NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 12, 2019

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – January 12, 2019

Game recaps, Rick Nash retires, an update on Sergei Bobrovsky, the latest trades and contract signings, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

GAME RECAPS

NHL.com: Buffalo Sabres winger Jeff Skinner scored his 30th of the season in his first game against the Carolina Hurricanes since they trade him last summer, but it was the Hurricanes that emerged with a 4-3 win. Sebastian Aho scored twice, Micheal Ferland had a three-point night and Curtis McElhinney made 30 saves as the Hurricanes held on for the victory.

Buffalo Sabres winger Jeff Skinner scored his 30th goal of the season on Friday and was also voted into the NHL All-Star Game by the fans. (Photo via NHL Images)

Speaking of Skinner, he joined Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog, Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang, and Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl as the “Last Men In” to skate for their respective divisions in the upcoming NHL All-Star Game in San Jose.  

Jake Guentzel tallied a hat trick as the Pittsburgh Penguins rallied from a 3-0 deficit to thump the Anaheim Ducks 7-4, handing the latter their 10th consecutive defeat. Evgeni Malkin had a four-point performance, Phil Kessel had three points and Tanner Pearson scored twice for the Penguins.  Earlier in the day, the Penguins announced the re-signing of backup goaltender Casey DeSmith to a three-year extension worth an annual average value of $1.25 million. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Ducks have slipped out of a wild-card berth and are in danger of tumbling out of playoff contention altogether if they don’t snap out of this tailspin soon. Getting Cam Fowler and Rickard Rakell back from injury should help but general manager Bob Murray could be under pressure to do something, be it a trade or a coaching change, to reverse this season-threatening skid.

As for the DeSmith signing, it’s an affordable move by the Penguins to ensure a measure of stability behind oft-injured starter Matt Murray. It could turn into an incredible bargain if DeSmith goes on to outplay Murray and take over the starter’s role, or easily moveable if Tristan Jarry should supplant him from the backup job. 

Winnipeg Jets goaltender Laurent Brossoit kicked out 33 shots and teammate Kyle Connor collected three points to lead their club to a 4-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings. 

The Calgary Flames overcame a 2-0 deficit to edge the Florida Panthers 4-3. Michael Frolik led the way with a goal and two assists. 

SPORTSNET: After 15 NHL seasons, multiple concussions have forced Rick Nash to announce his retirement. A six-time all-star, Nash tallied 437 goals, 368 assists, and 805 points in 1,068 games with the Columbus Blue Jackets, New York Rangers and Boston Bruins. He won the Maurice Richard Trophy in 2003-04 as the league’s leading goal scorer. He captained the Blue Jackets for over four seasons (2007-08 to 2011-12. He also won two gold medals (2010, 2014) playing for Canada’s Men’s Olympic Hockey teams.

SPECTOR’S NOTE:  A dazzling goal scorer, Nash remains the Blue Jackets’ all-time offensive leader. Those who ran the Blue Jackets during his tenure with them did an insufficient job building around his scoring talent. His playoff scoring stats weren’t as impressive as his regular-season numbers, at times making him a target for criticism. Those concussion injuries often took a lengthy toll upon his performance. With better health, he would’ve been a more dominant scorer. 

THE ATHLETIC (SUBSCRIPTION REQUIRED): Following a meeting with Blue Jackets management, coaches and players, Sergei Bobrovsky has returned to the lineup. The club had disciplined him following an incident during a loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday. He spoke to the media following the meetings, acknowledged he allowed his emotions to get the better of him, apologized to his teammates, said the air has been cleared and they’re all moving on from the incident. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’m guessing Bobrovsky snapped after he was pulled from the game and verbally lashed out at his teammates. Whatever the reason, the proof of whether he and the club have put this situation behind them will be determined by their play. 

DENVER POST: Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon apologized for getting into a spat on the bench with head coach Jared Bednar during a 5-3 loss to the Calgary Flames on Wednesday. He said he felt embarrassed after seeing the footage and took responsibility for handling the situation poorly. He defended Bednar and said he and his teammates enjoy playing for him. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Good on MacKinnon for owning up to his mistake. 

THE TENNESSEAN: Nashville Predators forward Austin Watson publicly shared his struggles with alcoholism and mental illness on Friday. Last summer, he pleaded no contest to misdemeanor domestic abuse and received an 18-game suspension by the league. He said he and his girlfriend, who also struggled with alcohol, are now in a better place, have put the incident behind them, and remain committed to their sobriety. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Best wishes to Watson and his family as they work to improve their lives with the help of the resources available to them from the league, the NHLPA and the Predators, as well as the support of their families. 

