Author: Mike Halford

Mikael Granlund

Wild lock in Granlund — two years, $6M — and confirm Reilly signing


Put another pair of tick marks on Chuck Fletcher’s offseason to-do list.

On Wednesday, the Minnesota Wild announced they’ve agreed to a two-year, $6M extension with RFA forward Mikael Granlund and confirmed the signing of collegiate free agent Mike Reilly.

The Granlund deal was considered Fletcher’s last important signing after getting the likes of Charlie Coyle, Marco Scandella and Devan Dubnyk all signed to new contracts. Granlund, the club’s first-round pick (ninth overall) at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, is coming off a solid campaign in which he scored 39 points in 68 games, and another six in 10 playoff appearances.

Granlund will now carry a $3M average annual cap hit — up from $900,000 on his entry-level deal — and will net $2.8 million in salary the first year, and $3.2M the second.

As for Reilly, news of his signing broke last week, making today’s announcement more of a formality. The skilled d-man, a Hobey Baker finalist this year, led the University of Minnesota in scoring this season and signed a two-year pact with the Wild. No word yet on the financials.

Wings sign former Hobey Baker winner Miele to one-way deal (Update: McCollum re-signs too)

Detroit Red Wings Headshots

Another interesting move just prior to the opening of free agency — Detroit has re-upped with Andy Miele on a one-year, one-way deal worth $575,000, per TSN.

The most interesting aspect is the one-way contract. Miele, who won the Hobey Baker in 2011 with Miami of Ohio, has spent most of his professional career in the AHL and appeared in just 15 NHL contests.

That said, it’s easy to see why the Wings went this route.

Miele enjoyed tremendous success last year in Grand Rapids under Jeff Blashill, scoring 26 goals and 70 points in 71 games. He was equally strong in the playoffs — 14 points in 16 games — and with Blashill taking over Mike Babcock’s head coaching gig in Detroit, it’s not surprising he’s brought Miele along for the ride.

The knock the 27-year-old is his size — at 5-foot-8 and 175 pounds, he’s been viewed as too small to be a factor in the NHL. But the emergence of Tyler Johnson in Tampa Bay has really changed perceptions on that front, and it’ll be interesting to monitor Miele next season as he looks to make an impact with the Wings.

Update: The Wings also announced they inked AHL goalie Tom McCollum to a one-year extension.

Crowded crease: Flames bring back Ramo on one-year, $3.8M deal

Dallas Stars v Calgary Flames

Interesting move from the Flames to open free agency — per Sportsnet, they’ve re-signed goalie Karri Ramo to a one-year, $3.8 million deal.

Ramo, 28, didn’t sound as though he’d be back in Calgary in mid-May, when Flames GM Brad Treliving suggested the team’s crease was getting a little crowded with Jonas Hiller and Joni Ortio already under contract.

“We’ve got a young guy Ortio who’s pushing, knocking on the door,” Treliving explained. “[Ramo] is a decision we’ve got to make over the course of the next few weeks, we’re just not there yet.

“A wise man told me there’s only one net. Carrying three goalies, you can only do it for a short period of time.”

That said, the Flames were pleased with how the Finnish netminder played last season. Ramo had a solid campaign, essentially splitting starting duties with Hiller — Ramo had 32 starts to Hiller’s 44 — and that trend carried over to the playoffs, where Hiller was the No. 1 against Vancouver, only to cede the gig in Round 2 versus Anaheim, when Ramo took the job and played well.

In Calgary’s Game 5 elimination contest, Ramo was stellar in stopping 44 of 47 shots, many of the highlight-reel variety.

Recent rumors suggested Calgary was in the market for another goalie. At the draft, the club was rumored to be in the running for former Rangers (now Oilers) netminder Cam Talbot — so, in that light, bringing back Ramo isn’t a huge surprise.

That said, the Finn has scored himself a nice raise — up from the $2.75M annually he made on his last deal — and the Flames now have $8.4M locked into him and Hiller.

Stars re-sign Eaves: one year, $1.15 million

Dallas Stars v San Jose Sharks

The Stars are bringing back Patrick Eaves for a second season in Dallas.

On Wednesday, the club and Eaves agreed to a one-year, $1.15 million deal, per the Dallas Morning News. The new contract comes after Eaves had a solid first season with the Stars, scoring 14 goals and 27 points in just 47 games (missing time with foot and ankle injuries).

The former Senator, Red Wing, Hurricane and Predator had fallen on tough times with healh issues and ineffectiveness over the last five years, so his bounce-back in ’14-15 was a pleasant surprise for Dallas.

GM Jim Nill took a low-risk flier on Eaves in free agency last year — inking the veteran to a $650,000 deal — and the move paid off, as Eaves matched the second-highest goal total of his career (the most he’s scored since 2006-07.)

Ducks quickly ink Bieksa to two-year, $8M extension

Kevin Bieksa

The Anaheim Ducks didn’t waste any time locking in Kevin Bieksa.

Acquired yesterday from Vancouver in exchange for a 2016 second-round pick, Bieksa today agreed to a two-year, $8 million extension with the Ducks — keeping him in Anaheim through 2018.

The 34-year-old has one year left on his current deal (at $4.6M per), so this latest extension won’t kick in until the 2016-17 campaign. While the new deal is a slight pay cut, it’s still a pretty healthy salary for a guy that looked to be slowing down last season, especially in Vancouver’s opening-round playoff loss to Calgary.

Still, Bieksa can be an effective player both offensively and defensively when healthy, and he did miss extensive time last year to a broken hand. He’ll also add some veteran know-how and grit to the Anaheim blueline, especially with Francois Beauchemin likely to sign elsewhere in free agency.

The move to Anaheim will, as has been mentioned earlier, re-united him with former Canucks teammate and roommate Ryan Kesler.