Marty Turco’s first summer in free agency hasn’t gone quite the way he was hoping it would. The free agent market for goaltenders dried up, teams are putting more faith in goalies who won’t break the bank and jobs that were thought to be around didn’t materialize.
Of the handful of possible destinations Turco may have dreamed up, one that seemed more than possible was Philadelphia. The Flyers sure made enough overtures to Marty Turco, including sending him an offer before free agency began on July 1 for three years $6 million. As it turns out, that would be the best offer Turco has seen all summer and one that maybe he’s a bit bummed out he didn’t accept as Tim Panaccio of CSN Philly found out.
All along, various NHL sources have said that Marty Turco would have liked to have become a Flyer this summer.
In late June, Turco, a free agent, told ESPN.com that he had turned down a three-year, $6 million contract offer from the Flyers, who denied the offer though they were given permission by the Dallas Stars to contact him in advance of free agency.
“We would have loved to go to the Flyers, but it’s not happening,” Turco texted CSNPhilly.com late Saturday from Scotland.
Buckle in Flyers fans because that means Michael Leighton and Brian Boucher is your goaltending tandem whether you like it or not. Then again, it wouldn’t be a Flyers season without being completely terrified of what your goalies are going to do anyhow. As for what’s next for Marty Turco, his agent Kurt Overhardt said that he will play in the NHL this year and could be signed within the next week and you can’t help but wonder how much that’s got to do with what Chicago decides to do with Antti Niemi who won a $2.75 million award in arbitration yesterday.
Will Artem Panarin‘s overwhelming success in the KHL translate to North America? The 23-year-old forward has a lot to prove, but his first big test was a success.
Playing on a line with Patrick Kane and Artem Anisimov, Panarin made his preseason debut in Chicago’s finale on Saturday. He registered two assists while giving his teammates reason to be optimistic about him.
“For not being on the ice he looks really relaxed. He’s great with the puck, has nice moves and I think we’ll see a lot of this,” Marian Hossa told CSN Chicago. “He has unbelievable skill. People here in Chicago are going to have a good time watching this guy dangling.”
Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville was impressed by Panarin as well and liked that line as a whole.
The fact that the trio seemed to hit it off quickly has to come as a relief after an upper-body injury prevented Panarin from getting the most out of this year’s training camp. At the end of the day though, the fact that he was able to at least get in one preseason contest is a big silver lining. How smoothly his adjustment goes from here is still a big X-factor, but at least now he’s going into the regular season with a better idea of what to expect.
Panarin is attempting to establish himself in the NHL after leading the KHL’s SKA St. Petersburg to a championship last year. He was the team’s scoring leader, topping ex-NHL star Ilya Kovalchuk.
There was stiff competition for the backup goaltending job in Boston, but with a signing this afternoon, it seems likely that the matter has been resolved.
The Boston Bruins announced that Jonas Gustavsson has agreed to a one-year, $700,000 deal. It’s a one-way contract, according to the Boston Globe’s Amalie Benjamin.
That contract is still small enough that the Bruins could bury it in the minors if they so desire, but it does set him apart from his last competitor for the goalie position, Jeremy Smith, who has a two-way deal. The fact that Boston went this route seems to imply that Gustavsson will serve as Tuukka Rask‘s understudy, although both netminders attended Sunday’s practice.
In Smith, the Bruins would be getting a 26-year-old goaltender who was dominant with the AHL’s Providence Bruins last season, but has no NHL experience. By contrast Gustavsson, 30, has played in almost 150 NHL games.
Boston sent Zane McIntyre and Malcolm Subban to the minors last week, but an argument could be made that either one of them is worthy of the backup job. However, both of them have a lot of potential and it’s not surprising that the Bruins felt they were better served by staying in the minors where they can play regularly and focus on honing their game.