Everyone’s favourite or least favourite day of the NHL off-season has arrived ladies and gentlemen: Free Agent Frenzy! If you are like me than you also have a love/hate relationship with the crazy part of the off-season when your favourite team/players makes moves that anger or excite you. Some teams made bigger moves while others went for the smaller moves.
Around the League Free Agency moves/trades:
In one of the most surprising moves of the day, Daniel Alfredsson chose to not re-sign with the Ottawa Senators but has indeed signed a 1-year contract [$5.5 million] with the Detroit Red Wings. Don’t forget with the re-alignment official at the start of next season, Detroit and Ottawa are now division rivals both on the Eastern side of the equation.
The Detroit Red Wings have also signed free agent Stephen Weiss to a 5-year contract [$24.5 million].
Former Detroit Red Wing, Valteri Filppula has agreed to a 5-year contract [$25 million] with Tampa Bay.
Following the loss of their longtime captain to Detroit, the Ottawa Senators acquired forward Bobby Ryan from the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for forwards Jakob Silfverberg, Stefan Noesen and a 2014 first round draft pick.
Yesterday the Boston Bruins grabbed headlines with the trade of Tyler Seguin and Rich Peverley to the Dallas Stars. Today a few more fan favourite Bruins signed elsewhere when Nathan Horton agreed to a 7-year contract with the Columbus Blue Jackets and Andrew Ference agreed to a 4-year contract with the Edmonton Oilers.
Speaking of the Bruins grabbing headlines remember how it was initially reported that he chose Boston prior to the trade deadline? Well, this time he its true he has agreed to a 1-year contract with the Boston Bruins [$6 million]. It is safe to say I can longer root for you Iggy now that you have crossed over to the dark side!
Jason Labarbera signed a 1-year contract [$1 million] with the Edmonton Oilers.
Last year it was the Wild that made the biggest splash in the free agency pool with spending $198 million on 2 players. This year has been a much quieter start to the free agency bonanza for Minnesota. The Minnesota Wild traded forward Devin Setoguchi to the Winnipeg Jets for a 2014 2nd round draft pick. Everyone’s favourite pest, Matt Cooke has come to terms with the Minnesota Wild on a 3-year contract [$7.5 million].
Rob Scuderi has come to terms with the Pittsburgh Penguins on a 4-year contract [$13.5 million]. Scuderi won the Stanley Cup with the Penguins in 2009 and with the LA Kings in 2012.
The Dallas Stars have signed back-up goalie Dan Ellis to a 2-year contract [$1.8 million].
Stanley Cup champion goalie Ray Emery has signed a 1-year contract with the Philadelphia Flyers.
Goalie Nikolai Khabibulin is once again a Chicago Blackhawk after agreeing to a 1-year contract.
Former Philadelphia Flyer, Danny Briere agreed to a 2-year contract [$8 million] with the Montreal Canadiens.
The New Jersey Devils were busy during the first day of free agency signing Ryane Clowe to 5-year contract [$24.25 million] along with Michael Ryder to a 2-year contract [$7 million]
Claude Giroux agreed to an 8-year contract extension with the Philadelphia Flyers.
Toronto made some bold moves following the buyout of Mikhael Gabrovski yesterday. The re-signed Bozak to a 5-year deal [$21 million] and signed a free agent David Clarkson to a 7-year deal [$36.75 million] that includes a limited to trade clause + a no move clause.
The Nashville Predators made a few splashes in the free agency pool to help fill some of the gaps that haunted them last year. Stanley Cup champion, Viktor Stalberg agreed to a 4-year contract [$12 million]. Former Minnesota Wild forward Matt Cullen and Nashville agreed to terms on a 2-year contract [$7 million]. The Predators also signed forward Matt Hendricks to a 4-year contract [$7.4 million] and forward Eric Nystrom to a 4-year contract [$10 million].
The New York Islanders re-signed Travis Harmonic to a 7-year contract [$27 million]. The Isles also re-signed Evgeni Nabokov to a 1-year contract [$3.25 million] following a solid year by the veteran goal-tender who helped New York get back into the playoffs for the first time in 7 years.
The Canucks began their free agency course earlier this week when they bought out the remainder of Keith Ballard’s contract to free up cap space and allow him to become a free agent. As you know he was not unemployed for long as he was snapped up by the Minnesota Wild for a 2-year deal worth [$3 million]. Best of luck Ballard near your home town, you deserve a fresh start!
[***has yet to be officially announced]. Rumor has it that free agency has claimed Mason Raymond who reportedly was signed by the Calgary Flames to a 2-year deal. It would exciting for him to play in his home province in front of friends and family. I will miss saying things like #EVERYBODYLOVESRAYMOND every time he scores. I will not root for the Flames ever if this rumor comes to pass, but I do wish Mason the best of luck wherever he ends up.
Forward Maxim Lapierre has signed a 2-year contract[$2.2 million] with the St.Louis Blues. You will be missed by the fans! Best of luck in St.Louis Max!
Short-term Canuck Derek Roy has signed a 1-year contract[$4 million] also with the St.Louis Blues.
Vancouver signed defenceman Yannick Weber to a 1-year contract [$650K] along with forward Brad Richardson to a 2-year contract. Welcome to Canuck Nation, Weber & Richardson! Remember going into free agency the Canucks did not[& do not] have a lot of cap space to make a big splash.
Canuck nation is also waiting to hear confirmation of defenceman Chris Tanev being re-signed. Fingers crossed it is announced sooner rather than later and that the team is not forced to match some ridiculous offer sheet [mind you that is a real possibility!].
Day one of free agency has come and gone with its mark left on many teams. It is hardly the end of the free agency saga that will continue over the next few weeks. Along with more signings to come there will also inevitably be more trades announced. Prepare yourselves hockey fans, this is only the beginning!
As always, until next time, nuck said.