Here are some smaller moves as teams gear up for the start of the free agent spending spree on July 1:
- This already floated around (along with the confirmation of Jarret Stoll’s contract), but the Los Angeles Kings indeed decided to bring back depth forward Colin Fraser. The marginal player – two Stanley Cup rings or not – gets a two-year deal, which is probably about as much as he can ask for. (GM Dean Lombardi had to bring him back after that whole Bernie Madoff thing, anyway, right?)
- The Minnesota Wild sent Marek Zidlicky to New Jersey for quite the Noah’s Ark/grab bag (depending on your views of the players involved) of assets last season. One of those guys was Stephane Veilleux, whom the Wild re-signed for one year today.
Here are a few of the more interesting players who received qualifying offers, with plenty of help from our pals at Rotoworld.
- The Florida Panthers wisely qualified Kris Versteeg. Being that Dale Tallon was involved, you’re free to make any fax machine-related jokes at this time. They also handed one to Dmitry Kulikov, who had a good year that was limited from being quietly great because of injuries. I wouldn’t blame either player – Versteeg especially – if they decide to ask for more money, even if it’s with the Panthers.
- It’s unlikely that “The Norwegian Hobbit Wizard” will be back with the New York Rangers anyway, but the team qualified him anyway just in case. It would certainly be sad to wave goodbye to that wonderful nickname, those fantastic shootout skills and … well, that’s about it. The team also qualified Anton Stralman, who’s more likely to make a difference on the ice but far less likely to delight us with an amusing nickname.