs signed Swedish defenseman Anton Stralman to a three-year entry-level contract. They had to sign him or he would go back into the draft. THN's Future Watch has him ranked as the sixth best Leaf prospect (not saying a lot) and he is still two to four years away from an NHL roster spot. It will be a year before he cracks my Top 200 fantasy prospects list.
Andrew Ebbett, No. 159 on my fantasy prospects list, signed as a UFA last year with Ottawa. He just signed as a UFA with Anaheim for next year. Another Ryan Shannon/Andy McDonald small late-bloomer type.
Besides Toews and Backstrom signing yesterday, two other prospects signed: the Wild locked up Morten Madsen (174 on the Fantasy Prospect list) and the Stars signed Tom Wandell (324 on the list). Both of them were fifth-round picks in the 2005 entry draft and both needed to be signed by June 1 or they would have gone back into the draft.
The Blue Jackets traded blue line prospect Adam McQuaid to the Bruins for a fifth rounder. McQuaid has limited offensive potential, but should be a steady No. 5 guy in a few years. He was a second round pick in 2005.
Tampa Bay signed Andreas Karlsson, trumpetting it as this great move. Really the guy was a healthy scratch 15 times last year.
Ric Jackman will be replacing Pronger in the lineup tonight.
Dainius Zubrus did not play after the six-minute mark of the second last night. He has a lower body injury.
Dimitri Kalinin did not play a shift in the second or third periods.
Columbus interviewed Neil Smith for the GM job yesterday.
Calgary prospect Daniel Ryder will play for the Memorial Cup for Plymouth. He was traded this season from Peterborough and went from being the go-to guy to being one of many weapons on a deep team. A Calgary scout had this to say about him: "The one thing that can be lacking sometimes with Daniel is his intensity," Flames scouting director Tod Button said earlier this month, "so I think it's a good thing (he's playing on a deeper team). The coach has the luxury of saying: 'You're not playing,' if one player or one line (is struggling)."
Tampa Bay is also negotiating with Johan Holmqvist on a contract. Holmqvist is looking for a multi-year deal.