List of Notable NHL UFA Signings – October 9, 2020
8:30 pm ET: St. Louis Blues sign Torey Krug to a seven-year, $45.5 million contract.
7 pm ET: Toronto Maple Leafs sign T.J. Brodie to a four-year contract ($5 million AAV).
4 pm to 5 pm ET: Calgary Flames sign Jacob Markstrom to a six-year, $36-million contract.
3 pm to 4 pm ET: Anaheim Ducks sign Kevin Shattenkirk to a three-year contract ($3.9 million AAV)
Washington Capitals sign defenseman Justin Schultz to a two-year, $8 million contract.
2 pm to 3 pm ET: Florida Panthers sign Alexander Wennberg to a one-year $2.25 million contract.
New York Rangers sign Jack Johnson to a one-year, $1-million contract.
Nashville Predators sign Mark Borowiecki to a two-year, $4-million contract.
In other contract news, the Ottawa Senators sign Matt Murray to a four-year contract with an annual average value of $6.25 million. The Senators acquired Murray, a restricted free agent, on Wednesday from the Pittsburgh Penguins.
1 pm to 2 pm ET: Vancouver Canucks sign Braden Holtby to a two-year deal ($4.3 million AAV)
Minnesota Wild sign goaltender Cam Talbot to a three-year, $11-million contract.
Dallas Stars sign Anton Khudobin to a three-year contract ($3.5 million AAV)
Edmonton Oilers sign center Kyle Turris to a two-year contract ($1.65 million AAV)
12 pm to 1 pm ET: Washington Capitals sign goaltender Henrik Lundqvist to a one-year, $1.5 million contract.
Toronto Maple Leafs sign winger Wayne Simmonds to a one-year, $1.5-million contract with a full no-movement clause.
Detroit Red Wings sign winger Bobby Ryan to a one-year, $1-million contract.
Winger Pat Maroon (two years, $900K AAV) and defenseman Luke Schenn (one year, $800K) are returning with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Florida Panthers sign defenseman Radko Gudas to a three-year contract ($2.5 million AAV).
In other news, the Tampa Bay Lightning placed winger Tyler Johnson on waivers. He has four years remaining on his contract with a $5 million annual cap hit and a full no-trade clause.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson will remain with the Arizona Coyotes. His deadline to be traded to either Boston or Vancouver came and went without a deal.
The NHL’s free-agent market opens at noon ET today. Check out the latest speculation on Alex Pietrangelo, Taylor Hall, Torey Krug and many more in today’s rumor mill.
St. Louis Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo could head to market today (NHL Images).
TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports St. Louis Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo was ready to go to market as of yesterday afternoon. He’s up to visiting with interested clubs that are willing to have him travel. It could take a couple of days until he reaches a decision on his destination and next contract. The Vegas Golden Knights, Florida Panthers and Toronto Maple Leafs could be among the interested parties.
TORONTO SUN: Lance Hornby reports it could take moving a high-profile Leaf or two, such as William Nylander or Frederik Andersen, to free up cap space to sign Pietrangelo. He feels general manager Kyle Dubas has hinted that’s not going to happen, giving Andersen a vote of confidence while staying out of the Matt Murray trade market.
PHILLY.COM: Sam Carchidi expects Pietrangelo will be too costly for the Philadelphia Flyers. He suggests more affordable options like Toronto’s Tyson Barrie, Boston’s Torey Krug or Calgary’s T.J. Brodie.
TSN: Darren Dreger said the Arizona Coyotes might not be able to meet the Friday trade deadline set by defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson. He’ll only waive his no-movement clause for the Boston Bruins or Vancouver Canucks.
SPORTSNET: Chris Johnston and Elliotte Friedman report the Canucks appear the more interested buyer for Ekman-Larsson.
THE ATHLETIC: Thomas Drance and Rick Dhaliwal report the parameters of a deal with the Canucks would include “a draft pick of some magnitude, an inefficient contract from their bottom-six and a prospect.”
NBC SPORTS BOSTON: cites TSN’s Darren Dreger reporting the Bruins don’t like Arizona’s asking price. The Coyotes are believed to prefer the Bruins’ prospects over the Canucks.
SPORTSNET: Chris Johnston and Elliotte Friedman report there’s some talk Coyotes winger Taylor Hall would consider a reunion with the Edmonton Oilers. It would be difficult to achieve that unless the Oilers shed some salary.
THE DENVER POST: Mike Chambers suggests Hall would be a perfect fit for the Colorado Avalanche’s second line. He’s open to a short-term deal, perhaps a one-year contract that could pave the way for a longer contract in free agency after next season.
THE ATHLETIC: With the Columbus Blue Jackets shedding salary yesterday, Aaron Portzline wonders if they might get into the bidding for Hall. Other options could include Florida’s Mike Hoffman or Evgenii Dadonov or Vancouver’s Tyler Toffoli.
