Mike Halford

You've heard the expression "let's get busy?" Well, Mike Halford is a blogger who gets "biz-zay!" Consistently and thoroughly.
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Shattenkirk follows heart, signs with Rangers

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Kevin Shattenkirk is headed home.

The New Rochelle, New York native — who, earlier this morning, was the subject of conflicting reports — has now signed with the Rangers. Per TSN, it’s a four-year pact worth $26.6 million, one that carries a $6.65 million average annual cap hit.

The figures are extremely close to the ones initially listed by NHL Network’s Kevin Weekes, who later backed off his report after TSN’s Frank Seravalli and the New York Post’s Larry Brooks claimed it was premature and inaccurate.

Weekes had stated it was a four-year deal for Shattenkirk in New York, but with a $6.9M cap hit.

Whatever the case, the deal’s done now.

Known for his offensive abilities and power play work, Shattenkirk is a big get for the Rangers. He was named to the All-Star Game in 2015 and represented the U.S. at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, and will now fill the offensive defenseman void from when Keith Yandle departed New York last summer.

With the removal of Dan Girardi (via buyout) and the uncertain future of Kevin Klein (mulling retirement), the Rangers have dramatically remodeled their defense, with Shattenkirk being the signature piece. GM Jeff Gorton also added Anthony DeAngelo from Arizona in the Derek StepanAntti Raanta trade, and re-upped with pending free agent Brendan Smith.

As mentioned above, this is a homecoming for Shattenkirk — and he’s taken a hometown discount. It’s believed there were offers for more money and longer term available.

One has to think the New Jersey Devils tabled something of significance. The club had been linked to Shattenkirk and GM Ray Shero had a boatload of cap space, creating even more earlier this week by buying out Mike Cammalleri. Shattenkirk would’ve been a massive addition to the Devils’ blueline, one of the thinnest in the league.

Panthers sign KHL scorer Dadonov to three-year deal

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Florida returned a familiar face on the opening day of free agency, agreeing to terms with Russian forward Evgeni Dadonov.

Dadonov was taken by the Panthers at the 2007 draft and appeared in 55 games for the club before leaving for the KHL.

More, from the club:

“We are thrilled welcome Evgeny back to South Florida,” said [Florida GM Dale] Tallon. “He is an exciting, talented forward who fits well with our core group. We are pleased that Evgeny has chosen to continue his NHL career as Panther.”

Dadonov, 28, recorded 66 points (30-36-66) in 53 regular season games with St. Petersburg SKA of the Kontinental Hockey League and posted 19 points (9-10-19) in 18 postseason games to win the Gagarin Cup. Dadonov finished the KHL season ranking fourth in goals and fifth in points.

Per TSN, it’s believed to be a $12 million deal with a $4 million average annual cap hit.

Just over a month ago, reports surfaced that Vegas had interest in Dadonov. That would’ve been quite an addition for the Golden Knights, who have already signed his St. Petersburg SKA teammate, Vadim Shipachyov, to a two-year, $9 million deal this offseason.

Kings bring back Cammalleri, sign Folin and Petersen

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What’s old is new again in Los Angeles.

Per TSN, the Kings have signed former Devils forward Mike Cammalleri, who was drafted by the club in 2001 and spent the first six years of his career in Hollywood. Among Cammalleri’s old teammates is the Kings’ new GM, Rob Blake.

Earlier this week, New Jersey bought out the remainder of Cammalleri’s five-year, $25 million deal. The decision came after the 35-year-old scored 10 goals and 31 points in 61 games.

Cammalleri’s deal in L.A. is for $1 million, with performance bonuses.

That wasn’t the only deal Blake orchestrated today. He shored up the club’s blueline by inking former Wild d-man Christian Folin to a one-year, $850,000 deal. Folin, 26, appeared in 51 games for Minnesota last season.

The Kings also made their acquisition of Notre Dame goalie prospect Cal Petersen official.

Petersen, 22, is coming off a great junior year for the Fighting Irish. He went 23-12-5 with a .926 save percentage and 2.22 GAA, helping the club advance to the Frozen Four. Petersen was also named a finalist for this year’s Mike Richter Award, given annually to college hockey’s top goalie.

He was originally drafted by Buffalo in 2012, but opted against signing for the Sabres.

Big money: Sharks drop $90.5 million to extend Jones, Vlasic

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Back in April, Sharks GM Doug Armstrong said it was “extremely important” to get Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Martin Jones locked into long-term deals.

Now we know just how important it truly was.

San Jose made a huge splash on the opening day of free agency, signing Vlasic to an eight-year, $56 million extension and Jones to a six-year, $34.5 million deal. Per TSN, Vlasic will now carry a $7 million cap hit, while Jones’ comes in at $5.75M.

Both contracts will kick in for the 2018-19 campaign.

Jones, 27, has been rock solid for the Sharks since being acquired via trade two years ago. He backstopped them to the ’16 Cup Final and has been one of the league’s busiest workhorses, starting 65 games in each of the last two years.

“We’re very happy we could get this extension done with Martin and feel that he is just beginning to hit his peak in terms of growth and prime playing seasons,” said Wilson. “He has proven that he is more than capable of excelling in high-pressure situations and big games, and we feel he has become one of the top goaltenders in the League. He is a calming influence in net for our team and we’re excited to have him in net for us for the foreseeable future.”

Vlasic, 30, has spent his entire 10-year career in San Jose. He’s developed a reputation as one of the league’s better defensive defensemen, strengthened by his role on Canada’s gold medal-winning side at the 2014 Olympics, and 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

Vlasic’s current deal — a five-year, $21.25 million pact — carries an average cap hit of $4.25M. Wilson didn’t mince words in describing how good he thinks Vlasic is.

“We’re thrilled we could get this extension done early and ensure one of the League’s top defensemen will remain in San Jose for the long term,” said Wilson. “Both Marc-Edouard and Hasso Plattner stepped forward and committed to get this deal done now, and this helps solidify our blueline for years to come. Marc-Edouard has been an integral part of this team, both on and off the ice, and we are excited to have him in San Jose for at least the next eight years.”

Predators send Colin Wilson to Avalanche for fourth-round pick

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Colin Wilson, who’s spent his entire career with Nashville after getting taken seventh overall in 2008, is on his way out of town.

The Preds have dealt Wilson to Colorado in exchange for a fourth-round pick in 2019, per TSN. The move essentially amounts to a salary dump for the Preds, who opened free agency by signing Nick Bonino to a four-year, $16.1 million deal.

Wilson has two years left on a four-year, $3.9 million pact. That was too steep a price for GM David Poile to continue paying, especially since the Preds have young forwards capable of replacing Wilson’s production (Kevin Fiala and Pontus Aberg, most notably).

Poile also needs to maintain cap space for Ryan Johansen and Viktor Arvidsson, both of whom are RFAs and in need of new contracts this summer.

For Colorado, they get a 27-year-old forward that, two seasons ago, posted career highs in goals (20) and points (42). It’s a decent upgrade in talent — something the Avs need — and the cost was minimal.