Cam Tucker


Ducks sign d-man Oleksy to two-year, one-way deal

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The Anaheim Ducks made headlines yesterday by signing Cam Fowler to an eight-year extension. On Sunday, they added depth to their blue line by inking Steve Olesky.

Per the Ducks, it’s a two-year, one-way deal for the 31-year-old Oleksy, who joins Anaheim after spending last season in the Pittsburgh Penguins organization.

Olesky spent the majority of the season in the American Hockey League, but played 11 games in Pittsburgh last season, with one assist.

He had previously spent time with the Washington Capitals, playing a total of 62 games for them over three seasons.

The Ducks also signed center Derek Grant to a one-year, one-way contract, and forwards Mike Liambas and Scott Sabourin to one-year, two-way contracts.

Maple Leafs sign Patrick Marleau to three-year deal, $6.25 million AAV


Patrick Marleau‘s time with the San Jose Sharks is over.

Taken second overall by San Jose in 1997, and after almost 1,500 regular season games with the Sharks, Marleau went to free agency yesterday. On Sunday, he signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs for three years.

Per the Maple Leafs, the annual average value is $6.25 million. According to Chris Johnston of Sportsnet, this contract includes a full no-movement clause. That seems like quite a price to pay for a player approaching his 38th birthday.

Marleau will celebrate that birthday in September. He joins a young and skilled Toronto team that has accelerated its rebuilding process with the selection of Auston Matthews first overall a year ago and a playoff appearance this April.

Marleau will be reunited with Mike Babcock, who coached Marleau and Team Canada to Olympic gold medals in 2010 and 2014.

It was reported earlier this week that the Sharks offered Marleau a two-year contract. In a game that emphasizes the importance of youth and speed, it should be noted that, despite his age, Marleau has remained productive in each of the last two seasons. He scored 27 goals in 2016-17, with 46 points.

“I think I’ve worn out a few carpets pacing around the house trying to make this decision over the last couple days,” said Marleau, per CSN Bay Area.

“But, I’m extremely excited and happy to be a part of the Maple Leafs organization. It’s definitely an honor to be able to call myself a Maple Leaf, obviously being a Canadian-born player. This decision took me quite awhile to come to, but I’ve made it, and I’m happy with it. I can’t wait to get started.”

As noted by CapFriendly, this deal puts the Maple Leafs — at least for right now — over the $75 million cap ceiling by a little less than $2.5 million. There is time, however, to remedy that situation.

Marleau scored 508 goals and 1,082 points in his long tenure with San Jose. However, as good as the Sharks have been over the years in the regular season, a championship has ultimately eluded that squad, which has endured its share of playoff disappointments.

The closest Marleau came to a Stanley Cup with the Sharks was in 2016, when San Jose lost to Pittsburgh in six games.

Flames sign former Oilers tough guy Gazdic to one-year, two-way deal


Luke Gazdic has now gone to the other side of the Battle of Alberta.

The 27-year-old forward signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Calgary Flames in a deal announced on Sunday.

Gazdic, known more for his pugilistic abilities, spent three seasons with the Edmonton Oilers, appearing in 67 games in 2013-14. He had only two goals and four points, and 127 penalty minutes.

That campaign also included a fight with Kevin Westgarth, who was knocked to the ice and didn’t return after going through concussion protocol.

Gazdic spent last season in the New Jersey Devils organization, splitting time between the NHL club and its AHL affiliate in Albany. He played 11 games with New Jersey, failing to record a point while posting 12 penalty minutes.

Bergevin wants to bring back Markov, Radulov — but not for their demands


The Montreal Canadiens have paid quite a price to extend their star goalie.

The Habs signed Carey Price to an eight-year, $84 million contract extension, which will begin for the 2018-19 season. With that pressing offseason priority now taken care of, general manager Marc Bergevin’s focus has turned to trying to get remaining free agents under contract for next season.

That includes unrestricted free agents Andrei Markov and Alexander Radulov, and restricted free agent Alex Galchenyuk.

Bergevin spoke with reporters on Sunday, leaving the door open to the possibility of re-signing Markov or Radulov, but the prospect of that happening didn’t sound overly promising, either.

It was reported less than two weeks ago that the Habs had offered Radulov a three-year contract, although the two sides were, at that time, quite far apart, especially when it came to term.

Meanwhile, Markov reportedly wanted $12 million over two years to stay with the Habs. As you can imagine, Bergevin spent a good deal of his press conference discussing both players, with the opening of free agency yesterday.

Bergevin hasn’t completely ruled out the possibility of both players returning, however.

Bergevin admitted he doesn’t see any viable options right now in free agency that could replace those two players if they don’t come back.

“Not right now,” he said. “We’ll have to do it by committee, I guess. I mean, we’re not going to start inventing players that aren’t there. We’d like to have these guys back, but there’s so much we can do.”

Galchenyuk is a restricted free agent, after his two-year, $5.6 million expired at the end of this past season.

His overall production may have dipped last season, with 17 goals and 44 points — remember, he also missed 21 games, too — but Galchenyuk is also a 30-goal scorer from 2015-16 and eligible for arbitration this summer, which could be an option, according to his agent Pat Brisson.

“We’ll try to get that done as soon as possible,” said Bergevin.

Related: Who’s left in NHL free agency? Radulov, Kovalchuk among biggest names

Could Patrick Sharp be returning to Chicago?


After two seasons with the Dallas Stars, there are indications ahead of Saturday’s free agent frenzy that Patrick Sharp may be returning to Chicago.

Now 35 years old and a pending unrestricted free agent, Sharp played in only 48 games last season for the Stars, as injuries kept him out of the lineup for a large amount of time. He scored only eight goals and 18 points.

He underwent hip surgery in March and was expected to be out four to five months after that. While it didn’t work out for him in Dallas, there have been strong rumblings he could re-join the Blackhawks, the team he won three Stanley Cups with.

Sharp joined the Blackhawks in 2005, and it wasn’t long after that, that he emerged as a prolific scorer in that talented lineup that soon ascended to the top of the NHL, with a career high 36 goals in 2007-08. He recorded a career best 78 points only four years ago.

He’s now at the end of a five-year, $29.5 million contract.

Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman has been busy in the past few days, trading defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson and then re-acquiring Brandon Saad — who was dealt out of Chicago two years ago — from the Columbus Blue Jackets.