Posts Tagged ‘NHL free agents’

Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau sign new multi-year deals with San Jose Sharks

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Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton have signed new contracts with the San Jose Sharks.

Patrick Marleau (12) and Joe Thornton (19) have been Sharks teammates since 2005. (Don Smith/NHLI via Getty Images)

By Allan Muir

Their names may have popped up in the occasional free agency prognostication piece, but it has always felt like a matter of when, not if, Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau would decide to finish their careers with the Sharks.

The current and former San Jose captains both made it official today, signing extensions that will keep them in teal for the next three seasons.

That was clearly the goal all along for Thornton and Marleau. Both players took less term and dollars than they could have earned on the market this summer. In fact, they were even willing to take minor haircuts to get the deals done. Marleau’s contract features an annual average value of $6.67 million, down from his current $6.90 million. Thornton will bring home an AAV of $6.75 million after taking home $7 million this season.

“Patrick and Joe continue to perform at an elite level in the National Hockey League and, most importantly, they make the other players around them better,” general manager Doug Wilson said in a statement. “They both made it very clear that they wanted to stay in San Jose and we were able to agree on contracts that fit with our team building philosophy.”

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  • Published On Jan 24, 2014
  • Top Line: Which team has hardest road? Winter Classic’s fat profit; more links

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    Jonas Brodin of the Minnesota Wild and Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche

    If the going got bumpy for the Wild and Avalanche after their hot starts, just wait for the stretch drive. (AP)

    By Allan Muir

    An annotated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:

    • Here’s one for the #fancystats crowd: using score-adjusted Fenwick to determine which team has the toughest schedule the rest of the way. Spoiler alert: there’s smooth sailing ahead for Tampa Bay.

    • This year’s Winter Classic set a very high financial bar for the NHL’s future outdoor events to live up to. Anyone know of any other 100,000-seat venues that are available on New Year’s Day?

    • With debts paid and fences mended, Wayne Gretzky is finally back where he belongs.

    • Ilya Kovalchuk has no regrets about running out on the Devils. He says he’s loving life in Mother Russia.

    • New Winnipeg Jets coach Paul Maurice picked up a memento to go along with a win in his debut with the Jets.

    • Now that GM Kevin Cheveldayoff has taken care of one pressing matter, it’s time for him to address Winnipeg’s biggest problem.

    • Elliotte Friedman looks at the challenges Maurice is facing down the stretch, the potential for trades involving Evander Kane and Dustin Byfuglien, and how to soothe the hurt feelings of Martin St. Louis in this week’s 30 Thoughts column.

    • Shane Doan says the Phoenix Coyotes “haven’t been very good” for some time now, which seems like a fairly generous appraisal of a season that’s going horribly wrong. Although Doan doesn’t mention Mike Smith by name, the goalie’s sub-par play has been a big part of the problem. Could Smith’s selection by Steve Yzerman come back to haunt Team Canada?

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  • Published On Jan 14, 2014
  • Henrik Lundqvist agrees to 7-year, $59.5 million deal with Rangers

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    Goaltender Henrik Lundqvist has agreed to a seven-year contract extension with the New York Rangers.

    Henrik Lundqvist, who has struggled this season, was the subject of speculation about his future in New York. (Icon SMI)

    By Allan Muir

    The goalie controversy in New York is officially over.

    TSN’s Darren Dreger is reporting that Henrik Lundqvist and the Rangers have come to terms on a massive extension that will pay the netminder an average of $8.5 million over the next seven years.

    Lundqvist is in the final season of his current six-year, $41.25 million contract, and was due to become an unrestricted free agent this summer. He’s having a sub-par year by his standards (8-11-0, 2.51 goals-against average, .917 save percentage) and is reportedly struggling to adjust to the smaller equipment that the NHL mandated this season for all goaltenders.

    Still, there’s no denying that he’s one of the league’s top goalies — he won the Vezina Trophy in 2011-12, and was the runner-up to Sergei Bobrovsky in last year’s Vezina polling — and it would have been astonishing if the two sides didn’t come to an agreement.

    But was this the right deal?

