Posts Tagged San Jose Sharks

Top 10 “Value” Free Agent Signings

With how rare it is to acquire talent in the NHL, most teams find themselves coming out of the offseason with their pockets emptied by free agents and the ridiculous prices that the market sets on them.

Once free agency hits, mediocre players become hot commodities and teams usually overpay to get them.

Sometimes, however, good deals are signed and both parties come away winners.

Let’s take a closer look at the top 10 “value” contracts that were signed during this offseason.

Honourable Mentions:

James Reimer – Toronto Maple Leafs – Two-years, $4.6 million / $2.3 million cap hit

With career numbers of a .914 save percentage and a 2.84 goals against average, Reimer has established himself as a very capable goalie in the league. While he may not be a true number one goaltender, he is at worst a goalie who is good enough to play 30-40 games in a split role. With a two-year contract for only $2.3 million per season, the Leafs should have no problem finding a trade partner if need be.

Lars Eller – Montreal Canadiens – Four-years, $14 million / $3.5 million cap hit

Never eclipsing 30 points in any of his five seasons in the league, Eller has yet to establish himself as a reliable forward in the NHL. With that said, this past postseason Eller finished behind only Subban in scoring, with 13 points in 17 games. At only $3.5 million until the age of 29, the Canadiens might have gotten themselves a steal if that kind of production continues.

On to the top 10.

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NHL Rumors II: Braun, Leafs, Spaling, Stoa and Nelson

  • Kevin Kurz of CSN Bay Area: The Sharks have started contract extension talks with Justin Braun, though nothing is imminent.

    “Nothing yet. We will be talking more later in the month after Justin’s wedding,” Neil Sheehy said via email.

    Braun has one-year left on his deal before becoming a UFA. He’ll make $1.25 million this year.

  • David Pagnotta: Expect some movement from the Maple Leafs in the near future.
  • Seth Rorabaugh: Nick Spaling’s agent, Pat Morris, said there is nothing new to report on contract talks with the Penguins. Arbitration hearing set for July 31st. Both sides will exchange their briefs today.
  • Alex Prewitt: The Capitals have shown “no interest” in re-signing UFA Ryan Stoa according to Stoa’s agent. Stoa is now considering Europe.
  • Brian Compton: Islanders coach Jack Capuano said yesterday that he is a little hesitant to move Brock Nelson from center to wing, but knows what could potentially happen if he plays on the top line.

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Salary Cap Outlook – The Pacific Division

Continuing on from where we left off with the Central Division, it’s now time to take a look at final division in the NHL, the Western Conferences teams, Pacific Division.

*All figures according to CapGeek.com, with the Salary Cap being $69 million*

*2015-16 cap space does not include current unsigned RFA’s*

Part 4: Western Conference – Pacific Division

Anaheim Ducks

2014-15 Season:

Total players under NHL contract: 22 (11 forwards, 9 defensemen, 2 goalies)
Cap Payroll: $57,864,167
Overages: $1,150,000
Cap Space: $11,135,833
RFA’s Remaining: Jakob Silfverberg, Devante Smith-Pelly
Players for LTIR: Sheldon Souray (if needed)

Overview: The Ducks are one of the NHL’s best teams, and yet, they still find themselves with just over $11 million in cap space. This is a very unfamiliar sight for good teams. With only Silfverberg and Smith-Pelly left to bring back (which should come for around or less than $3 million combined), the Ducks are in an extremely good position financially moving forward.

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NHL Rumors III: Stamkos, Maple Leafs, Sharks and Penguins

  • Stephen Whyno in the Toronto Star: Lightning Steven Stamkos will be a UFA in 2016 and thought of playing for the Maple Leafs could be there.

    “We’ll see what happens. It’s a couple years away,” Stamkos said Wednesday. “Right now I’m focused on what I have to do to win in Tampa, and I think we’ve really established ourselves as a team that can compete in upcoming years.

    “For me, that’s the important thing is getting a chance to win. It looks like we’re going to have that chance for a couple years.”

    Stamkos added that talk of him possibly coming to Toronto in two years will “absolutely not” be a distraction for him.

    “I try not to focus about that stuff,” he said. “I think that’s the great thing about playing in Tampa is hockey isn’t the mecca that it is here in Toronto and you can kind of go about your life and kind of get away from the game when you need to.”

    Stamkos added that he enjoys playing big hockey markets like Toronto.

    “I’m from around here and grew up cheering for the Leafs, so any time I get a chance to come back here I enjoy it, and any time I get a chance to play against the Leafs it’s fun,” he said. “It’s also fun beating them, too, because a lot of my friends are still Leaf fans.”

  • Kevin Kurz of CSN Bay Area: Kurz expects the Sharks to start the season with Antti Niemi and Alex Stalock in net. If they were going to trade Niemi, it likely would have happened already. Niemi has one-year left on his deal at $3.8 million. It’s possible that a team during the season could look at Niemi as a backup or potential starter. Niemi has won a Stanley Cup and was a Vezina Finalist just over a year ago.

