Reaction to the Sutter trade, Penguins sign Eric Fehr, Flyers re-sign Sean Couturier plus updates on Brooks Orpik, Jay Bouwmeester and more.
PHILLY.COM: The Philadelphia Flyers re-signed center Sean Couturier to a six-year contract worth an annual cap hit of $4.33 million. The new deal begins in 2016-17.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s a fair contract for a third-line center of Couturier’s skills, especially one who still put up decent offensive numbers last season despite being saddled with struggling wingers like R.J. Umberger and Matt Read. He’s also just 22 and yet to reach his playing prime. We saw at this year’s World Championships what Couturier was capable of when playing with better linemates. This deal could turn into a bargain for the Flyers in a few years .
TRIBLIVE.COM: Rob Rossi weigh in on the Pittsburgh Penguins shipping center Brandon Sutter to the Vancouver Canucks for Nick Bonino and Adam Clendening.
TSN.CA: Yesterday also saw the Penguins sign former Washington Capitals center Eric Fehr to a three-year, $6 million contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: In one day, Penguins GM Jim Rutherford added depth to his checking lines at center with two affordable long-term additions (Bonino and Fehr are signed beyond next season), dealt away a strong two-way center in Sutter who the Penguins probably couldn’t afford to re-sign after next season and brought in another promising young defenseman. Along with the Phil Kessel acquisition, Rutherford’s made some shrewd moves this summer to improve the Penguins’ depth.
STLTODAY.COM: Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester hopes to rebound from his sub-par performance last season, when he was hampered by a groin injury.
THE WASHINGTON POST: Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik underwent wrist surgery yesterday. He’s expected to be ready for the start of 2015-16.
NBC SPORTS: Former New York Islanders defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky is considering playing in the Czech Republic or Switzerland next season.
SI.COM: Allane Muir notes the growing trend of players signing contracts containing guaranteed signing bonuses could become an issue in the next round of CBA negotiations.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s a trend I observed earlier this month. Signing bonuses are a loophole which essentially ensures the player has buyout-proof money. Muir also raises a good point about those bonuses being lockout-proof, as the player will receive that money even in the event of an NHL lockout. You better believe that’ll be a contentious issue in the next bout of CBA talks.
NJ.COM: The Devils are planning on a ceremony to retire Martin Brodeur’s No. 30 and to honor former GM Lou Lamoriello.