Mike Blunden

PHT’s 2016 free-agent frenzy tracker


Welcome to Thunderdome!

Come embrace the madness with us. Throughout the weekend, we’ll be keeping tabs on all the UFA signings across the NHL, so check back regularly for all the biggest signings, trades and other acquisitions.

Saturday, July 2

— New York Islanders sign P.A. Parenteau: one year, $1.25 million (link)

— Toronto signs Roman Polak: one year (link)

— Florida signs Jason Demers: five years, $22.5 million, $4.5M AAV (link)

Friday, July 1

— Boston signs Riley Nash: two years, $1.8 million, $900,000 AAV

— Vancouver signs Jayson Megna: one year, $600K

— San Jose signs Mikkel Boedker: four years, $16 million (link)

— Los Angeles signs Teddy Purcell: one year, $1.6 million (link)

— Detroit signs Steve Ott: one year, $800,000

— Winnipeg signs Brian Strait: one year, $600,000

— Arizona signs Ryan White: one year, $1 million

— Ottawa signs Mike Blunden: two years, $$1.475 million, $737,500 AAV

— Detroit signs Thomas Vanek: one year, $2.6 million (link)

— Minnesota signs Victor Bartley: one-year, $650,000

— Montreal signs Daniel Carr: two years, $1.45 million, $725,000 AAV

— Toronto signs Matt Martin: four years, $10 million, $2.5M AAV (link)

— Winnipeg signs Quinton Howden: one year, $650,000

— Tampa Bay signs Gabriel Dumont: one year, $575,000

— Nashville signs Matt Irwin: one year, $575,000

— Vancouver signs Philip Larsen: one year, $1.025 million

— Dallas signs Patrick Eaves: one year, $1 million

— Arizona signs Kevin Connauton: two years, $2 million, $1M AAV

— Carolina signs Viktor Stalberg: one year, $1.5 million (link)

— Carolina signs Lee Stempniak: two years, $5 million, $2.5M AAV (link)

— Nashville signs Yannick Weber: one year, $575,000

— Montreal signs Zach Redmond: two years, $1.225 million, $612,500 AAV

— L.A. signs Michael Latta: one year, $600,000

— L.A. signs Zach Trotman: one year, $650,000

— Winnipeg signs Shawn Matthias: two years, $4.25 million, $2.125 AAV

— Los Angeles signs Jeff Zatkoff: two year, $1.8 million, $900,000 AAV

— Washington signs Brett Connolly: one year, $850,000

— Colorado signs Fedor Tyutin: one year, $2 million (link)

— Colorado signs Patrick Wiercioch: one year, $800,000 (link)

— Colorado signs Joe Colborne: two years, $5 million, $2.5M AAV (link)

— New York Rangers sign Adam Clendening: one year, $600,000 (link)

— New York Rangers sign Nathan Gerbe: one year, $600,000 (link)

— New York Rangers sign Michael Grabner: two years, $3.2 million, $1.6M AAV (link)

— New Jersey signs Jon Merrill: two years, $2.275 million, $1.137M AAV (link)

— New Jersey signs Devante Smith-Pelly: two years, $2.6 million, $1.3M AAV (link)

— New Jersey signs Beau Bennett: one year, $725,000 (link)

— Dallas signs Dan Hamhuis: two year, $7.5 million, $3.75M AAV (link)

— Los Angeles signs Tom Gilbert: one year, $1.4 million (link)

— Philadelphia signs Dale Weise: four year, $9.4 million, $2.35M AAV (link)

— Montreal signs Alexander Radulov: one year, $5.75 million (link)

— Calgary signs Chad Johnson: one year, $1.7 million (link)

— Montreal signs Al Montoya, one year, $950,000 (link)

— Edmonton signs Jonas Gustavsson, one year, $800,000 (link)

— Boston signs Anton Khudobin: two years, $2.4 million, $1.2M AAV (link)

— San Jose signs David Schlemko: four years, $8.4 million, $2.1M AAV (link)

— Minnesota signs Chris Stewart: two years, $2.3 million, $1.15M AAV (link)

— New York Islanders sign Jason Chimera: two years, $4.5 million, $2.25M AAV (link)

— New Jersey signs Vern Fiddler: one year, $1.25 million (link)

— New Jersey signs Ben Lovejoy: three years, $8.1 million, $2.66 AAV (link)

— Arizona signs Jamie McGinn: three years, $10 million, $3.3M AAV (link)

