Just before the clock the stuck 5:00 on the West Coast signaling the beginning of the weekend, Sharks GM Doug Wilson had a couple of signings to announce to the media. The team re-signed 24-year-old depth forward Benn Ferriero to a 1-year deal worth $605,000. He followed it up with news that he’d also added veteran journeyman Ben Guite who will either add depth to the NHL club or leadership to their AHL affiliate in Worcester. Guite’s contract is a one-year, two-way contract that will pay him $525,000 with San Jose and $105,000 with Worcester (terms per CapGeek.com).
The deal came the same week as news of a two-year contract extension for 25-year-old netminder Thomas Greiss. People may remember Greiss as the goaltender who was penciled in as Antero Niittymaki’s back-up last year before the team acquired Antti Niemi. He was loaned to the Swedish Elite League as there was no room for him on the active roster—but the team still thinks highly enough of the German goaltender to lock him up for a couple more years.
The Sharks have certainly shuffled their line-up around during the offseason. Danny Heatley’s no longer around to eat 18 minutes per night, Martin Havlat will be depended upon to stay healthy for 82 games, Michal Handzus will help with the penalty kill, and Andrew Desjardins will presumably be a full-time NHLer next season. Even after Ferriero’s deal, they still only have 11 forwards under contract for next season (No offense, but we’re assuming Guite will see more time in Worcester than in San Jose). They can still re-sign unrestricted free agent Kyle Wellwood for another tour of duty or find an outsider to fill the void. Regardless, GM Doug Wilson still has a little more work to do before his roster is complete.
The free agent pool is much shallower than it was one week ago, but there are still decent role players available for teams looking to fill out their line-ups. As Chris Johnston of The Canadian Press points out, veterans like John Madden, Mike Grier, and Brendan Morrison are all still available for a team willing to extend an offer. Doug Wilson will have to decide if he wants to re-sign the familiar Wellwood, give a prospect or two a chance in training camp, or if he wants to dip into free agency once again. Whoever is signed, they won’t be expected to win games for San Jose—they’ll just be depended upon to not lose any games Western Conference contender.
Sometimes, the Nashville Predators were unlucky in November. Sometimes they were just bad.
Either way, they’re likely glad to step into December, and they’ve already gotten a big bounce. Watch how close this near-goal was into crossing the red line before Pekka Rinne barely stopped it with a well-placed goalie stick.
You can also see it up close via this GIF:
Here’s the NHL Situation Room Blog explanation for it remaining a no-goal:
At 13:06 of the first period in the Coyotes/Predators game, the Situation Room initiated a video review to further examine a play from 11:57. Video review confirmed the call on the ice that the puck did not cross the Nashville goal line. No goal Coyotes.
Alexei Emelin has been in and out of the Montreal Canadiens lineup, but this wasn’t the way they wanted him to keep his legs fresh.
The hard-hitting defenseman received a game misconduct and five-minute major penalty for a late hit on Columbus Blue Jackets forward Matt Calvert on Tuesday.
So far, it sounds like Calvert may be OK.
You can see video of that hit above, as well as a GIF of the infraction via My Regular Face.
Many believe that Emelin should not have been ejected.
Injuries have been a regular problem for Joffrey Lupul for much of his time with the Toronto Maple Leafs, and it doesn’t look like that’s changing in 2015-16.
The team placed him on injured reserve retroactive to Nov. 28, calling up Rich Clune in the process.
This IR stint means that Lupul will miss at least three games for Toronto.
From the sound of things, it’s a nagging issue, as NHL.com notes.
“He’s been having the same problem here for a bit,” Mike Babcock told media members on Sunday. “He doesn’t seem to be getting the power back that they thought, so we’re just trying to monitor it the best we can.”
Leafs Nation points out that Lupul has missed about one-third of Toronto’s contests since suffering a separated shoulder in April 2012.
At 32, there’s still time for Lupul to fight through this, although injuries generally accumulate with age.
Will Ryan Suter say something foolish during tonight’s game? Is Brent Burns‘ beard so long that it’s finally starting to scrape the ice?
We’ll find out the answer to those questions and more during Tuesday’s NBCSN doubleheader.
Need to follow the two games online? Never fear.
Game 1: Minnesota Wild at Chicago Blackhawks
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Game 2: Pittsburgh Penguins at San Jose Sharks
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