NHL Free Agents & Trade Candidates – Washington Capitals
Sportsnet parts ways with Don Cherry, Jesse Puljujarvi to remain in Finland this season, the Coyotes extend GM John Chayka’s contract, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: The Arizona Coyotes blew a three-goal lead but went on to edge the Washington Capitals 4-3 on shootout goals by Nick Schmaltz and Conor Garland. Evgeny Kuznetsov scored twice for the Capitals. Earlier in the day, the Coyotes announced general manager John Chayka signed a contract extension.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Only 26 when hired as GM in 2016, Chayka’s made significant changes to the Coyotes roster. He re-signed Oliver Ekman-Larsson to an eight-year extension, acquired Schmaltz, Phil Kessel, Darcy Kuemper, Derek Stepan, Antti Raanta, Jason Demers, and Niklas Hjalmarsson, and drafted Clayton Keller and Jakob Chychrun. His moves appear to be paying off. The Coyotes look like a playoff contender this season.
Sebastian Aho scored twice and Joel Edmundson enjoyed a three-point performance as the Carolina Hurricanes thumped the Ottawa Senators 8-2. Andrei Svechnikov, Brett Pesce, Ryan Dzingel, Warren Foegele, and Martin Necas each collected two points.
SPORTSNET: announced yesterday Don Cherry was immediately stepping down from his role on Hockey Night in Canada. The move came after Cherry singled out new Canadian immigrants during Saturday’s Coach’s Corner segment for not wearing poppies to honor the country’s veterans and troops leading up to Remembrance Day. Cherry’s comments sparked considerable outrage in the press and social media, sparking apologies by Cherry’s co-host Ron MacLean, the network, and the NHL.
In an interview with the Toronto Sun, Cherry refused to walk back his comments, insisting his remarks weren’t racial or bigoted but made out of respect for Canada’s troops. He also said he felt betrayed over the firing, adding he wasn’t going to be turned into a “tamed robot” to keep his job.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Regardless of what you think of Cherry, his departure from Hockey Night in Canada creates a void it could struggle to replace. He’d been on the show since 1981 and had his Coach’s Corner segment for over 35 years. Former NHL executive Brian Burke is rumored as a potential substitute.
Cherry’s dismissal drew considerable reaction among hockey fans and pundits. Some supported him while others are glad to see him go. He’s had a long history of making controversial statements on topics that had little or nothing to do with hockey. The latest proved to be a bridge too far, sparking an intense backlash the network and the league couldn’t ignore or gloss over with apologies.
TSN: Jesse Puljujarvi intends to spend the rest of this season playing in Finland. The 21-year-old restricted free agent opted to return to his home country to await a trade by the Oilers. The club still retains his NHL rights.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ll have more on Puljujarvi in the Rumors section.
Ottawa Senators goaltender Anders Nilsson, Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews, and Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar are the NHL’s three stars for the week ending Nov.10, 2019.
SPORTSNET: Columbus Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno received a three-game suspension by the league’s department of player safety for elbowing Colorado Avalanche forward Pierre-Edouard Bellemare on Saturday.
TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby will miss at least one game with an undisclosed ailment. He didn’t join the team on its five-day trip to the New York area.
NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Bruins defenseman Torey Krug is sidelined with an upper-body injury. The club called up Uhro Vaakanainen on Monday.
WASHINGTON POST: Winger Richard Panik has returned to the Capitals after missing 10 games on long-term injury reserve.
THE DETROIT NEWS: Red Wings winger Justin Abdelkader is sidelined for three weeks with a mid-body injury.
LOS ANGELES TIMES: The Kings placed Trevor Lewis on injured reserve.
TORONTO SUN: The Maple Leafs placed goaltender Michael Hutchinson on waivers and called up netminder Kasimir Kaskisuo.
STLTODAY.COM: The St. Louis Blues signed free agent forwards Troy Brouwer and Jamie McGinn to professional tryout offers.
Game recaps, the Devils re-sign Nico Hischier to a seven-year extension, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: The Edmonton Oilers picked up their seventh win in eight games by nipping the Detroit Red Wings 2-1. James Neal tallied his league-leading ninth goal while Darnell Nurse had two assists. The Wings have now lost five in a row. Earlier in the day, the league fined Wings forward Darren Helm $5000.00 for slashing Calgary Flames forward Elias Lindholm on Thursday.
Kris Letang scored twice in the third period as the Pittsburgh Penguins doubled up the Dallas Stars 4-2. Patric Hornqvist had a goal and two assists as the Penguins have won five straight games. The Stars, on the other hand, have dropped five straight.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Penguins continue to win despite their injury-ravaged forward lines. The Stars are healthier but lack sufficient production from their top scorers.
