For all the talent they boast up front, and after acquiring Cam Talbot to try and shore up the goaltending, the Edmonton Oilers still needed to address their defense.
They started to do that today by signing veteran blue-liner Andrej Sekera to a long-term deal:
Sekera, 29, split last season between Carolina and Los Angeles. He was traded to the Kings in February, but couldn’t help the then-defending champions into the playoffs.
The Oilers’ defense will continue to change. Nikita Nikitin and Andrew Ference won’t be around much longer, while young Darnell Nurse will be brought into the fold.
Edmonton is also reportedly close to signing center Mark Letestu.
The Colorado Avalanche have signed veteran defenseman François Beauchemin to a three-year deal with a $4.5 million cap hit, according to Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports.
Beauchemin, 35, did not re-sign with Anaheim; the Ducks essentially filled his spot by trading for Kevin Bieksa.
In Colorado, the hope will be that Beauchemin can provide a steadying presence on a team that struggled defensively last season.
At 35 years old, Beauchemin is no youngster. However, he still managed to average 22:45 of ice time in 2014-15.
“He’s the voice,” Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said of Beauchemin during the playoffs. “Everybody else is so young. [He] is the voice back there. You can hear him talking all the time.”
Yannick Weber will re-sign with the Vancouver Canucks for one year and $1.5 million, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.
Vancouver did not tender Weber a qualifying offer, making him an unrestricted free agent. But the Canucks always wanted to re-sign him; they just didn’t want to go to arbitration with him.
In his season-ending press conference, GM Jim Benning spoke well of the 26-year-old defenseman who scored 11 goals with 10 assists in 2014-15. .
While it once seemed it could be tough for the Canucks to keep Weber, yesterday’s trade of Kevin Bieksa to Anaheim made room.