Nathan Horton

PHT’s 2013 NHL Free Agent Tracker

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Friday, July 5 is the official start of the National Hockey League’s free agency period (at 12 p.m. ET).

Check back regularly for updates as we keep track of all the signings from what promises to be a busy transaction period.

Note: We’ve included a few deals announced prior to July 5, which came as a result of the NHL’s compliance buyout window. None of them can be made official until Friday.

source: Getty Images

July 8

Matt Gilroy signs in Florida: one-year, two-way (link)

Chris Mueller signs in Dallas: n/a (link)

Kevin Poulin re-signs in New York (Islanders): one-year, n/a (link)

Joe Corvo signs in Ottawa: one year, $900,000 (link)

Ryan McDonagh re-signs in New York (Rangers): six years, $28.2 million (link)

Tyson Strachan signs in Washington: n/a (link)

July 7

Frédéric St-Denis signs in Columbus: one year, two-way (link)

Darcy Zajac signs in New Jersey: two year, two-way (link)

Jack Skille signs in Columbus: one year, two-way (link)

Matt Beleskey re-signs in Anaheim: two years, $2.7 million (link)

July 6

Alexander Sulzer re-signs in Buffalo: one year, N/A (link)

Drew Bagnall signs in Buffalo: multi-year, N/A

Mike Santorelli signs in Vancouver: N/A (link)

David Kolomatis signs in Washington: one year, two-way

Andrew Gordon signs in Winnipeg: N/A

Jerome Samson signs in Winnipeg: N/A

John Albert signs in Winnipeg: N/A

Richard Bachman signs in Edmonton: one year, N/A (link)

Adam Pardy signs in Winnipeg: one year, $600,000 (link)

Derek Roy signs in St. Louis: one year, $4 million (link)

Stefan Fournier signs in Montreal: three years, two way

Ryan Jones re-signs in Edmonton: one year, N/A (link)

July 5

Nikolai Khabibulin signs in Chicago: one year, $2 million (link)

Jonathan Bernier signs in Toronto: two years, $5.8 million (link)

Jarome Iginla signs in Boston: one year, $6 million (link)

Matt Cooke signs in Minnesota: three years, $7.5 million (link)

Benoit Pouliot signs in New York (Rangers): one year, $1.3 million (link)

Michael Ryder signs in New Jersey: two years, $7 million (link)

Maxim Lapierre signs in St. Louis: two years, $2.2 million (link)

Carter Hutton signs in Nashville: one year, $550,000

Mike McKenna signs in Columbus: n/a

Saku Koivu re-signs in Anaheim: one year, $2.5 million (link)

Craig Adams re-signs in Pittsburgh: two years, $1.4 million (link)

Rostislav Olesz signs in New Jersey: one year, $1 million

TJ Brennan signs in Toronto: one year, $600,000

Michael Stone re-signs in Phoenix: n/a

Chris Butler re-signs in Calgary: one year, $1.7 million

Brad Richardson signs in Vancouver: two years, $2.3 million

Jeff Schultz signs in Los Angeles: one year, $700,000 (link)

Yannick Weber signs in Vancouver: one year, $650,000

Travis Hamonic re-signs in New York (Islanders): seven years, $27 million (link)

Anton Khudobin signs in Carolina: one year, $800,000 (link)

Eric Nystrom signs in Nashville: four years, $10 million (link)

Dominic Moore signs in New York (Rangers): one year, $1 million (link)

Valtteri Filppula signs in Tampa Bay: five years, $25 million (link)

Dan Ellis signs in Dallas: two years, $1.8 million (link)

Nick Holden, JT Wyman, Guillaume Desbiens sign in Colorado: n/a

Ryan Hamilton signs in Edmonton: n/a

Aaron Johnson signs in New York (Rangers): one year, $600,000

Matt Hendricks signs in Nashville: four years, $7.4 million (link)

Stephen Weiss signs in Detroit: five years, $24.5 million (link)

Mark Mancari, Alexandre Bolduc sign in St. Louis: n/a

Matt Cullen signs in Nashville: two years, $7 million (link)

David Clarkson signs in Toronto: seven years, $36.75 million (link)

Clarke MacArthur signs in Ottawa: two years, $6.5 million (link)

