The Washington Capitals have agreed to a one-year, two-way contract with Dan Ellis, per the team’s website.
Ellis is a veteran of 212 career NHL games. The 35-year-old netminder posted a 2.35 GAA and .914 save percentage in eight contests with the Florida Panthers in 2014-15. He also had a 2.71 GAA and .904 save percentage in 37 AHL contests.
He’ll probably start the campaign competing for playing time in the minors with another veteran goaltender in Justin Peters. Meanwhile 25-year-old Braden Holtby and 23-year-old Philipp Grubauer are projected to begin the 2015-16 season as the Capitals’ starting and backup netminders respectively.
Due in part to the youth of the Capitals’ top two goalies, the projected AHL tandem has logged more NHL games than their Washington counterparts.
Washington has already had a busy summer with the signing of Justin Williams and acquisition of T.J. Oshie, but the team isn’t finished yet. It still needs to come to terms with restricted free agents Marcus Johansson, Evgeny Kuznetsov, and Holtby.
The Vancouver Canucks announced that Blair Jones has agreed to a one-year contract.
The financial details were not announced, but Jones is coming off of a one-year, two-way deal that had a $600,000 annual cap hit at the NHL level.
The 28-year-old forward recorded nine goals and 21 points in 33 games with the AHL’s Lehigh Valley Phantoms last season. He also logged four games with the Philadelphia Flyers and averaged 6:55 minutes per contest.
Jones is a veteran of 132 NHL games with the Tampa Bay Lightning, Calgary Flames, and Flyers. Although he’s been unable to secure a regular spot with an NHL squad, he has appeared in at least four contests at the top level in eight of the last nine seasons.
Mike Hoffman came with a $750,000 annual cap hit at the NHL level last season, but he’s due for a big raise after scoring 27 goals and 48 points in 79 games with the Senators. He’s reportedly not close to finding common ground with Ottawa though and the 25-year-old forward has filed for salary arbitration, per TSN’s Frank Seravalli.
Ottawa was able to claw its way into the playoffs last season on the strength of its young core with several of those players enjoying career seasons. That’s led to a summer of key negotiations for the Senators as they weigh each player’s 2014-15 performance against their sometimes short or otherwise less impressive resumes.
The Senators were able to ink goaltender Andrew Hammond to a three-year contract worth roughly $4 million and they recently signed Mark Stone to a three-year, $10.5 million deal.
In addition to Hoffman though, there’s also the possibility that an arbitrator will have to settle the negotiations with fellow restricted free agent Alex Chiasson.
“We’re far apart at this point and we don’t really see the arbitration case through the same lens,” Chiasson’s agent, Kent Hughes said, per PHT’s Dhiren Mahiban.
The silver lining is that Ottawa doesn’t have much left to take care of beyond Hoffman and Chiasson’s contracts. Shane Prince is the team’s only other remaining restricted free agent.
The Los Angeles Kings have inked Jamie McBain to a one-year, two-way contract, per LA Kings Insider.
His new contract comes with a $600,000 annual cap hit and he would still earn $300,000 yearly in the minors. He had a one-way deal worth $550,000 in 2013-14.
The 27-year-old defenseman had three goals and nine points in 26 games with the Kings last season. He logged 12:41 minutes per contest, including an average of 1:44 minutes with the man advantage.
How much he’s used next season will likely depend on what happens with Slava Voynov. He took a plea to a misdemeanor count of corporal injury to a spouse and will spend 90 days in jail and serve three years of probation.
Voynov is still suspended by both the league and the Kings and it remains to be seen when or if those bans will be lifted.
Even the day before the draft, Jack Eichel didn’t want to say if he would spend another season with Boston University or sign an entry-level contract over the summer. There was a time when he wasn’t sure himself, but playing in the 2015 World Championship helped inform his decision.
That was the first time he played competitively with and against some of the world’s top professional players. Versus that level of competition he had two goals and seven points in 10 games.
“Before the world championships, I was a little bit unsure,” he told the Buffalo News. “After going over there and having the experience I did, talking to a lot of guys, I came back pretty set on moving on. I could never really make anything public because I hadn’t been drafted yet.”
He made it official Wednesday by signing with the Buffalo Sabres. Along with Evander Kane and Ryan O’Reilly, he’ll be tasked with breathing new life into the worst offensive team of 2014-15. Expectations should be conservative for next season, but there’s no question that the hope is Eichel will develop into the cornerstone of this franchise.