The latest in NHL signings…


NHL ShieldHere is a quick summary of the latest happenings in the NHL, partnered with a brief snippet of what I think regarding each.

  • San Jose signs Scott Nichol to a 1yr deal worth $750k — this is a great pick up for the Sharks. Nichol is good depth guy who will energize the 3rd/4th line. Night in and night out Scott Nichol plays with his whole heart.
  • LA re-signs Jack Johnson to a 2yr contract — great move by the Kings in keeping Johnson in LA. He is a terrific young defender with a lot of potential. As long as he avoids injuries this season, he will be an solid defensive asset.
  • Calgary signs Nigel Dawes to a 2yr deal worth $850k per year — good depth pick up for the Flames. Dawes is a great two way player who is still young (only 24). He has some offensive upside, and the potential to produce more.
  • Montreal signs Curtis Sanford to a 1yr deal — Sanford gives the Canadiens a dependable #2 goalie behind Price
  • Edmonton re-signs Denis Grebeshkov to a 1yr contract worth $3.15m — personally, I feel as though the Oilers over paid extremely for Grebeshkov…I guess that’s what happens when you can’t wrestle Dany Heatley out of Ottawa
  • Montreal re-signs Tomas Plekanec to a 1yr, $2.75m contract — not great, but not terribly overpriced at the same time. As long as he can bounce back from a disappointing 2007/08, Plekanec will be an effective 2nd liner for Montreal.
  • Pittsburgh signs Brent Johnson to a 2yr contract at $1m per — good move by the Pens in shoring up their goaltending. With Garon gone to Columbus, Johnson gives Pittsburgh an experienced, capable back-up for MA Fleury. Brent Johnson
  • New Jersey re-signs Travis Zajac to an undisclosed contract — rumoured to be a deal worth $4m per year, I believe the Devils have overpaid for Zajac. However, I do believe he is a player that they could not afford to lose. Looking at it in that light, the Devils are paying for potential rather than immediate impact, and I do think that Zajac has the potential to be a major franchise & impact player soon down the road from now.
  • NY Islanders sign Martin Biron to a 1yr contract worth $1.4m — a very interesting move by the Islanders. This definitely leads me to believe that franchise netminder Rick DiPietro is still not fully recovered from his knee injuries of last season. With Roloson and Biron in the fold, the Islanders have a reliable set of netminders to fill the gap while 15 year- #1 man DiPietro recovers. As a short term fix for the Islanders, Garth Snow couldn’t have done much better than employing these two NHL vets.D049202021.JPG
  • Carolina re-signs Tuomo Ruutu to a 3yr contract worth $11.4m — while Ruutu is a solid impact player when healthy, the key is his health. Ruutu has only once played a full NHL season and that was in 2003/04 during his rookie campaign. While he played 79 games last season and was effective for the Canes, it will be interesting to see if he can continue to play similar game totals over the duration of this contract. As a player, I really like him and he will be a key in Carolina’s success….when he is in the line-up.
  • Boston signs Derek Morris to a 1yr, $3.3m deal — considering that Morris is an offensive defenseman and he is coming off one of the worst offensive campaigns of his career, it will suffice to say that the Bruins have overpaid for his services. While he is dependable in his own zone, he is not spectacular. Morris has always been paid for his powerplay effectiveness, and his offensive contributions. Hopefully he will  find less pressure in Boston and bounce back offensively with Zdeno Chara holding down the fort…in both ends of the rink.

While other signings occurred, the above were the signings that I found to be of the greatest significance and impact.

While it is safe to say that the large majority of “big name” free agents have found homes for the 2009/10 season, there are still a few notable names left on the market. They include:

  • Mats SundinD050677006.JPG
  • Mathieu Schneider
  • Sergei Zubov
  • Alex Tanguay
  • Manny Fernandez
  • Robert Lang
  • Miro Satan
  • Maxim Afinogenov
  • Mike Comrie
  • Todd Bertuzzi
  • Manny Legace
  • Mike Peca
  • Jeremy Roenick

Above is not a complete list, but some notable free agents who are most likely to find new homes prior to the commencement of NHL training camp season.

Quickly before I leave you, there is one question that I am searching for an answer to. Assuming that Rick DiPietro is not available to start the season healthy with the Islanders, who do you choose as your replacement number one netminder, Roloson or Biron?

-m.o.b.

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~ by manovrboard on July 26, 2009.

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