The Winnipeg Jets announced that Anthony Peluso has agreed to a two-year, $1.35 million contract extension.
The 26-year-old forward had two points and 86 penalty minutes in 49 games with Winnipeg in 2014-15. He was also credited with 100 hits.
He was originally taken by the St. Louis Blues in the sixth round of 2007 NHL Entry Draft, but he was placed on waivers in January 2013 before making his NHL debut. He was claimed by Winnipeg and has gone on to participate in 107 contests with the Jets.
Peluso was scheduled to become a restricted free agent this summer after completing his old two-year deal worth roughly $1.1 million.
Winnipeg still has a number of restricted free agents left, including defensemen Paul Postma, Keaton Ellerby, and Ben Chiarot.
The Washington Capitals announced that they have signed a two-year, $1,625,000 contract extension with defenseman Nate Schmidt.
Schmidt’s deal is one-way and will pay him $750,000 next season and $875,000 in 2016-17. That works out to be an annual cap hit of $812,500.
The 23-year-old defenseman was never drafted, but he excelled at the University of Minnesota. In 2012-13 he was part of the All-WCHA First Team after leading all defensemen with 41 points. He finished in a tie for third among NCAA blueliners in the scoring race in the subsequent campaign with 32 points in 40 contests.
He had a goal and four points in 39 contests in 2014-15 with Washington. He also recorded three goals and six assists in 19 AHL contests.
With Schmidt locked up, the Capitals now have six blueliners inked to one-way deals. Mike Green, John Erskine, and Tim Gleason are eligible to test the unrestricted free agent waters this summer.
It sounds like bench boss John Hynes will be retaining one of his assistant coaches from the AHL’s Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins as Alain Nasreddine is set to make the jump to the New Jersey Devils, according to Trib Total Media’s source.
Update: The Devils have officially announced the hiring of Nasreddine. Former Boston Bruins assistant coach Geoff Ward is also joining Hynes’ staff.
Like Hynes, the 39-year-old Nasreddine lacks NHL coaching experience, but he has spent the last five seasons with the AHL Penguins. Before that he was a journeyman defenseman that logged 74 games at the NHL level.
Nasreddine’s primary duties as part of Hynes’ old staff were to help with the defense and penalty kill, which raises further questions about Scott Stevens’ future with the organization. Stevens served as a co-coach along with Adam Oates last season and when he didn’t get the head coaching gig, he expressed an interest in joining Hynes’ staff as an assistant. With Hynes and the Devils now expected to hire Nasreddine, there might not be a role available for Stevens.
As previously noted, the Devils won’t have to give the Pittsburgh Penguins a draft pick to hire Nasreddine after already surrendering a 2016 third rounder for Hynes’ services.
The Nashville Predators announced that they have signed goaltender Juuse Saros to a three-year, entry-level contract.
Saros, 20, was taken with the 99th overall pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. He’s coming off of a strong season in the Finnish league where he posted a 2.14 GAA and .929 save percentage in 47 games with HPK Hameenlinna. That’s after he was 2013-14 Finnish Elite League Rookie of the Year with a 1.76 GAA and .928 save percentage in 44 games.
On the international stage, Saros led Finland to a gold medal in the 2014 World Juniors. He also was Pekka Rinne’s understudy in the 2015 World Championship. That role didn’t lend itself to much playing time, but when he was called into service against Slovakia, he earned a shutout by turning aside 22 shots.
Rather than once again become Rinne’s backup, Saros is more likely to be given a chance to adjust to North American hockey while honing his skills in the minors during the 2015-16 campaign. Nashville already has Carter Hutton inked to a one-way contract, although the 29-year-old goaltender’s deal will expire after the 2015-16 campaign, so if Saros has a strong season then perhaps he’ll be viewed as a serious candidate for the backup job at that time.