— Boston signs John-Michael Liles: one year, $2 million (link)

— St. Louis signs Carter Hutton: two years, $2.25 million, $1.125M AAV (link)

— Minnesota signs Eric Staal: three years, $10.5 million, $3.5M AAV (link)

— Detroit signs Frans Nielsen: six years, $31.5 million, $5.25M AAV (link)

— Calgary signs Troy Brouwer: four years, $18 million, $4.5M AAV (link)

— Boston signs David Backes: five years, $30 million, $6M AAV (link)

— Vancouver signs Loui Eriksson: six years, $36 million, $6M AAV (link)

— Buffalo signs Kyle Okposo: seven years, $42 million, $6M AAV (link)

— Edmonton signs Milan Lucic: seven years, $42 million, $6M AAV (link)

— Florida signs James Reimer: five years, $17 million, $3.4M AAV (link)

— St. Louis signs David Perron: two years, $7.75 million, $3.875M AAV (link)

— New York Islanders sign Andrew Ladd: seven years, $38.5 million, $5.5M AAV (link)

— Pittsburgh re-signs Steve Oleksy: one year, $575,000 (link)

— Pittsburgh re-signs Tom Sestito: one year, $575,000 (link)

— Chicago signs Brian Campbell: one year, $2 million (link)

— Detroit re-signs Darren Helm: five years, $19.25 million, $3.85M AAV (link)

Previous deals of note

Steve Stamkos re-signs in Tampa Bay: eight years, $68 million, $8.5M AAV (link)

Trevor Lewis re-signs in Los Angeles: four years, $8 million, $2M AAV (link)

Drew Miller re-signs in Detroit: one year, $1.025M (link)

Jordie Benn re-signs in Dallas: three years, $3.3 million, $1.1M AAV (link)

Keith Yandle signs in Florida: seven years, $44.45 million, $6.35M AAV (link)

Kyle Brodziak re-signs in St. Louis: two years, $1.9 million, $950,000 AAV (link)

Scottie Upshall re-signs in St. Louis: one year, $900,000 (link)

Alex Goligoski signs in Arizona: five years, $27.5 million, $5.475M AAV (link)

Cam Ward re-signs in Carolina: two years, $6.6 million, $3.3M AAV (link)




Bolts notes: Vasilevskiy likely to start, Stralman could make playoff debut


Based on today’s optional skate in Pittsburgh, the Lightning will have two significant lineup changes for Game 2 of their Eastern Conference Final against the Penguins.

Starting netminder Ben Bishop wasn’t on the ice Monday, and has only briefly taken to the playing surface after getting stretchered off in Friday’s series-opening win.

That means 21-year-old Andrei Vasilevskiy will likely get the start tonight, after making 25 saves in relief of Bishop in Game 1. It would be the second Stanley Cup playoff start of Vasilevskiy’s career, having made an emergency start in place of Bishop during last year’s final versus Chicago.

On defense, it appears as though Anton Stralman will make his long-awaited postseason debut. The veteran Swedish d-man has been out of action for nearly two months.

More, from the Tampa Bay Times:

Stralman (fractured left leg) could return tonight, having been sidelined since Mar. 25. Stralman participated in today’s skate, coming off the ice with regulars. Defenseman Nikita Nesterov would probably be the odd man out if Stralman comes back.

Forwards Erik Condra and Mike Blunden were among the last on the ice, so could be scratched. Jonathan Marchessault could be in if the Lightning goes with 12 forwards.

Getting Stralman back would be a huge boon for the Bolts. He’s one of their best possession d-men, averages 22 minutes a night and is a right-handed shot, something the blueline is short on.

Stralman was also a key cog to last year’s Stanley Cup Final run, with nine points in 26 games.

Condra ‘doing a lot better’ after crushing Cizikas hit


Overall, Thursday had mostly positive developments regarding the health of Tampa Bay forward Erik Condra.

Condra, who was knocked out of Game 1 of the Bolts-Isles series on a huge Casey Cizikas hit, is reportedly feeling well — though the club remains unsure of a potential return date.

“He’s doing a lot better than the actual hit looked,” head coach Jon Cooper said, per NHL.com. “Whether he’s going to skate in the next couple days I’m not too sure.”

Condra went flying into the end boards early in the first period and, while laying on the ice with his eyes open, looked to be in bad shape. He didn’t appear to lose consciousness, but displayed very little motion before getting helped off the ice.

