List of NHL Free-Agent Signings – July 1, 2019

List of NHL Free-Agent Signings – July 1, 2019

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. 


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. 

Artemi Panarin signs a seven-year contract with the New York Rangers (Photo via NHL Images).

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.

NHL Afternoon Rumor Mill – June 20, 2019

NHL Afternoon Rumor Mill – June 20, 2019

Some tidbits on Corey Perry, Artemi Panarin, and Sergei Bobrovsky plus the latest on the Leafs and Hurricanes in this afternoon’s NHL rumor update.


MAYOR’S MANOR: Los Angeles Kings insider John Hoven appeared on Winnipeg’s TSN 1290 discussing the club’s plans heading into the 2019 NHL Draft weekend. During the discussion, Hoven “dropped a little nugget” linking the Kings for Corey Perry. The 34-year-old right winger was recently bought out by the Anaheim Ducks and is seeking a new home via free agency.

Could Corey Perry sign with the Los Angeles Kings? (Photo via NHL Images)

Hoven said we shouldn’t be surprised if there’s a bit of chatter in the coming days regarding Perry and the Kings. He believes there’s a fit there, suggesting the Kings could bring him in on an affordable, bonus-laden winger to mentor their younger players.

SPECTOR’S NOTE:  Hoven isn’t saying this is a done deal. Nevertheless,  Perry joining the Kings would provide an additional measure of intrigue into the longstanding rivalry between the two clubs.

As Hoven points out, Perry’s spent his entire 14-year NHL career in Anaheim. Perhaps he’d be willing to accept a deal that keeps him in Southern California. Keep an eye on this situation in the coming days. 


TSN: Darren Dreger reports the Toronto Maple Leafs are telling teams they’re willing to entertain offers for forwards Nazem Kadri and Kasperi Kapanen. He believes the Leafs would need a defenseman back for Kapanen and a center for Kadri. He also claims there’s a “strong sense” Connor Brown could be moved as well.

Dreger adds Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas will meet with Mitch Marner’s agent in Vancouver during the upcoming draft weekend. It’s unknown if Dubas will formally table a contract offer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates Kadri carries an annual average value of $4.5 million through 2021-22. He also has a 10-team no-trade list. Brown has a year left on his contract with a $2.1 million salary-cap hit and lacks no-trade protection. Like Marner, Kapanen is a restricted free agent on July 1.

Dubas is also attempting to honor defenseman Nikita Zaitsev’s trade request and move winger Patrick Marleau to a club close to San Jose. His willingness to listen on Kadri and Kapanen suggests he’s having difficulty moving the other two. Dubas must free up cap space to re-sign Marner. If he’s looking for a defenseman or a center, he can’t take back too much salary. 




NHL Rumor Mill – June 19, 2019

NHL Rumor Mill – June 19, 2019

Latest on Nikolaj Ehlers, Nikita Zaitsev, Patrick Marleau, Rasmus Ristolainen, Cody Ceci, and more in today’s NHL rumor mill. 


TSN: With Jacob Trouba traded to the New York Rangers and Pittsburgh Penguins winger Phil Kessel in limbo, Frank Seravalli updated his trade-bait list. Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Nikita Zaitsev tops the list. Despite the five years at $4.5 million remaining on Zaitsev’s contract, Seravalli claims there’s no shortage of teams expressing interest in the 27-year-old blueliner. “Cost certainty is a valuable commodity in the salary cap world,” he said. The Vancouver Canucks are among the clubs linked to Zaitsev.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cost certainty is a valuable commodity only if you’re getting your money’s worth out of that player. Zaitsev’s decline over the past two seasons could turn his contract into a potential salary-cap headache. 

Could the Winnipeg Jets ship Nikolaj Ehlers to the Carolina Hurricanes? (Photo via NHL Images)

Winnipeg Jets left wing Nikolaj Ehlers moves up to No. 5 on Seravalli’s list. It’s believed the Jets offered the 23-year-old to the Carolina Hurricanes for one of their right-shot defensemen. Ehlers is a three-time 20-goal scorer. However, he’s “coming off a down year and entering the second season of a seven-year, $42 million deal.”

