Some smaller signings to pass your way…
• Nashville has signed veteran d-man Barret Jackman to a two-year, $4 million deal with an average annual cap hit of $2 million. Jackman, 34, had previously spent his entire NHL career — 14 years, 803 games — with the St. Louis Blues and, though it was a while ago, is still one of just four defensemen in the last 25 years to win the Calder Memorial Trophy as NHL rookie of the year.
In Nashville, he’ll provide a veteran presence in the club’s top-six defense alongside Shea Weber, Roman Josi, Seth Jones, Mattias Ekholm and Ryan Ellis.
• New Jersey has signed former Blue Jackets, Rangers and Coyotes defenseman John Moore to a three-year, $5 million deal with an average annual value of $1.67M. Columbus’ first-round pick (21st overall) at the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, Moore had a pretty decent ’13-14 campaign with the Rangers (15 points in 74 games, 21 playoff appearances) but was sent to Arizona as part of the Keith Yandle trade, and wasn’t given a qualifying offer by Coyotes GM Don Maloney.
• Just days after Montreal bought him out of his contract, P.A. Parenteau has signed a one-year, $1.5 million deal with Toronto.
Parenteau, 32, has struggled to find the form that saw him score 67 points in 80 games for the Islanders in 2011-12 — when he played on a line with John Tavares — but less will be expected of him now that he’s no longer pulling down a $4 million cap hit.
Steve Mason has a new crease partner in Philly.
On Wednesday, the Flyers signed former Caps, Sabres and Isles goalie Michal Neuvirth to a two-year, $3.25 million deal, one that carries an average annual cap hit of $1.625M.
It’s an interesting acquisition. Prior to signing, agent Patrick Stefan was insistent that Neuvrith was “ready to be the No. 1 goalie” wherever he signed but, obviously, that won’t be the case in Philly as Mason is coming off a pretty solid campaign and firmly entrenched as the starter.
But that said, Neuvirth gets a two-year pact out of the deal and the Flyers get an upgrade at the goalie position, especially after Ray Emery failed to impress as Mason’s backup last year.
In Buffalo, Neuvirth showed flashes of a guy that could be a No. 1, especially in the weeks leading up to his trade to New York. The Czech netminder posted a .938 save percentage in February and, overall, had a .918 in 27 games — pretty good, considering the Sabres were the NHL’s worst team.
Michal Neuvirth is out, and Thomas Greiss is in.
That’s the move Isles GM Garth Snow pulled off to open free agency on Wednesday, signing former Pittsburgh goalie Thomas Greiss to a two-year, $3 million deal (per Newsday).
Griess had a somewhat forgettable stint with the Penguins last season, largely due to Marc-Andre Fleury carrying such a heavy workload. The 29-year-old started just 18 times (9-6-3, 2.59 GAA, .908 save percentage), got the mumps and played just a handful of times down the stretch.
That said, player agent Rey Petkau said Greiss was interested in returning to Pittsburgh.
“We’ve spoken and neither side has closed the door,” he explained in late May. “But we’re not actively negotiating at this time either.”
At $1.5 million per season, Greiss is an affordable and seasoned backup to Jaroslav Halak. He has 89 games of NHL experience under his belt and will look to replicate the success he had as Mike Smith’s backup in Arizona two years ago, when he went 10-8-5 with a .920 save percentage.
In another move today, the Isles also confirmed what we posted yesterday — a new three-year deal for Thomas Hickey. It’s a $6.6 million pact, with an average annual cap hit of $2.2M.
The New York Islanders have signed pending restricted free agent Anders Lee to a four-year, $15 million contract, the club announced on Tuesday.
Hockey insider Darren Dreger has the breakdown of Lee’s new deal:
Lee scored 25 goals and 41 points in 76 games as a rookie last season with the Islanders.
“Anders has proven to be an effective goal scorer over his two seasons with the club,” GM Garth Snow said in a statement. “We’re thrilled to have another home-grown talent signed long term.”
In 100 career NHL games Lee has 35 goals and 22 assists while averaging 14:34 in ice time a night.
“I’m extremely excited to finalize this deal and ensure that I’m a New York Islander for the next four seasons,” Lee said. “The organization has been nothing but first class to me from the moment I was drafted. I look forward to competing for the Stanley Cup in each year while playing in front of the best fans in the NHL.”
With Lee’s signing the Islanders have $12.9 million in cap space to work with heading in to free agency, according to Generalfanager.com.
Sounds as though the New York Islanders are close to a deal with pending RFA blueliner Thomas Hickey.
Per Newsday’s sources, the contract extension is believed to be of the three-year variety, with Hickey pulling down “in the range of” $6.5 million total — a cap hit of around $2.16M.
For Hickey, 26, it’s a nice bump from the $675,000 he netted annually on his last deal.
The former Kings first-rounder was claimed off waivers by the Isles prior to the lockout-shortened ’13 campaign and has been a steady lineup presence ever since; he’s appeared in 82 and 81 games in consecutive seasons and both set and matched a career-high in points, with 22 each year.
Getting Hickey locked in was fairly important for the Isles, as they dealt away Griffin Reinhart at the draft and don’t expect to return Lubomir Visnovsky.
That puts Hickey in a top-six defensive group with Johnny Boychuk, Travis Hamonic, Nick Leddy, Calvin De Haan and Brian Strait, with youngsters like Ryan Pulock and Scott Mayfield looking to make the leap.