James O'Brien

Jay Beagle

Good hustle: Caps hand Beagle three-year, $5.25M extension

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Dog pun* (and gritty player) enthusiasts rejoice: the Washington Capitals signed Jay Beagle to a three-year, $5.25 million extension on Monday.

(Interesting that the Capitals provided contract specifics in the Typically Shadowy NHL.)

Mike Vogel of the team website laid out the particulars of the deal:

The Washington Post’s Alex Prewitt notes how big of a bump this is, even if it might seem pretty affordable compared to what kind of scratch NHL players pull in (even scrappy-yet-unspectacular ones):

A few years ago, it was noted the 29-year-old was dealing with two mortgages, so this could be a nice break for Beagle. It’s not so bad for Washington, either, as they get a solid “energy guy” for a perfectly reasonable price.

Basically, everybody wins:

* – The headline to this post almost featured “Dog not gone.” Almost.

 

Report: Oduya is already pondering offers, won’t wait for Chicago

Johnny Oduya
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Johnny Oduya isn’t going to wait for the Chicago Blackhawks to sort out their cap issues, instead electing to hit free agency without hesitation, according to ESPN Chicago.

That same report indicates that Oduya, 33, has already received inquiries from “several” teams.

A couple days ago, Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman indeed indicated that it might take some time for Chicago to figure out what they can do (and what free agents like Oduya and Brad Richards want), as CSNChicago.com noted.

“They need to decide where they’re going to go dollar-wise, and we need to figure out what we can possibly offer,” Bowman said.

This might be frustrating for Blackhawks fans, especially in the case of Oduya, who obviously served a big purpose in Chicago’s Stanley Cup run (which required grinding work by its top-four defense). At the same time, it’s clear that the Blackhawks are already in a significant cap crunch thanks in part to raises for Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, so challenges are ahead.

One can imagine Oduya’s agent merely filling his “resume” with photos of the defenseman raising the Stanley Cup, but his value extends beyond that.

Oduya didn’t generate a ton of points (10 during the regular season), yet his time on ice numbers will be a significant selling point, as he saw his ice time jump to 24:45 minutes per postseason contest. You can read more about his situation here, but simply enough, there aren’t many experienced (and still fairly young) blueliners on the market who are on par with him.

All things considered, Oduya is almost certainly out of Chicago’s price range, and it doesn’t sound like either side is really denying that.

Buyouts loom as Richards, Parenteau and Fistric clear unconditional waivers

Chicago Blackhawks v Los Angeles Kings
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Significant buyouts appear to be mere formalities after Mike Richards (Los Angeles Kings), P.A. Parenteau (Montreal Canadiens) and Mark Fistric (Anaheim Ducks) cleared unconditional waivers on Monday. That word comes from a variety of sources, including TSN’s Bob McKenzie.

Using CapFriendly’s buyout calculator, here’s how each buyout is expected to impact their respective teams:

Richards for the Kings: $1.22 million cap hit for each season through 2024-25; his two-thirds buyout will total $14.667 million.

Parenteau for the Canadiens: The total buyout cost is $2.667 million, with a cap hit of $1.33 million for 2015-16 and 2016-17.

The Canadiens already made the Parenteau buyout official. Here is GM Marc Bergevin’s statement:

“I would like to thank Pierre-Alexandre for his time as a Montreal Canadien and wish him the best with his career,” Bergevin said. “It was a difficult decision to make, but we feel it gives us more flexibility as we continue to improve our club and provide our young prospects with an opportunity to earn a spot on our roster.”

Here is Parenteau’s statement:

Fistric for the Ducks: Total buyout cost: $1.8 million; cap hit of $516K for 2015-16, $217K for 2016-17, 450K for 2017-18 and 2018-19.

Note: cap hits are rounded up when appropriate.

***

Once we digest what this means for the three teams, the obvious follow-up question is quite enticing: what kind of interest will Richards, Parenteau and Fistric drum up on the free agent market?

Bolts sign Blunden to one-year, two-way deal

blundengetty
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The Tampa Bay Lightning continue to do some lower-level housecleaning, as they signed forward Mike Blunden to a one-year, two-way contract on Monday.

There’s no word on the exact money involved at either the AHL or NHL level.

That’s especially relevant with Blunden, 28, as he’s likely to face an uphill battle to log many games with the Bolts. He managed to play in two games for Tampa Bay in 2014-15, and he’s seen 104 NHL games scattered throughout his career since first appearing with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2006-07.

(The Blackhawks selected him in the second round – 43rd overall – in 2005.)

The one thing that stands out about Blunden is his size, as he’s listed at 6-foot-4, 216 lbs. With eight points in those 104 NHL regular season contests, his ceiling doesn’t seem too high, but it rarely hurts to add a big body as insurance in case injuries pile up.

The Lightning also locked down Jonathan Marchessault and Brian Hart on Sunday, so the Bolts are crossing off names from their to-do list lately.

They’ve also handed out qualifying offers:

Video: NFL star J.J. Watt unleashes wicked shot

Houston Texans OTA's
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Without knowing about skating ability, if someone asked you which NFL player’s style would make the most sense as a hockey player, Houston Texas defensive dynamo (OK, lineman) J.J. Watt might just be the first name that comes to mind.

Watt made a surprise appearance at the second annual Blake Geoffrion Hockey Classic at Wisconsin, letting this shot rip (as Brian Elliott got out of the way):

Not bad, really. It sounds like a good time, too:

For more on his appearance and the event (which raised funds for the University of Wisconsin’s Health Burn Unit), click here.

(H/T to Puck Daddy)