You've heard the expression "let's get busy?" Well, Mike Halford is a blogger who gets "biz-zay!" Consistently and thoroughly.
Ottawa avoided an arbitration hearing with Jean-Gabriel Pageau on Monday, signing him to a three-year, $9.3 million extension.
Now, the club would like a similar avoidance with another RFA forward — Ryan Dzingel.
Dzingel, who enjoyed a breakout campaign with 14 goals and 32 points in 81 games, filed for arbitration earlier this month. According to the Ottawa Sun, there’s a significant gap in negotiations with Sens GM Pierre Dorion.
The two sides aren’t close to a deal, although talks were held with his Toronto-based agent Don Meehan on Monday.
“We’re still in negotiations. We talked this morning,” Dorion said on a conference call on Monday afternoon. “While we’d like to avoid arbitration and Don Meehan would like to avoid arbitration too … at the same time, we understand it’s a process and if we can’t come to an agreement, we’ll just go to arbitration Friday at 9 a.m.”
Dzingel played last season on a one-year, $750,000 deal, and is probably in line for a tidy raise. This was his first full NHL campaign after playing over 100 games for AHL Binghamton from 2013-16, and he showed well.
The Ohio State product was leaned upon regularly during the regular season — head coach Guy Boucher played Dzingel 14:23 per night — and he was one of the team’s better scorers at 5-on-5, finishing the year with 12 even strength goals.
The Rangers have added some goaltending depth — per CapFriendly, the club has signed Russian netminder Alex Georgiev out of the Finnish League.
Georgiev, 21, went undrafted and has spent the last few years with SM-liiga outfit TPS. He’s coming off a strong showing in ’16-17, going 13-8-4 with a 1.70 GAA and .923 save percentage.
In 2016, he was part of the Russian team that finished second in the World Juniors. He played in tandem with Washington prospect Ilya Samsonov, but was essentially the No. 1 and also the goalie of record in the team’s OT loss to Finland in the gold medal game.
Georgiev attended the Rangers’ recently completed summer prospect camp, under the eye of goalie coach Benoit Allaire.
It is worth noting that New York lost some of its goaltending depth this offseason. Antti Raanta, the former backup to Henrik Lundqvist, was traded to Arizona as part of the Derek Stepan deal, while No. 3 Magnus Hellberg signed with the KHL’s Chinese-based club, Kunlun Red Star. The club did sign veteran Ondrej Pavelec to a one-year deal, but that seems like a stopgap solution at best.
That said, the club does have some prospects in the pipeline. Most notable are Brandon Halverson, taken 59th overall in the 2014 draft, and another young Russian — Igor Shesterkin, taken in the fourth round of that same draft.
Mike Zalewski, the undrafted R.P.I product that caught on with Vancouver four years ago, has signed with Straubing of Germany’s Deutsche Eishockey Liga, the club announced on Monday.
There, he’ll join his brother, Steve, a former San Jose draftee that appeared in 10 games for the Sharks and Devils before heading overseas.
Mike, 24, has spent his entire professional career with the Canucks organization, appearing in six big league games over the last four seasons. He’s primarily suited up for Vancouver’s AHL affiliate in Utica, and was part of the team that advanced all the way to the 2015 Calder Cup Final.
Vancouver didn’t make Zalewski a qualifying offer this summer, making him an unrestricted free agent. He spent last year playing on a one-year deal worth $632,500 at the NHL level.
Buffalo’s coaching staff for the upcoming campaign is all sorted out.
On Monday, the Sabres announced that former AHL Ontario assistant Chris Hajt has been hired as to work alongside new bench boss Phil Housley. Hajt will now serve as an assistant with Davis Payne — another coach from the Kings organization, hired earlier this month — and Tom Ward, who has been retained as a holdover from Dan Bylsma’s staff.
More on Hajt, from the Sabres:
Hajt spent the last three seasons as an assistant coach for the Los Angeles Kings’ AHL affiliate, where he helped guide the Manchester Monarchs to a Calder Cup Championship after the 2014-15 season. The team also made the playoffs in each of the last two seasons as the Ontario Reign, including a division title in 2015-16.
The Saskatoon, Saskatchewan native and son of Sabres alumnus Bill Hajt also served as an assistant coach for the Guelph Storm (OHL) from 2008 to 2014. During his time in Guelph, the team made the playoffs in all six of his seasons and won an OHL championship in 2014.
Hajt is relatively young, having turned 39 two weeks ago, and isn’t all that far removed from his playing days. The former defenseman appeared in six NHL contests with Edmonton and Washington and was suiting up for Bolzano of the Italian League as recently as 2008.
Jean-Gabriel Pageau filed for arbitration almost two weeks ago, and hearings set to begin in three days.
Those deadlines are of no concern to him anymore, though.
On Monday, the Sens announced they’ve avoided arbitration with Pageau by inking him to a three-year, $9.3 million extension. The deal carries a $3.1M average annual cap hit and, per Arizona Sports’ Craig Morgan, has the following salary structure:
Pageau, 24, is coming off a terrific postseason run in which he scored eight goals and 10 points in 19 games, leading the Sens in markers as they advanced to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final.
His four-goal game against the Rangers in Round 2 made him a folk hero in Ottawa, to the point where a local diner named a brunch item after him.
Pageau’s postseason exploits came one year after a solid ’15-16 campaign, in which he posted career highs in goals (19) and points (43).
It’s a nice pay bump for Pageau, who was previously making $900,000 annually. But it’s also good value for Ottawa, who gets a potential top-six forward locked in at a pretty reasonable rate. Pageau has been a lineup fixture over the last two years — playing the full 82 games both seasons — and has emerged as a quality center. He won nearly 55 percent of his draws in ’16-17 and, for the second straight year, received a handful of Selke votes as the league’s top defensive forward.