2014 NHL Free Agency: Live Blog

Published on July 1st, 2014

Welcome to NHL Free Agency ’14!  I (@HockeyMeesh) will be updating this page frequently as signings and trades are reported around the NHL.  Updates will be at the top.

7:00pm – End of the Live Blog

Thanks for checking in today!  Everything has slowed down to a crawl, so it’s time to stop the updates here.  I’ll have a thoughts post on the Penguins additions and losses coming up later tonight.

6:45pm – Ducks Sign LaBarbera

Anaheim added a backup goalie in case their young group isn’t ready with Jason Labarbera getting a one-year deal worth $750k.

The Islanders signed Jack Skille to a two-way deal.  Also, the Avalanche signed Ben Street to a two-year deal.

6:30pm – Updates

Jarome Iginla’s contract with the Avalanche includes a no movement clause.  Evgeni Nabokov will get $1.55 million for his one-year deal in Tampa Bay.

6:10pm – Zolnierczyk signs with Isles

The Islanders signed Harry Zolnierczyk to a one-year, two-way deal.  They also signed Cory Conacher to a one-year deal worth $600k.  Carolina has signed goalie Drew MacIntyre to a one-year, two-way deal.

5:55pm – Goc Re-Signs in Pittsburgh, Nabokov to Tampa Bay

Marcel Goc is staying in Pittsburgh. He signed a one-year deal worth $1.2 million (a $500k pay cut from last year).  The Pens also signed defenseman Taylor Chorney to a one-year, two-way deal.

Evgeni Nabokov signed a one-year deal in Tampa Bay to likely back up Ben Bishop.

Toronto signed Matt Frattin, who was acquired in a trade earlier today, to a two-year deal.

5:30pm – Boyle Signs with Tampa

Tampa Bay has signed Brian Boyle to a three-year deal worth $2 million per year.

5:15pm – Goalie Updates

Al Montoya’s deal with Florida is for two years, worth $2.1 million total.  The Montreal Canadiens signed Joey MacDonald to a one-year, two-way deal.

Dallas signed forward Patrick Eaves to a one-year deal worth $650k.

5:00pm – Niskanen Signs with Washington

Matt Niskanen has signed a seven-year, $40.25 million deal to join the Washington Capitals.  Niskanen also has a partial no-trade clause. Between him and Orpik, the Capitals have spent $67.75 million on two former Penguins defensemen today.

Minnesota has signed Brett Sutter to a two-year two day deal.

The Florida Panthers have added Willie Mitchell for two years at $4.25 million per year.

4:40pm – Chicago gets Brad Richards

Despite all of the talk surrounding Toews and Kane extensions, the Blackhawks have added Brad Richards.  It’s a one-year deal worth $2 million and includes a no movement clause.

Tomas Vokoun has an offer and will sleep on it before making his decision tomorrow.

4:30pm – Niskanen Update

Matt Niskanen is the confusing part of the day so far. It sounds like Florida and San Jose are talking to him, but Minnesota, Tampa Bay, and Detroit are out, as is Colorado probably.  Washington is still a possible location for him as well, but they may have spent too much already.

Adam Cracknell signed a one-year deal worth $600k with Los Angeles.

Luke Gazdic signed a two-year deal with Edmonton worth $1.6 million total.

4:15pm – Flurry of Signings

The Devils have signed Stephen Gionta to a two-year deal worth $850k per year.  Andrej Meszaros has signed in Buffalo for one year, getting $4.125 million.  Matt Hunwick has signed with the New York Rangers for one year, worth $600k.  Goalie Devan Dubnyk has signed with the Arizona Coyotes for one year, $800k.  Ray Emery has re-signed with Philadelphia for one year, $1 million.

Stephane Robidas received a limited no-trade clause in his contract with Toronto from earlier.

Big names still out there: Nikolai Kulemin, Radim Vrbata, Matt Niskanen, Steve Ott, Ilya Bryzgalov and several others.  As of 4pm, NHL teams have spent $451 million today.  What lockout?