NEWSOBSERVER.COM: Chip Alexander reports Carolina Hurricanes general manager Don Waddell said his priority is adding a top-nine forward. Alexander wonders if it could be Ehlers.  Alexander also reports Waddell wants to re-sign pending UFA goaltenders Curtis McElhinney and Petr Mrazek. However, that’s becoming problematic with the start of the UFA period (July 1) fast approaching.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Hurricanes’ right-shot blueliners are Justin Faulk, Dougie Hamilton, Brett Pesce, and Trevor van Riemsdyk. All but van Riemsdyk surfaced in this season’s trade-rumor mill. To land Ehlers, they’ll likely have to part with either Faulk, Hamilton, or Pesce. Cap Friendly indicates Faulk has a modified no-trade while Hamilton and Pesce lack no-trade protection. The Hurricanes, however, could be reluctant to break up their blueline.


THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun believes Tampa Bay Lightning GM Julien BriseBois could be interested in Buffalo Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen. He’s only 24 and has three years remaining on his contract with a $5.4-million annual salary-cap hit. “If I’m the Sabres, I don’t get into a serious discussion with Tampa unless Mikhail Sergachev is on the table,” said LeBrun

SN650 VANCOUVER’s Rick Dhaliwal took to Twitter reporting a source claims the Vancouver Canucks “seem to be talking with Buffalo about a defenseman. He’s not sure if it’s Ristolainen or Zach Bogosian. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ristolainen’s name frequently popped up in Sabres trade chatter earlier this spring. Should they decide to move him they could seek a top-six forward in return. I don’t believe the Bolts are willing to move Sergachev. Besides, they must shed salary to re-sign restricted free agent center Braydon Point. 

If the Canucks are interested in a Sabres defenseman it’s got to be Ristolainen. The oft-injured Bogosian won’t help their blueline. 


LeBrun cited TSN colleague Darren Dreger saying the New York Rangers might not be done dealing after acquiring Jacob Trouba earlier this week. They could be willing to part with a forward like Chris Kreider, Vladislav Namestnikov, Pavel Buchnevich, and Jimmy Vesey. Kreider is a year away from UFA status. He’s also got a modified no-trade clause and his agent has submitted his 11-team no-trade list. LeBrun said the Sabres have been linked to Vesey.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I wouldn’t be surprised if Kreider is shopped by this weekend if a contract extension isn’t worked out with the Rangers by then. As for Vesey, he rejected the Sabres when he signed with the Rangers as a UFA in 2016. He’ll be a UFA next summer and might not be worth the risk for the Sabres. 


NBC SPORTS BAY AREA: cites Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos claiming Toronto Maple Leafs winger Patrick Marleau wants to return to the San Jose Sharks. However, a reunion won’t be so simple as the Sharks would be reluctant to take on his $6.25 million salary-cap hit next season. Kypreos suggests a third team might have to get involved, one that must reach the salary-cap minimum. They could then buy out Marleau’s contract and he could sign a lesser deal with the Sharks. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Marleau probably doesn’t fit into the Sharks plans. Joe Pavelski and Joe Thornton are UFAs while restricted free agents Timo Meier and Kevin Labanc are due for pay raises. Cap Friendly indicates they’ve got over $66 million invested in 15 players. That’s not enough cap space to re-sign those guys and leave room for Marleau. 


OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports Senators GM Pierre Dorion has held contract extension talks with RFA defenseman Cody Ceci. However, Dorion is also seriously exploring Ceci’s value in the trade market leading up to this weekend’s NHL Draft. Garrioch notes the return the Pittsburgh Penguins received (Dominik Kahun, fifth-round pick) from Chicago in exchange for blueliner Olli Maatta. If Ceci could fetch something comparable he could be changing clubs this weekend. 

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – June 16, 2019

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – June 16, 2019

Latest on Jacob Trouba, Kevin Hayes, James Neal, Nikita Zaitsev, and more in the Sunday NHL rumor roundup.


NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports the New York Rangers and New York Islanders are among up to a dozen clubs aggressively pursuing Winnipeg Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba. He also said the New Jersey Devils were in the hunt. He cites sources claiming the Jets haven’t given Trouba’s agent permission yet to speak with other clubs. He’s a restricted free agent with arbitration rights this summer and a year away from unrestricted free agent eligibility.

The New York Rangers and New York Islanders are reportedly interested in Winnipeg Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba (Photo via NHL Images).

Compared to the Isles and Devils, Brooks feels the Rangers could lack the expendable depth in prospects and young talent the Jets could command for Trouba. Facing a potential salary-cap crunch this summer, the Jets are believed seeking “a first-rounder and a pair of legitimate prospects or young NHLers in return.” Brooks also believes the cost of re-signing Trouba could be a seven-year deal worth up to $7.5-million annually.