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NHL Video: State of the San Jose Sharks

San Jose Sharks head coach Todd McLellan and GM Doug Wilson discuss the State of the Sharks.

Discussing their goaltending situation, moving Brent Burns back to the blueline and some things going forward.

(video from earlier this offseason, but it’s not like they have done a lot since then.)

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The Offseason “Losers” So Far Are ….

Written by Greg Stamper, who can be found on twitter @g_stamp91.

In part one of this article (which can be found here) we took a look at some of the teams that were blessed with a solid offseason and deserved their title as winners.

It’s time to take a look and see which teams have had far less success and are deemed this year’s losers; some of which may surprise you.

Part 2: Losers

Washington Capitals

One thing is for certain, Washington tried.

Although the Capitals managed to sign the top defenseman available on this year’s market in Matt Niskanen, it’s widely believed that they massively overpaid in the process of doing so. For the time being, this deal should work in the Caps favour, but, near the end of the massive seven-year, $40.25 million deal when Niskanen still has a $5.75 million cap hit in his mid-30’s, it then might really come back to bite them.

Washington didn’t stop there though.

On top of Niskanen, the Caps also elected to sign his 33 year-old (34 when the season starts) teammate from Pittsburgh, defenseman Brooks Orpik, to a five-year, $27.5 million deal. This move quite simply is the reason for Washington making the loser section of this list; it is totally insane.

Losing Mikhail Grabovski and not replacing him didn’t help the Caps either.

The fact that the signing of back-up goaltender Justin Peters to a two-year, $1.9 million deal appears to be the best / least risky move the Caps made shows just how rough this offseason was.

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NHL Rumors III: Friedman’s Final Thoughts of the Summer

  • Elliotte Friedman: Teams could be eyeing Coyotes Antoine Vermette, who has one year left on his deal. GM Don Maloney would like to sign to an extension.Have to think Ryan O’Reilly will follow Paul Stastny out of town. There is a $1.225 million salary gap in their arbitration filings, which is a less gap than what their contract talks were rumored to be.

    Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom’s linemate may depend on who their second line center is. They want to move Tom Wilson up in the lineup. Braden Holtby is their No. 1 starter. The Caps are lukewarm on the idea of trading Mike Green. They want to see how he does in Barry Trotz’s system.

    Shouldn’t be surprised if Christian Ehrhoff gets an extension after January 1st from the Penguins.

    The Islanders offered Jarome Iginla a four year contract.

    The Islanders will give Brock Nelson a shot with John Tavares and Kyle Okposo.

    The sale of the Islanders may have hit a snag last week.

    The Oilers are still looking for a center as they don’t want to rush Leon Draisaitl.

    Justin Schultz and Jake Gardiner could sign bridge deals.

    The Flames continue to tell teams they can take on players with a tough cap hit. The Flames would like adjust their blueline. Dennis Wideman’s name has been out there. They may have looked at Cody Franson.

    Rumors that the Canadiens asked the Maple Leafs about Joffrey Lupul. Sounding like the Leafs will keep him.

    Talk from teams that Evander Kane may start the season on Winnipeg.

    Canucks GM Jim Benning is concerned with their depth due to the heavy travel schedule. Benning on rumors that he is not a Chris Tanev fan:  “I don’t know where this comes from. I’m a big fan of his, he made big strides last year.”

    It’s thought that the Canucks and Oilers tried to trade for Blues Patrik Berglund. Berglund more likely to remain in St. Louis after the departure of Vladimir Sobotka.

    Talk that the Blues tried to trade for Jason Garrison before he was dealt to Tampa Bay.

    If Jason Spezza accepted the trade to Nashville, it would have been similar to what the Predators gave up for James Neal. (Patric Hornqvist and Nick Spaling)

    Ales Hemsky will start the season with Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin. Valeri Nichushkin could lineup with Jason Spezza.

    Flyers GM Ron Hextall on Braydon Coburn rumors: “He’s a big man who can skate. Not surprised people ask about him.” Teams saying Flyers are looking at other options first.

    If he doesn’t sign with the Blackhawks, the Bruins and Penguins could be favorites to land Kevin Hayes over the Panthers.

    Dmitry Kulikov’s three-year contract with the Panthers may not mean trade rumors are over.

    Teammate said that striping Joe Thornton of his captaincy may not force him out. Thornton got the “C” when they striped it from Patrick Marleau.

    There has never been talks between the Devils and Ilya Kovalchuk’s agent, Jay Grossman, about returning.

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NHL Rumors II: UFAs That Are Still Available

  • Craig Custance of ESPN: Free agency has hit a bit of a lull.

    “There’s a few players that teams are starting to call on to round out the roster,” said one agent on Wednesday. “They go through the initial blast of free agents, then it gets quiet. Then they get into arbitrations and qualifying offers.”

