NHL Free Agent Update – September 5, 2016

by | Sep 5, 2016 | Rumors | 45 comments

With training camp approaching, several veterans, such as Alex Tanguay, remain unsigned.

With training camp approaching, several veterans, such as Alex Tanguay, remain unsigned.

 A list of still-unsigned NHL unrestricted free agents, plus an update on Alex Tanguay. 

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Justin Dickie lists defenseman Matt Bartkowski, right wing David Jones, left wing Lauri Korpikoski, defenseman Kyle Quincey, goaltender Karri Ramo, blueliners Kris Russell and Dennis Seidenberg, center Jarret Stoll, left wing Alex Tanguay and defenseman James Wisniewski as 10 unsigned free agents who could still contribute to NHL teams. 

LA PRESSE: Marc-Antoine Godin reports Alex Tanguay’s agent said there are two or three teams interested in his client. The 36-year-old is willing to accept a one-year contract. While some of his peers accept professional tryout offers, Tanguay’s believes netting 35 points in 70 games last season puts him in a position to receive more than a PTO. While Tanguay contacted Montreal Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin earlier this summer to express his willingness to return to the Habs, they’re not among those three potential suitors. .  

Meanwhile, the agent for UFA forward Steve Bernier claims no fewer than seven teams had expressed interest in his client. It’s unknown if he’ll a get a one-way, two-way or tryout contract. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s tough for those remaining UFAs right now. Whatever leverage they had disappeared followed the opening days of free agency in early July.  They must now wait for teams to clear some salary-cap space, or for positions to open up in training camp. Of those still available, I’d say Russell, Wisniewski, Quincky, Tanguay and Korpikoski are the best of the bunch. 


  1. I thought Weisnewski signed a PTO with Tampa? If not Im suprised he hasnt been picked up by someone already.

    • He did but I believe that doesn’t preclude a player from signing an actual NHL contract with another team at any time. I’m with you. Wisnewski seems like a logical fit for a team in need of an offensive oriented PP Dman. A torn ACL isn’t generally career threatening.

  2. Quincey would be the perfect veteran D to play alongside Chabot for the Senators in the 5/6 pairing – IF the latter makes the team out of camp – or alongside Wideman. In either case, I hope Borowiecki is not part of the pairing. All any of these guys can reasonably expect is a 1-year deal at no more than $1.2-1.5 mil. Including Russell.

    • Russel IMO will be around 2.5-3million per yr he is a 2nd pairing dman on most teams

      • If he was bigger than 5′ 10″ 170 lbs I might tend to agree, but combined with his shot-blocking style of play, to me he’s an accident-waiting-to happen going on 30. His best bet for a longer career is in the 5/6 role and its 8-10 min a game. Any team that forks over $3 mil to him as a 3/4 pairing and with any kind of term attached is taking a huge gamble.

      • Agree that Russell is worth more, but mostly because of the willingness to block shots which is the main reason he would be on the 2nd D pairing without that not so sure. Best pickup of the bunch at this point.

        The Leafs could do well to take both he and Tanguay short term for some veteran leadership.

      • Everyone says about his shot blocking but he is a solid skater can play on the 2nd pp unit and has sound positionin, a lot of teams should/will take a shot at him

      • Russell in his last 3 seasons in Calgary logged over 23 mins of TOI/GP each season. That puts him in pretty elite company against all NHL Dman essentially top 30 by average & by even strength ice time he is even better; top 15, he doesn’t see top flight power play time or he would be even higher in TOI/GP.

        Russel against all NHL Dman.

        15/16 TOI/GP 23:04 33rd overall, EV TOI/GP 19:37 12th overall.

        14/15 TOI/GP 23:56 22nd overall, EV TOI/GP 20:22 10th overall.

        13/14 TOI/GP 23:08 37th overall, EV TOI/GP 10:17 13th overall.

