Joni Ortio

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Goalie signings: Khudobin, Gustavsson, Johnson, Montoya and Stalock get contracts

The Boston Bruins are bringing back Anton Khudobin. The 30-year-old netminder rejoins the Bruins on a two-year deal for a reported cap hit of $1.2 million. He last played for Boston in 2013, going 9-4-1 with a .920 save percentage. He’s since played for Carolina and Anaheim, with a few stints in the AHL.

Khudobin will back up Tuukka Rask next season. He replaces Jonas Gustavsson, who has signed with the Oilers. Gustavsson, 31, gets a one-year deal worth $800,000 in Edmonton. He’ll compete with Laurent Brossoit to back up Cam Talbot.

Another former Bruins goalie, Chad Johnson, has signed a one-year, $1.7 million deal in Calgary. He’ll back up the Flames’ new starter, Brian Elliott. (Calgary GM Brad Treliving clearly wasn’t comfortable going with Joni Ortio as his backup.)

On to Montreal, where Al Montoya has signed a one-year, $950,000 deal to back up Carey Price. Montoya, 31, moves on from Florida, which signed James Reimer to a five-year deal today. The Canadiens fell apart when Price got hurt last year. Mike Condon tried valiantly, but ultimately the job was too big for the rookie.

Finally, Alex Stalock has signed a one-year, two-way deal in Minnesota (worth $650,000 in the NHL). Stalock, 28, struggled badly last season in San Jose; hence, his inability to get a one-way contract. The Wild already have Devan Dubnyk locked up long term. Darcy Kuemper is a restricted free agent.

Update:

One more!

Zatkoff replaces Jhonas Enroth, who wasn’t happy with the number of games he played behind Jonathan Quick last season.

Justin Schultz headlines list of RFAs not extended qualifying offers

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After hoisting the Stanley Cup with the Pittsburgh Penguins earlier this month, Justin Schultz could soon be joining another NHL team.

The Penguins didn’t extend Schultz a qualifying offer Monday, which means he becomes an unrestricted free agent.

Already facing a cap crunch, Pittsburgh, had it opted to give Schultz a qualifying offer, would have to match his entire $3.9 million salary from his one-year contract in 2015-16.

The Penguins acquired Schultz from Edmonton just prior to the trade deadline, with GM Jim Rutherford praising his offensive upside, while admitting Schultz needed work in the defensive end.

Schultz played in 15 playoff games for Pittsburgh, adding an assist in the Cup-clinching win. However, it was shortly after winning the championship that it appeared his price tag would be too much for the Penguins.

Related: The Penguins are playing Schultz to his strengths

More notables:

Joe Colborne

The Calgary Flames did not offer the 26-year-old Joe Colborne a qualifying offer, making him an unrestricted free agent. He hit career highs in goals (19) and points (44) — also with a career-high shooting percentage of 19 per cent.

He wrapped up a two-year deal, worth $1.275 million.

The Flames also didn’t qualify center Josh Jooris and goalie Joni Ortio.

Ortio split the 2015-16 season between the Flames and their AHL affiliate, the Stockton Heat. With Calgary, he had a 7-9-5 record with a .902 save percentage, and was waived to go down to the minors, where he also struggled.

In a bid to bolster their goaltending situation, the Flames acquired Brian Elliott from the St. Louis Blues at the draft.

Brett Connolly

Once the sixth overall pick in the 2010 NHL Draft, Brett Connolly didn’t receive a qualifying offer from the Boston Bruins, after scoring nine goals and a single-season career high 25 points in 71 games with this season.

He was playing on a one-year, $1.025 million contract.

From CSNNE.com:

He struggled to produce offense even though he spent long stretches playing with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand last season. Still, he was the sixth overall pick in the 2010 draft and the Bruins gave up two second-round picks to Tampa Bay for him less than two years ago, so the move is somewhat unexpected.

Landon Ferraro

Another interesting decision from the Bruins, who claimed Landon Ferraro off waivers from the Detroit Red Wings in November. The 24-year-old forward, on a one-year deal worth $600,000 for 2015-16, had five goals and 10 points — all with the Bruins as a member of their bottom-six group of forwards — this past season.

After getting claimed by Boston but before he played a game for that franchise, Bruins coach Claude Julien described Ferraro as a “reliable” player.

Linden Vey

Jim Benning, at his first draft as the Canucks general manager, used a second-round pick to acquire Linden Vey from the L.A. Kings, but the Canucks did not qualify him Monday.

That doesn’t come as much of a surprise, with Vey reportedly expecting the Canucks not to make him a qualifying offer.

The 24-year-old Vey scored four goals and 15 points in 41 games this past season, after he was recalled from AHL Utica.

Prior to the beginning of this past season, Vey was put on waivers and eventually sent down to the minors, before getting recalled. In his first season with the Canucks, he entered training camp and was immediately given first-unit power play duties. He ended up scoring 10 goals and 24 points that season.

Off the ice, however, Vey has been troubled by family turmoil. Last month, it was reported in The Province newspaper that Vey’s father, Curtis, was set to go to trail on charges of conspiracy to murder his wife.

Brandon Pirri

The Ducks acquired Brandon Pirri from the Florida Panthers at the trade deadline. A year removed from a 22-goal season in Florida, Pirri then had three goals and five points in nine games with the Ducks.