    Some UFAs that are still available:

    Peter Mueller – There is interest and is looking for the right fit.
    David Booth - “I’m talking to a few teams about him,” said Mike Liut, a veteran agent with Octagon. “There’s interest out there for sure.”
    Daniel Winnik – Good bottom six and penalty kill option.
    Martin Brodeur – Drew some interest at the start of free agency and will circle back in the next month.
    Devin Setoguchi – Could look to sign a one-year deal to show he’s better than the 11 goals last season.
    Tomas Vokoun – 100 percent healthy from blood clot issue. Currently has two offers he’s considering.
    Dustin Penner – Has playoff experience and can play in a top-six.

  • Luke Fox of SportsNet: Top 10 remaining UFAs

    10. Dustin Penner – Could add some scoring and size to bottom-six. Three teams since 2013.
    9. Saku Koivu – Could be a fit in Minnesota or Montreal, back in Finland or retire.
    8. Daniel Winnik – Should be able to find a bottom-six role somewhere.
    7. Andre Benoit – Can’t rule out an Avalanche return.
    6. Devin Setoguchi – Not a lot of talk that there is demand of Setoguchi. Could the Sharks be interested after having some earlier playoff success with them? Maybe the Bruins would be interested to replace the hole left by Jarome Iginla.
    5. Martin Brodeur – Brodeur wants a contender. The Leafs, Blackhawks, Bruins, Penguins and Lightning had kicked tires. The Lightning and Penguins have already signed a backup.
    4. Tomas Vokoun – Has multiple offers.
    3. Lee Stempniak – ESPN saying a handful of teams are intersted. Bruins are not one of the teams interested as they are looking to trade for a winger.
    2. Michael Del Zotto – Teams that missed out on Dan Boyle and Matt Niskanen could look at Del Zotto. Cost to sign him shouldn’t be high.
    1. Daniel Alfredsson – Red Wings or retirement.

    Best of the remaining free agents:

    Forwards: Ray Whitney, David Booth, Andrei Loktionov, T.J. Galiardi, Ryan Carter, Matt D’Agostini

    Defence: Sami Salo, Henrik Tallinder, Cory Sarich, Jamie McBain, Raphael Diaz, Brett Bellemore

    Goaltenders: Tim Thomas, Ilya Bryzgalov

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NHL Rumors III: Sharks, Dmen That Could Be Available and Kulikov

  • David Pollak of the San Jose Mercury News: Despite saying that the Sharks on in a “rebuild phase,” GM Doug Wilson still wants to win.

    “I never lowered the expectations of making the playoffs, because we’re still a very good team,” Wilson said.

    “I can understand when people say there are different types of rebuild,” he said. “We’re not going to finish last to try and draft people first or second. This is not something this franchise can do, because we already have some good players in key positions. You’re not going to see us with 50 points next year — we’re too good a team for that.”

  • Tim Kavanagh of ESPN: Defenseman that could be available for trade this offseason:

    1. Mike Green – the Avalanche and Red Wings have been mentioned as potential landing spots if the Capitals decide to trade him. If the Caps don’t move him this summer, and if they are out of contention at the trade deadline, they could trade him then.

    2. Dion Phaneuf – carries a big cap hit and was rumored to be part of the Maple Leafs offer to the Panthers for the first overall pick at the 2014 draft.

    3. Tyler Myers – Sabres GM Tim Murray isn’t actively shopping his young players, but added that he’d listen to offers. Offers would have to be huge. There have been rumors that the Canucks and Red Wings have had interest.

  • Harvey Fialkov: Panthers GM Dale Tallon said they are very close on a deal with defenseman Dmitri Kulikov.

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NHL News: Gudbranson, Cleary, Hannan, Smith and McCollum

  • Cap Geek: The Panthers re-signed Erik Gudbranson for two-years, $5 million.
  • Florida Panthers: GM Dale Tallon on Gudbranson signing.

    “Erik is an important part of our young core of talented players who we are pleased to have signed,” said Tallon. “He is a big, strong and physical defenseman who is one of the building blocks for our team. We look forward to his continued development and his contributions to the South Florida community.”

  • Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press: The Red Wings signed Daniel Cleary to a one-year contract worth $1.5 million with another $1 million in bonuses. Red Wings GM Ken Holland on the re-signing,

    “has more to do with last year. My program has been one of loyalty, and there’s good things and bad things that go with that. Way more good, in my opinion. I reached out to a lot of people before signing Dan, and he’s very popular in our organization and with our on-ice leaders.”

    Clearly signed a one-year, $1.75 million deal last year after Mike Babcock pushed hard for him to accept their deal and not the three-year, $8.25 million deal from the Flyers. A verbal agreement was made that they would take care of Cleary this summer.

  • Cap Geek: The Leafs re-sign Trevor Smith to a one-way deal.
  • NHLFreeAgents: The Red Wings re-sign goaltender Thomas McCollum to a one-year, two-way deal worth $600,000.
  • David Pollak: The Sharks sign Michael Haley and Bryan Lerg.
  • Erik Erlendsson: The Lightning re-signed winger Brett Connolly to a one-year, two-way contract.

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