TSN: The St. Louis Blues placed forwards Tyler Bozak (concussion) and Robert Thomas (shoulder) on injured reserve.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: The Blackhawks acquired defenseman Slater Koekkoek from the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for defenseman Jan Rutta.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Koekkoek struggled to crack a very deep Lightning blueline. He’ll have a better opportunity becoming an NHL regular with the Blackhawks, whose blueline depth has steadily eroded in recent years. 

NBC SPORTS: The Philadelphia Flyers traded center Jordan Weal to the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for minor-league defenseman Jacob Graves and a sixth-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft. 










NHL Rumor Mill – October 10, 2018

NHL Rumor Mill – October 10, 2018

Latest on the Penguins goaltending plus updates on Rick Nash and Jordan Schmaltz in your NHL rumor mill.

PENGUINS LOOK TO WITHIN TO REPLACE SIDELINED MURRAY

TSN: Bob McKenzie reports the Pittsburgh Penguins won’t seek external help in goal with starter Matt Murray sidelined by a concussion. The Penguins are optimistic Murray won’t be sidelined for long. Backup Casey DeSmith is expected to start against the Vegas Golden Knights on Thursday while Tristan Jarry is returning from injury.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Jared Clinton also noted the Penguins intend to use DeSmith and Jarry while Murray’s recovering from his concussion. Both could be stop-gaps rather than long-term solutions. Clinton wonders if the Penguins seeks help if Murray’s sidelined longer than expected or “the seemingly inevitable happens and Murray falls injured once again?”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be interesting to see what the Penguins do if the oft-injured Murray ends up sidelined for a lengthy period of time. Perhaps DeSmith or Jarry can step up to replace him. There are not many long-term solutions currently available to them. This could be worth keeping an eye on over the course of the season.

Free agent Rick Nash denies social media rumors claiming he’s filed his retirement papers (Photo via NHL Images)

NASH DENIES RETIREMENT RUMOR

TSN: Rick Nash’s agent Joe Resnick denied rumors on social media yesterday claiming his client had filed retirement papers with the NHL.  Nash is an unrestricted free agent but has yet to decide if he’ll continue his playing career citing medical concerns.

THE ATHLETIC: Aaron Portzline reports Nash remains keen to resume his playing career but he’s waiting for concussion symptoms to clear before deciding if he’ll return. Citing his family, Nash said it was important for him to “get my health in the right spot before I figure out what my plans are, and I don’t know when that will be.”

Portzline said if Nash returns it will “almost certainly be with the (Columbus)Blue Jackets or one of five or six other teams he’s identified as Stanley Cup contenders.” The winger said he had a good meeting with Jackets president John Davidson and general manager Jarmo Kekalainen this summer in Columbus.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No indication who those other clubs might be. There was some speculation earlier this year suggesting he was interested in returning to the Boston Bruins. He also didn’t rule out signing with a Canadian team. For now, what’s important is Nash makes a full recovery. 

DOES JORDAN SCHMALTZ HAVE A FUTURE IN ST. LOUIS?

THE ATHLETIC: Jeremy Rutherford reports defenseman Jordan Schmaltz is struggling to crack the St. Louis Blues defense corps on a full-time basis. The Blues don’t want to assign him to their AHL affiliate for fear of losing him on waivers. He’s currently on a two-year, $1.4 million contract, with this season being a two-way deal.

Schmaltz’s agent Kevin Overhardt declined to say if he’s asked the Blues for a trade but “it’s clear that Overhardt wishes his client had more of a chance to play in St. Louis, and if not here, then somewhere.” Rutherford reports a pair of NHL scouts, one from each conference, said Schmaltz’s mobility and puck-moving skills are attractive to other clubs.

Consistency and assertiveness appear to be the issues holding the blueliner back. Both scouts feel a trade is possible and there’s believed to be legitimate interest in Schmaltz. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some might wonder if Schmaltz’s inconsistency could affect his trade value. Rutherford suggests this situation is comparable to that of Ian Cole, who was traded by the Blues to the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2015 for Roberto Bortuzzo and a seventh-round pick. Cole went on to win two Stanley Cups with the Penguins while the Blues got a blueline regular in Bortuzzo.