The Colorado Avalanche edged the Florida Panthers 5-4 on an overtime goal by Nathan MacKinnon. Andre Burakovsky scored twice while Joonas Donskoi had three points as the Avs extended their points streak to seven games. Jonathan Huberdeau scored twice for the Panthers.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Burakovsky and Donskoi have been fine additions to the Avs in the early going. Burakovsky sits third among their top scorers with eight points while Donskoi is fourth with six points.
T.J. Oshie scored two goals and John Carlson collected three assists to lead the Washington Capitals to a 5-2 victory over the New York Rangers, handing the latter their third straight defeat. Earlier in the day, the Capitals placed winger Richard Panik (upper body) on long-term injury reserve.
Adam Henrique scored his fourth goal in the last three games as the Anaheim Ducks beat the Carolina Hurricanes 4-2. Ducks winger Jakob Silfverberg celebrated his 500th career NHL game by scoring a goal while Rickard Rakell collected two helpers. The Ducks remain unbeaten at home this season. Hurricanes broadcaster Mike Maniscalco will be on an indefinite medical leave as he undergoes treatment for a large mass in his stomach.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Here’s hoping Maniscalco makes a full recovery.
Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews scored in overtime in a 3-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Patrick Kane and Alex DeBrincat each had two points for the Blackhawks.
NORTHJERSEY.COM: The New Jersey Devils yesterday announced center Nico Hischier signed a seven-year, $50.75-million contract extension. The annual average value is $7.25 million.
Breakdown of Nico Hischier’s $50.75M, seven-year extension with #NJDevils:
$3M SB/$4M salary
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) October 18, 2019
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Devils wasted little time re-signing the 20-year-old Hischier to an extension. In the final season of his entry-level contract, he’s established himself as their first-line center. A skilled, creative playmaker, he enjoyed a 52-point rookie campaign followed by 47 points in 69 games last season.
The Devils now have Hischier under contract for most of his playing prime. They also avoided what could’ve been a long negotiation period next summer that could’ve stretched into the preseason. Given Hischier’s skills, they should be a great long-term deal for the Devils.
Check out the listing of today’s notable NHL free-agent signings. This will be updated throughout the day as signings become official.
The Chicago Blackhawks signed goaltender Robin Lehner to a one-year, $5-million contract.
The New York Islanders sign left wing Anders Lee to a seven-year, $49-million contract. The Isles also signed goaltender Semyon Varlamov to a four-year contract worth $5 million per season.
The Carolina Hurricanes sign goaltender Petr Mrazek to a two-year, $6.5-million contract.
The Montreal Canadiens have tendered an offer sheet to Carolina Hurricanes center Sebastian Aho. The proposed contract is for five years, with an average annual value of $8.454 million.
The Montreal #Canadiens have tendered an offer sheet to RFA Sebastian Aho of the Carolina Hurricanes at $8.454M x 5 years
— CapFriendly (@CapFriendly) July 1, 2019
New York Rangers sign left winger Artemi Panarin to a seven-year, $81.5 million contract. The annual average value is $11.6 million.
Florida Panthers signed goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky to a seven-year, $70 million deal. They also signed winger Brett Connolly to a four-year, $13-million contract, defenseman Anton Stralman to a three-year, $16.5 million contract and forward Noel Acciari to a three-year, $5-million contract.
The Nashville Predators sign center Matt Duchene to a seven-year, $56-million contract.
Dallas Stars sign center/winger Joe Pavelski to a three-year, $21-million contract. The Stars also signed winger Corey Perry on a one-year, bonus-laden contract worth up to $3.25 million. They also signed defenseman Andrej Sekera to a one-year contract with a $1.5 million base salary and $500K in bonuses.
Minnesota Wild sign winger Mats Zuccarello to a five-year, $30-million contract. The Wild also sign forward Ryan Hartman to a two-year contract with an annual average value of $1.9 million.
Vancouver Canucks sign defenseman Tyler Myers to a five-year, $30-million contract. The Canucks also signed blueliner Jordie Benn to a two-year, $4-million contract and rearguard Oscar Fantenberg to a one-year, $850K deal.
Pittsburgh Penguins sign forward Brandon Tanev to a six-year contract with an AAV of $3.5 million.
Columbus Blue Jackets sign forward Gustav Nyquist to a four-year, $22-million contract.
Washington Capitals sign forward Richard Panik to a four-year, $10-million contract and forward Garnet Hathaway to a four-year, $6-million deal.
