The Edmonton Oilers have signed forward Josh Archibald to a one-year contract. Archibald became an unrestricted free agent when the Arizona Coyotes decided not to issue him a qualifying offer earlier this offseason.
The Vegas Golden Knights have locked up one of their minor league defensemen, signing Jake Bischoff to a three-year contract through the 2021-22 season. The deal carries an average annual value of just $716,667, making Bischoff an incredibly cheap depth option for the team. The 24-year old defenseman will be an unrestricted free agent at the deal’s end.
The Winnipeg Jets have agreed to terms with Nelson Nogier on a one-year, two-way contract. The deal will carry a $700K salary in the NHL. Nogier was not eligible for salary arbitration and will still be a restricted free agent at the end of this contract.
Nogier, 23, played one game for the Jets last season but was a staple on the Manitoba Moose blueline, registering nine points in 74 games. The 6’2″ defenseman was a fourth-round pick in 2014 and has 11 NHL games under his belt, meaning he could be one of the first in line for a call-up this year now that the team’s depth has been sliced. Tyler Myers, Jacob Trouba and Ben Chiarot are all gone, leaving the Jets without a lot of room for injuries this season.
While a player like Logan Stanley may have an obvious upside advantage on Nogier, he wouldn’t necessarily be the first up if the Jets lose someone for a short period of time. Nogier will need to clear waivers at the beginning of the year in order to be sent down, and could very well be one of those players bouncing up and down as required for much of the season.
The Pittsburgh Penguins have re-signed young forward Teddy Blueger to a two-year contract. The deal is one-way and will carry an average annual value of $750K. Assistant GM Bill Guerin released a statement:
Teddy is a perfect role model for younger players coming into the league. When you watch a guy with his work ethic, determination and ability to trust the process of going through the proper steps to get to the NHL, you have a great example for younger players. Teddy came to us with great expectations, and he’s worked hard to meet each one. He has great hockey sense, he loves to compete and he’s a true professional.
Blueger, 24, finally got his chance at the NHL level in 2018-19 after three seasons in the minor leagues where he was routinely one of the best offensive players on the ice. A second round pick from 2012 he finally made an impact for Pittsburgh, scoring ten points in 28 games during the regular season. With the Penguins’ attack set to look a little different this year after the departure of Phil Kessel, Blueger will still have to fight for playing time thanks to newcomers Alex Galchenyuk and Brandon Tanev. He’ll almost certainly be on the roster, but with so many legitimate NHL forwards the lineup could shake out in several different ways.
That’s nothing new for Blueger, who has had to work hard just to even get to this point. Grinding through four years at college and three more in the minor leagues just to earn a little over 11 minutes a night in the NHL has secured him some career security for the next two years, but there is still more work to do if he wants to become that integral part of a playoff team.
Haydn has taken strides during each of his three professional seasons in our organization. We’ve been encouraged by his development and our hope is that he becomes a fixture in our lineup.
Fleury, 23, may finally get an opportunity to see some more ice time in Carolina, after spending much of last season shuffling between the NHL and AHL. Selected seventh overall in 2014, Fleury played just 20 games for the Hurricanes last season and averaged just 12:32 in those contests. With Noah Hanifin and Calvin de Haan traded to the Calgary Flames and Chicago Blackhawks respectively though, there may finally be an opening on the left side of the team’s top-four.
There’s no doubt that Jaccob Slavin will take on the bulk of the minutes on that side, and there is always the possibility that one of the team’s talented right-handed options moves over. Still, this may be Fleury’s best chance to really establish himself as a core piece of the Carolina blue line as they attempt to get back to the playoffs and compete for the Stanley Cup. Gustav Forsling came over from the Blackhawks in the de Haan trade, and Jake Bean is pushing hard to be considered an NHL option, but Fleury should have the inside track at training camp thanks to his familiarity with the team.
It’s important to note that Fleury did suit up nine times in the Hurricanes’ recent playoff run and then returned to the Charlotte Checkers to help them win a Calder Cup. The young defenseman has all the tools to be an effective NHL player and now just needs the opportunity. For the low cost of $850K, both sides are hoping he can take that next step. He will be a restricted free agent still next summer.
Forsling meanwhile has also signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Hurricanes at his qualifying offer salary of $874,125 in the NHL. The 23-year old has actually now played 122 games in the NHL, all with the Blackhawks over the last three seasons. He has 27 points during those games and showed himself to be at very least a bottom-pairing option in the NHL moving forward. Whether he gets those minutes right away in Carolina is still to be seen, but he gives the team another young player to build their blue line around.
The Panthers have re-signed two of their remaining restricted free agents as goaltender Samuel Montembeault has signed a one-year, two-way deal, CapFriendly reports. The contract is worth his qualifying offer of just over $708K in the NHL and $70K in the AHL. Meanwhile, CapFriendly also notes that forward Jayce Hawryluk also accepted his qualifier worth a little more than $874K in the NHL and $70K in the minors.
Montembeault went into last season as the backup at the AHL level behind Michael Hutchinson but a decent showing from him allowed Florida to deal him to Toronto. The 22-year-old then got a look with the Panthers as Roberto Luongo and James Reimer dealt with injury issues and general struggles. He held his own in his time with Florida, posting a 3.04 GAA with a .894 SV% in 11 appearances. As things stand, he heads into next season as the frontrunner to be the backup to new starter Sergei Bobrovsky. However, as he’s still waiver-exempt, it’s quite possible that he will be back in the minors next year with the team bringing in another backup in the weeks to come.
