PHT’s 2014 free agent frenzy tracker

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Welcome to Thunderdome! Or, as us in the hockey biz like to call it, July 1.

Throughout today, PHT will bring you up-to-the-minute news covering all the signings and trades that go down across the NHL. And — because we know you don’t wanna go looking all over the place for what’s happened — we’ve created this here handy tracker to keep tabs on all the action.

Enjoy the day…

Tuesday, July 1

New York Islanders sign Harry Zolnierczyk: for one year, $600,000 (link); they also sign Cory Conacher to an identical one-year, $600,000 deal (link)

Detroit Red Wings re-sign D Kyle Quincey for two years, $8.5 million (link)

Anaheim Ducks sign G Jason LaBarbera for one year, $750,000 (link)

New York Islanders signed F Jack Skille to a two-way deal (link)

Tampa Bay signs G Evgeni Nabokov: one year, $1.55 million (link)

Pittsburgh re-signs C Marcel Goc: one year, $1.2 million (link)

Florida signs D Willie Mitchell: two years, $8.5 million (link)

Philadelphia Flyers signed F Blair Jones to a two-way deal (link)

New Jersey re-signs F Stephen Gionta: two years, $1.7 million (link)

Dallas signs F Patrick Eaves: one year, $600,000 (link)

Washington signs D Matt Niskanen: seven years, $40 million (link)

Chicago signs C Brad Richards: one year, $2 million (link)

Phoenix signs G Devan Dubnyk: one year, $800,000 (link)

Philadelphia signs G Ray Emery (one year, $1M) and G Robb Zepp (link)

Buffalo signs D Andrej Meszaros: one year, $4.125 million (link)

Calgary signs D Deryk Engelland: three years, $8.7 million (link)

Tampa Bay signs F Mike Blunden: one year, $600,000 (link)

New Jersey signs G Scott Clemmensen: one year, $ N/A (link)

Detroit signs F Kevin Porter (link)

Buffalo signs F Cody McCormick: three years, $4.5 million (link)

Carolina re-signs F Jiri Tlusty: one year, $2.95 million (link)

Tampa Bay signs D Anton Stralman: five years, $22.5 million (link)

Columbus trades Matt Frattin to Toronto for Jerry D’Amigo (link)

Buffalo re-signs F Marcus Foligno: two years, $3.75 million (link)

Colorado signs RW Jarome Iginla: three years, $16 million (link)

New Jersey re-signs F Steve Bernier: one year, $600,000 (link)

Buffalo signs LW Matt Moulson: four years, $25 million (link)

Toronto signs F Leo Komarkov: four years, $11.8 million (link)

Chicago re-signs C Peter Regin: one year, $650,000 (link)

Colorado signs D Zach Redmond: two years, $1.5 million (link)

New Jersey signs F Martin Havlat: one year, $1.5 million (link)

Florida signs C Derek McKenzie: three years, $3.9 million (link)

Minnesota signs Thomas Vanek: three years, $19.5 million (link)

New York Rangers re-sign Dominic Moore (two years, $3M), sign Tanner Glass (three years, $4.35M) (link)

Toronto signs D Stephane Robidas: three years, $9 million (link)

Florida signs RW Shawn Thornton: two years, $2.4 million (link)

Colorado signs D Bruno Gervais: one year, $650,000 (link)

Florida signs G Al Montoya: two years, $2.1 million (link)

Calgary signs G Jonas Hiller: two years, $9 million (link)

Pittsburgh signs G Thomas Greiss: one year, $1 million (link)

Dallas signs G Anders Lindback: one year, $ N/A (link)

Colorado re-signs D Nick Holden: three years, $4.95 million (link)

New York Islanders sign T.J. Brennan: one year, $600,000 (link)

Buffalo signs F Brian Gionta: three years, $12.75 million (link)

Winnipeg signs C Mathieu Perreault: three years, $9 million (link)

Montreal signs D Mike Weaver: one year, $1.75 million (link)

Washington signs D Brooks Orpik: five years, $27.5 million (link)

Carolina signs C Brad Malone: two years, $1.3 million (link)

Montreal signs D Tom Gilbert: two years, $5.6 million (link)

Dallas signs LW Ales Hemsky: three years, $12 million (link)

Phoenix signs F Joe Vitale: three years, $3.3 million (link)