If Schmaltz still can’t crack the Blues defense, other clubs could be willing to take a chance on him as a reclamation project for a reasonable return. Perhaps Blues general manager Doug Armstrong can use him as a trade chip to bring in a decent player or a promising prospect. 

 











NHL Rumor Mill – September 15, 2018

NHL Rumor Mill – September 15, 2018

Latest on Bobby Ryan, William Nylander, Rick Nash, Cory Schneider and more in your NHL rumor mill.

The Ottawa Senators weren’t willing to do discounts during Bobby Ryan trade discussions. (Photo via NHL Images)

NO TAKERS FOR BOBBY RYAN?

SPORTSNET: In his latest “31 Thoughts” column, Elliotte Friedman reports the closest Erik Karlsson came to being traded prior to getting dealt to the San Jose Sharks on Thursday was to the Vegas Golden Knights at last season’s trade deadline. He was told it would’ve been “a better business deal, but not a great hockey deal”. That means Senators winger Bobby Ryan was included but the Golden Knights would not send their best in the return.

TSN: Darren Dreger reported Thursday the Senators weren’t willing to give teams a discount for taking on Ryan while they were negotiating a Karlsson trade. “Vegas sources indicating that Ottawa wouldn’t put a value on taking the Ryan contract,” Dreger said. “Ottawa’s perspective was, ‘No, you’re getting a decent NHL player here who happens to have an ugly contract. But it’s a hockey trade.'”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates Ryan is signed through 2021-22 with an annual average value of $7.25 million. Unless the Senators are willing to absorb part of that cap hit or take back a toxic contract in return, they’re going to have a tough time finding any takers for him. 

MORE HIGHLIGHTS FROM FRIEDMAN’S LATEST “31 THOUGHTS”.

Friedman reports there’s no clarity on the future of unrestricted free agent winger Rick Nash. His wife recently gave birth to their third child and Nash’s injury history has him considering retirement.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My guess is Nash will retire. If he’s still uncertain about his future as training camps open, I don’t think he’s really ready to keep playing. 

It’s rumored Toronto Maple Leafs forward William Nylander seeks a contract comparable to Edmonton Oilers’ forward Leon Draisaitl’s $8.5 million AAV.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: He’s not getting that much. The Leafs are rumored offering around $6 million annually and I don’t see them going much higher. Nylander is coming off an entry-level deal and has no leverage other than refusing to play and that’s not going to do him any favors. 

UPDATES ON THE JETS, DEVILS AND RANGERS

WINNIPEG SUN: Ken Wiebe notes how long defenseman Jacob Trouba remains with the Jets is a storyline that just won’t go away. He’s under an arbiter-awarded one-year, $5.5-million contract, making him eligible next summer to once again become a restricted free agent with arbitration rights. He’ll also be only a year away from unrestricted free agency.

Some feel the Jets would be better off moving Trouba, but “unless the Jets get blown away by a trade offer that includes a young, controllable top-pairing blue-liner, having Trouba in the fold for a Stanley Cup run makes the most sense.” If they can’t re-sign him before next summer, Wiebe feels the likely outcome is the Jets move the blueliner by the 2019 NHL Draft.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Unless the Jets suffer a massive collapse that knocks them out of playoff contention by the Feb. 25, 2019 trade deadline, Trouba won’t be going anywhere this season. I concur with Wiebe’s take. 

NEW YORK POST: Brett Cyrgalis recently suggested the New Jersey Devils could explore the trade market for 32-year-old goaltender Cory Schneider if he can’t be the bedrock between the pipes. Schneider has four years remaining on his contract with an annual average value of $6 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Devils GM Ray Shero could explore Schneider’s trade value if he’s no longer a capable starting goalie. That cap hit and no-trade clause, however, will make moving him a difficult task. 

Regarding the New York Rangers, Cyrgalis wondered if GM Jeff Gorton would consider moving pending UFA forwards Kevin Hayes and Mats Zuccarello for future assets.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If there’s decent offers for those guys they could be gone by the trade deadline. 

 











NHL Rumor Mill – August 23, 2018

NHL Rumor Mill – August 23, 2018

The latest on Erik Karlsson, Artemi Panarin, Sergei Bobrovsky and Rick Nash in your NHL rumor mill.

The Vancouver Canucks reportedly expressed interest in Ottawa Senators captain Erik Karlsson (Photo via NHL Images).

KARLSSON TO THE CANUCKS?

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman took to Twitter yesterday claiming trade talks involving Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson had recently picked up. He said the likely destinations appear to be in the Western Conference, with the Vancouver Canucks joining those clubs with interest in the all-star blueliner.

