James O'Brien

Josh Jooris

Flames lock up Jooris, Elson to one-year deals

The Calgary Flames continue to inch closer to summer vacation mode, as they continued to lock up players with one-year deals for Josh Jooris and Turner Elson on Friday.

The team didn’t provide financial terms for Jooris (pictured), but the CBC’s Tim Wharnsby reports that his contract is worth $975K.

The 25-year-old enjoyed a solid rookie season for Calgary, scoring 12 goals and 12 assists for 24 points in 60 games. His postseason didn’t go so well, as he failed to register a point in nine playoff contests.

Perhaps that explains why he spoke about avoiding complacency, as the Calgary Sun’s Wes Gilbertson reports?

Both Jooris and Elson came to the Flames as undrafted free agents. In 59 games with the AHL’s Adriondack Flames, Elson, 22, generated 17 goals and 30 points.

Calgary’s already had a busy couple days, as they came to terms with Lance Bouma on Thursday.

Coyotes’ LeBlanc is relieved by revised arena deal, hopes for long-term solution

PNI coyotes main 0102

It’s not so much the added financial risks of the Arizona Coyotes’ amended arena lease deal with the City of Glendale that bugs COO Anthony LeBlanc. Instead, he’s not a huge fan of the agreement being merely two years long.

Then again, there’s an element of beggars can’t be choosers, either.

“A two-year deal is better than no deal,” LeBlanc admitted during Friday’s press conference.

LeBlanc refuted bad blood with Glendale officials, noting that “business is business and politics is politics.” Even so, he said that he hopes to begin carving out a lengthier agreement with Glendale, possibly beginning in early August.

Some might see this as yet another Band-Aid, but it was needed nonetheless, with the Coyotes official hitting the theme of certainty repeatedly through his presser.

This seems like a short-term win for GM Don Maloney and the on-ice product, even if the revenue stream alterations bring on a greater risk/reward venture for ownership.

“I don’t want to go into free agency next year with Don dealing with the same uncertainty as last year,” LeBlanc said.

To some extent, free agents looking for term may look sideways at the Coyotes’ situation for some time, especially if progress isn’t made on another lease agreement in the coming months. Even so, two years of relative comfort is almost a luxury to a franchise that’s dealt with an almost unending torrent of turmoil.

Capitals investment: Holtby signs five-year, $30.5M deal

Braden Holtby

Braden Holtby received a huge raise on Friday, but it was more than reasonable considering his breakout season with the Washington Capitals.

The team signed him to a five-year, $30.5 million contract, which makes him the seventh-highest paid goalie in the NHL.

“Braden emerged as a top NHL goaltender and we are pleased to sign him to a long-term contract,” GM Brian MacLellan said. “We feel Braden is just entering his prime and in his young career has already established himself as one of the best goaltenders in the history of our franchise. He is an athletic goaltender with a tremendous work ethic and is a big part of our future.”

Holtby’s cap hit comes in at $6.1 million, placing him here among netminders:

This is how the contract reportedly breaks down from a year-to-year perspective:

The 25-year-old came into 2014-15 with very nice career averages, but this was the season where he proved that he could be a big-time work horse, logging a ridiculous 73 games played. It wasn’t quantity over quality, either, as he went 41-20-10 with nine shutouts and a .923 save percentage.

His playoff work has been great, too, especially from an individual standpoint. Holtby bumped his career postseason save percentage to .936, up from his already-impressive regular season average of .921.

In many regards, Holtby is worth every penny of this deal, especially considering those numbers. It’s a nice situation for him, too, as this buys some RFA time at a healthy price. He was a steal at his previous cap hit of $1.85 million, yet his rate is pretty reasonable right now, too.

Washington has an estimated $4.22 million in cap space remaining after the deal, according to General Fanager.

PHT Morning Skate: Seguin, Del Zotto and Stifler


PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Not many people saw Lou Lamoriello’s Devils departure coming, but New Jersey fixture Ken Daneyko basically says “called it!” (Newark Star-Ledger)

Looking at hockey players who pulled the John Elway: retiring after they won a Stanley Cup. (ESPN)

It sounds like video game announcer is a tough side gig. (Sportsnet)

Elite Prospects is already a great resource, but it is now distinguishing itself by compiling women’s hockey stats. (The Hockey News)

Apparently Tyler Seguin and Michael Del Zotto are making a cameo in “Goon 2,” which also reminds the Dallas Stars of Mike Modano’s Mighty Ducks appearance:

Full autonomy: Lamoriello’s place in Leafs’ chain of command

Lou Lamoriello

How would a front office that once pondered not naming a GM at all handle the addition of an executive who’s accustomed to wielding Zeus-like control?

When the shock of the Toronto Maple Leafs naming Lou Lamoriello as their new general manager wore off, people began wondering how, exactly, everything would work. It seems simple enough, though: Lamoriello will wield the typical stopping power of a GM, answering only to Brendan Shanahan, as TSN noted from his presser:

“That’s what I’m told,” Lamoriello said. “I report to Brendan. And the other people report to me.”

While Lamoriello noted that he’s “not going to be here for a lifetime,” the 72-year-old’s three-year contract is at least part of the argument against this being a transitional hire (with young assistant GM Kyle Dubas potentially taking the reins).

Instead, it sounds the future of that executive position is quite open-ended:

It’s truly been a drastic couple of years of changes with Shanahan in charge, as the team replaced Randy Carlyle with Mike Babcock, Dave Nonis with Lamoriello, seemed to do a 180 on analytics and even traded Phil Kessel.

As much as executives preach patience, it’s tough to shake the feeling that the drama’s just starting.

Here’s video of the press conference: