Author: Mike Halford

Arizona Coyotes v Buffalo Sabres

No buyout: Flyers will keep Gagner


Sam Gagner is a Philadelphia Flyer — for now, anyway.

On Monday, the Flyers elected not to buy out Gagner prior to the window closing at 12 p.m. ET, meaning he’s a part of the club for the foreseeable future (barring a trade, of course).

More, from CSN Philly:

Gagner told that the last few days have been very “stressful” since being traded here from Arizona while not knowing what his future held.

“I’m very excited and motivated,” Gagner said, adding he did not get much sleep. 

Gagner, acquired at the draft from Arizona in a strange deal that saw Philly send Nicklas Grossmann and Chris Pronger’s contract to the Coyotes, was unsure if he’d ever wear Flyer orange.

His parting gift from Arizona was GM Don Maloney saying he ‘can’t play center at the NHL level,” and his arrival gift in Philadelphia was learning GM Ron Hextall was considering a buyout.

It was a tough turn of events for the former first-round pick. Gagner, who is still only 25 years old, carries a relatively large cap hit of $4.8 million (although some was retained in an earlier deal with Tampa Bay) but has proven to be productive in the past, and scored 41 points in 81 games for the Coyotes last season — tops among all Arizona forwards.

Habs re-sign deadline pickup Flynn: two years, $1.9 million

Montreal Canadiens v Toronto Maple Leafs

After a short cameo at the end of last season, Brian Flynn has re-upped in Montreal.

On Monday, the Habs announced they signed Flynn to a two-year, $1.9 million deal with an average annual cap hit of $950,000. A serviceable depth forward, Flynn was set to become a restricted free agent but avoids that route with this deal, which represents a slight pay raise from his previous contract.

The former Sabre, who had three points in six playoff games for the Habs last year, is the latest of GM Marc Bergenvin’s trade deadline pickups to stick in Montreal.

Previously, the Canadiens signed d-man Jeff Petry — acquired from Edmonton at the deadline — to a six-year, $33 million extension. Torrey Mitchell — who,  like Flynn also came over from Buffalo — agreed to a new contract shortly after Petry, inking for $3.6 million over three years.

With those three now locked in and P.A. Parenteau bought out of his contract, Bergevin can focus on other tasks at hand — specifically, new deals for RFA forward Alex Galchenyuk and blueliner Jarred Tinordi.

Christian Thomas, a winger that’s spent most of his time in AHL Hamilton, also needs a new deal.

Florida waives Boyes for buyout purposes

Carolina Hurricanes v Florida Panthers

The Florida Panthers are ready to part ways with veteran forward Brad Boyes.

Per TSN, the club has placed Boyes on waivers for the purpose of buying out the last of his two-year, $5.25 million contract — one that carries a cap hit of $2.625M.

Per Cap Friendly, the buyout will cost Florida $833,333 in each of the next two seasons, while carrying a cap hit of $958,333 in year one and $833,333 in year two.

Boyes, 33, has spent the last two seasons in Florida and achieved a decent level of success, scoring 21 goals in his first year and 38 points last year — his highest total since 2011. That said, he did see a dip in minutes under new head coach Gerard Gallant this year.

The well-traveled journeyman could land with a new team once his buyout is complete. Though not the scorer he once was — Boyes netted 43 during the 2007-08 campaign, lest we forget — he can still produce on occasion and has proven durable, missing just eight games over the last three seasons.

Boyes is also one of the NHL’s all-time best in the shootout.

What character concerns? Treliving has ‘slept like a baby’ since Hamilton trade

Dougie Hamilton

Not long after the inevitable “Dougie Hamilton was disliked!” stories came out of Boston, Hamilton’s new boss — Flames GM Brad Treliving — shot down any notion the young d-man was arriving in Calgary with character concerns.

From the Sun:

“I’m not going to comment on any anonymous people out there, but we’ve done our homework — thorough homework — both on the player and the person, and we are over-the-moon excited about the player and the person that we’re getting,” Treliving said. “We think he’s going to fit like a glove — on and off the ice — with us.

“This type of player doesn’t come around very often at this age. You’re talking about a very intelligent kid. He’s a 98% student. He won the scholastic award (in the Ontario Hockey League in 2011). I like that he’s a very cerebral kid. Smart. Intelligent.

“This doesn’t keep me awake at night. Since the day we got Dougie Hamilton, I’ve had the best sleeps of the past few years. I’ve slept like a baby.”

As if to further hammer home his point, Treliving began negotiating a contract extension with Hamilton’s agent, J.P. Barry, before the club made its perfunctory qualifying offer on Monday. If you’re wondering what the figures might look like, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported that Boston’s offer to Hamilton was for $33 million over six years — a $5.5M annual cap hit — while the counter was “about $2M per year higher.”

In that light, it’ll be really curious to see what number Calgary settles on — especially given what else the club needs to do this summer.

Treliving’s on record saying his biggest priority of the offseason was an extension with another key defenseman, team captain Mark Giordano, and early rumblings suggest the Giordano camp has opened negotiations with an eye-popping ask of $9 million per season.

Could be a spendy July in Calgary.

‘Hawks sign No. 3 goalie Leighton to one-year extension

Michael Leighton, Chicago Blackhawks

Just days after trading away Antti Raanta, the Chicago Blackhawks have shored up their goaltending by re-signing veteran Michael Leighton.

Per ESPN, it’s a two-way deal that pays $575,000 at the NHL level.

Leighton, 34, enjoyed a solid campaign with AHL Rockford last season, going 22-13-4 with a 2.26 GAA and .920 save percentage. He finished with five shutouts, led the team to the playoffs and was named the IceHogs’ MVP.

A veteran of over 100 career NHL games — and a Stanley Cup Final with Philadelphia, which he lost to the ‘Hawks — Leighton is now firmly entrenched as Chicago’s No. 3 netminder, behind Scott Darling and Corey Crawford.

Raanta, who at times served as Crawford’s backup with the ‘Hawks, was traded to the Rangers at the draft to fill Cam Talbot’s backup gig behind Henrik Lundqvist. Talbot was flipped to Edmonton.