THE ATHLETIC: Thomas Drance and Rick Dhaliwal report the Vancouver Canucks remain confident of re-signing Jacob Markstrom despite persistent rumors linking the goaltender to the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers.
TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports the Oilers are among the teams that could be interested in Markstorm if he goes to market today.
SPORTSNET: Chris Johnston and Elliotte Friedman reported the Flames, Detroit Red Wings and Oilers (despite their salary-cap constraints) could pursue Markstrom.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: David Staples doesn’t see how the Oilers could afford Markstrom, who could seek $6 million annually on a long-term deal.
CALGARY SUN: Wes Gilbertson believes Markstrom should be the Flames’ top target in the UFA market. He feels Markstrom could become the high-end goalie they’ve been missing since Miikka Kiprusoff retired.
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks listed the Minnesota Wild as a possible destination for Markstrom if he goes to market.
STARTRIBUNE.COM: Sarah McLellan also included Markstrom among possible Wild UFA targets. Other options could include Washington’s Braden Holtby and Chicago Corey Crawford.
TSN: Frank Seravalli reports the Vegas Golden Knights have put trading goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury on the side burner for now. His no-trade clause and $7 million annual average value makes him difficult to move.
TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby is garnering interest from the Oilers.
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks believes the Dallas Stars and Minnesota Wild could be interested in Holtby.
SPORTSNET: Chris Johnston and Elliotte Friedman report of increased chatter suggesting the Red Wings could pursue Boston Bruins defenseman Torey Krug. He was raised in a Detroit suburb and seeks long-term security. The Wings have the cap space to make a lucrative offer.
THE DETROIT NEWS: Ted Kulfan reports Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman would like to address his blueline issues with one or two defenseman signings. It remains to be seen if he’ll pursue Krug. Yzerman said he expects to be “relatively conservative” in the free-agent market.
TSN: Goaltender Anton Khudobin is heading to market after talks broke off with the Stars. The Flames could be interested, along with the Canucks if they fail to re-sign Jacob Markstrom or the Golden Knights if they can move Marc-Andre Fleury.
TOFFOLI AND TANEV
THE ATHLETIC: Thomas Drance and Rick Dhaliwal report Canucks winger Tyler Toffoli and defenseman Chris Tanev are heading to market.
NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: Toffoli tops Brian Witt’s list of possible free-agent targets for the San Jose Sharks.
BRODIE AND HAMONIC
TSN: Darren Dreger reports the Flames renewed contract talks with defenseman T.J. Brodie. Dreger also believes Flames blueliner Travis Hamonic would sign with his hometown Winnipeg Jets but there’s not a lot of interest at the moment. The Maple Leafs, Ottawa Senators and Oilers could be among Hamonic’s suitors.
SPORTSNET: Chris Johnston and Elliotte Friedman reported the Oilers could have an interest in Maple Leafs defenseman Tyson Barrie as a short-term replacement for sidelined blueliner Oscar Klefbom.
TSN: Pierre LeBrun believes New York Islanders goalie Thomas Greiss could draw interest from the Canucks if they fail to re-sign Markstrom or Vegas if they trade Fleury.
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks suggested Greiss or Cam Talbot could be a fit with the New Jersey Devils.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The opening hours of the free-agent period tend to be very busy with the best available players being quickly signed. However, it will be interesting to see how the flattened salary cap affects the market and the pace of the signings.
Check out the latest speculation on the notable unrestricted free agents in Part 2 of today’s NHL Rumor Mill.
TSN: Darren Dreger reports it doesn’t sound as though there’s a lot of interest in Taylor Hall’s rights in the trade market. That doesn’t mean there won’t be plenty of interest in the 28-year-old left-winger when the free-agent market opens on Friday. Dreger indicates Hall intends to take his time with the free-agent process and may not make his decision on where he’ll sign until Saturday or even Sunday.
Taylor Hall will take his time deciding where his next NHL city will be (NHL Images).
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t blame Hall for taking his time. I think he wants to play for a contender and will carefully weigh his potential destinations, even if it’s just on a one- or two-year deal.
Pierre LeBrun reports it appears Florida Panthers winger Mike Hoffman is heading to market on Friday. However, if the Panthers can free up some cap space before then, they would circle back and make another offer to Hoffman. LeBrun believes the 30-year-old winger could interest clubs that fail to sign Taylor Hall.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hoffman led all of this year’s UFA class with 29 goals and 59 points in 69 games. He’s averaged 20-or-more goals and 48-plus points in each of the last six seasons.
NESN.COM: Ricky Doyle reported Monday that Boston Bruins general manager Don Sweeney acknowledged he hasn’t had any progress in contract talks with Torey Krug. The 29-year-old defenseman is slated to become an unrestricted free agent on Friday.
Sweeney, however, hasn’t ruled out signing Krug if the blueliner doesn’t find any worthwhile offers on the open market. “Several free agents have gone and tested the market and come back to the same place that they were at, and it’s something we would also considered,” he said, adding there was no animosity with Krug.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Krug’s departure is being treated as a foregone conclusion. Given the flattened salary cap for next season, however, we can’t rule out the possibility that he might not find better offers than the six-years (at $6.5 million annually) by the Bruins.