Friedman’s colleague John Shannon subsequently reported Canucks general manager Jim Benning said there is no truth that his team has become involved in trade conversations regarding Karlsson.

Iain MacIntyre also weighed in on Benning’s comments, as well as his claim that he’s not trading young players and prospects such as Quinn Hughes, Brock Boeser and Elias Pettersson. MacIntyre also tweeted that if the Canucks had looked into Karlsson’s trade status it was likely due diligence, something Friedman agreed with. Friedman also believes the Dallas Stars, Vegas Golden Knights and San Jose Sharks remain the front-runners for Karlsson.

MacIntyre also noted Karlsson would have to agree to accept a trade to the rebuilding Canucks. They would also have to pay him something akin to Drew Doughty’s new eight-year, $88-million contract with the Los Angeles Kings.

THE PROVINCE: Even if the Canucks were able to land Karlsson, Ben Kuzma doubts he’ll do much to bolster their popgun defense. He believes it could take “a first-round pick, roster player and two prospects to pry Karlsson out of Ottawa.” Kuzma also reported that recent trade speculation linked the Canucks to Boston Bruins rearguard Torey Krug.

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch also reported the Karlsson rumor mill has recently returned to life. Like Friedman, he believes the Golden Knights, Stars and Sharks have revisited their interest in the Senators captain. It’s not known if the Tampa Bay Lightning have re-entered the talks but Garrioch feels it would make sense if they did.

Garrioch said this recent uptick in trade discussions suggests Karlsson might be moved before the start of the season. He also noted Benning’s public denial about the Canucks’ rumored interest in Karlsson but that won’t stop people from speculating.

BSN DENVER’s Adrian Dater said he’s heard nothing regarding any possible involvement by the Colorado Avalanche in the recently reheated Karlsson trade chatter.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Benning isn’t going to publicly admit he’s interested in Karlsson as that would constitute tampering, something he got fined for two years ago. Nevertheless, I agree with MacIntyre’s assessment. If Benning did inquire, it was likely to “kick the tires” regading the Senators’ asking price. Ottawa GM Pierre Dorion would almost certainly want one or two of those young players Benning is unwilling to part with. I also have my doubts over Karlsson’s willingness to join a rebuilding club at this stage in his career.

As for the other clubs, I don’t think the Sharks have the available assets to pull this off. We know the Stars and Lightning were reportedly very interested in Karlsson earlier this summer, but the former is unwilling to part with top prospect Miro Heiskanen while the latter must free up sufficient salary to absorb Karlsson’s $6.5-million salary-cap hit. 

The Golden Knights were reportedly close to landing Karlsson at the trade deadline. They still have the depth in prospects, young players and cap space to make this happen. The question is, are they still as interested in getting him as they were in February? 

UPDATES ON PANARIN, BOBROVSKY AND NASH

THE ATHLETIC: Aaron Portzline reports the chances of the Columbus Blue Jackets trading Artemi Panarin appear slim. There was interest in the 26-year-old left wing earlier this summer but the offers were only for “futures” such as draft picks and prospects.

Panarin hasn’t provided the Jackets with a list of preferred trade options. There’s speculation the New York Rangers are his destination of choice but his agent denies this. Portzline feels the Rangers won’t swing a trade for a player they could sign via free agency next July. He thinks the Jackets could try to work out a deal with another club and then ask Panarin if he’d consider signing a contract extension with that team.

Portzline doesn’t rule out the New York Islanders as a possibility for Panarin, as he’s said to have high respect for Isles GM Lou Lamoriello. The winger’s purchase of a Miami condo raised conjecture the Florida Panthers could be a destination but it’s apparently over an hour away from the Panthers’ arena and is more of a getaway property rather than a permanent address. Still, Portzline feels the Panthers are the obvious trade target for the Blue Jackets. However, if the Rangers get involved, it could dampen interest from other teams.

Portzline also reports there’s been no recent active contract negotiations between the Blue Jackets and goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, who’s due to become an unrestricted free agent next July. The gap between the two sides is significant, with Bobrovsky believed to be seeking “Carey Price money”, which would be an eight-year contract worth $10.5 million per season.

Given how the two-time Vezina Trophy winner has struggled in the playoffs, the Jackets could be reluctant to make him the league’s highest-paid goalie. However, Portzline doesn’t see them trading their starting goalie before the start of this season.

