NHL FREE AGENCY: Free Agent Signings as of 08/07/13.

Image courtesy of nhle.com.

Updated as of 10:50 GMT on 9/7/13.  This list contains a snapshot of all signings since July 5th 2013, plus short descriptions of each player.  All info as per TSN.ca and NHL.com.

ANAHEIM DUCKS

  • SAKU KOIVU – 1 year @ $2.5m.  Legendary centerman re-signs for another tour of duty with the Ducks.  Despite being 38, still putting up good numbers and playing well defensively.
  • NOLAN YONKMAN – 1 year @ $600k.  32 year old veteran AHL defender with 74 NHL games under his belt.  Minor league addition.
  • MATT BELESKEY – 2 years @ $1.35m.  25 year old left winger has 209 NHL games to his name with 56 career points.  A fairly decent, physical 4th liner, won’t be any better than he is now but is a decent player for what he provides.

BOSTON BRUINS

  • CHAD JOHNSON – 1 year @ $600k.  27 year old minor league goalie with small amount of NHL experience.  Still young enough for a goalie that he might turn into something more, but unlikely.
  • JAROME IGINLA – 1 year @ $6m.  The Bruins finally get their guy.  Veteran star forward was ok but not great with Pittsburgh, but is still a very good offensive player at 36.

BUFFALO SABRES

  • DREW BAGNALL – 2 years @ $550k.  Tough 29 year old defender, primarily in AHL – only 2 NHL games to date.  Minor league signing.
  • ALEXANDER SULZER – 1 year @ $725k.  29 year old D-man, spent the last several years as a No.7 guy including with Buffalo, can move the puck a bit and not be too much of a defensive liability.

CALGARY FLAMES

  • GREG NEMISZ – 1 year $725k.  Former first rounder hanging by a thread in Flames organisation.  Once touted as a part of the future Calgary forward group, has struggled in the AHL let alone in 15 NHL games.  Will need a big season in Abbotsford or likely to be let go next year.

CAROLINA HURRICANES

  • ANTON KHUDOBIN – 1 year @ $800k.  Inexperienced backup goalie has superb numbers over 21 career NHL games behind good Bruins team.  How will he fare with a worse team and likely more games?
  • MIKE KOMISAREK – 1 year @ $700k.  Veteran d-man had awful time with Toronto, but is likely still a capable depth defender.  Bargain contract, 1 year, no risk.

CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS

  • MICHAL HANDZUS – 1 year @ $1m.  Veteran center had poor regular season but good playoffs, winning his first Cup with 11 points in 23 games.  OK depth center, but not what he used to be.
  • MICHAL ROZSIVAL – 2 years @ $???.  Veteran defender decent for Blackhawks during Cup run, nice depth piece for a young team.
  • NIKOLAI KHABIBULIN – 1 year @ $2m.  40 year old goalie returns for second tour of duty with the Hawks.  Had a tough time with injury and form in Edmonton, aside from the odd stretch, and it’s surprising he’s still in the league, but he might be OK behind a good team like Chicago in spot duty.

COLORADO AVALANCHE

  • NATE GUENIN – 1 year @ $600k.  Depth defender, more of an AHL player with capability to step in to NHL action on occasion.
  • ANDRE BENOIT – 1 year @ $900k.  First significant NHL action this year. 29 years old so likely not an NHL regular, but perhaps a decent 7th defender.
  • GUILLAUME DESBIENS – terms TBC.  Depth winger, OK AHL forward can chip in the odd game in the NHL.
  • JT WYMAN – 1 year @ $???.  Another depth winger much the same as Desbiens, with perhaps a little more scoring, but not much.
  • NICK HOLDEN – 2 years @ $???.  AHL defender, pure and simple.  Can likely be a call-up option occasionally, but definitely a minor-league signing.

COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS

  • NATHAN HORTON – 7 years @ $5.3m per.  28 year old RW very effective power forward type when healthy, brilliant in playoffs for Boston.  Good signing in terms of player, but dollar amount and term rather big.
  • PATRICK MCNEILL – 1 year @ $600k.  26 year old defender has spent almost entire pro career, beginning in 2007, with Hershey of the AHL, putting up good offensive numbers and decent plus/minus.  Could well see his first NHL action this year as a call-up for the bottom pairing and powerplay.

DALLAS STARS

  • DAN ELLIS – 2 years @ $900k.  Backup goalie, has had up and down years.  OK in small stretches, but can’t be asked to shoulder too much of a load.
  • CHRIS MUELLER – 1 year @ $???.  27 year old forward with 37 NHL games so far, and 323 in the AHL with 189 points.  Small but gritty, could be an end-of-the-roster type player.

