Anaheim Ducks

Columnist: O’Reilly deal could be costly for Rangers with Stepan

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Derek Stepan might lack a little in the way of negotiating power as a restricted free agent, but the New York Post’s Larry Brooks believes that he recently received a big boost in leverage.

In Brooks’ mind, the big seven-year, $52 million deal ($7.5 million cap hit) Ryan O’Reilly signed with the Buffalo Sabres will leave the New York Rangers in a “cap vise” thanks to its comparables regarding Stepan:

A number than starts with a “7” for Stepan is all but untenable for the Rangers as they are constructed. An award that’s closer to starting with an “8” than a “7” would place the ’15-16 Blueshirts’ roster in a cap vise. Beyond that, an arbitration award almost certainly starts the clock ticking on Stepan’s Broadway expiration date two years hence.

As Brooks notes, it’s plausible that Stepan, 25, may indeed file for salary arbitration by today’s deadline.

Even if this doomsday scenario gets downgraded to things being really tight, Brooks has a point about possible domino effects for the Rangers. General Fanager pegs the Rangers’ cap space at about $10.2 million, so anything in the $7 million range would start to make things uncomfortable, especially since New York still has other RFAs to consider in J.T. Miller, Emerson Etem and Jesper Fast.

Could that force the team’s hand in trading someone like Keith Yandle? Might the Rangers need to make more like the Chicago Blackhawks and move Stepan’s rights instead?

Yes, this speculation could turn out to be excessive worrying, especially if Stepan decided to take a slight “hometown discount” to stay on a contending team/help keep his team in contention.

Even so, if Stepan’s reps use O’Reilly’s extension as a measuring stick, the Rangers might indeed be sweating it.

Report: Leafs have granted the Ducks permission to hire Dave Nonis

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The Anaheim Ducks filled out their coaching staff on Tuesday with the hiring of Paul MacLean, now they’re looking to add to the their front office.

According to hockey insider Darren Dreger, the Toronto Maple Leafs have granted the Ducks permission to hire Dave Nonis as an advisor.

Nonis was fired by the Leafs along with interim head coach Peter Horachek on April 12.

The 49-year-old joined the organization as the club’s senior vice-president and director of hockey operations in December 2008. When Brian Burke was fired in January 2013, Nonis was promoted to the GM’s role.

Under Nonis’ leadership the Leafs qualified for the playoffs once in three seasons.

Nonis previously held the title of senior advisor of hockey operations with the Anaheim Ducks from June to December of 2008.

Current Ducks GM Bob Murray and Nonis have worked together previously with the Ducks and the Vancouver Canucks.

Nonis was first linked to Anaheim last month by the Vancouver Sun.

Flyers add depth in goal, sign LaBarbera

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The Philadelphia Flyers have signed goaltender Jason LaBarbera to a one-year, two-way deal, the club announced.

The 35-year-old split the 2014-15 season between the Anaheim Ducks and Norfolk Admirals of the American Hockey League.

In five appearances with the Ducks, LaBarbera went 2-0-1 while posting a 2.61 G.A.A. and a .909 save percentage. He was 9-16-7 in 34 games with the Admirals to go along with a 2.62 G.A.A. and a .912 save percentage.

LaBarbera became expendable in Anaheim after the Ducks signed Matt Hackett.

With the signing of LaBarbera, Rob Zepp’s time in the Philadelphia organization is likely over. The 33-year-old is currently an unrestricted free agent.

LaBarbera will likely be tasked with helping Anthony Stolarz develop with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. LaBarbera would be the Flyers’ first call up should an injury occur to Steve Mason or backup Michal Neuvirth.

Ducks bring back d-man Holzer with one-year, $750K deal

Despite the fact he’s never played a game for them, Korbinian Holzer has been re-signed by the Ducks.

Holzer, a trade deadline acquisition from Toronto, has signed a one-year, $750,000 extension with Anaheim, the club announced on Thursday.

The German rearguard suffered a concussion just prior to getting dealt, an injury that sidelined him for the remainder of the season. Though he was eventually cleared to play, that clearance came during the playoffs, making it difficult for Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau to insert Holzer into the lineup.

When healthy, Holzer was a decent contributor for the Leafs. He had six points in 34 games, averaged 17 minutes per night and has good size (6-foot-3, 205 pounds).

In Anaheim, he’ll be battling for a seventh d-man job, possibly with the likes of Josh Manson and former first-round pick Shea Theodore.

Here’s who’s left after Day 1 of free agency

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Well, the first day of NHL free agency is over, and some big names were crossed off the board (generally for surprisingly reasonable prices). Even so, there are quite a few significant players still looking for a new contract as of July 2.

Let’s take a look at some of the most noteworthy parties who are still looking for a dance partner.

Martin St. Louis (pictured) – At 40, the pint-sized winger is almost certainly limited to a short-term (probably one-year) deal. His production plummeted in 2014-15, so he likely relates to the likes of Justin Williams in not having a great contract year. Perhaps he’ll end up with a short, cheap deal that will be comparable to that of former teammate Brad Richards? Retirement is always a possibility, too.

Joel Ward – This has not been a great start for players who market themselves as “clutch guys.” Ward doesn’t believe in clutch, yet people who may fall under that perceived category – Antoine Vermette and Williams – either grabbed the same amount of money or less than they made before.

Seriously, Day 1 was weird.

Johnny Oduya – A veteran defenseman with a lot of desirable qualities, although he doesn’t possess the sort of offensive panache as someone like Mike Green. One would assume that his agent would try to use Francois Beauchemin (three years, $13.5 million) and Paul Martin (four years, $19.4 million) as comparables.

Cody Franson – How much did the trade to Nashville hurt his bargaining power? Still, he’s just 27 and already has two 30+ point seasons to his name (plus his possession numbers are solid). Plenty of teams could use defense, yet as you can see from this list, other quality choices might undercut his value a bit.

Christian Ehrhoff – Speaking of rough contract years, Ehrhoff’s was pretty much a disaster. Could he be a nice bargain? Perhaps he’ll opt for another one-year deal to drive up the price of a future contract …

Eric Fehr – He scored 19 goals this season and peaked with 21 in 2009-10. His only sabbatical from Washington (2011-12 with Winnipeg) went poorly, yet he could be a great sneaky pickup, perhaps for a contender?

Alexander Semin – One of the great mysteries of the market. He fits a theme of fading free agents: the once-terrifying sniper’s either like Dany Heatley in 2015 (done) or a resounding reclamation project.

Chris Stewart – Perennially disappointing, yet he almost scored 30 goals once and could be useful at the right price (and in the right situation).

Lubomir Visnovsky – As injury-prone as ever, yet his offensive skills could make him a nice depth find.

Marek Zidlicky – He is what he is: an aging and flawed blueliner who can still be a scoring asset.

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This isn’t a comprehensive list, but it represents some of the bigger remaining names. Which player(s) should your team swipe?