Montreal Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin was once considered a prankster, yet he doesn’t seem like a procrastinator. He continued his run of early offseason work on Monday, signing depth forward Torrey Mitchell to a three-year deal.
Whatever the final cap ceiling will be, it doesn’t look like Montreal will have much space to make splashes in free agency this summer (unless they move away some salary). Bergevin gave up much of Montreal’s breathing room in re-signing Mitchell, Jeff Petry and Nathan Beaulieu.
Some wonder if three years is too much term for Mitchell, 30, although the money isn’t disastrous. He’s seeing a noteworthy drop in cap hit from $1.9 million, actually.
Mitchell's speed on forecheck fits, but being a righty faceoff guy is an important consideration for a coach obsessed with strong side draws
Bergevin can’t just go fishing all summer just yet, however, as the Habs still need to sign rising RFA Alex Galchenyuk (and also do that whole “drafting” thing). Many of the team’s pending moves have been settled pretty early on, though.
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The Pittsburgh Penguins’ potential new-look defense could include a seasoned veteran blueliner … who’s never played a game in the NHL.
They signed Niclas Andersen, long of the Swedish Hockey League, to a one-year contract on Monday. It’s considered an entry-level deal for the 27-year-old.
Andersen enjoyed a nice season for Byrnas in Sweden, generating 22 points in 54 games (easily his best point output). Andersen also got his feet wet in the KHL, going through 2012-13 and 2013-14 with Cherepovets Severstal.
While financial details weren’t available, the Penguins could save a lot of money on a younger defense in 2015-16, as it appears they’ll allow both Paul Martin and Christian Ehrhoff to walk. It’s unclear where exactly Andersen fits into the mix.
Amusingly, he could probably fool people if he swapped jerseys with another Penguins defenseman:
Penguins have signed a guy who looks exactly like one of their top prospects. Niclas Andersen = Brian Dumoulin. pic.twitter.com/UaGmwlFvEK
You may understandably be unaware with the 2015 Stanley Cup Final heading into its final stretch, but video games are also in the spotlight this week with the Electronic Entertainment Expo (or “E3”).
With the exception of a few indie games, EA Sports’ NHL series is basically the only hockey show in town. After the polarizing release of NHL 15, the next title NHL 16 has some work to do. Perhaps this trailer will turn a few heads?
Polygon caught up with the development team, and one big aspect seems to be receiving more attention: passing.
Until this point, EA’s NHL games have forced skaters into a glide as they receive a pass. Players will now be able to receive a pass while accelerating or turning. New puck pickups are designed to lead to smoother transitions to the player’s next move.
That doesn’t sound like a revolutionary change, but those disappointed with the most recent release will probably be glad to see all the returning features in NHL 16. See a full list here.
Now, if they’d just add icon passing and Be a Mascot mode …
Andrew Barroway is selling some of his shares of the Arizona Coyotes to IceArizona, taking a lesser role after serving ever so briefly as the team’s majority owner, according to Fox Sports Arizona.
That report indicates that Barroway isn’t stepping away altogether, as he’s still expected to hold more shares than any individual (he merely won’t maintain a controlling interest). This marks a short run for him as majority owner, as he had 51 percent of the team’s shares beginning on Dec. 31, 2014.
Fox Sports Arizona explains some of the reasoning behind the anticipated change:
A philosophical difference in the financial direction of the team has led IceArizona to buy back some of Barroway’s shares. The process has been in the works since the end of last season and should be completed soon, perhaps as soon as this week. Barroway is expected to own more shares than any other member and retain his title as governor, but he will not have controlling interest.
It’s unclear how this may affect the franchise’s considerable rift with the City of Glendale, not to mention plenty of other factors. On the bright side, the alteration isn’t expected to cause any (additional?) problems regarding the team’s free-agent budget this summer.
All that said, it seems like yet another bump in a road that has been ravaged with potholes for many years.
Coyotes confirm it:
#Coyotes' LeBlanc says in statement: "The owners of IceArizona have been in discussions to restructure their relative holdings."