DETROIT RED WINGS

  • STEPHEN WEISS – 5 years @ $4.9m.  Had a miserable year with injury and poor production, but has been top-end 2nd line center for years and will likely rebound particularly in Detroit’s puck possession system, something Weiss is very adept at.
  • DANIEL ALFREDSSON – 1 year @ $5.5m.  40 year old RW has had an outstanding career, and whilst Sens fans will hate to see him leave, Alfie has more than earned the right to go where he chooses.  Should do well.

EDMONTON OILERS

  • ANDREW FERENCE – 4 years @ $3.25m.  34 year old defender not the top 4 guy he used to be, but might be able to play decent 3rd pairing minutes.  More term and more money than he should have been offered, but hopefully he can play the role expected of him n Edmonton.  I’m not convinced.
  • BOYD GORDON – 3 years @ $3m.  Very, very good third line center: strong defensively, excellent on faceoffs, can chip in on scoring.  Interesting to see how he performs in Edmonton’s less defensive system.  Hopefully will be better than Belanger experiment.  A bit expensive, but that’s how free agency works.
  • JASON LABARBERA – 1 year @ $1m.  Veteran backup goalie has been very good over 10 year NHL career.  Won’t threaten Dubnyk for starter’s role, but will be capable in his stead.
  • JESSE JOENSUU – 2 years @ $???.  25 year old Finnish winger.  Good scorer in Finland, a decent skater and pretty skilled, along with a physical mindset makes him an interesting depth forward.
  • RYAN HAMILTON – depth winger has proven to be a good AHL scorer, waiting for a chance at NHL level.  Is 28, so unlikely he’ll develop much more and will likely remain a fringe AHL/NHL guy, but decent depth guy who can play with a physical edge.
  • RYAN JONES – 1 year @ $1.5m.  Divisive bottom 6 forward; aside from this past season (eye injury set him back) has decent scoring numbers and many rave about his effort and two-way play, whilst others bemoan his poor puck possession numbers and state his chaotic style simply gives the appearance of effort.

FLORIDA PANTHERS

  • MIKE MOTTAU – 1 year @ $???.  Depth defender has 313 NHL games under his belt, can certainly step in if required.
  • JOEY CRABB – 2 years @ $600k.  Veteran depth forward, 30 years old so likely won’t challenge for full time NHL spot but a decent call-up option.
  • MATT GILROY – 1 year @ $???.  28 year old defender a former college star, has been mediocre in the NHL with 46 points in 209 games.  Can play as a bottom pairing guy, but shouldn’t be asked to do more.
  • JON MATSUMOTO – 1 year @ $???.  Decent AHL forward has just 14 NHL games at age 26, and his opportunity is dwindling as he is a purely offensive player; likely will be a call-up option but nothing more.
  • JACK SKILLE – 1 year @ $???.  Former high draft pick has really struggled to be an effective pro player, but even at 26 keeps getting chances.  Has 49 points in 178 career games with Chicago and Florida.
  • FREDERIC ST DENIS – 1 year @ $???.  27 year old defender is a good AHLer and has seen 17 games of NHL action.  Decent depth option.

LA KINGS

  • JEFF SCHULTZ – 1 year @ $700k.  Defensive defender not the top 4 option he used to be, but hard to complain at this price point.  Should be a decent third pairing guy who can be sheltered by LA’s strong defensive system.

MINNESOTA WILD

  • MATT COOKE – 3 years @ $2.5m.  Yes he’s probably one of the least likeable players in league history, notorious for dishing out horrendous hits and injuring star players, but he’s actually a pretty good hockey player when he puts his mind to it with 360 points in 935 career games.  That said, he’s 34 and who knows how he’ll be on a less high-powered team – this is an overpayment with too many years attached.

MONTREAL CANADIENS

  • NICK TARNASKY – 1 year @ $550k.  28 year old left winger who is mediocre at the AHL level, not doing much more than wracking up PIMs.  Minor league option, though his 245 NHL games probably ensure he’ll see at least some time in the bigs.

NASHVILLE PREDATORS

  • ERIC NYSTROM – 4 years @ $2.5m.  OK bottom 6 forward can chip in on offense and hit a lot.  Severely overpaid for what he offers, though does also offer strong PK ability.
  • MATT HENDRICKS – 4 years @ $1.85m.  Veteran winger much like Nystrom can chip in on offense and hit a lot.  Again overpaid at this price point, but like Nystrom also offers decent PK ability.
  • MATT CULLEN – 2 years @ $3.5m.  Elder statesman center, is very capable two-way guy though likely will see a drop in performances as he approaches 40, making this contract a bit on the expensive side.
  • VIKTOR STALBERG – 4 years @ $3m.  Underrated soft-competition killer, big body can score at a decent clip and slide up and down the lineup.  A good signing.