There’s a slim hope Bobrovsky and Panarin could re-sign with the Jackets this season. A solid performance by the club throughout 2018-19 could convince both to stay.

Portzline also reports Blue Jacket GM Jarmo Kekalainen and team president John Davidson met with unrestricted free agent Rick Nash last month to discuss his future and a possible return to the Blue Jackets. The meeting apparently went well, though the 34-year-old Nash has yet to reach a decision regarding his playing career due to an accumulation of injuries. If he does decide to return to action, Portzline suggests it could be with Columbus or another team with a shot at winning the Stanley Cup.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Unless a rival club is willing to step up with an offer of a young scoring forward who can help the Jackets now and in the long term, I doubt Kekalainen will trade Panarin before the season begins. However, he could be forced to reconsider as the Feb. 25 trade deadline approaches, especially if the Jackets slide out of playoff contention by that point. By that point, interested clubs could consider Panarin a rental player and could be unwilling to part with established talent to get him. If the Jackets are still holding down a playoff spot by then, they’ll likely hang onto him and take their chances.

Bobrovsky could also hit the trade block by the deadline if the Jackets are out of the playoff picture by then. Like Panarin, I expect they’ll hang onto him for the postseason and hope to re-sign him before July 1. But if he struggles again in the playoffs, the Jackets could start looking at other options.

As for Nash, returning to the city where his NHL career began and where he had his best seasons would be a nice way to bring his playing days to a close. Given his history of concussion injuries, It remains to be seen if this storybook ending takes place.  

 











Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – August 5, 2018

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – August 5, 2018

Latest on the Golden Knights and another look at the remaining notable unrestricted free agents in your NHL rumor mill.

WHAT NEXT FOR THE GOLDEN KNIGHTS?

LAS VEGAS SUN: In the wake of William Karlsson re-signing a one-year, $5.25-million contract with the Vegas Golden Knights, Jesse Granger reports defenseman Shea Theodore is their only remaining free agent. Theodore is coming off his entry-level deal and lacks arbitration rights. General manager George McPhee hopes to re-sign the young blueliner before the start of the season.

Vegas Golden Knights hope to re-sign defenseman Shea Theodore before the start of next season (Photo via NHL Images).

Granger also reports McPhee hinted at a possible move to bolster his forward lines. “We’re happy where we are,” said the Vegas GM. “If there’s an opportunity to upgrade at the forward position at any time over the next year we will.”

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: Despite re-signing Karlsson to a one-year deal and with Theodore expected to re-sign, Ed Graney reports the Golden Knights aren’t any better on paper than they were in the 2018 Stanley Cup Final.

Graney raises some questions, wondering if they’re really convince Malcolm Subban is a capable long-term solution if starter Marc-Andre Fleury becomes sidelined again, if someone like Ryan Carpenter can steal a job, and if career performances by so many players last season could result in a natural regression in 2018-19.

He also wonders if the Golden Knights “would emerge from a handful of reported suitors” interested in Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Golden Knights definitely defied expectations last season. While I think they’re still good enough to be a playoff contender in 2018-19, I doubt they’ll make a return trip to the Stanley Cup Final.

Unlike many of McPhee’s peers who might have interest in acquiring Erik Karlsson or a skilled forward, he’s carrying considerable depth in draft picks (stick tap to Cap Friendly) and promising young players that could be used as trade bait. Doing so, however, could mean including the promising Theodore in the package or giving up a top prospect such as Cody Glass or Nick Suzuki. 

SPORTSNET’S LIST OF NOTABLE REMAINING UFAs.

SPORTSNET: Luke Fox recently updated his list of the NHL’s top-10 remaining unrestricted free agents. Topping the list is winger Rick Nash, though it remains uncertain if he’ll continue his career due to health and family concerns. Prior to the start of this summer’s UFA market, Nash told several teams (including the Columbus Blue Jackets) that he was sitting out the free-agent frenzy to contemplate his future. 

The remainder of Fox’s list includes defenseman Luca Sbisa (who at one point had reportedly been contacted by the Chicago Blackhawks), blueliner Tobias Enstrom, forward Mark Letestu, forward Mike Cammalleri (who got some interest from Avangard Omsk coach Bob Hartley in bringing him to the KHL), rearguard Alexei Emelin, goaltender Kari Lehtonen, center Nick Shore, winger Scott Hartnell (who recently conceded he could be headed toward retirement) and left wing Benoit Pouliot.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Apart from Nash, most of the others on this list could face going through professional tryouts during training camp to land new contracts for next season. Some could end up continuing their playing careers overseas. Some, like Hartnell, could be retiring.