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman believes the Pittsburgh Penguins are interested in Trouba but it’s hard to see a match. He wonders if shipping Trouba to the Philadelphia Flyers for Shayne Gostisbehere would make any sense, though he notes Gostisbehere isn’t a right-handed shot.  He also noted Trouba has a home in Florida but isn’t sure the Panthers want to pay the price.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s an expectation Trouba will be traded by the end of the NHL Draft next weekend, if not sooner. Some fans don’t believe he’s worth a hefty return or the big contract. He’s a 25-year-old top-pairing defenseman coming off a career-high 50-point performance. The Jets will get a big return if they trade him and he will get an expensive new contract wherever he plays. The question is, which team gets him?

It’s not surprising to see the Rangers, Islanders, Devils, Flyers, and Panthers linked to Trouba. He’s also been tied to the Buffalo Sabres and Detroit Red Wings. The only certainty is he won’t be traded to a Canadian franchise. When his agent requested a trade during their contract standoff in 2016, the preferred destinations were American. 


BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Jimmy Murphy cites a source claiming there’s mutual interest between the Boston Bruins and Philadelphia Flyers forward Kevin Hayes. The Flyers hold his exclusive negotiating rights until the UFA interview period opens on June 23. However, a source close to Hayes claims it’s unlikely he’ll sign with the Flyers.

The same source said the Bruins were close to acquiring him before the Rangers shipped him to Winnipeg at the trade deadline. Murphy feels pursuing Hayes would make sense if the Bruins decide to trade center David Krejci this summer.

SPORTSNET: Friedman wonders if the Philadelphia Flyers are willing to pay between $6.5 million to $7 million annually to sign Kevin Hayes.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Krejci has a full no-movement clause until July 1, when it reverts to a modified no-trade where he provides a list of half of the teams in the league he would accept being traded to. If the Bruins trade Krejci I can see them pursuing Hayes. However, I doubt Krejci will be on the move. I expect GM Don Sweeney will try to keep his core intact for one more push for the Cup next season.


SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports the Toronto Maple Leafs asking price for defenseman Nikita Zaitsev is another blueliner or a return that will help them land one. He also believes there’s plenty of options if they decide to move center Nazem Kadri, though the Winnipeg Jets are on his no-trade list.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Zaitsev’s contract ($4.5 million annually through 2023-24) is a sticking point. Kadri would attract interest but the Leafs could be reluctant to move him despite his costly postseason penalties.

The Buffalo Sabres talked to the New York Rangers regarding forward Jimmy Vesey.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s interesting. The Sabres acquired Vesey’s rights from the Nashville Predators three years ago in hopes of re-signing him but he opted to join the Rangers instead. He has a year remaining on his contract worth $2.275 million and will become a restricted free agent next summer with arbitration rights. 

The Calgary Flames tested the trade market on James Neal. He believes they kicked around the notion of swapping Neal for Milan Lucic but decided against it.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Neal trade speculation seems to have faded almost as quickly as it surfaced. There’s either not much of a market for his services or the Flames could be hoping for a bounce-back performance next season. 

Florida Panthers GM Dale Tallon acknowledged his club’s need to address their goals-against issue. A decision on goaltender Roberto Luongo is expected before the upcoming NHL Draft.

Friedman wouldn’t be surprised if the Minnesota Wild pursue New York Islanders winger Anders Lee or San Jose Sharks forward Joe Pavelski via free agency.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ll be more surprised if those two are available in the UFA market. If the Sharks re-sign Karlsson to a rumored eight-year, $88-million deal, that could make it difficult to re-sign Pavelski. 

Friedman predicted Dion Phaneuf and Andrew MacDonald would be bought out. Others to watch include Carolina’s Scott Darling, Anaheim’s Corey Perry, and Dallas’ Valeri Nichushkin.




NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 18, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – July 18, 2018

Coyotes owner looking to sell a portion of the franchise, an update on Tom Wilson plus the latest contract signings and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

FORBES.COM: Mike Ozanian reports multiple sources claim Arizona Coyotes owner Andrew Barroway is looking to sell 49 percent of the franchise for an estimated $500 million. That figure includes “working capital to cover current losses as well as capital calls (money investors put into the team in subsequent years to cover operating losses).” Ozanian cites one source suggested the deal was “being presented would give the new investor a path towards control, if not immediate control” of the money-losing franchise.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In Forbes’ annual evaluation of NHL franchises, the Coyotes were estimated to be worth $300 million last year. Ozanian said we should be skeptical if this deal is announced as $500 million as that’s not “a true sale price in the sense of an enterprise value.”