Tyler Bozak re-signs in Toronto: five years, $21 million (link)

Viktor Stalberg signs in Nashville: four years, $12 million (link)

Jared Spurgeon re-signs in Minnesota: three years, $8 million (link)

Scott Hannan (one year, $1 million), Tyler Kennedy (two years, $4.7 million) re-sign in San Jose (link)

Michal Handzus, Michal Rozsival re-sign in Chicago: n/a (link)

Pierre-Marc Bouchard signs in New York (Islanders): one year, $2 million (link)

Ryane Clowe signs in New Jersey: five years, $24.25 million (link)

Rob Scuderi signs in Pittsburgh: four years, $13.5 million (link)

Mike Mottau signs in Florida: n/a (link)

Yann Danis signs in Philadelphia: n/a (link)

Jesse Joensuu signs in Edmonton: n/a (link)

Keith Aucoin signs in St. Louis: one year, $625,000 (link)

Andre Benoit signs in Colorado: one year, $900,000 (link)

Jason LaBarbera, Boyd Gordon sign in Edmonton: n/a (link)

Nathan Horton signs in Columbus: seven years, $37.1 million (link)

Mike Ribeiro signs in Phoenix: four years, $22 million (link)

Mike Komisarek signs in Carolina: one year, $700,000 (link)

Frazer McLaren re-signs in Toronto: two years, $1.4 million (link)

Kyle Chipchura re-signs in Phoenix: n/a (link)

Thomas Greiss signs in Phoenix: one year, $750,000 (link)

Joey Crabb signs in Florida: two years, $1.2 million (link)

Ray Emery signs with Philadelphia: one year, $1.65 million (link)

Daniel Alfredsson signs with Detroit: one year, $5.5 million (link)

Peter Regin signs with New York Islanders: one year, $750,000 (link)

Andrew Ference signs with Edmonton: four years, $13 million (link)

Evgeni Nabokov signs with New York Islanders: one year, $3.25 million (link)

July 4

Daniel Briere signs with Montreal: two years, $8 million (link)

Keith Ballard signs with Minnesota: two years, $3 million (link)

July 2

Vincent Lecavalier signs with Philadelphia: five years, $22.5 million (link)

The timing of the Gudbranson trade was…interesting

Florida Panthers defenseman Erik Gudbranson (44) gets up from the ice after being pushed in the second period during a preseason NHL hockey game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013, in Sunrise, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
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It seems like only yesterday that the Florida Panthers were raving about Erik Gudbranson.

Except it wasn’t yesterday.

It was earlier this month.

“Guddy has taken a big step for our team this year,” coach Gerard Gallant said, per the Sun Sentinel. “He’s very confident, moves the puck real well and is a big part of our blue line.”

“He’s really going to be a special player for a lot of years in this league and hopefully for a lot of years with the Panthers,” said veteran d-man Brian Campbell.

Now, Florida had just signed Gudbranson to a one-year contract extension, so of course there was raving to be done.

But it still surprised many when he was traded to Vancouver yesterday.

For example:

Not that Gudbranson was given away for nothing. The return the Panthers got from the Canucks was considerable. Jared McCann could be a top-six forward one day, and there was more.

“The fact we were able to add draft picks this year, second and fourth round, 33 and 93, we felt gave us two picks that we got back that we lost on the trading deadline,” general manager Tom Rowe told reporters.

Rowe also conceded that trading Gudbranson was a “very, very difficult decision.”

The timing, though.

The timing was pretty hard to ignore.

Rowe, of course, was just named Florida’s new GM. He replaced Dale Tallon, who was “promoted” (or demoted, depending who you ask) to the role of director of hockey ops.

It was all part of a big, managerial shakeup — one that was driven in large part by analytics:

Would you be surprised to learn that Gudbranson did not have a particularly high Corsi?

From Stats.HockeyAnalysis.com:

Panthers

Now, we’re not saying the Panthers made this trade solely because of advanced stats. When there’s a salary cap, difficult decisions need to be made. Gudbranson will need a new contract next summer, and he won’t be cheap to re-sign.

Added Rowe: “The way [Michael Matheson] played in the playoffs and at the World Championship for an outstanding Canadian team really gave us more of a comfort level to do this.”

