One day before an arbitration hearing was scheduled, Rangers forward Mats Zuccarello has agreed to a one-year, $1.15 million contract for the 2013-14 season.
And with that, there will be no arbitration hearings this summer. (The Leafs’ Mark Fraser also signed.)
In 2013, Zuccarello, 25, had three goals and five assists in 15 regular-season games, followed by one goal and six assists in 12 postseason contests.
With Zuccarello’s deal done, attention will now turn to the Rangers’ most important restricted free agent, Derek Stepan.
Stepan, 23, doesn’t have arbitration rights. At last glance (July 17), there was reportedly no progress between the two sides.
From the New York Post:
Absent pressure points (or an unexpected offer sheet), negotiations with Stepan could well go into September and perhaps bleed into training camp.
Depending on the deal they strike with Stepan, the Rangers may need to make a move in order to fit him under the salary cap.
If it’s a so-called “bridge” contract, like the one PK Subban signed (two years, $5.75 million), they should be fine. If it’s a longer-term deal, a roster adjustment would likely be required.
Derek Roy will continue his pro career overseas, as he has signed a contract with Bern in the Swiss League.
Roy attended training camp on a professional tryout with the Washington Capitals, but he was unable to claim a spot on their roster.
The 32-year-old had some great years in the NHL, but since the 2011-12 season Roy had suited up for six different teams (excluding his PTO with the Caps).
His best season came in 2007-08 when he scored 32 goals and 81 points in 78 games with the Buffalo Sabres.
Roy will leave the NHL with 189 goals and 524 points in 738 career games.
He will join former NHLers Cory Conacher, Andrew Ebbett, Chuck Kobasew, Simon Moser and Sean Bergenheim in Bern.
They’re just one game into their regular season, but the Buffalo Sabres have already had to shift things around in their crease.
The Sabres announced that they have placed starting goaltender Robin Lehner on injured reserve after he was knocked out of Thursday’s game with a lower-body injury.
In a corresponding move, the club has recalled Nathan Lieuwen from their AHL affiliate in Rochester.
The 24-year-old didn’t play in the NHL last season, but he did have a 1-4-0 record with a 2.98 goals-against-average and a .906 save percentage in seven games during the 2013-14 season.
Lieuwen was Buffalo’s sixth round pick, 167th overall, in the 2011 draft.
The Sabres also announced that they have loaned defenseman Jake McCabe and goaltender Linus Ullmark to the Rochester Americans (AHL).
McCabe was a healthy scratch in Thursday’s game against Ottawa, while Ullmark is being activated off I.R. after having double hip surgery during the off-season.