NEW JERSEY DEVILS

  • RYANE CLOWE – 5 years @ $4.85m.  Has lost a step, but still a capable scorer with great physical play and “grit”.  Can’t help but see this deal as an overpay however, given he isn’t getting any younger.
  • MICHAEL RYDER – 2 years @ $3.5m.  Consistently inconsistent goal scorer should add some offense to a Devils club always in need of such a player.  Still putting up numbers despite his 33 years.
  • ROSTISLAV OLESZ – 1 year @ $1m.  Former 7th overall pick in 2004 has mostly been in the AHL over last 2 years, but was a decent NHLer and that was mostly for contract reasons.  Can likely be a decent bottom 6 option.

NEW YORK ISLANDERS

  • PIERRE MARC BOUCHARD – 1 YEAR @ $2M.  Veteran winger has great skill, but injury and inconsistency not to mention playing in the Wild system has limited his offensive output.  Interesting signing, no risk so should be fun to see him play with Tavares etc.
  • PETER REGIN – 1 year @ $750k.  Big winger has shown some scoring ability in the past with Ottawa, but had poor last couple of years partly thanks to injury.  No risk signing, could be decent bottom 6 guy.
  • EVGENI NABOKOV – 1 year @ $3.25m.  Aging goalie still managing to cling to NHL spot despite poor season.  Unfortunately goaltending is really the only thing holding the Islanders back, and this doesn’t solve it.

NEW YORK RANGERS

  • AARON JOHNSON – 1 year @ $600k.  Quality bottom pairing defender seems to struggle to find an NHL home, but when he gets a chance he puts up decent offense.  More likely to be a depth option with powerplay specialties than a regular.
  • BENOIT POULIOT – 1 year @ $1.3m.  Generally regarded as a disappointment for a 4th overall pick, the big 26 year old winger actually had a pretty good season with Tampa (20 points in 34 games), as well as good underlying two-way numbers.  An astute signing by the Rangers.
  • RYAN MCDONAGH – 6 years @ $4.7m.  24 year old defender has just 169 NHL games to his name but has all the looks of a perennial all-star at the position.  Defends at an exceptionally high level, despite his age, and can score to boot.  Will likely only get better, and the Rangers have him until he’s 30 years old for under $5m per season.  Brilliant, brilliant signing.
  • DOMINIC MOORE – 1 year @ $1m.  32 year old center has 185 points in 530 games, but it is his defensive ability that is most valued.  Good bottom 6 center, though it has been a year since he played competitive hockey after suffering personal tragedy.  Nice to see him back, and with the team that first gave him an NHL opportunity.

OTTAWA SENATORS

  • CLARKE MACARTHUR – 2 years @ $3.25m.  Left winger is a good top 6 option, can score and is reliable defensively.  A very adept signing by the Senators.
  • JOE CORVO – 1 year @ $900k.  36 year old puck moving D with 683 NHL games and 300 points; a bit of a journeyman having played for 5 NHL teams, is returning to the Canadian Capital for his second stint.  A decent bottom pairing guy at this point, for a bargain price.

PHILADELPHIA FLYERS

  • YANN DANIS – 1 year @ $???.  Veteran backup goalie is a star at the AHL level, and has had good NHL stints previously but isn’t much better than a call-up option at this point.
  • RAY EMERY – 1 year @ $1.65m.  Another veteran backup goalie, this time at the NHL level. Emery enjoyed an exceptional season behind Corey Crawford with Chicago, winning the Cup there finally.  Returns to the Flyers for a 2nd tour of duty, likely won’t see as pretty stats as with Chicago but still a decent goalie.

PHOENIX COYOTES

  • MIKE RIBEIRO – 4 years @ $5.5m.  A very interesting signing by Phoenix, who at long last acquire an exceptional offensive forward.  The problem is, Ribeiro isn’t getting any younger and has seen his defensive abilities fall off significantly.  This could either work out great, or fail horribly.
  • THOMAS GREISS – 1 year @ $750k.  Pretty decent backup goalie, but hasn’t seen much NHL action (just 44 games since 2007).
  • KYLE CHIPCHURA – 3 years @ $875k.  Decent bottom 6 forward re-signs with Phoenix.
  • CHRIS SUMMERS – 1 year @ $550k.  25 year old defender is pretty much past prospect status at this point; is a decent defensive AHL player with little offensive upside but might be a capable 7th defender or call-up option.

