Busy opening day of the offseason yesterday...
Rumours say Jaromir Jagr has contacted five NHL teams - NY Rangers, Washington, Montreal, Pittsburgh and Detroit in an effort to see if there's any interest in his services for next year. Detroit is the real intriguing one here as I'd love to see him lineup with one or both of Datsyuk & Zetterberg. Based on what we saw at the WCs and his numbers in the KHL this year (19+31=50 in 49 games), I think this guy could still contribute in the NHL to the tune of around 60 points... so definitely a situation worth monitoring.
This is interesting... Colorado has signed 27-year-old LW Joakim Lindstrom, the leading scorer in the SEL this year with 28+32=60 in 54 games for Skelleftea. He gets a one-way deal which bodes well for his chances to stick in the NHL but it likely just means that he'll bolt back to Europe if they try to send him down or not play him. Lindstrom was a 2nd round pick of Columbus back in 2002 and played four years in NA, putting up around a point-a-game (or better) over his last three years in the AHL but he wasn't given a real legit shot at the NHL. Depending on what else the Avs have in store for the offseason, Lindstrom could be one to watch going into next season.
Ryan Kesler won't really say what the injury was that bothered him in the final series as he didn't want to use it as an excuse but a few other guys didn't have any problems spilling their beans... Christian Ehrhoff had a shoulder injury and will likely need offseason surgery and Alexander Edler had a pair of busted digits.
The Blues signed Vladimir Sobotka to a three-year extension... I'm not sold on him but he's worth keeping an eye on as he's flashed the ability to put up points in the AHL but hasn't really been given much opportunity to strut his stuff in the NHL. He averaged 16:10/gm last year but under a minute /gm on the PP. With the young talent that the Blues have I really don't see him playing on a scoring line/PP unit but you never know. Plus it irks me that this guy won't shoot the puck, he's played 199 career NHL games and has just 201 shots... wtf?
St.Louis also signed their 2nd round pick from 2010, Sebastian Wannstrom, to an ELC... I like the looks of this kid as after getting passed over in the 2009 draft he went on to lead the Swe U-20 league in scoring with 30+27=57 in 35 games in 2009/10. This year was kind of a write-off as he played less than five mpg for Brynas in the SEL and only managed two pts in 45 gms. The Blues plan to have him play another season for Brynas before brining him over the following year.
Nasvhille is always on the lookout for offense and so they've signed 23-year-old Finnish winger Juuso Puustinen to an ELC. He was drafted by the Flames in 2006 but never signed with them and is coming off a season where he scored 26 goals to rank 4th in the SM-Liiga. I would say the Preds will be lucky to get much out of him but I could be wrong.
We had a minor league deal yesterday as the Devils sent David McIntyre (no relation to Joey) to the Wild for Maxim Noreau. McIntyre is a marginal prospect but this could be a nice move for Noreau as he's put up back-to-back 50 pt seasons in the AHL but has only been promoted to Minnesota for six games. The Devils aren't bursting with dmen with his offensive ability so he should have a chance in training camp to win a spot. [Hockey Wilderness breaks down the trade]
Meanwhile the Wild re-signed offensive dman Nate Prosser after a modest rookie pro season with 8+19=27 in 73 AHL games. There's not a lot of room on the Wild blueline for Prosser to step up but changes could be coming so stay tuned.
Dallas has signed dman Dan Spang to a two-way deal... he had a nice season this year with the Texas Stars putting up 10+27=37 in 77 games while playing for soon-to-be-named Stars coach Glen Gulutzan. He's a deep sleeper if that's how you roll.
Here's a good one... Dallas re-signed goaltender Richard Bachman to a one-year, two-way deal. He's coming off a very solid season where he had 28 wins, 2.20 & .927 in 55 AHL games and if either Kari Lehtonen pulls up lame or Andrew Raycroft plays lame then Bachman could find himself in the show next season.
Ryan Stoa re-signed with Colorado on a one-year, two-way deal. He's had two pretty uninspiring seasons split between the NHL & AHL and I've never really seen the upside that others speak of... I'll be passing.
The Oilers signed two Euro-vets who don't really need to be on your radar... Antti Tyrvainen is a 22-year-old RW who led the SM-Liiga in PIMs this year (186 PIMs in 52 gms) but I wouldn't expect much offence from him. Obviously they're getting a bulk discount as they also signed 27-year-old Finnish winger Lennart Petrell... but point production isn't really his bag either so don't bother. Copper & Blue with more on the signings & lots of vids featuring Tyrvainen.
Carolina signed 2010 4th rounder Justin Shugg to an ELC... he's averaged 40 goals over the past two OHL seasons but don't overlook the fact that he's played for two of the better teams. I think he's got some potential but he'll need to prove himself in the AHL starting next season.