Vancouver signs G Ryan Miller: three years, $18 million (link)

San Jose trades D Brad Stuart to Colorado for picks (link)

Pittsburgh signs F Blake Comeau: one year, $700,000 (link)

Vancouver signs D Bobby Sanguinetti: one year, $600,000 (link)

Anaheim signs D Clayton Stoner: four years, $13 million (link)

Calgary signs F Mason Raymond: three years, $9.5 million (link)

Florida signs C Dave Bolland: five years, $27.5 million (link)

New Jersey Devils sign LW Mike Cammalleri: five years, $25 million (link)

New York Rangers sign D Dan Boyle: two years, $9 million (link)

Colorado sign LW Jesse Winchester: two years, $1.8 million (link)

Florida signs LW Jussi Jokinen: four years, $16 million (link)

Washington signs G Justin Peters: two years, $1.9 million (link)

Tampa Bay signs F Brian Boyle: three years, $6 million (link)

Edmonton signs D Keith Aulie: one year, $800,000 (link)

Montreal trades D Josh Gorges to Buffalo for ’16 2nd-round pick (link)

St. Louis signs C Paul Stastny: four years, $28 million (link)

Ottawa re-signs F Milan Michalek: three years, $12 million (link)

New York Islanders sign G Chad Johnson: two years, $2.6 million (link)

St. Louis signs C Jori Lehtera: two years, $5.5M (link)

Edmonton signs F Benoit Pouliot (five years, $20M) and D Mark Fayne (four years, $14.5 million) (link)

Pittsburgh signs D Christian Ehrhoff: one year, $4M (link)

Montreal signs C Manny Malhotra: one year, $850,000 (link)

Ottawa trades Jason Spezza to Dallas for Alex Chiasson, Alex Guptill, Nicholas Paul, 2015 2nd-round pick (link)

Columbus re-signs D Frederic St. Denis: one year, $550,000 (link)

Vancouver re-signs F Mike Zalewski: two years, $1.85M (link)

Detroit re-signs C Riley Sheahan: two years, $1.9M (link)

 

Stars’ Polak, Canucks’ Baertschi won’t report to NHL camps

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Dallas defenseman Roman Polak and Vancouver forward Sven Baertschi on Saturday joined the list of players who won’t be reporting to training camp for the resumption of the NHL season.

Baertschi told the Canucks he’d be opting out of participating in the expanded 24-team playoffs, following Calgary defenseman Travis Hamonic informing the Flames he won’t be playing because of family reasons. Polak is not on the Stars’ roster for the start of training camp Monday, and a team spokesman said the 34-year-old veteran won’t be attending at this time.

Polak is a pending free agent who last month agreed to a deal in his native Czech Republic next season and told reporters there he wasn’t planning on returning to the NHL if play resumed. Baertschi, who spent much of this season in the minors, is under contract through 2020-21.

”Sven informed us late yesterday that he has chosen to opt out of the NHL return to play program,” Canucks general manager Jim Benning said. ”It was a difficult decision but ultimately one we respect and understand.”

The Tampa Bay Lightning won’t have captain Steven Stamkos at 100% for the opening of camp because of a lower-body injury, but they’re optimistic he’ll be ready when games get under way in early August. GM Julien BriseBois said Stamkos fully recovered from core muscle surgery in early March but was injured again during voluntary workouts.

”We don’t have a specific timeline for when he will be a full participant in camp, but we expect he will be ready in time for games,” BriseBois said. ”He’s here, he’s skating, he’s been getting treatment, he’s been coming to Amalie (Arena) doing his dry land work. But he will not be a full participant on Day One of training camp.”

While Stamkos has a better chance of being ready for Tampa Bay’s next game than he would have after surgery if the playoffs had started in mid-April, the Flames will have to cope without Hamonic when they open their series against Winnipeg on Aug. 1.

Hamonic became the first player to publicly choose not to play in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Hamonic’s daughter was hospitalized last year with respiratory issues, and he and his wife also have a baby boy. Their health concerns, not the soon-to-be 30-year-old’s impending free agency, led him to opt out.

”I wish I could lace up my skates and be out there battling, blocking a shot and helping my team win, but my family has and always will come first,” Hamonic said. ”Being my little kids’ dad every day is the most important job I have. I love this game and by team. This is a decision that is extremely hard for me to make.”