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  • Published On Dec 04, 2013
  • Top Line: Line brawl erupts in Toronto; Shanahan’s busy day; more links

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    By Allan Muir

    An annotated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:

    • There was nothing wrong with a tough guy like Buffalo’s John Scott looking to start something in the Sabres’ preseason tilt against the Maple Leafs on Sunday night. The problem is that he picked on superstar forward Phil Kessel. That stupid decision prompted a line brawl that featured Ryan Miller going at it with Jonathan Bernier and led to David Clarkson hopping over the boards to protect Kessel. If you start your day hand-milling granola while wearing your favorite Birkenstocks, you might not want to watch as the carnage unfolds.

    • Damien Cox points the finger of blame at Buffalo coach Ron Rolston.

    • Here’s a look at the penalties handed out after the fray. Nice job by the stripes, there.

    • Clarkson is all but certain to get 10 games for joining the fray. Kessel’s stick-swinging may cost him a couple of games as well. Now here’s a very interesting twist: the cap hits of suspended players remain on the books, so the Leafs, who were considering carrying just 21 players to stay in compliance, now face the challenge of making the numbers work while some good money sits on the sidelines.

    • Sorting out that mess is only one of the headaches awaiting NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan this morning. He also has to deal with Vancouver’s Zack Kassian and the careless stick that broke Sam Gagner’s jaw (video).

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  • Published On Sep 23, 2013
  • Top Line: First rounders make impact; Chris Pronger’s sad days; more links

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    Valeri Nichushkin of the Dallas Stars

    Stars first-rounder Valeri Nichushkin has been impressive and may be the steal of the 2013 draft. (Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    An annotated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:

    • There are 14 first rounders from the 2013 NHL Draft still in camps around the league. Here’s a look at seven who could be in uniform on opening night.

    • Former Windsor Star great Scott Burnside takes a look at the new normal for Chris Pronger. Love him or hate him, it’s a pretty sad story.

    • An amazing antique shop find has spawned a fundraising campaign to return one of hockey’s oldest trophies to its proper home.

    • Uffe Bodin says Florida’s signing of Tim Thomas could be the best thing to happen to No. 1 hopeful Jacob Markstrom. Unless you’re fluent in Swedish, you might want to open this in Google Chrome or employ some other instant-translate service.

    • A report in the New York Post has the Panthers on the verge of being sold.  I’m guessing that awesome crowd at the exhibition home opener sealed the deal.

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  • Published On Sep 18, 2013
  • St. Louis Blues, Alex Pietrangelo agree on seven-year, $45.5 million deal

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    Alex Piestrangelo of the St. Louis Blues

    The work begins for Alex Pietrangelo now that his contract impasse with the Blues is over. (Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    St. Louis Blues GM Doug Armstrong was asked the other day why he and free agent defenseman Alex Pietrangelo couldn’t simply split the difference in their long-running contract dispute, forge a deal and get the player into camp with his teammates.

    Maybe the logic behind that question finally sank in.

    Armstrong announced this afternoon that he had come to an agreement with Pietrangelo on a deal that will pay the All-Star defender $45.5 million over seven years. That’s an average of $6.5 million per year — the middle ground between the player’s $7 million request and the team’s $6 million bottom line. It’s also identical to the deal Norris Trophy winner Erik Karlsson signed with the Ottawa Senators last summer.

    To get the big payday, Pietrangelo had to sign away three years of free agency, but that’s a minor giveback compared to what the Blues brought to the table. The team could have taken a hard line with the restricted free agent and used the leverage provided by the CBA to force him into a lower dough bridge contract. But Armstrong chose instead to make a bold statement of faith in Pietrangelo and what he means to the franchise, both now and down the road.

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  • Published On Sep 13, 2013
  • Top Line: Nazem Kadri caves and signs; training camp headlines; more links

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    Nazem Kadri of the Toronto Maple Leafs

    The next two years will likely determine Nazem Kadri’s future with the Maple Leafs. (Graig Abel/Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    An annotated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:

    • Nazem Kadri finally woke up to the reality of his situation and signed a two-year deal with the Maple Leafs that ensures he’ll be in camp as it gets underway this morning.

    • Enjoy him while you can, Toronto fans. The relationship between Kadri and the Leafs is likely to be short term, writes Damien Cox.

