The New York Rangers have locked in the key piece acquired in the Carl Hagelin-to-Anaheim trade — on Tuesday, the club signed Emerson Etem to a one-year deal worth $850,500, per the New York Post.
Etem, 23, is a former first-round pick (29th overall, 2010) that never seemed to fit in Anaheim. Despite lightning-quick skating ability and a nice skill set, the California native never played more than 45 games in a single season for the Ducks, and never scored more than 11 points. He did show some flashes this postseason, however, scoring three goals in 12 games for Anaheim, including this beauty against Winnipeg in the opening round:
In New York, Etem will get a fresh start — something Ducks GM Bob Murray said the youngster might need at this stage of his career — and should get a decent shot at minutes on a Rangers team that’s been thinned out up front. Hagelin is gone, Martin St. Louis retired and UFA James Sheppard remains unsigned.
The Rangers did bring in speedy ex-Preds forward Viktor Stalberg, however, and that could cut into Etem’s opportunity.
From Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News:
Everyone knows that Johnny Oduya’s first choice is to remain with the Chicago Blackhawks. But the 33-year-old defenseman can’t wait around forever for GM Stan Bowman to clear the cap space.
If it’s not the ‘Hawks, the Stars — with a young, inexperienced defense that doesn’t have veteran Trevor Daley anymore — may make sense. Dallas has a ton of talent up front, and after GM Jim Nill signed Antti Niemi to address the goaltending, the blue line is the one area that could perhaps be improved.
The Buffalo Sabres are another team that’s interested in signing Oduya. There are undoubtedly a few others.
For those teams that lose out on Oduya, other UFA d-men include Cody Franson and Christian Ehrhoff.
Related: Ehrhoff will take another one-year contract
On Sunday, Toronto acquired Taylor Beck from Nashville in exchange for Jamie Devane.
On Monday, the Leafs locked him in.
The two sides have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $875,000 deal, per Sportsnet. Beck, 24, had filed for arbitration while still a member of the Predators, only to have his RFA rights shipped to Toronto over the weekend.
All told, it’s a decent pickup for Toronto.
Beck has good size — 6-foot-2, 203 pounds — and was moderately productive in Nashville last year, scoring eight goals and 16 points in 62 games. He also just turned 24 in May, so the Leafs get a young player with good NHL experience.
Beck has 85 regular season games on his resume, and appeared in five of Nashville’s six games during an opening-round playoff loss to Chicago this past spring.