Apparently the Washington Capitals and Buffalo Sabres’ GMs weren’t the only ones who decided to do something beyond flip burgers, grill hot dogs and set off fireworks today. (Then again, two of the teams involved in this post are Canadian. I wonder if they get today off too, with their version of Independence Day coming on July 1 instead.)
Teams haven’t been very forthcoming with financial details today, so we’ll just look at the term of deals unless otherwise noted.
- The St. Louis Blues signed Brett Sterling to a one-year, two-way deal. The signing actually happened late last night/early this morning, so maybe you could say that the Blues took off today’s holiday anyway. Sterling will be a minor league forward for St. Louis with the potential to be a reasonably proficient player during fill-in work when Blues forwards are injured (not exactly uncommon if last season is any indication).
- The Edmonton Oilers signed defenseman Theo Peckham to a one-year deal. The Oilers have only seen him play 102 games at the NHL level, so it’s probably a good idea to get a better gauge of his value after one more season. Copper & Blue broke down the details of his work in Edmonton to show that he struggled even compared to his struggling teammates last season. He’ll get a chance to reveal his value (or lack thereof) this season, though.
- While the deal hasn’t been officially announced yet, Antnon Babchuk’s agent Jay Grossman announced that the Calgary Flames are close to signing the defenseman to a two-year contract. If that signing goes through, it would represent a rare run of stability for Babchuk. He experienced an almost comical in one year, out the other routine with the Carolina Hurricanes. Babchuk played the 2006-07, 08-09 and 10-11 seasons with the ‘Canes while bouncing back overseas in the years in between. Update: it’s a two-year, $5 million deal. Woof.
The appeal of Babchuk is quite simple: he has a flamethrower of a slap shot. He’s not very good in his own end but he scored 27 points in 65 games with Calgary after being traded there from Carolina and had 35 points in 82 games overall in 10-11.
- Finally, the Phoenix Coyotes bought some goalie insurance by signing journeyman netminder Curtis McElhinney to a one-year, two-way contract. McElhinney bounced around the league a bit in 2010-11 but could be an acceptable emergency starter in Phoenix. They might need him, too, because their should-be No. 1 starter Mike Smith can be a bit injury prone at times.