    • You have to think that Senators defenseman Jared Cowen will soon run smack up against the same wall that Kadri did. With no real leverage, he’s better served by getting a bridge deal in hand and going to work on getting a big payday down the road.

    • The Bruins didn’t exactly blow up their roster after losing to the Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup Final, but they will nevertheless ice a very different group when the season gets underway.

    • The Penguins cap situation opens the door for a promising group of blueliners who are hoping to do more than make a good impression at camp.

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  • Published On Sep 11, 2013
  • Report: Toronto Maple Leafs closing in on deal with Nazem Kadri

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    Nazem Kadri of the Toronto Maple Leafs

    Nazem Kadri won’t get everything he wants, but a bridge deal should be fairly close. (Andre Ringuette/Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    They’re not there yet, but it sounds like the Maple Leafs and RFA forward Nazem Kadri are finally speaking the same language in their long-running and combative contract talks.

    According to Bob MacKenzie, who was speaking on TSN Radio in Toronto this afternoon, the two sides are finally both talking about a two-year bridge contract. Kadri is looking at something around $7 million, while the Leafs are countering with $5.7 million. Still a bit of a gap there, but it’s getting closer. And after versatile — but far less impactful — Senators forward Colin Greening signed a short-term deal earlier today that averaged $2.65 million per season, it’s a good bet that the final number on Kadri’s deal will be nearer to the player’s position than to Toronto’s.

    Of course, every dollar Kadri gets out of the approximately $5 million that the Maple Leafs have left to spend under the cap is a dollar less that will be available for the club to sign fellow RFA Cody Franson. The sooner Kadri grabs his share, in other words, the better.

    Unless of course this is all a bluff to drive up the bidding in the KHL…

    HACKEL: How serious a threat is the KHL?

    MUIR: RFA’s finding they have no upper hand in talks


  • Published On Sep 09, 2013
  • Nazem Kadri, Derek Stepan and other NHL RFAs find they have no upper hand

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    Nazem Kadri of the Toronto Maple Leafs

    Nazem Kadri is learning he’s not worth quite as much to the Maple Leafs as he thinks he is. (Icon SMI)

    By Allan Muir

    Everyone wants the upper hand in life, but as Jerry Seinfeld keenly observed, hand is tough to get.

    And even when you believe you’ve got it, you probably don’t have nearly as much as you think.

    If Nazem Kadri hasn’t digested that mind vitamin just yet, he will very soon. So will Jared Cowen, Cody Hodgson, Marcus Johansson, Cody Franson and the rest of this year’s crop of high profile restricted free agents.

    These players may be on the verge of NHL stardom, but their hopes of cashing in big on their second contracts are quickly fading. With training camps starting next week and their talks at a standstill, their unwillingness to recognize when they’re beaten puts their start to the 2013-14 season in jeopardy.

    The key here is timing. And unfortunately for these players, theirs is lousy.

    The diminished salary cap hurts the pool of cash that teams are drawing from, and each new signing leaves an even smaller pile. There’s no club that’s willing to risk the draft picks and blowback that come with tendering an offer sheet. And the start of camp puts the RFAs and their demands on the back burner and allows other players a chance to step up and fill whatever holes their absences create.

    It’s a miserably perfect salary-depressing storm.

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  • Published On Sep 06, 2013
  • Isles’ Hamonic, Caps’ Alzner among best value deals of summer 2013

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    Travis Hamonic of the New York Islanders

    Travis Hamonic is a key part of the Isles’ effort to rebuild with their prospects. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    It’s been a busy summer at the NHL’s home office.

    The league has registered nearly 200 new player contracts since the Blackhawks skated off with the Stanley Cup at the end of June. Most of those were low-level signings, players happy to find a chair before the music stopped. But there were scores of deals signed by legitimate NHLers as well, players who cashed in on their free agency or settled in for some long-term security with their current club.

    Most of those deals left fans shaking their heads at the money that will be changing hands even though we all understand, on some level, anyway, that the numbers are bound to be crazy.

    But there were others that seemed shockingly, well, sensible. Put in context, they’re set up to provide great value for the team . . . and in most cases, the player probably isn’t complaining, either.

    Here are the deals signed this summer that should provide the best bang for the buck:

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  • Published On Aug 16, 2013


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