The Buffalo Sabres and Dallas Stars made a big splash on Monday, spicing up an otherwise uneventful second day of free agency.
The Sabres sent former 81-point man Derek Roy to the Stars in exchange for agitator extraordinaire Steve Ott and depth defenseman Adam Pardy.
Roy, 29, is the centerpiece of the deal. The diminutive center has an enticing skill set and was nearly a point-a-game player from 2007-11 (255 points in 275 games), though he did fall on hard times last year, scoring just 44 points in 80 games.
He’ll fit nicely into the Stars lineup, replacing the recently-traded Mike Ribeiro as one of Dallas’ top two centers. He’ll also help out an anemic power play that finished dead last (13.5 percent) in the NHL — despite his poor campaign last year, Roy still finished third among all Sabres in power play goals.
As for Ott, he fits in nicely with what the Sabres are trying to do this offseason: Add more snarl.
The Sabres signed 6-foot-8 leviathan John Scott yesterday — he promptly promised “a different outcome” should anybody bowl over Ryan Miller next season — and while Ott lacks Scott’s towering presence, he’s a nasty piece of business in his own right. “The Rat” is one of the league’s most annoying and relentless pests, one that’s not afraid to drop the mitts (he’s fought 27 times over the last three seasons.)
Pardy, 28, is a physical, stay-at-home defenseman that’s been sidelined by shoulder and rib injuries over the last two seasons. At 6-foot-4, 220 pounds, he could work his way into Buffalo’s bottom pair solely on his ability to lay the body.
Of note, the deal puts Ott on the same team as Patrick Kaleta, regarded as an equal (if not superior) crap disturber. The Sabres will be a tougher team to play against next season.
Bolts avoid arbitration with Namestnikov — two years, $3.875M
Tampa Bay has avoided Friday’s scheduled arbitration hearing with forward Vladislav Namestnikov, agreeing to a two-year, $3.875M deal on Tuesday evening, per ESPN.
Namestnikov, 23, had a breakout campaign last year, scoring 14 goals and 35 points in 80 games — all career highs. The former first-round pick also appeared in 17 playoff games for the Bolts, scoring a goal and three points while helping the club to the Eastern Conference Final.
Coming off a one-year deal in which he made $874,125, the diminutive Russian gets a nice pay bump with this latest contract, and a bit of security with the two-year term. He should play a fairly integral role next season, coming off a year in which he finished tied for fourth on the team in goals, with Tyler Johnson.
But while tonight may be about Namestnikov, it’s another Russian forward in Tampa Bay that everybody now has their eyes on — Nikita Kucherov, the playoff scoring sensation that declined to file for arbitration, but still requires a new deal.
Given some of the big-money contracts GM Steve Yzerman has handed out this summer — namely those to Steve Stamkos, Victor Hedman and Alex Killorn — the Kucherov negotiations are definitely ones to keep an eye on.
Talks ongoing between Wild and Dumba, meeting expected soon
A good puck mover with offensive skills — and a right-handed shot — Dumba is definitely a commodity. What’s more, logic suggests the Wild could opt to move him, given the long-term financial commitments to fellow defensemen Ryan Suter (signed through 2025 at $7.53 million), Jonas Brodin (2021 at $4.16M), Jared Spurgeon (2020, $5.18M) and Marco Scandella (2020, $4M).
Minnesota has some other young defensive prospects in the system, too.
There’s former Gophers standout Mike Reilly, Miami of Ohio product Louis Belpedio and Gustav Olofsson, the 46th overall pick in ’13 that’s been honing his game in AHL Iowa (and made his NHL debut last season).
Though he’s slowed down in recent years, Rosehill has long been known as an extremely active fighter. At no time was this more evident than during the ’08-09 campaign, when he fought a staggering 33 times (yeah, thirty-three) while playing for AHL Norfolk.
Rosehill last played in the NHL during the ’13-14 campaign, scoring two goals in 34 games for the Flyers — while racking up 90 PIM.
Here’s an example of some of his most famous handiwork:
As mentioned above, the EIHL has landed a few notable ex-NHL fighters. Cam Janssen, Kevin Westgarth, Paul Bissonnette and Tom Sestito have all played there.
Kurtis Foster, who appeared in over 400 games during a 10-year NHL career, is hanging up his skates to enter the next phase of his hockey life — coaching.
Foster, 34, has rejoined his former junior team in OHL Peterborough as an assistant coach, per the Examiner. The decision comes after Foster spent the last three years playing overseas in the KHL and, most recently, in the German League.
The 40th overall pick in 2000, Foster is often remembered for a horrific leg break while playing for Minnesota during the 2007-08 campaign, in which his femur was shattered by Torrey Mitchell after Mitchell tried to prevent an icing call.