While people clamor for the marquee moves (see: Brad Richards) on free agent frenzy day, July 1 is often like a buffet. Teams load up on the nourishment they need but then they often see other tasty things available (Chinese food and pizza and BBQ ribs … why not?) and add them to their plates.
That kind of bloat might cause some salary cap indigestion, but it gives fans and writers more to chew on. With each minor signing, Friday’s hopeful frenzy might get less and less frenetic. To keep you up to date with the moves that fail to earn their own headlines, here are some of the smaller contracts handed out to pending free agents.
David Jones signed a one-year deal with the Colorado Avalanche reportedly worth a very reasonable $2.5 million. Jones bested his totals from the previous three seasons combined in 2010-11, scoring 27 goals and notching 45 points overall. That 27-goal mark tied him for the team lead with Matt Duchene. It’ll be interesting to see if Jones can duplicate (or even improve upon) those numbers as Colorado hopes to bounce back from what became a lousy season.
For whatever reason, the Vancouver Canucks decided that Andrew Alberts earned a two-year deal worth $2.45 million. Alberts must have a pretty good agent because that’s a nice haul for a flawed defenseman such as himself.
The Montreal Canadiens locked up defenseman Yannick Weber to a two-year deal reportedly worth $1.7 million overall. After playing three games with Montreal in 2008-09 and five in 09-10, Weber appeared in 41 games last season, compiling one goal and 10 assists for 11 points while averaging 16:34 minutes per contest.
Video: Josh Ho-Sang’s creativity gives Islanders a shot in the arm
Honestly, after 10 games, the question shouldn’t be “can Josh Ho-Sang stick with the Islanders full-time?” Instead, the feeling is … what took so long for him to get this chance?
For all the grumbling about Ho-Sang sporting number 66, he’s provided serious bursts of brilliance and creativity for the Islanders, whether he’s been supporting or even setting upJohn Tavares.
The video above is some really good stuff, as it walks through his confident comments – and undeniable uncertainty – during the night he was drafted, all the way through him getting his chance with the Isles this season. Some of the best stuff comes from Doug Weight, who raves that Ho-Sang is a “five out of five” from an offensive standpoint.
Auston Matthews’ 33rd goal includes a dash of comedy (Video)
This wouldn’t have been worth a chuckle if not for the correction. (Well, maybe a chuckle at Auston Matthews‘ expense.)
On the 33rd goal of his brilliant rookie season, Auston Matthews made it 2-0 for Toronto on the power play. Crusty “act like you’ve been there” types might grumble that he actually celebrated before a goal really happened, only to tap it in for real the second time around. The rest of us, again, get a mild chuckle.
William Nylander‘s pass was nothing to laugh at, however. That one just gets a big thumbs up.
Both the Columbus Blue Jackets and Toronto Maple Leafs have motivation to win their Wednesday game, but the Maple Leafs need it more.
So far, it shows, too.
The Maple Leafs have raced off to a 2-0 lead, with Auston Matthews scoring his 33rd goal of the season. If generating such offense didn’t highlight the urgency, Connor Carrick‘s huge hit on Josh Anderson makes a compelling argument. Witness that big impact in the video above.
There was also another high-impact moment when Nick Foligno went crashing into the boards:
Ouch, Blues consider Paul Stastny out week-to-week
Stastny generated 18 goals and 40 points in 66 games so far this season. He has played more of a defensive role this season (46.2 offensive zone start percentage after being closer to 50 earlier in his Blues days) and has been impressive in the dot, winning 53.8 of his faceoffs.