THE PROVINCE: Patrick Johnston reports re-signing Jacob Markstrom remains high on Vancouver Canucks’ GM Jim Benning’s to-do list. “We’re going to keep working with his agent and see if we can find common ground,” said Benning. Markstrom, Chris Tanev and Tyler Toffoli are unrestricted free agents. The Canucks GM admitted it would be difficult to re-sign all three if he can’t reshape the club’s cap situation.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, if he can’t find someone to take Loui Eriksson ($6 million annual average value through 2021-22) or Brandon Sutter ($4.35 million for 2020-21) off his hands, one of those three UFA will be playing elsewhere next season.
NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: Charlie Roumeliotis lists the New York Islanders’ Thomas Greiss, Dallas’ Anton Khudobin, Arizona’s Darcy Kuemper, former Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist and Pittsburgh’s Matt Murray as possible replacements for Corey Crawford if the Blackhawks fail to re-sign him by Friday.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Greiss, Khudobin and Lundqvist would be free-agents signings and likely affordable short-term ones. Kuemper and Murray would have to be acquired via trade. Of this group, Kuemper would be the best target. The 30-year-old goalie had solid stats over the last two seasons and carries an affordable $4.5 million AAV for the next two seasons. Recent reports, however, suggest the Coyotes aren’t as keen to move him as originally believed.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson reports Oilers GM Ken Holland will seek a short-term replacement for sidelined defenseman Oscar Klefbom via the UFA market. Klefbom could require surgery on his injured left shoulder that could force him to miss most or all of 2020-21.
The latest on Jack Eichel, Torey Krug, Taylor and Shayne Gostisbehere in today’s NHL rumor mill.
TEAMS CALLING ABOUT EICHEL
WGR 550: Brayton J. Wilson cited TSN’s Bob McKenzie reporting yesterday hearing what he called “unverified chatter” claiming Jack Eichel requested a trade from the Buffalo Sabres and the New York Rangers were among the interested teams. Eichel’s agent, Peter Fish, told McKenzie his client doesn’t want out of Buffalo.
Buffalo Sabres captain Jack Eichel (NHL Images).
McKenzie also said several clubs have contacted Kevyn Adams since he took over as Sabres GM to inquire about Eichel’s availability. The Rangers were believed to be among those teams.
None of those talks discussions generated any trade traction involving the 23-year-old center. The Sabres aren’t shopping Eichel and there’s no real desire to trade their captain.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: You can’t fault general managers from calling to see if Eichel might be available. He has expressed frustration over the years of constant losing but his agent insists his client wants to make things work in Buffalo. The Sabres remain committed to building around their captain. Their recent acquisition of Eric Staal as their new second-line center is an obvious example.
LATEST BRUINS SPECULATION
NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Darren Hartwell reports of speculation the Bruins could trade the rights of Torey Krug. The 29-year-old defenseman is slated to become an unrestricted free agent on Oct. 9. The Colorado Avalanche, Florida Panthers, Vegas Golden Knights and Detroit Red Wings are said to be potential suitors for Krug’s contract rights.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It seems unlikely the Bruins will re-sign Krug unless he’s willing to accept less than market value. TSN’s Frank Seravalli said hearing they offered a six-year deal worth $6.5 million annually but Krug apparently feels he get better offers on the open market. They could shop his rights before Oct. 9 if they can get a decent draft pick in return.
The Avalanche and Wings have the cap space to sign Krug. The Golden Knights have just $4.9 million available with goaltender Robin Lehner to re-sign or replace. The Panthers have $59.7 million invested in 12 players and there’s talk they could set an internal cap of $70 million. Neither club has the cap room at the moment to take on an expensive free agent like Krug.
Nick Goss, meanwhile, cited TSN’s Frank Seravalli suggesting Taylor Hall might be a good fit with the Bruins. The 28-year-old Arizona Coyotes left winger is also a pending UFA. Seravalli wondered what the Bruins will do with restricted free agent winger Jake DeBrusk, adding they won’t need to re-sign him if they pursue Hall.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: While Goss believes Hall would be a great fit alongside center David Krejci on the Bruins second line, his injury history and the cost of signing him (Goss suggests six years at $7 million per) makes him an expensive gamble. He also pointed the Bruins would still have to address the absence of Krug on their blueline.
THE SCORE: Sean O’Leary cited The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun reporting sources claiming Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere is available in the offseason trade market. He has three seasons remaining on his contract worth an annual value of $4.25 million. An injury limited the 27-year-old blueliner to 42 games last season and he was also a frequent healthy scratch.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Teams seeking a skilled puck-moving defenseman could take a chance on “Ghost Bear”. He’s got an affordable contract that could be appealing to cap-strapped clubs.