Glad to have Lidstrom back, he makes me feel young
So Nicklas Lidstrom has decided to return for another season as he signed a one-year deal for $6.2M yesterday. Good news for all everyone involved as if a 40-year-old Lidstrom can finish 2nd in scoring amongst dmen then there is no reason to think that a 41-year-old Lidstrom can't do the same thing.
The Habs re-signed RFAs Max Pacioretty and David Desharnais to two-year deals. Both guys made strong impressions in half seasons in Montreal. Pacioretty was tearing up the AHL before being brought up to the big club and was on a nice roll with 11+6=17 in the 20 games before having his season ended by that hit from Chara. He's only 22 and I think this kid has a very bright future... assuming he completely recovers from his neck injury then a spot on a scoring line should be his. Desharnais wasn't as flashy but had a solid 8+14=22 in 43 NHL games (a 42 pt per82 pace) but due to his size and the big ticket players ahead of him he's going to have to produce with limited opportunities on a scoring line or the PP.
There are whispers that Ryan Smyth would like to play in Edmonton next year... I wouldn't get too worked up about this yet as there would have to be a lot of things fall into place for this to actually happen (ie Is Edmonton willing to trade for a 35-year-old with a $6.25M cap hit???) so let's wait and see.
The ghost of Darryl Sutter is still haunting the Flames as a lack of cap space is likely the biggest issue for them in re-signing Alex Tanguay. New GM Jay Feaster says "we're not where we need to be" in regards to getting their 2nd leading scorer signed. Look on the brightside Flames fans, you still have Langkow, Stajan, Hagman, Jokinen & Kotalik (and their combined 38 goals last year) all at $3M+ for next season.
Flames backup goalie Henrik Karlsson re-signed for two more years... you're not likely to get much from him as Kiprusoff has been the most durable workhorse goalie since the lockout playing in at least 71 games in each of the last six seasons. Bad new for Leland Irving owners who were probably hoping the 23-year-old former 1st round pick might win the backup job but that's not happening now.
The Panthers re-signed Tim Kennedy to a two-way deal, he had 12+37=49 in 67 AHL games this year after being shunned from the NHL. One interesting note is that he played very well for new Panthers Coach Kevin Dineen in Portland back in 2008/09 and so there might be a good fit there.
Well that was pleasant... the Jets jerked Craig Ramsay around, telling him he wasn't fired and then making him interview for his own job before now letting him go (or at least telling him that he's not going to be hired for his current job). This is good news as they needed some new blood behind the bench. Even better news was that assistant coach John Torchetti was also let go, hopefully this gets Zach Bogosian back on the right track as the two of them were butting heads and that led to the 20-year-old Bogosian having a brutal season.