It’ll be interesting to see if the Blackhawks have ongoing interest in Sbisa as they still need help on the blueline. The KHL could be the oft-injured Cammalleri’s best option to continue his playing career. Lehtonen might still draw some interest from teams in need of experienced goaltending depth. However, he could be a late-September or early-October signing as clubs evaluate their goalies during training camp and preseason play. 

 











Notable NHL Free-Agent Signings – July 1, 2018

Notable NHL Free-Agent Signings – July 1, 2018

The NHL free-agent market opens today at noon ET. Here’s a list of today’s notable signings, which will be updated throughout the day. 

Toronto Maple Leafs signed center John Tavares to a seven-year, $77-million contract

Toronto Maple Leafs sign John Tavares to a seven-year contract (Photo via NHL Images)

Philadelphia Flyers reportedly signed left wing James van Riemsdyk to a five-year, $35-million contract. 

Tampa Bay Lightning re-signed defenseman Ryan McDonagh to a seven-year contract extension worth $6.75 million per season.

Arizona Coyotes officially announced the signing of defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson to an eight-year contract extension worth $8.25 million AAV. They also re-signed defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson to a two-year contract extension worth $5 million AAV, and signed free-agent winger Michael Grabner to a three-year deal worth $3.35 million per season. 

Vegas Golden Knights will sign center Paul Stastny to a three-year contract. The annual average value is $6.5 million. They’ve also signed defenseman Nick Holden to a two-year deal worth $2.2 million annually. 

Pittsburgh Penguins will reportedly sign defenseman Jack Johnson to a five-year, $16.25-million contract. They’ve also signed Matt Cullen to a one-year, $650K contract

St. Louis Blues expected to sign winger David Perron to a four-year deal worth $4 million per season. The Blues have also signed center Tyler Bozak to a three-year contract with an AAV of $5 million and goaltender Chad Johnson to a one-year, $1.75-million deal. 

Colorado Avalanche reportedly close to signing defenseman Ian Cole to a three-year contact worth an annual cap hit of $4.25 million.

Chicago Blackhawks sign goaltender Cam Ward to a one-year, $3-million contract with a full no-movement clause. They’ve also signed winger Chris Kunitz to a one-year, $1-million contract and defenseman Brandon Manning to a two-year deal. 

Boston Bruins expected to sign goaltender Jaroslav Halak to a two-year contract worth $2.75 million annually. They also signed winger Joakim Nordstrom to a two-year, $2 million deal and defenseman John Moore to a five-year contract worth an AAV of $2.75 million.

Columbus Blue Jackets sign center Riley Nash to a three-year contract worth $2.75-million per season. 

Buffalo Sabres will reportedly sign goaltender Carter Hutton to a three-year, $8.25-million contract.

New York Islanders have an agreement in place to bring back defenseman Thomas Hickey on a four-year deal worth an AAV of $2.5 million. They also signed forward Leo Komarov to a four-year, $12-million contract.

Detroit Red Wings expected to sign goaltender Jonathan Bernier to a three-year deal worth around $3 million annually and forward Thomas Vanek to a one-year, $3-million contract. 

Edmonton Oilers will sign forward Kyle Brodziak to a two-year deal with an AAV of around $1 million and forward Tobias Rieder to a one-year, $2-million contract.  

Dallas Stars expected to sign forward Blake Comeau to a three-year deal worth $2.4 million per season. They’ve also re-signed winger Valeri Nichushkin to a two-year deal worth $2.95-million annually. Roman Polak is reportedly heading to the Stars on a one-year contract worth $1.3 million.

Vancouver Canucks are expected to sign center Jay Beagle to a four-year contract worth $3 million annually and forward Antoine Roussel to a four-year deal worth $3.25 million per season. 

Calgary Flames expected to sign center Derek Ryan to a three-year deal worth an AAV of $3.125 million and center Austin Czarnik to a two-year deal worth $1.25-million annually. 

Carolina Hurricanes sign goaltender Petr Mrazek to a one-year deal worth $1.5 million. 

Montreal Canadiens are expected to announced the signing of center Tomas Plekanec to a one-year deal worth a base salary of $2.25 million plus bonuses. 

Minnesota Wild will reportedly sign defenseman Greg Pateryn to a three-year contract and signed goaltender Andrew Hammond.