From the Orange County Register:

Pirri is arbitration eligible and with 14 combined goals with the Ducks and Panthers last season, he could get a bump up from his $975,000 salary and the Ducks appear to want that slot open for a cheaper, more multi-dimensional forward.

— Brandon Gormley

According to the Denver Post, the Colorado Avalanche didn’t tender a qualifying offer to 24-year-old defenseman Brandon Gormley, once a 13th overall pick of the Phoenix Coyotes in 2010.

He has been unable to turn that into an established position at the NHL level.

He struggled in Colorado, eventually getting put on waivers. He split time between the Avalanche and San Antonio Rampage in the minors.

According to the aforementioned report, the Avalanche also plan to buy out the contract of 36-year-old defenseman Brad Stuart.

Flames still have ‘decisions to make’ with their goaltending

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BUFFALO — Brad Treliving raved about Brian Elliott, the person. The Flames’ general manager loved his new goalie’s character, how hard he practiced, and he’d heard how popular he was among his St. Louis teammates.

“It was hard to find people to say a bad word about him,” said Treliving.

Elliott’s numbers didn’t hurt either. He went 23-8-6 with a .930 save percentage for the Blues last season. He played well in the postseason too.

But the thing Treliving really liked about the 31-year-old he acquired Friday was the contract — a $2.5 million cap hit in 2016-17, with no commitment beyond that.

“Part of the attraction is the flexibility with the contract,” he said.

The question now is whether Treliving is done. Prior to getting Elliott, the Flames had been linked in trade chatter to Marc-Andre Fleury, Ben Bishop and Sergei Bobrovsky. There are pending free agents, too, like James Reimer.

As of right now, Joni Ortio is Calgary’s No. 2. Would Treliving be comfortable going into next season with the 25-year-old as Elliott’s backup?

“I like Joni, I really do,” he said. “We felt it was important to get an experienced goaltender, and then we’ll see how things round out. Joni, like our team, had some peaks and valleys, and a lot more valleys than peaks, but I thought he finished real strong.”

Ortio went 7-9-5 with a .902 save percentage last season. He spent part of it in the AHL after clearing waivers in November. He’s shown potential, but it would be a risk for Treliving, who just hired a new head coach, to go with such an unproven backup.

“We made our goaltending deeper today, where it all goes we’ll see,” he said. “We’ve got some decisions to make as we go forward.”

In other words, the Flames might not be done.

Related: Calgary adds to talented forward crop, takes Tkachuk at No. 6

Flames ‘in a bunch of different markets’ for goalie, want to get something done at draft

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“They tell me it’s good to have one.”

That was Brad Treliving’s quip when asked about the Flames’ goaltending situation on Thursday — a situation that was a real sore spot last season, something Treliving wants to fix over the NHL Draft weekend in Buffalo.

“We’re in a bunch of different markets on that, so we’ll see how it goes,” Treliving said, per Sportsnet. “We’re looking at everything and balancing it.

“This is the time. You need a dance partner, that’s how it works, and you’d like to get [the goalie situation] taken care of. That’s sort of our preference right now.”

Currently, Calgary has just one goalie with NHL experience — Joni Ortio, at one time a fairly touted prospect. But the luster has worn off Ortio to a certain degree, especially after a ’15-16 campaign in which he cleared waivers, posted poor numbers in the AHL and fared only marginally better with the Flames (in 22 games, a 2.76 GAA and .902 save percentage).

This is why Treliving has been searching high and low for help in goal.

The Flames were believed to be in on Frederik Andersen, prior to the Leafs outbidding for him. Marc-Andre Fleury‘s name has been connected to Calgary for weeks. Ben Bishop came up in some trade rumors as well, and there’s always the possibility of James Reimer, who will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

So yeah, no shortage of candidates.

The real interesting decision will be if Treliving opts for a placeholder-type goalie, or a long-term investment. The Flames do have two good young goalie prospects in Jon Gilles and Mason McDonald, but neither project to be in the NHL soon.

Fleury, who turns 32 next season and has three years left on his contract, looks to be an ideal placeholder. But the fact the Flames were also in on Andersen — who the Leafs gave a five-year, $25 million deal to, presumably to be their goalie of the future — could suggest Treliving’s looking for the same.

Report: Flames to sign Czech League goalie Rittich

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Calgary has inked David Rittich, a 23-year-old goalie out of the Czech Extraliga, per various reports — including this one from hokej.cz.

Rittich spent last season with BK Mlada Boleslav, posting a .919 save percentage and 2.50 GAA in 48 games. He stands 6-foot-4 and 200 pounds, but doesn’t have a huge resume, and has little to no experience representing the Czechs at any major international tournaments.

That said, the signing is still interesting.

For one, it continues in an offseason in which the Flames already snagged someone out of the Czech League — power forward Daniel Pribyl, who’s aiming to open the year on the club’s top line next to Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan.

Secondly, Calgary’s lack of depth in net means any goalie signing is intriguing.

Jonas Hiller is gone, having signed in the Swiss League. So too is Niklas Backstrom, having signed in Finland. It’s unclear if Karri Ramo will be brought back after suffering a season-ending ACL tear in February.

Joni Ortio is still in the mix, but he’s the lone guy with NHL experience (and still needs a new contract for next season). Prospects Mason McDonald and Jon Gilles still need a fair bit of seasoning, and presumably won’t be rushed to Calgary — all of which could open up an opportunity for Rittich to see some minutes next year.

According to a Calgary Herald source, the organization is “high on Rittich’s skill set, and feels he has potential.”