Defenseman Andre Benoit has agreed to a one-year, two-way contract with the St. Louis Blues.
From the press release:
Benoit, 31, dressed in 59 regular season games with the Buffalo Sabres last season, posting nine points (one goal, eight assists) and 20 penalty minutes.
Overall, the 5’11, 192-pound has appeared in four National Hockey League (NHL) seasons, including stints with Ottawa, Colorado and Buffalo. He has amassed 48 points (11 goals, 37 assists) and 60 penalty minutes in 179 career regular season games, as well as four assists and six penalty minutes in 12 career postseason games.
The Blues already have six d-men on one-way contracts for next season: Alex Pietrangelo, Jay Bouwmeester, Kevin Shattenkirk, Carl Gunnarsson, Robert Bortuzzo, and Chris Butler. There’s also young Petteri Lindbohm, still on his entry-level deal.
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 deal is reportedly worth $4.7 million, with a salary of $2.2 million next season and $2.5 million in 2016-17.
Allen was a restricted free agent. The 24-year-old goalie went 22-7-4 during the regular season, with a .913 save percentage. He then had his struggles in the playoffs (.904 in six starts) as the Blues were eliminated in the first round.
Next season, Allen and Brian Elliott, also under contract for two more years, will once again compete for the starting role.
“We believe that we have two good goaltenders and training camp is going to decide who plays opening night,” GM Doug Armstrong said recently. “That’s how I see it from my perspective.”
Coach Ken Hitchcock believes that what Allen experienced in the playoffs will help him going forward.
“I get the fact there were three goals that went in that were ugly,” Hitchcock said in May. “That’s the growth of a young player.”
Allen will still be an RFA when his contract expires.