4:00pm – Clemmensen back to NJ

The New Jersey Devils have brought back goalie Scott Clemmensen to back up Cory Schneider.  Tampa Bay signed Mike Blunden to a two-way deal.

3:40pm – Slowing Down

Signings have come to an abrupt halt aside from some Blackhawks AHL signings.  I assume this is because every GM saw the Engelland contract and hyperventilated.

The Rangers have added Steve Kampfer on a two-way deal.  The Red Wings have signed Kevin Porter to a two-way deal as well.

3:15pm – Engelland to Calgary

Deryk Engelland has signed a three-year deal worth $2.9 million PER YEAR with the Calgary Flames according to Bob McKenzie, seriously.

Christian Ehrhoff’s deal with Pittsburgh includes a no movement clause.

Goalie Rob Zepp did not sign with Pittsburgh. He signed with Philadelphia, per corrected mistake by Elliotte Friedman.

3:10pm – Rutherford Presser, Updates

Rutherford and Ehrhoff decided it would be good to try out the fit for one year and see what happens after that.  In regards to the goalies, he said the team has a number one guy (presumably Fleury) and the other two will fight for the backup spot (presumably Greiss vs. Zatkoff).  As for adding top-six guys, he is not sure if they have to get one at this time.  He’s comfortable trying Spaling or Dupuis in the top-six as necessary.  In regards to Kulemin, “there’s always a chance, but it would take someone getting very very creative in terms of how to fit that contract under the cap.”  The Ehrhoff deal does not affect Paul Martin’s status.  Rutherford also made it clear that what they do now doesn’t mean this will be the team going into the playoffs.  Rutherford also said he believes Malkin will have some disappointment with the James Neal trade and they haven’t decided if Hornqvist will play alongside Malkin or not.

Calgary is close to signing Deryk Engelland.

The crazy Brooks Orpik contract with Washington also includes a limited no-trade clause.

2:55pm – Rangers Sign Chris Mueller, Slowing Down

Things are finally slowing down around the league.  The Rangers signed Chris Mueller.

Jim Rutherford is about to speak with the media at 3pm.

So far, the Penguins have added Christian Ehrhoff (1 yr, $4 mil), Thomas Greiss (1 yr, $1 mil), and Blake Comeau (1 yr, $700k).  They retained Nick Drazenovic (two-way).  They have lost Brooks Orpik (5 yrs, $27.5 mil to Caps), Jussi Jokinen (4 yrs, $16 mil to Panthers), Tanner Glass (3 yrs, $4.35 mil to Rangers), and Joe Vitale (3 yrs, 3.45 mil to Coyotes)

2:40pm – Devils Re-Sign Steve Bernier, Colorado Signs Redmond

The New Jersey Devils retained Steve Bernier for one year on a $600k deal.

Colorado signed Zach Redmond to a two-year deal worth $750k per year.

2:35pm – Stralman to Tampa Bay

The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed Anton Stralman to a five-year deal worth $22.5 million total.

2:30pm – Tlusty Stays in Carolina

The Carolina Hurricanes re-signed Jiri Tlusty to a one-year deal worth $2.95 million per year.  Chicago has brought back Peter Regin for one year at $650k.

2:25pm – Iginla to Avs, Komarov to Leafs

The Colorado Avalanche have signed Jarome Iginla to a three-year deal worth $16.5 million total.

The Toronto Maple Leafs have signed Leo Komarov to a four-year deal worth $2.95 million per year.

Bobby Sanguinetti signed a two-way deal with the Vancouver Canucks worth $600k if he’s in the NHL.

2:20pm – Pens Sign German goalie

Pittsburgh has signed goaltender Rob Zepp to a two-way deal (worth $600k if he’s in the NHL).  He has spent the last seven years playing with the Berlin Polar Bears in Germany.  The move amounts to a veteran goalie for the AHL probably.  Jim Rutherford actually drafted him with Carolina back in 2001.

2:15pm – Havlat to Devils, Pens Re-Sign Drazenovic

The New Jersey Devils have signed Marty Havlat to a one-year deal worth $1.5 million.

