The Pittsburgh Penguins have traded center Brandon Sutter and a third-round draft pick to Vancouver for center Nick Bonino, defenseman Adam Clendening and a second-round pick.
Sutter had 21 goals and 12 assists for the Pens last season. The 26-year-old is a pending unrestricted free agent with a cap hit of $3.3 million.
Bonino had 15 goals and 24 assists for Vancouver. The 27-year-old has two years left on his contract, with a cap hit of $1.9 million.
Clendening is an offensive defenseman who’s put up good numbers in the AHL, but has played just 21 NHL games for Chicago and Vancouver. The 22-year-old was traded to the Canucks in January.
The Penguins also announced today that they’d signed center Eric Fehr to a three-year deal.
The Washington Capitals added organizational depth along their blue line, signing 26-year-old defenseman Ryan Stanton to a one-year, two-way contract in a deal announced Friday.
The Vancouver Canucks, having signed left-shooting defenseman Luca Sbisa to a contract extension this past season, didn’t tender Stanton a qualifying offer, eventually turning him into an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
From Alex Prewitt of the Washington Post:
An undrafted free agent who parlayed three American Hockey League seasons into his NHL debut with Chicago in 2012-13, Stanton will likely bring a veteran presence to an expectedly young blue line in Hershey, where three professional rookies — Madison Bowey, Tyler Lewington and Christian Djoos — will compete for time. Mike Moore, Erik Burgdoerfer and Connor Carrick round out the corps.
The Canucks, under former GM Mike Gillis, claimed Stanton off waivers from Chicago just prior to the start of the 2013-14 season. He showed potential in his first few months with Vancouver, before suffering an ankle injury that kept him out of the lineup for more than a month.
In 118 career games with the Canucks over two seasons, Stanton scored four goals and 27 points.
One of the biggest fish left in free agency says more than a few lines have been cast his way.
Cody Franson, the 27-year-old UFA defenseman that’s still yet to sign, says he’s been speaking with five or six teams about possibly signing — a group that includes the Boston Bruins.
“With the trade they made with [Dougie] Hamilton and some of the other stuff they’ve done, they’re one of the teams that we’re in talks with,” Franson told TSN 1040 Vancouver on Tuesday. “Boston would be an interesting spot. It’s obviously an awesome city, and they’ve got a great organization and all those things that come with it.”
It’s not surprising Boston’s in the mix. The club’s blueline has been badly depleted since going to the Stanley Cup Final in 2013 — gone from that team are Hamilton, Johnny Boychuk, Andrew Ference and Matt Bartkowski. That’s left the B’s in a rather precarious spot; if the season started today, Boston’s top-four would be comprised of Zdeno Chara, Dennis Seidenberg, Torey Krug and Adam McQuaid.
Zach Trotman, Kevan Miller, Joe Morrow and Matt Irwin would (presumably) be battling for spots Nos. 5 and 6.
Franson’s also a good fit to replace Hamilton. Both are rangy, right-hand shots with offensive upside… thing is, it might not work financially. The Bruins have just under $5 million in available cap space, and it sounds like Franson is looking for a deal with a fair amount of money — and something more long-term.
“Obviously, I’d like to get something a little more than one year,” he said. “I’m sick of doing one-year deals.”
Per an earlier report from PHT’s Dhiren Mahiban, it’s believed Pittsburgh and Buffalo are also interested in Franson.