The Dallas Stars announced this afternoon that they have signed goaltender Andrew Raycroft to a two-year contract, filling their need for a backup goaltender to new starter Kari Lehtonen.
Financially, it’s a great deal for the Stars. The first season of the deal is two ways, worth $700,000/$105,000 and the second year a one-way deal worth $600,000.
Raycroft enjoyed a good start to his career in Boston, but hasn’t exactly shined the past four seasons. After nearly getting the Maple Leafs to the playoffs in 2007, he fell apart two years ago in Toronto and Colorado. After a decent season as Roberto Luongo’s backup in Vancouver, he gives the Stars a decent option as a backup goaltender.
Still no home for Marty Turco and Evgeni Nabokov.
We are now six hours into the 2010 NHL free agency period and still nothing concrete on Ilya Kovalchuk — the supposed top free agent this summer.
All day long it’s looked like the Los Angeles Kings were the frontrunners on Kovalchuk, but over the past few hours things have slowed down a bit on the Kovalchuk to LA talk. Right now the Kings are working on trading for a defensemen after missing out on the top free agents, and now it seems their focus isn’t completely on Kovalchuk.
While there’s a number of teams in on the Kovalchuk negotiations, including the New Jersey Devils, even now it seems like the Kings are still the favorite destination for the Russian sniper. Yet the rush of rumors and whispers about the contract talks have certainly slowed, as Kovalchuk waits for the perfect deal to come along.
Word is he’s waiting on Los Angeles to make the offer he wants, although as of now their focus is on improving the defense.
The Buffalo Sabres lost two defensemen via free agency, but managed to fill that void by signing free agent defenseman Jordan Leopold — who finished last season with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The financial terms haven’t been disclosed just yet, but it’s a three-year contract for another one of the more underrated defensemen on the market as more and more blueliners get big deals today.
Leopold has been a trade deadline piece the past two years, first going from Calgary to Florida in 2009, then heading from Florida to Pittsburgh this past spring.
While losing Lydman and Tallinder hurts, gaining Leopold should help the transition just a bit.