Colorado Avalanche sign winger Joonas Donskoi to a three-year contract estimated at around $3.5 million per season. They also sign winger Pierre-Edouard Bellemare to a two-year, $3.6-million contract.
Chicago Blackhawks sign center Ryan Carpenter to a three-year, $3-million contract.
Detroit Red Wings sign center Valtteri Filppula to a two-year, $6-million contract. They also signed defenseman Patrik Nemeth to a two-year deal.
St. Louis Blues sign forward Nathan Walker to a two-year, $1.4-million contract.
New Jersey Devils sign winger Wayne Simmonds to a one-year, $5-million contract.
Edmonton Oilers signed goaltender Mike Smith to a one-year, $2-million contract and sign forward Markus Granlund to a one-year, $1.3-million contract. They also re-signed winger Alex Chiasson to a two-year deal worth $2.15-million per season.
Ottawa Senators sign Ron Hainsey to a one-year, $3.5-million contract and winger Tyler Ennis to a one-year, $800K contract.
Toronto Maple Leafs sign center Jason Spezza to a one-year, $700K contract.
Calgary Flames sign goaltender Cam Talbot to sign a one-year. $2.75-million contract.
Montreal Canadiens sign goaltender Keith Kinkaid to a one-year, $1.75-million contract.
Tampa Bay Lightning sign goaltender Curtis McElhinney to a two-year, $2.6-million contract. They also signed defenseman Luke Schenn to a one-year, $700K contract.
Buffalo Sabres sign forward Curtis Lazar, goaltender Andrew Hammond, and defenseman John Gilmour to one-year contracts each worth $700K. The Sabres also acquire forward Jimmy Vesey from the New York Rangers in exchange for a third-round pick in 2021.
Winnipeg Jets sign defenseman Nathan Beaulieu to a one-year, $1-million contract.
Trade Alert: The New York Rangers trade Jimmy Vesey to the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for a third-round pick in 2021.
The NHL UFA market opens at noon ET on July 1. However, details are already leaking out about several potential signings. Check out the latest on Matt Duchene, Joe Pavelski, Sergei Bobrovsky, and more.
SPORTSNET’s Chris Johnston and TSN’s Pierre LeBrun tweeted Matt Duchene is slated to sign with the Nashville Predators. LeBrun said it could be a seven-year, $56-million contract with Johnston saying the annual average value would be $8 million.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: No surprise if Duchene lands there. Despite his visit to Montreal, it was assumed Nashville was his ultimate destination. The AAV is at least a million less than expected but that’s probably due to the lack of a state tax in Tennessee.
THE ATHLETIC: Sean Shapiro reports Joe Pavelski is expected to ink a three-year, $21-million contract ($7 million AAV) with the Dallas Stars. TSN’s Darren Dreger also said Pavelski is expected to land in Dallas on a three-year deal. His colleague Frank Seravalli reports former Anaheim Ducks winger Corey Perry is headed to the Stars on a one-year, bonus-laden deal with a $1.5-million base salary.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Pavelski visited with the Stars and Tampa Bay Lightning last week. Other clubs were also interested but he zeroed in on the Stars. Looks like he believes the Stars have a decent shot at the Stanley Cup. This also means Mats Zuccarello won’t be returning with the Stars. Speaking of Zuccarello…
TSN’s Pierre LeBrun reports “all signs” indicate Zuccarello will sign with the Minnesota Wild. The deal could be five years at $6 million AAV.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: As I said before, I like Zuccarello but that’s too much term and too much money for a winger turning 32 in September. Instead of making the Wild younger, general manager Paul Fenton is adding aging talent.
THE FOURTH PERIOD’s Dave Pagnotta tweets it sounds like Sergei Bobrovsky will be joining the Florida Panthers. It’s unconfirmed but Pagnotta hears it’s a seven-year deal worth $9.5 million AAV.
THE ATHLETIC’s Michael Russo reports the Wild are expected to sign forward Ryan Hartman to a two-year deal worth a shade under $2 million annually.
TSN’s Bob McKenzie tweets Richard Panik will be heading to the Washington Capitals on a four-year deal worth north of $2.5 million annually.
FOX SPORTS MIDWEST’s Andy Strickland tweets goaltender Cam Talbot will sign a one-year, $2.75-millon contract with the Calgary Flames.
The Blue Jackets are still trying to convince Artemi Panarin to return to Columbus. Still hoping there’s a chance.
Looks like a 3 team race.
CBJ. NYI. Florida.
— John Shannon (@JSportsnet) July 1, 2019