I’m doubtful Barroway will get $500 million for 49 percent of a franchise that’s been bleeding money for years. Then again, the Coyotes have proven to have more lives than a cat. Maybe he can find a new co-owner who can one day become majority owner. 

Contract negotiations are ongoing between the Washington Capitals and free-agent winger Tom Wilson (Photo via NHL Images)

  THE WASHINGTON POST: Contract negotiations between the Capitals and restricted free agent winger Tom Wilson are ongoing but his agent claims they’re not close yet to a deal. Wilson passed on salary arbitration so it’s unclear how long talks could drag on.

The Capitals have roughly $8.2 million in cap space. Some have estimated Wilson’s new deal could come in between $3.5 – $4.5 million per season.

SPORTSNET: The New York Rangers avoided salary arbitration with winger Jimmy Vesey as he agreed to a two-year contract. The Rangers also hired David Oliver and Greg Brown as assistant coaches.

SPECTOR’S NOTE:  As per Cap Friendly, Vesey’s deal is worth $4.55 million with an annual salary-cap hit of $2.275 million. 

NEWSDAY: The New York Islanders and defenseman Ryan Pulock have agreed to a two-year contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly reports the new deal is worth $4 million, with an annual average value of $2 million. 

NORTHJERSEY.COM: The New Jersey Devils re-signed forward Blake Coleman to a three-year contract worth an annual average value of $1.8 million and forward Stefan Noesen to a one-year, $1.725-million deal.

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: The Vegas Golden Knights and Tomas Nosek avoided arbitration as he agreed to a one-year, $963K contract.

THE NEWS & OBSERVER: The Carolina Hurricanes have hired Dean Chynoweth as an assistant coach.

TVA SPORTS: After a decade in the NHL, free-agent forward Torrey Mitchell is joining Lausanne of the Swiss National League A.



NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 9, 2018

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 9, 2018

Latest on Marc-Andre Fleury, David Perron, Valeri Nichushkin and more in your NHL morning coffee headlines.

LAS VEGAS SUN: Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury said he’d like to finish his career with the Vegas Golden Knights. Fleury, 33, is a year away from unrestricted free agent status.

Marc-Andre Fleury hopes to finish his career with the Vegas Golden Knights (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fleury quickly became the face of the Golden Knights this season. They can re-sign him as early as July 1, one year from his eligibility for UFA status. His current annual cap hit is $5.75 million.  They could opt to re-up him this summer or wait and see how he performs next season before offering up another contract.  


SPECTOR’S NOTE: Perron led the Golden Knights in assists this season and was among their leading scorers. He was hampered by injury and illness through the playoffs, so it’ll be interesting to see what effect his postseason performance has upon his contract negotiations. 

TSN: A report out of Russia claims the Dallas Stars have agreed to a two-year contract with Valeri Nichushkin, who spent the past two seasons playing in the KHL.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: For several weeks there’s been anticipation of Nichushkin returning to the Stars, who own his NHL rights. So far, however, there’s no official word yet from the Stars or the Nichushkin camp confirming this deal. 

LA KINGS INSIDER: The Los Angeles Kings announced assistant coach Pierre Turgeon won’t be returning next season. Turgeon has stepped down for family reasons. 

TORONTO STAR:  The Maple Leafs have traded the rights to prospect forward Nolan Vesey to the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for a seventh-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft. The Oilers immediately signed Vesey to a two-year contract. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Vesey is the younger brother of New York Rangers forward Jimmy Vesey. 

KUKLA’S KORNER: Here’s the upcoming key dates in the NHL’s offseason calendar:


20th 2018 NHL Awards presented by Hulu (Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Nev.)

22-23rd 2018 NHL Draft (American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas)


1st Free agency begins (12 p.m. ET)

5th Deadline for player-elected salary arbitration notification (5 p.m. ET)

6th Deadline for club-elected salary arbitration notification (5 p.m. ET

20 – Aug. 4th Salary arbitration hearings held


6th Deadline for salary arbitration decisions to be rendered