Flames general manager Brad Treliving said, ”While we will miss Travis in our lineup, we understand and respect his decision.”

The Lightning already got a pandemic scare when three players and additional staff tested positive for the novel coronavirus last month. The positive test results forced the team to close its facilities for a brief period of time.

The Minnesota Wild, who face the Canucks in the qualifying round, ruled out defenseman Greg Pateryn indefinitely with an upper-body injury. NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said Saturday the league will be taking over injury and illness disclosure from teams as a way of protecting player privacy.

Lightning’s Stamkos injured again at start of training camp

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Captain Steven Stamkos will be limited at the start of Tampa Bay Lightning training camp because of a new lower-body injury.

General manager Julien BriseBois said Saturday that Stamkos fully recovered from core muscle surgery in early March but was injured again during voluntary workouts. Stamkos is expected to be ready for the start of the NHL’s expanded 24-team Stanley Cup playoffs in early August.

”We don’t have a specific timeline for when he will be a full participant in camp, but we expect he will be ready in time for games,” BriseBois said. ”He’s here, he’s skating, he’s been getting treatment, he’s been coming to Amalie (Arena) doing his dry land work. But he will not be a full participant on Day One of training camp.”

Unlike Stamkos, the Calgary Flames won’t have defenseman Travis Hamonic for the resumption of the hockey season after he decided to opt out for family reasons. Hamonic on Friday night became the first player to publicly choose not to play in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hamonic’s daughter was hospitalized last year with respiratory issues, and he and his wife also have a baby boy. Their health concerns, not the soon-to-be 30-year-old’s impending free agency, led him to opt out.

”I wish I could lace up my skates and be out there battling, blocking a shot and helping my team win, but my family has and always will come first,” Hamonic said. ”Being my little kids’ dad every day is the most important job I have. I love this game and by team. This is a decision that is extremely hard for me to make.”

Flames general manager Brad Treliving said, ”While we will miss Travis in our lineup, we understand and respect his decision.”

The Lightning already got a pandemic scare when three players and additional staff tested positive for the novel coronavirus last month. The positive test results forced the team to close its facilities for a brief period of time.

Flames’ Hamonic is first player to opt out of NHL’s return

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Flames defenseman Travis Hamonic has been the first player to opt out of the NHL’s Return to Play program.

“Earlier this evening Travis called me to inform us that he has decided to opt out of the NHL Return to Play Program,” said Flames general manager Brad Treliving. “Travis explained that due to family considerations, he has made the difficult decision not to participate in the Stanley Cup Qualifier and Playoffs.

“While we will miss Travis in our line-up, we understand and respect his decision. Our focus remains on preparation for training camp and our upcoming series in the NHL Qualifying Round.”

[Full Stanley Cup Qualifying Round schedule]

As part of the RTP plan that was ratified Friday evening, any player can opt out without penalty by Monday’s 5 p.m. ET deadline.

In a statement posted through his agent’s Twitter account, Hamonic cited a respiratory virus his young daughter battled last year and the recent birth of his son as the reasons why he will not be joining the Flames.

“My family has and always will come first,” he said. “Being my little kids’ dad every day is the most important job I have.”

The 29-year-old Hamonic, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent this off-season, played 50 games for Calgary this season. He recorded 12 points and was second the team in average ice time per game (21:12) behind Mark Giordano.

The Flames will face the Jets in a best-of-five Stanley Cup Qualifier series in the Edmonton hub

MORE:
NHL, NHLPA ratify CBA, return to play agreement
NHL salary cap to stay flat at $81.5M

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

Hockey is back: NHL, NHLPA ratify CBA, return to play agreement

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The NHL and NHLPA made the return official: hockey is back.

Remarkably, the NHL and NHLPA also extended the Collective Bargaining Agreement through at least 2025-26, ensuring almost unthinkable labor peace for fans. None of this means that COVID-19 won’t wreck the party, but the NHL and NHLPA cemented those return details on Friday.

The timetable for the NHL return won’t leave much room to breathe. Players can opt-out of a return-to-play plan for a variety of reasons, but must make such decisions by Monday, July 13 at 5 p.m. ET.