The Penguins re-signed Nick Drazenovic on a two-way deal.  He played mostly in the AHL last season with a one-game call up to the Pens.

Marcus Foligno has re-signed in Buffalo for two years, worth $3.75 million total.

The Wings are out of the Matt Niskanen running.  Meanwhile, there are reports that San Jose is moving into the pack for him.

2:05pm – Moulson to the Sabres

Matt Moulson has signed a five-year deal with Buffalo worth $5 million per year.  The deal includes a no-trade clause.  The Sabres also signed Cody McCormack to a three-year deal worth $1.5 million per year.

2:00pm – Avs Re-Sign Holden, Sign Gervais

The Avs have re-signed Nick Holden to a three-year deal worth $4.95 million total.  Colorado also signs Bruno Gervais to a one-year deal worth $650k.

The Florida Panthers have signed Derek MacKenzie to a three-year deal worth $3.9 million total.

1:50pm – Glass to the Rangers, Moore Stays

Tanner Glass has signed with the New York Rangers for three years, worth $1.45 million per year.  The Rangers also keep Dominic Moore, signing him to a two year deal worth $1.5 million per year.

1:45pm – Vanek to Minnesota

Michael Laatta has re-signed with Washington for a two-year deal worth $575k per year.

Tomas Vanek has signed a three-year deal with the Minnesota Wild worth $6.5 million per year.  The deal includes a no-trade clause.

Dave Molinari is reporting that the Penguins are still looking for a bottom-six winger today and top-six winger in general, but they don’t necessarily expect to get the latter today.  GM Jim Rutherford is meeting with the media at 3pm today.

Stephane Robidas has signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs for three years worth $3 million per year.

1:40pm – Hiller to Calgary

The Calgary Flames have signed goalie Jonas Hiller to a two-year deal worth $4.5 million per year.

1:35pm – Vanek Down to 2 teams, Niskanen Deciding Today, Iginal heavily Courted, Updates

Shawn Thornton’s deal with Florida is for two years and worth $1.2 million per year.  Keith Aulie’s deal with Edmonton is for one year and worth $800k.  Tyler Fedun has signed with the San Jose Sharks.

Columbus has traded Matt Frattin to Toronto for Jerry D’Amigo and a conditional 7th round pick.

Tomas Vanek is down to two teams and will make a decision soon.  Matt Niskanen’s agent said negotiations are hectic but they play on making a decision today.

Jarome Iginla is currently being chased by Colorado, Minnesota, Tampa Bay, and Vancouvero

1:25pm – Perrault to Winnipeg, Shawn Thornton to Florida

The Winnipeg Jets have signed Mathieu Perrault to a three-year deal worth $3 million per year.  The Florida Panthers have added Shawn Thornton.  Edmonton has signed Keith Aulie.

1:15 – Pens Sign Comeau, Greiss, Gionta to Buffalo

The Penguins have signed forward Blake Comeau to a one-year deal worth $700k and goaltender Thomas Greiss to a one-year deal worth $1 million.

Buffalo continues to add on former Canadiens as they add Brian Gionta for three years, worth $12.75 million total.

Brooks Orpik’s deal with Washington is for five-years, worth $27.5 million total.

1:10 – Contract Updates, Hemsky to Dallas

Joe Vitale’s deal with Arizona is three years, worth $1.1 million per year.  Ryan Miller’s deal in Vancouver is three years, worth $6 million per year.

Ales Hemsky is going to Dallas.  THe deal is for three years, worth $4 million per year.

1:05pm – Stuart traded to Avs, Goalies to Everywhere

San Jose has traded Brad Stuart to Colorado for a 2nd round pick and a 6th round pick.

Ryan Miller is going to Vancouver.  The Dallas Stars have signed Anders Lindback to a one-year deal to be their backup goalie.  Florida has signed Al Montoya as their backup goalie.

From earlier, Dan Boyle also received a no movement clause in his contract with the Rangers.