PITTSBURGH PENGUINS

  • ROB SCUDERI – 4 years @ $3.375m.  Veteran defender integral part of 2 Cup wins with PIT and LAK.  Not as young as he used to be, but still very capable bottom pairing guy returning to where he made his name.
  • CRAIG ADAMS – 2 years @ $700k.  Veteran 4th line center remains in Pittsburgh for a little while longer.  Decent depth forward, stays healthy, chips in on scoring and fairly reliable defensively.
  • CHRIS CONNER – 1 year @ $550k.  Small 29 year old winger has 159 NHL games with 45 points and 335 AHL games with 267 points.  Good AHL forward, but only really a replacement level NHLer.

SAN JOSE SHARKS

  • SCOTT HANNAN – 1 year @ $1m.  Another veteran defender returning to his roots, Hannan is just hanging on to his NHL career having lost a step, but is still a decent depth option with tonnes of experience.

ST LOUIS BLUES

  • KEITH AUCOIN – 1 year @ $625k.  AHL superstar forward is a decent depth option at the NHL level and showed pretty well in a full season with the Islanders.
  • MAXIM LAPIERRE – 2 years @ $1.1m.  Decent 3rd/4th line center who can chip in on scoring and is responsible defensively.  Most well known for his chippy, agitating play – love to have him, hate to play him kind of guy.
  • CADE FAIRCHILD – 1 year @ $605k.  24 year old D-man re-signs with Blues.  Had great rookie pro season last year but below average this year.  Bets are he rebounds, but at the moment he’s not close to adding much to his 5 career NHL games.
  • MARK MANCARI – 1 year @ $600k.  27 year old right winger has good size and is an excellent AHL scorer with 480 points in 563 games.  Has 13 points in 42 NHL games, but with his size and toughness could likely survive as a decent bottom line forward with offensive upside.
  • ALEXANDRE BOLDUC – 1 year @ $550k.  28 year old forward is a decent AHLer but nothing better than replacement level at the NHL level.
  • DEREK ROY – 1 year @ $4m.  Much maligned by Sabres fans, but the 30 year old center has 455 points in 591 NHL games and is a strong two-way option at 5v5.  Best offensive years are likely behind him, but still a good 2nd line center.

TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING

  • VALTTERI FILPPULA – 5 years @ $5m.  Quality two forward adds versatility (can play center and wing) and puck possession ability to Lightning after a good career in Detroit.  Should rebound from mediocre season, but not sure he’s a $5m per year player.  Still a good player to have though.

TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS

  • TJ BRENNAN – 1 year @ $600k.  Young defender is brilliant at the AHL level and had a solid first full NHL season.  Nice low risk signing on a player who could be very good.
  • DAVID CLARKSON – 7 years @ $5.25m.  Todays leading contender for worst deal of the day, Oiler fans breathed easy as the Leafs overpaid for a guy who has never scored more than 46 points in a season and hits a lot.  A good player, no doubt, and has a lot of desirable traits, but is horrendously overpaid over a long, long period.
  • TYLER BOZAK – 5 years @ $4.2m.  Toronto’s “number 1 center” returns after being minutes from free agency, and not at nearly the cost many thought it would be at.  This is probably the high-end of what he should be paid, and I don’t think it’s a particularly bad deal, but whilst Bozak is a pretty good NHL player Toronto would really benefit from having a real number 1 C.

VANCOUVER CANUCKS

  • BRAD RICHARDSON – 2 years @ $1.15m.  Versatile forward spent last few seasons as bottom 6 forward in LA, will play exactly the same role in Vancouver.
  • YANNICK WEBER – 1 year @ $650k.  Depth defender has had some good stretches in the NHL, but still is a bottom pairing D at best, but for a team like Vancouver depth is vital.
  • MIKE SANTORELLI – 1 year @ $550k.  27 year old forward showed good scoring skills in the minors, but hasn’t emerged at the NHL level as anything more than a depth forward, save for one 20 goal season 2 years ago.  Risk free signing given term and amount.

WASHINGTON CAPITALS

  • TYSON STRACHAN – Terms TBC.  28 year old defender has 120 NHL games on his resume, but is a depth option at best.

WINNIPEG JETS

  • ADAM PARDY – 1 year @ $600k.  29 year old defender an AHL/NHL tweener, an OK call-up option.
  • JEROME SAMSON – 1 year @ $600k. 25 year old right winger is pretty good at the AHL level – though inconsistent year-to-year – but has shown the ability to fill in on occasion in the NHL.
  • ANDREW GORDON – 1 year @ $550k.  27 year old right winger has had some very good AHL seasons and some OK ones, as well as a few cups of coffee in the big leagues.  Another call-up option.
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