This comes shortly after the two sides announced a memorandum of understanding earlier this week. The NHL attempting a two-city, 24-team playoff plan is bold enough; extending the CBA through at least 2025-26 makes this an incredible achievement. For hockey fans who’ve grown accustomed to lockouts, lasting labor peace feels almost unthinkable.

If hockey fans need more reasons to be ecstatic, consider this. The CBA extension sets the stage for NHL players to participate in the 2022 and 2026 Winter Olympics. That decision hinges on an agreement between the league and the International Olympic Committee, but this is a landmark day for the future of the NHL.

[Full schedule for 2020 Stanley Cup Qualifiers]

Read more about the NHL return via this official document:

NHL playoff hubs in Edmonton and Toronto; 2020 Stanley Cup Final in Edmonton

After many twists and turns, Edmonton and Toronto were named as the two hub cities. Each city will host 12 teams (limited to 52 personnel apiece). Edmonton will hold the 12 Western Conference teams, and is also the planned spot for the 2020 Stanley Cup Final. Meanwhile, the 12 Eastern Conference teams will play in Toronto.

With COVID-19 spikes in areas like Las Vegas and protocol stumbles in Vancouver, it’s been difficult to forecast which cities would serve as the two hubs. Now we know. Edmonton, in particular, has avoided the worst of COVID-19 outbreaks. Toronto’s dealt with more struggles (see: the outbreaks in Ontario in the map below), but brings some strengths for the NHL while not being hit as hard as many problem areas in the U.S.:

Alberta with 8,482 cases; Ontario with 36,178 as of Thursday (via the Canadian government)

[More on Edmonton and Toronto serving as NHL playoff hubs.]

Now, for the when: Key Dates for 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs, NHL Free Agency, Draft

So, we just covered the “where” for the NHL’s playoff return to award a 2020 Stanley Cup. Let’s cover the “when.”

July 13: Training camps open (Phase 3) and 5 p.m. ET deadline for players to opt out
July 26: Teams report to their hub city
July 28-30: Exhibition games
Aug 1: Stanley Cup Qualifiers begin (Phase 4)
Aug 10: Phase 2 of NHL Draft Lottery to determine No. 1 overall pick
Aug 11: First Round begins
Aug 25: Second Round begins
Sept. 8: Conference Finals begin
Sept. 22: Stanley Cup Final begins
Oct 4: Last possible date for Stanley Cup to be awarded
Oct. 9-10: 2020 NHL Draft (must follow end of Cup Final and take place before free agency)
Mid-Oct.: free agent period opens
Nov. 17: Training camps open for 2020-21 season
Dec. 1: 2020-21 NHL season begins

All of dates listed are, of course, tentative.

[Want even more details on critical dates for the NHL return? Click here.]

CBA extension keeps NHL salary cap flat for at least 2020-21

NHL, NHLPA hammer out a CBA extension, including flat salary cap and return to Olympics

Again, these agreements don’t just cover a playoff format where the 2020 Stanley Cup would be awarded. The CBA extension means lockout prevention through 2025-26, and possibly even 2026-27. That CBA extension sets the stage for the NHL’s return to the Olympics, pending an agreement with the IOC.

Consider some of the high points. You can read more about the flat cap and other financial details here.

  • It’s possible that the two sides could extend the CBA for one additional season (through 2026-27).
  • The two sides agreed to a flat $81.5 million salary cap for 2020-21.
  • That $81.5 million mark could also stick for multiple seasons. It all hinges on whether or not revenue bounces back — and when.
  • Players hate escrow, so limiting its impact was key. There will be a 20-percent cap on escrow for 2020-21. From there, escrow will scale down until it drops to six percent.
  • The two sides agreed to bring NHL players back to Olympic competition — pending negotiations with the International Olympic Committee. If that goes through, NHL players would participate in 2022 Winter Olympics (in Beijing) and the 2026 Winter Olympics (in Milan).
  • Players will defer salary to account for the financial impact of COVID-19.
  • The CBA extension accounts for certain salary cap loopholes. In short, contracts won’t be as front-loaded, salary bonuses won’t be greatly changed, and no-trade clauses will be honored more faithfully.

So, again fans: rejoice, and hold your breath. Maybe cross your fingers, too — especially in hopes that this process happens as safely as possible. This is huge stuff, and PHT will cover the developments as they unfold.

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.