It helps to make a good impression on your new team when you’ve been acquired in a trade. It helps even more when you’re an impending unrestricted free agent. For Atlanta’s Mark Stuart, being brought over in a trade with Boston has paid off handsomely for the veteran defenseman as he’s signed a three-year extension with the team worth $5.1 million. That total works out to a cap hit of $1.7 million over the course of the deal, a very affordable amount for a dependable guy.
Stuart added a lot of character and defensive toughness to a Thrashers blue line that desperately needed a dose of both. With Thrashers coach Craig Ramsay being familiar with Stuart’s abilities from his days in Boston, the fit was a natural one and one that both sides found to be a good one.
Stuart’s numbers won’t blow you away as he’s not a guy that gets lots of points but he will do the little things that don’t get noticed and he’ll occasionally drop the gloves to stick up for his teammates. Every team loves having a guy like that and Atlanta is happy to have him. The fact that the Thrashers have been able to sign so many people to extensions of late (Dustin Byfuglien, GM Rick Dudley) all while the ownership is a mess is a bit of a curious thing. Teams under ownership duress aren’t usually given the go ahead to spend so much on extensions, but here we are.
Derek Roy has finally found work — but it’s not in the NHL.
Roy, who spent the entire preseason in Washington’s camp on a PTO, has signed with SC Bern of Switzerland’s National League A, the club announced on Friday.
The news comes after Roy narrowly missed out on making the Caps roster, and just one year after he had something of a bounce-back campaign in Edmonton, scoring 22 points in 46 games while developing chemistry with young winger Nail Yakupov.
A 12-year NHL veteran, Roy is one of the more prominent names to be squeezed out of work this season, and head overseas. The 31-year-old has scored over 500 points in 738 career contests, and has twice represented Canada at the World Hockey Championships.
With Bern, Roy will play on one of Switzerland’s stronger teams, alongside a trio of ex-NHLers: Chuck Kobasew, Andrew Ebbett and Cory Conacher.
Robin Lehner might not be back anytime soon.
Making his debut with the Buffalo Sabres, the 24-year-old goaltender couldn’t complete Thursday’s game against his former squad, the Ottawa Senators, due to what has now been revealed to be a right leg injury.
When he left the arena, he was wearing a walking boot on that nearly went up to his knee.
“It doesn’t look like it’s short term,” Sabres coach Dan Bylsma told the Buffalo News. “It’s more than day-to-day at this point, but we need to evaluate further.”
It’s a rocky start to what’s an important campaign for Lehner. He has been given an opportunity to demonstrate that he’s ready to be a starting goaltender after being acquired by the Sabres over the summer, but it looks like that will have to be postponed.
While he’s sidelined, Chad Johnson is likely to be leaned on heavily.