12:55pm – Montreal Signs Sekac, Weaver, Caps Sign Orpik, Coyotes Sign Vitale

Jiri Sekac, a forward who played in the KHL last year, signed a two-year rookie contract with the Montreal Canadiens.  Montreal also signed Mikee Weaver to a one-year deal worth $1.75 million.

Joe Vitale has signed a three-year deal in Arizona.  Meanwhile, Brooks Orpik has signed with Washington.

12:45pm – Dan Boyle to the Rangers, Bolland to Florida

Dan Boyle has signed a two-year deal worth $9 million with the New York Rangers.  Mike Kostka has also signed a one-year deal with the Rangers.

The Florida Panthers have signed Dave Bolland.  His deal is five years at $5.5 million per year.

From earlier, the Paul Stastny deal includes a full no-trade clause with St. Louis.

12:40pm – Jussi Jokinen to the Panthers, Raymond to Calgary

The Florida Panthers have signed Jussi Jokinen to a four-year deal worth $4 million per year.

The Carolina Hurricanes have signed Brad Malone to a two-year deal worth $.13 million total.

Mason Raymond has signed a three-year deal worth $9.5 million total in Calgary.

12:35pm – Stastny Signs in St. Louis, Cammalleri to New Jersey, Gilbert to Montreal, Stoner to Anaheim

Paul Stastny has agreed to a four-year deal with the St. Louis Blues worth $7 million per year.  Meanwhile, Mike Cammalleri has signed with the New Jersey Devils for $5 million per year over 5 years.

Also, the Islanders have sigend defenseman TJ Brennan to a one-year deal worth $600k.  Montreal has just signed defenseman Tom Gilbert.  The deal is for two years, worth $2.8 million per year.

Clayton Stoner has signed a 4-year deal worth $13 million total with Anaheim.

12:30pm – Caps Sign Justin Peters, Gorges Traded to Buffalo

The Washington Capitals, who were in the market for a backup goalie for Braden Holtby, have signed former Carolina Hurricane goalie Justin Peters to a two-year deal worth $950k per year.  Peters played 21 games in the NHL last year with a 2.50 GAA and .919 save %.

After turning down a trade to Toronto yesterday, defenseman Josh Gorges has waived his no-trade clause for a trade from Montreal to Buffalo in exchange for a 2nd round pick in 2016.

12:25pm – Michalek Re-Signs with Ottawa

The Ottawa Senators have re-signed Milan Michalek to a three-year deal worth $4 million per year.  Michalek had 39 points (17g, 22a) in 82 games last season

Jesse Winchester has signed with the Colorado Avalanche.  The deal is worth $900k/yr. for two years.  Winchester played 52 games for the Florida Panthers last year, recording 9 goals and 9 assists.

12:20pm – Isles Sign Chad Johnson

The Islanders have found their backup goalie in former Boston Bruin Chad Johnson for two years, worth approximately $1.3 million per year according to Darren Dreger.  He’s 28 years old and recorded a 2.10 GAA and .925 Save % in 27 games last year.  He should be an ideal backup for Jaroslav Halak. From earlier, the St. Louis Blues signed forward Jori Lehtera out of the KHL to a two-year deal worth $5.5 million.

12:14pm – Edmonton Signs Pouliot, Fayne

In probably the first overpayment of the day, Edmonton has signed Benoit Pouliot to a five-year deal worth $20 million total.  They also signed defenseman Mark Fayne for four years worth $14.5 million total.  Both players are 27 years old.

Pouliot had 36 points (15g, 21a) in 80 games with the Rangers last season and added in 10 points (5g, 5a) in 25 playoff games.  Meanwhile, Mark Fayne played 72 games with the Devils and recorded 11 points (4g, 7a).

12:08pm – Malhotra to Montreal, Ehrhoff to Pens

Manny Malhotra is the first deal of the day, going to Montreal for one-year, $850k.  The Penguins have signed defenseman Christian Ehrhoff to a one-year deal worth $4 million.

