Tampa Bay has re-signed powerplay specialist Marc-Andre Bergeron to a two-year deal worth $1 million per. A great fit for him - he won't play all 82 games but will have fantasy relevance because he earned the trust of Guy Boucher and his staff last season.
In a potential market setting move, the Caps locked up Brooks Laich for six years at a yearly cap hit of $4.5 million. I was interested in seeing what he could do elsewhere. This is a nail in the coffin of Mathieu Perreault's short term upside in Washington.
The Caps now have seven wingers making close to $2 million or more (Jason Chimera is the only one under, at $1.8 million). But will Laich even be playing wing?
One important quote I found on the Caps site regarding the signing:
"One other factor in Laich’s favor was his natural position: center. There is a dearth of quality pivots in the league right now, and having strength up the middle is of vital importance to a contending club. With Nicklas Backstrom, Marcus Johansson and Laich manning the middle, Washington is in good shape."
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Kevin Bieksa was extended by the Canucks for five years yesterday. His cap hit carries a value of $4.6 million. If Bieksa plays like he did last season, the deal is a good one. If he reverts back to his form during the previous three injury-plagued seasons, the Canucks overpaid.
It would have been impossible for Vancouver to let him walk, especially with the lack of quality defensemen available. Bieksa and Dan Hamhuis were dynamite all season/postseason after being put together in November/December. Bieksa now makes $100k more than Hamhuis, but the contracts are very comparable when factoring in the overall salary cap increase.
The Flyers have given Andreas Nodl a two-year, one-way contract. Nodl has performed very well in limited offensive situations. He’s a lock for the top nine, and could slide into the top six if the Flyers fail to re-sign Ville Leino.
Lots of options for Philadelphia – assuming Leino-Briere-Hartnell is reunited, the second line will likely feature JVR-Giroux and one of Voracek/Simmonds. That leaves Nodl, Schenn, and the other for the third line. A forward group short on experience, but not on offensive talent.
I am very excited at a potential Giroux/Voracek combination. Two of my favourite young players in the game – one has obviously progressed faster than the other.
Stamkos has yet to sign a contract. I don’t see him receiving an offer sheet, though.
Yesterday was the deadline for teams to extend qualifying offers to their RFAs.
Some notable players who will hit the open market after not receiving offers:
Jiri Tlusty – too much competition on the wing in Carolina
Kyle Chipchura – will stick somewhere as a tough, gritty fourth line center.
Sergei Shirokov – does he sign with the Jets? Fan favourite in Winnipeg, but the Canucks chose to let him go.
Tyler Kennedy – bold move by the Penguins, as Kennedy was their top RW last year. Not as good as his numbers indicated (inflated ice time). Does this affect a potential Jagr signing at all?
Jack Hillen – again, too many similar players on Long Island. Will definitely get a look somewhere else in the NHL.
The Panthers have acquired the negotiating rights to Tomas Kopecky from Chicago. A favourite of Dale Tallon’s. If signed, Kopecky will likely slot in on the second line with the Panthers. Linemates to be determined, as Florida has several holes to fill.
The Nashville Predators have decided to cut ties with Steve Sullivan. Richards scott parse – terry murray
The ground has been broken on the 2011-12 DobberHockey Fantasy Guide. Some tidbits from my section on one-way contract players to watch from last yar:
Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau, Long Island
Parenteau will get a long look at camp because of his one-way contract. He has a ton of skill and has dominated the AHL over the past few years. Moulson came out of nowhere to score 30 for the Islanders last year, and they are hoping Parenteau does the same. For every Moulson there are a dozen great AHL players who fail to do anything at the NHL level, but they key with Moulson was opportunity. He got a great one and completely seized it. Parenteau hasn’t been given a fair shot at playing top six minutes with an NHL club to this point, but the young and offensively-inept Islanders will give him just that.
Sergei Kostitsyn, Nashville
Kostitsyn was very quick to sign a one-year, one-way contract with the Predators after the trade from Montreal. His poor attitude was a hot topic of debate, and the anonymity of playing in Nashville should be a nice change of pace after the drama in Montreal last year regarding his off-ice connections and activities. From an on-ice perspective, Nashville is one of the best places Kostitsyn could have ended up. They are lacking talent in the forward group, and especially on the wing. Kostitsyn has a good chance at sliding in on the left side on the second scoring line. The Predators will probably try and spread out their limited offense on three lines, with Colin Wilson, Matthew Lombardi, and David Legwand as the centers.
Full breakdown of non-qualified RFAs who are now set to hit the open market (important/interesting players in bold):
ANAHEIM: Kyle Chipchura, C ; Ryan Hillier, LW; John de Gray, D; J.P. Levasseur, G.
BOSTON: Matt Dalton, G; Anton Khudobin, G.
BUFFALO: Felix Schutz, F.
CALGARY: John Armstrong, F; Gord Baldwin, D; Hugo Carpentier, F (Signed with LNAH); Josh Meyers, D; Matt Pelech, D.
CAROLINA: Troy Bodie, RW; Jiri Tlusty, LW.
CHICAGO: Jake Dowell, C.
COLORADO: Philippe Dupuis, C; Brian Elliott, G.
COLUMBUS: Sami Lepisto, D; Anton Stralman, D; Tomas Kana, C (Signed in Czech Republic); Petr Kalus, RW (Signed in Finland); Michael Ratchuk, D; Gustaf Wesslau,G (Signed in Sweden).
EDMONTON: J.F Jacques, LW; Zack Stortini, RW.
FLORIDA: Nicklas Bergfors, RW; Steve Bernier, RW; Byron Bitz, RW.
LOS ANGELES: Rob Bordson, RW.
MINNESOTA: Patrick O’Sullivan, C.
MONTREAL: Alexandre Picard, D; Tom Pyatt, RW; Benoit Pouliot, LW; Dustin Boyd, C; Nigel Dawes, LW.
NASHVILLE: Dan Gendur, F; Mark Santorelli, F.
NEW JERSEY: Anssi Salmela, D.
NY RANGERS: Matt Gilroy, D; Justin Soryal, F; Devin DiDiomete, F.
PHILADELPHIA: Dan Carcillo, LW.
PITTSBURGH: Tyler Kennedy, RW.
SAN JOSE: Patrick Davis, F; Kevin Henderson, F; Carter Hutton, G; Joe Loprieno, D; Nick Schaus, D; Mike Swift, F.
ST. LOUIS: Matt D’Agostini, RW.
TAMPA BAY: Mike Lundin, D; Matt Smaby, D; Alex Berry, F; Stefano Giliati, F; Kevin Quick, D; Vladimir Mihalik, D; Levi Nelson, F; Paul Szccechura, C.
TORONTO: Christian Hanson, C; Brayden Irwin, F; Fabiann Brunnstrom, LW.
VANCOUVER: Lee Sweatt, D.
WASHINGTON: Josh Godfrey, D; Joe Finley, D; Trevor Bruess, F.
WINNIPEG: Rob Schremp, C; Anthony Stewart, RW.
Versus has hired Pierre McGuire away from TSN on a full time basis. As long as TSN doesn't go out and replace him with Glen Healy, I'll be happy.
The Canucks have re-signed Maxim Lapierre to a two year contract. Lapierre was great during the postseason. He will likely center the fourth line behind Malhotra. Another road block in the way of Cody Hodgson, who I think needs another year at the AHL level before making the full-time jump. Don't write him off yet, but the injuries stunted his growth as a hockey player and he'll have to work extra hard to catch up.