        By even strength ice time for all NHL Dman he’s been top 15 3 years in a row & top 3 in blocked shots, 1st once, 2nd & 3rd the other 2 due to games missed & you want him to be a 5/6 guy playing 8 to 10 mins a night? Not a single NHL regular Dman; lets say 50 games played in 1 season to define a regular, that plays in the top 6 plays that little of ice time in TOI/GP. Not even on your team who’s 5/6/7 Dman last season, Weircioch; 52 games, 17:20 TOI/GP. Borowiecki; 63 games, 14:37 TOI/GP. Wideman; 64 games, 13:57 TOI/GP.

        Russell is & has been a top 4 NHL Dman now for several seasons. He hasn’t shown himself to be injury prone. He won’t be signing for 1.2 to 1.5 mil.

      • Never said he would sing for $1.5. What I AM saying is, he’s not getting what he and his agent think he’s worth in terms of money and term, and that any team that signs him for $3 to $3.5 for any length is taking a chance. I can read the stats too Striker and I know he has no major injury history. But he’s also turning 30 and that style of play combined with his size and age is a risk some GMs simply won’t take. If he was looked upon with the glowing accolades you’ve cited by GMs in search of Top 4 D, don’t you think he would have been signed by now for the money/term he thinks he’s worth?

      • Sorry I’m confused I thought you said exactly that.

        “All any of these guys can reasonably expect is a 1-year deal at no more than $1.2-1.5 mil. Including Russell.”

        I also thought you were suggesting he should play a 5/6 role at 8 to 10 mins a night.

        “His best bet for a longer career is in the 5/6 role and its 8-10 min a game.”

        Sorry if I misunderstood.

        I think he & his agent shot to high in his contract demands both in dollars & term & no 1 bit at that price point. Swing & a miss. Now because of that, like Franson, with so many teams pushed up against the cap he will have to take reasonable money & term to sign. Can’t see more than 3 years, probably 2, some where between 3 to 4.5 mil.

        Numerous teams in the NHL could use a Russell not the least of which is NJ who’s D as currently constructed is brutal, young & inexperinced. Add Col, Dal, Det, Edm, Flo, Ott, Tor or Van who’s 4/5 spots are are a concern.

      • Those were MY opinions of what he should be getting, not what I think he’ll eventually get in terms of money. But if the teams you mention are, in fact, interested in him to shore up their D, and have the cap space to give him the kind of money you suggest, they’d have already done so. There’s a message going out to Russell and it sure isn’t “we think you’re a Top 4 D for 3 years at least.”

    • If say there are 10 – 15 teams in the NHL at least in need of a top 4 D and I’d argue if Russell had done that well he wouldn’t have an issue finding that type of contract here are some other numbers Striker to put Russelle in som perspective since 2013 he has been on waivers and traded for a 5th round pick that doesn’t scream top 4 to me, also since you want to mention
      his minutes let’s see how well he has played in those situations
      Calgary is bad at generating shots and bad at allowing
      shots. The Flames get pummeled by any shot metric when Russell is out there.
      Calgary isn’t better at producing high-danger chances, either. The Flames produce the same number of high-danger scoring opportunities with Russell on the ice as they do with Deryk Engelland out there. At least Engelland isn’t on the ice for a lot of high-danger chances against, Russell’s on-ice chance-against numbers are terrible.
      Context doesn’t help much, either. Russell faces only middling opposition and he starts more shifts in the offensive zone than anyone not named Dennis Wideman.

      • He is not a top 4 D on any kind of a decent blue line and to say it’s because he is asking for too much money is agreeing with that point when you look at the contract he was rumoured to be looking for… That’s why he is unsigned because if he is asking for top 4 type money and most GMs don’t think he is worth the contract.

      • Now for the no rebuttal from Striker as he tends to disappear when people point out that he may be mistaken (like his math comment involving Oiler 1st round picks).

      • Shticky you would take Quincey over Russell so your opinion really doesn’t matter

      • That’s exactly what I am saying Big bear I’d rather spend less money on a bottom pairing D man than more money on one who isn’t any better, and once you can back up anything you say with any kind of reasonable thought maybe you would matter.