Hawryluk also split last season between Florida and AHL Springfield. While he was quite productive with the Thunderbirds with 32 points in 31 games, he wasn’t able to come close to that type of success in the NHL. He suited up in 42 games with the Panthers but recorded only seven goals and five assists although his ice time was rather limited at only 9:26 per night. He’ll likely get a chance to reprise his role on the fourth line next season and if he fails to make the team, Hawryluk will have to pass it through waivers to make it back to the minors.
With the Rangers needing to clear up some cap space following their acquisition of winger Artemi Panarin earlier this month, defensemen Kevin Shattenkirk and Brendan Smith have come up as speculative candidates to be bought out during the second buyout window. However, as Brett Cyrgalis of the New York Post notes, they are looking at the trade market as well and have made wingers Vladislav Namestnikov and Pavel Buchnevich available.
Namestnikov struggled in his first full season in New York and came up well short of the 48 points he produced with the Lightning and Rangers in 2018-19. He had just 11 goals on the season, not the type of production that they were expecting when they signed him to a two-year, $8MM contract last summer. However, on an expiring deal, there should be teams with some interest that believe a change of scenery could help him get back to his Tampa Bay levels.
Buchnevich’s presence here is a little more interesting. The restricted free agent had a career-best 21 goals last season and has emerged as a capable middle-six winger for New York. While he is going to salary arbitration, it seems unlikely that he’d be able to command the contract that Namestnikov has. Since he still has three years of team control remaining, GM Jeff Gorton should be able to command a strong return if they do indeed move him.
Cyrgalis also mentions Chris Kreider as a potential trade possibility although for a different reason entirely. If they can agree on a contract extension, then he clearly wouldn’t be made available. However, if they wind up still being far apart on a new deal, then it’s certainly possible that he could find himself on the move.
As things stand, the Rangers have a little over $7MM in cap space, per CapFriendly. However, defenseman Jacob Trouba will basically take up all of that with Buchnevich, Anthony Deangelo, and Brendan Lemieux still needing new contracts as well. Their second buyout window won’t open up until Trouba and Buchnevich both sign. If Buchnevich was to go to his hearing on July 29th, his reward wouldn’t come until the end of the month which would give Gorton about two and a half weeks to deal with his cap crunch. That makes the Rangers a team to watch for in the coming weeks.
Arizona has locked up one of their remaining free agents, announcing the re-signing of defenseman Dysin Mayo to a one-year, two-way contract. CapFriendly reports (Twitter link) that the deal is worth $715K in the NHL and $70K in the minors.
The 22-year-old wrapped up his entry-level contract last season, suiting up in a career-high 67 games with their AHL affiliate in Tuscon. However, he made a very limited impact offensively, collecting just two goals and four assists on the season which had him on the bubble to receive a qualifying offer. Mayo was a productive blueliner at the WHL level, recording at least 35 points in each of his three full seasons but that has yet to translate to the pros.
With Arizona’s depth on the back end, it’s hard to envision Mayo realistically pushing for a roster spot with the Coyotes in training camp. Instead, he’ll likely be exposed to waivers and if he clears, he’ll once again serve as injury depth in Tuscon. The team now has 46 players under contract and they still need to re-sign goalie Adin Hill; RFA center Emil Pettersson has already signed in Sweden for next season.
As expected, the Los Angeles Kings have announced new contracts for Michael Amadio, Daniel Brickley, Matt Roy and Sheldon Rempal. Amadio, Brickley and Roy have all signed two-year contracts that will carry $700K average annual values, while Rempal has signed his one-year two-way qualifying offer that carries an $874,125 salary in the NHL.
Amadio, 23, is arguably the most important of the four after playing 80 NHL games over the last two seasons. In 43 contests during the 2018-19 season he recorded 13 points, but was once again a strong offensive talent in the minor leagues. Now three years into his professional career, Amadio will have a real opportunity at camp given that he is no longer waiver-exempt and would need to be offered to the rest of the league in order to end up in Ontario again. With the Kings looking for any young players to step up and make an impact at the NHL level, the third-round pick could be in line for increased playing time.
The Kings signed Rempal, a top NCAA performer and former BCHL superstar to a two-year entry-level contract last year and the 23-year old rewarded them with an excellent minor league season. Playing in 59 games for the Ontario Reign he scored 40 points, continuing his history of offensive production. Unfortunately that offense didn’t appear in his seven games with the Kings, as Rempal is still waiting for his first NHL point.
Brickley, 24, was another top college free agent in the spring of 2018 but spent most of this season in the AHL. The 6’3″ defenseman registered 12 points for the Reign but was a whopping -31 on the year, the worst on the team despite playing in just 42 games. Brickley has played in five games for the Kings so far and scored two points, but may have a tough time really cracking the NHL lineup given their current depth on the blue line.
That depth has only been strengthened with the re-signing of Roy, who has turned himself from a seventh-round afterthought to legitimate NHL option. Roy played in 25 games for the Kings last season after a pair of solid years in the AHL and will battle Brickley and others for the opportunity to stay in the NHL again this season. Like the rest of the young players looking for playing time on the Kings’ blue line, Roy will be waiting patiently for an opportunity that could be created at some point this year through trade. The Kings have three defensemen scheduled for unrestricted free agency next summer and another with just two years left. If the team decides to really blow it up and go young, names like Derek Forbort and Alec Martinez will surely draw interest on the open market.