Author: Jason Brough

Vancouver Canucks v Calgary Flames - Game Six

Coyotes close to signing Richardson, who should help woeful PK


The Arizona Coyotes are inching ever closer to the salary floor:

Richardson was a valuable bottom-six center during his two seasons with the Canucks. The 30-year-old was one of Vancouver’s top penalty killers. He also added eight goals and 13 assists in 45 games in 2014-15.

Arizona had the second-worst penalty kill in the league last year, so the signing makes sense.

The one caveat is that staying healthy has been a challenge for Richardson, and now the Coyotes have him locked up for three years.

Related: Richardson (ankle) still not 100 percent

Oilers get Sekera for six years, closing in on Letestu

Andrej Sekera

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.

Avalanche sign veteran d-man Beauchemin for three years

Anaheim Ducks v Dallas Stars

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.”