      • Read above and it will tell you why he is a 2nd pairing no numbers will probably throw you for a loop tho. To say Russell isn’t any better than Quincey is just plain dumb!

      • Damn abrasive today are we.

      • What would throw me for a loop is if you could actually put a couple sentences together that could actually make sense big bear. (“Read above and it will tell you why he is a 2nd pairing no numbers will probably throw you for a loop tho…” What does this even mean?) Perhaps you should slow down on calling others dumb.

      • , ( better) what I wanna know tanner is how you can even compare Russell and Quincey? It’s like when you said gardiner was a top 10 dman ?

      • Again big bear there is no mention of Leafs here so it has nothing to do with this conversation buy I’ve never thought, said or even hinted that I thought Gardiner was any more than a second pairing type D let alone a top 10. Not sure what you are talking about but I assume it’s just another straw man arguement.

      • Just something you forgot you said again eh tanner?

    • Hey George I’m pretty sure Sens management thinks alot more highly of Boroweicki than you and he is pretty much a certainty to start the season. It’s his playing partner that the Sens are looking into improving.

      As always I’m just speculating from any info I can garner regarding the matter but I have the suspicion they want to find Boro cop a partner.

      • If he starts the season in a 5/6 role or, God forbid, higher due to a training camp injury, watch him closely for a few games, then come back and tell me you think he’s an NHL regular. Is he abrasive? yes. Does he fight when necessary? Yes again. Can he handle a puck in his own end? Much like a cow can fly.

      • I’m with you George. I just get the impression from the Sens he is a regular.

  3. I’m pretty sure Stoll is on a pto somewhere.

    • I believe he is on a PTO with Columbus.

    • So? …he’s still a UFA and free to sign wherever he wants.

  4. If the leafs sign Ramo we will know just how bad Anserson’s injury is.

    • Andersen`s out 3 to 4 weeks, ready for the season, but no tournament.

  5. Really hope someone gives Ramo a chance to back someone up. The only time the flames had any success at all last season was when he was playing. The Flames ruined his career. Would love to see him bounce back and get on somewhere and kick the flames ass. I’m a flames fan but I disagree with how they pretty much destroyed all 3 goalies careers but none more than Ramo. I mean Hiller gave up the moment he wasn’t considered the starter anymore. The only effort that guy gave was to see how well he could lose. Not sure how he has a cup. Ortio got lucky the season before and won 4 games in a row and people lost their minds. He was never as good as they thought. Ramo is a goalie who could excel in the back up role as soon as he realizes that is all.

    • Hockey83, Ramo’s injury has also kept interest in him pretty low. If he gets back into shape in time, maybe he is worth a PTO. Buffalo’s Lehner is oft-injured and he could serve as a buffer for Nilsson and Ullmark. More interesting is Nashville. He might get on well with Rinne and if he is as good as you believe, he might be better than Marek Mazanec in relieving Rinne of some of the ‘games played’ burden.

  6. Leafs don’t need any of these Guys.

    • With all the can’t miss prospects they have they will never need to use free agency! Not that it matters they never seem to be able to grab any of the top free agents

  7. Maybe I missed his signing, but otherwise I believe Hudler would be one of the top UFAs left.

    • Yepp, I missed it. He’s with Stars. Excellent pick up for 2m!

      • Yeppers you did. But no biggy. I’m sure someone here will take the time to rib the error in your face. Seems the norm

      • The only players worth anything more than at PTO are Tanguay, Russell and Wisniewski. Tanguay and Wisniewski only because they produce but can’t stay healthy and if they can stay healthy their production should outweigh their contract. Russell only because he can contribute at both ends of the ice and teams always need defense.

      • Ya very cranky bunch today

  8. Totally off topic question. Whats the best website to get accurate line combinations ? Not projected but time actually spent playing with others.

  9. 2016 Stanley Cup Champs..


    • Not exactly rumor or news worthy today but yes! 😉
      Congrats, I’m soon to give up that pipe dream… /capsfan :/

  10. I remember when there was a vibrant community in here that shared rumors, knowledge, options and ideas.