The Bolts came into this series already down the services of captain Steve Stamkos, key d-man Anton Stralman and energy forwards Mike Blunden and J.T. Brown — the latter’s injury actually paved the way for Condra to draw into the lineup.

No word yet on who would draw in, should Condra miss Saturday’s Game 2 in Tampa.

After Boyle’s chicken dance, Abdelkader admits he ‘would have liked to fight him’


Brian Boyle wanted to fight Justin Abdelkader at the end of Tampa Bay’s 2-0 loss in Detroit on Sunday.

That much was clear.

But Abdelkader wasn’t willing to go — for reasons unclear at the time — which led to Boyle busting out this chicken dance in Abdelkader’s direction:

Only afterward did the full explanation come out.

Turns out Abdelkader was not, in fact, chicken — he had his injured hand taped up and, per NHL Rule 56 (b), “any player wearing tape or any other material on his hands (below the wrist) who cuts or injures an opponent during an altercation will receive a match penalty under Rule 52 – Deliberate Injury of Opponents.”

“I would have liked to fight him,” Abdelkader said, per MLive. “I asked the ref if I cut him, is it a misconduct, and I already got one, so I got to be careful.

“Obviously, I want to stand up for myself, too, but this time of year when you got injuries and you’re banged up you got to be smart, too, and that’s what I’m trying to do.”

Just a few months ago, Rangers forward J.T. Miller was ejected from a game versus New Jersey for fighting Devils forward Sergei Kalinin with taped hands.

“It’s the call in the book,” Rangers head coach Alain Vingeault said afterward, per the New York Post. “If you’ve got tape above your wrist and the guy gets cut, it’s an automatic match penalty.”

Abdelkader, as mentioned, had already received a game misconduct earlier in the series, having been deemed the aggressor in a scrap with Mike Blunden at the end of Game 2.

So, he backed off.

As for his take on Boyle’s antics?

“It’s kind of funny, but if he wants to do that, that’s what he wants to show, whatever,” Abdelkader said. “It doesn’t affect me at all because I know what type of player I am.

“I stand up for myself when I’m healthy.”

Stamkos’ injury was a ‘huge shock’ for the Bolts, but they won ‘t feel sorry for themselves

Associated Press

You have to give the Tampa Bay Lightning credit. They’ve dealt with a number injuries to key players this year and they’re just one point away from clinching a playoff spot.

Losing players like Ondrej Palat and Tyler Johnson for long stretches early on in the season is one thing, but being without Steven Stamkos going into the playoffs is something else.

On Saturday, the Bolts announced that Stamkos would be out anywhere between 1-3 months because of a blood clot. The news caught everyone off guard, including Stamkos’ teammates.

Brian Boyle described it as a “huge shock,” while Nikita Kucherov said it was “terrible”.

As if losing one of their best snipers wasn’t enough, the Lightning will also be without Anton Stralman heading into Game 1 of the playoffs next week.  The 29-year-old is out indefinitely after suffering a left fibula injury on Mar. 25.

“If you want to glass half-full it, I guess you can sit here and say, ‘Let’s win one for the Gipper,’ we’ve all got to bind together, it’s going to push us to new heights,” head coach Jon Cooper said, per the Tampa Bay Times. “But in reality they’re two of our best players, you can’t replace their talent. It’s no doubt a blow, but one thing we can’t do is sit here and say, ‘Our two big guns are out and now our season is over.’ We’ve come too far to have anything like try and get in our mind-set.”

Tampa was dealt another blow when Jonathan Drouin-a potential call up from the minors- suffered a lower-body injury late last week.

As of right now, here’s how the Lightning’s lines look:

Ondrej Palat-Tyler Johnson-Nikita Kucherov

Valtteri FilppulaCedric PaquetteRyan Callahan

Alex KillornVladislav NamestnikovJ.T. Brown

Mike Blunden-Brian Boyle-Erik Conda

Extra: Jonathan Marchessault

The Lightning’s attack looks a little underwhelming. They have a more than capable top line with the Triplets, but they’ll need offense from Namestnikov, Killorn, Filppula and Callahan if they hope to make a long run. Also, Ben Bishop will probably have to steal a few games.

“I kind of like our balance all the way through,” Cooper said of his lines. “You can’t sit here and say we’re top-heavy in one part, we’re a four-line team.”

If the playoffs started today, the Lightning would take on the Red Wings in the opening round.