Still, it was only two years ago that Tallon was saying Gudbranson was “likely going to be the captain of our team some day.” And it was only a few weeks ago that Tallon called Gudbranson “an important part of our young core who has continued to develop into a reliable, physical presence on our blue line and a strong leader in our locker room.”

So yeah, whether or not you like the deal for the Panthers, it’s more than fair to wonder who, or what, was the driving force behind it.

One thing’s for sure — the Panthers are going to look very different on the back end next season. Gudbranson’s gone; Willie Mitchell is unlikely to be back; and Campbell is an unrestricted free agent who may test the market.

In the playoffs, no defenseman played more for Florida than Gudbranson. After him, it was Campbell.

Related: People are wondering — do the Florida Panthers know what they’re doing?

Some tough decisions await the Blues

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Yet again, the St. Louis Blues failed to achieve their ultimate goal.

And boy does it hurt right now.

“We’re all hurting,” coach Ken Hitchcock said last night after getting eliminated by the San Jose Sharks in the Western Conference Final.

“You don’t want this to be our best opportunity. You want this to be a building block. In this game, in this era, in this cap world, you don’t know where you’re going to be a year from now.”

Indeed, GM Doug Armstrong has some tough decisions to make this offseason.

At the top of the list is whether to bring Hitchcock back. Yes, the Blues did better than 26 other teams, and yes, they finally got past the first round. Still, there are people who believe this will be it for the head coach, that a new voice could help. Overall, Hitchcock has done a great job in St. Louis. But then, so did Todd McLellan in San Jose. Sometimes, change can be good.

Then there are the unrestricted free agents. Both captain David Backes and winger Troy Brouwer need new contracts. The former is 32, the latter 30. The former had seven goals in the playoffs, the latter eight. How much money will they want? How much term? The second question might be the most important.

On the back end, it’s Kevin Shattenkirk that will garner the most attention. He’s signed through next season before he can become an unrestricted free agent. Just 27 years old, and considering the demand for what he does, he’ll be very expensive to keep. And with the emergence of Colton Parayko, trading Shattenkirk could probably be justified, especially if the return is good. A team like the Boston Bruins might be willing to pay up.

Right now, the pain is still fresh for the Blues.

“It’s so hard to win in the league right now,” said Hitchcock. “It’s so hard to win a series. So hard to just get in the playoffs. When you get this far, you get this close, you think you got the opportunity.”

The challenge for Armstrong will be to give his team another opportunity next season. And with the draft less than a month away, all these tough decisions will need to be made very soon.

Goals of the Week get tougher as Cup Final approaches

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The Stanley Cup Final is almost upon us and picking the very best Goals of the Week is a tough task. See how we did on this edition!

Just for Men: Mike Commodore

RALEIGH, NC - JUNE 14:  Mike Commodore #22 of the Carolina Hurricanes warms up before game five of the 2006 NHL Stanley Cup Finals against the Edmonton Oilers on June 14, 2006 at the RBC Center in Raleigh, North Carolina.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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Maybe one would argue that time hasn’t been kind to the 2006 Stanley Cup-winning Carolina Hurricanes (at least compared to the pedigree of other winners), but Mike Commodore’s incredible red afro and beard rank as one of hockey’s most timeless combinations.

Seriously, just take a step back from your monitor* and bask in the splendor of that carrot-topped Commodore.

Even then-President George W. Bush remarked on Commodore’s bushy hair and beard (or its tragic absence) when the Canes visited the White House:

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you all for coming. Have a seat. It’s a pretty big deal for a guy that doesn’t know how to ice skate — (laughter) — to welcome the Carolina Hurricanes to the White House. We appreciate you coming. You know, I’m not sure what is prettier, the Stanley Cup, or Mike Commodore’s hair. (Laughter.) A little disappointed you got a haircut. (Laughter.) But, welcome.

Good stuff.

And it really is kind of disappointing any time you see Commodore relatively clean-shaven. It’s like Superman without a big “S” on his chest or Metallica with short hair or any number of not-quite-right sights.

* – If you’re doing the Rumsfeld-style “standing at your desk” thing then … kneel for a second maybe?