In 79 games last season with Buffalo, Ehrhoff had 6 goals and 27 assists.  Over a career of 692 games, the 31-year-old (turns 32 next week) defenseman has 69 goals and 244 assists.  He is widely regarded as a solid defenseman that has dealt with a dismal roster around him in Buffalo.  He should work out very well in Pittsburgh as a replacement for Niskanen and a mentor for the young guys coming up.  The price and term is perfect.

12:00pm – Free Agency Begins

And we’re underway!  No one has signed in the first 30 seconds.

11:58am – Last of the Rumors

Elliotte Friedman is reporting that Washington will make a hard run at Brooks Orpik.  Orpik is also being targeted by Calgary, Colorado, and Florida.

11:50am – Thoughts Before Noon

Just a few things before we all go insane.  Free agency is a two-way street and the Penguins have publicly looked questionable at times over the past few months, so it will be interesting to see how players view the franchise.  Also, the Penguins are definitely trying to change their image (see: Neal trade), which also could be a reason that guys like Gibbons (Bylsma favorite?) were not re-signed before July 1st.  Of course, those guys could just want to test the market as well.  Just remember, there are a lot of moving parts in this business and the GM isn’t necessarily in charge of all of the requirements.  It’s time to see what this new-look franchise can do.

11:30am – Rumor Updates

Josh Yohe (@JoshYohe_Trib) has thrown out Steve Downie as an interesting name to consider for the Penguins because of his ties to Rick Tocchet.  Minnesota is out of the Matt Niskanen race.  They believe his requested term (6-7 years) is too long.

11:15am – Spezza Traded to Dallas

Dallas has traded Alex ChiassonAlex Guptill, Nicholas Paul and a 2015 second round pick to Ottawa for Jason Spezza and Ludvig Karlsson.

Spezza requested a trade and Ottawa had one in place to Nashville over draft weekend, but he would not waive his no-trade clause for it.  Off to Dallas he goes.  He will be a UFA next summer and has not discussed an extension with Dallas yet.

Spezza, who is 31 years old, had 66 points (23g, 43a) in 75 games for Ottawa last season.  Meanwhile, the 23-year-old Chiasson had 35 points (13g, 22a) in 79 games. Paul is only 19 (drafted in ’13) and played in the OHL last season.  Guptill is 22 and played for the University of Michigan.

11:00am – Introduction

Here are some news and notes about who the Penguins may be targeting as we get closer to 12pm:

  • Per Dave Molinari, the Penguins did extend qualifying offers to their six RFAs: Brandon Sutter, Nick Spaling, Jayson Megna, Bobby Farnham, Simon Despres, and Philip Samuelsson
  • According to Josh Yohe, the Penguins will be going hard after Nikolai Kulemin and Benoit Pouliot.
  • From Rob Rossi, Marc-Andre Fleury and Paul Martin are unlikely to receive contract extensions this summer.  That makes Martin a possible trade piece if the Penguins can sign a big name free agent defenseman.
  • Dave Molinari reported that the Penguins were interested in Chris Thorburn before he signed a three-year deal with Winnipeg last night that is worth $1.2 million per year.  He also says to keep an eye on Derek MacKenzie and Blake Comeau as possible targets for the Penguins.
  • Molinari also suggests a long list of bottom-six players that the Penguins could look at, including Brian Boyle, Blake Comeau, Adam Cracknell, Vernon Fiddler, Nick Johnson, Leo Komarov, Derek MacKenzie, Manny Malhotra, Dominic Moore, Kevin Porter, Benoit Pouliot, Zach Sill, Jesse Winchester, Daniel Winnick, and Harry Zolnierczyk.
  • Ryan Wilson of HockeyBuzz suggested some higher end guys in Ales Hemsky, Nikolai Kulemin, Radim Vrbata, Milan Michalek to go along with depth players David Moss and Mike Santorelli.
  • Finally, our own Nick Richter suggested Nikolai Kulemin, Mason Raymond, Benoit Pouliot, David Moss, and Brian Gibbons.

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Thanks for reading!!

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