Cross Checks: 2011 free agency
Didn't think so.
In spite of weeks of rumors and impassioned wishes from other markets -- most notably Philadelphia, where the Flyers made the curious move of announcing they were not going to extend an offer sheet to the restricted free agent -- Stamkos' return to Tampa was a forgone conclusion.
It is the same with Los Angeles defenseman Drew Doughty, although clearly he is not as far along in the process.
Would 29 other teams love to have Doughty, one of the most promising defenders of the next generation of NHL stars, on their roster?
Will you see any team present an offer sheet in an effort to make it happen?
Well, the answer is pretty obvious -- because it's futile.
It has been that way throughout the history of the offer sheet, and it remains so even though the salary cap and internal budgets suggest these are fertile times for plundering other teams' players.
"For me, offer sheets as a way of acquiring players has never proven fruitful," former Calgary GM Craig Button, now a national analyst, told ESPN.com this week.
Since the mid-1990s, Button noted, "no star player has come close to moving."
Even when teams didn't have scads of money -- like when Chicago tried to poach Keith Tkachuk from Winnipeg in 1995 -- the home team has simply exercised its right to match an offer sheet.
More recently, the Edmonton Oilers tried to pry Thomas Vanek away from the then-cash-challenged Sabres, but Buffalo GM Darcy Regier swallowed hard and matched the Oilers' seven-year, $50 million offer.
While the Flyers clearly went through the process of figuring out what kind of offer sheet might work for Stamkos and how it might impact their already-reconstructed team, in the end GM Paul Holmgren didn't bother.
The process has proven to be "cost-prohibitive and fruitless because teams are saying we're not letting that guy go," Button said.
Button said there is a way to use the offer sheet as a mechanism to improve, and the Flyers came close to doing that a few years back.
Instead of targeting established players like Stamkos or Vanek -- the Oilers settled for Vanek-lite, er, well, not so light, but a lesser player in Dustin Penner, whom they signed away from the Anaheim Ducks -- Button suggests that targeting the emerging player is the best use of the offer sheet.
"I think teams approach it in the wrong way," Button said.
The Flyers did that in September 2006 in identifying former first-round draft pick Ryan Kesler of the Vancouver Canucks. They put in a one-year offer sheet for $1.9 million on Kesler, but the Canucks matched.
Button wonders what would have happened if the Flyers had sweetened the pot on their offer so that instead of a second-round draft pick, the Canucks would have received a first-round pick and a third-round pick.
Kesler was still just a prospect at that point, not the Frank J. Selke winner he is now. The Canucks weren't happy at having to shell out the $1.9 million. Would they have balked at paying more for Kesler at that point in his career and figured they were just as far ahead in taking another first-round pick?
Imagine the ramifications for both franchises if the Flyers had been just a little more aggressive and been successful in acquiring a player who is now one of the top forwards in the game?
While there's been much discussion this offseason about the potential for offer sheets for stars like Stamkos, Doughty or Zach Parise and Shea Weber -- before the Devils and Predators opted for salary arbitration as a way of circumventing this possibility -- Button wonders about other players who may have a lower profile but could prove to be difference-makers.
What about T.J. Oshie, who signed a one-year, $2.35 million deal with the Blues recently?
The Blues have ownership issues. If a team had gone beyond $3.13 million on an offer sheet with significantly longer terms, would the Blues have matched, or taken a first-round pick and third-round pick as compensation?
Button was likewise curious about Karl Alzner, who signed a cap-friendly two-year deal with a $1.285 million cap hit.
Alzner logs a ton of ice time, plays against opposing teams' top players, and has Rod Langway potential. If you're an opposing GM, would you give up a series of picks (including a first-round pick) to have a Langway-type player for the next five or six years?
Perhaps the Caps would have matched, but maybe not.
"To me, that guy was Karl Alzner," Button said.
There are others.
What about Los Angeles forward Trevor Lewis, who signed a two-year deal with a $725,000 cap hit?
He's 24 years old, so why not take a chance on him with an offer sheet that pays him perhaps twice as much, a figure that might have been too much for the Kings to contemplate matching but would have cost the signing team just a second-round pick?
"I call it the fast-forward effect," Button said. "It's not like you're putting it [the money and picks] on a 37-year-old guy."
If a team was bold enough to identify an emerging young player every year, "you'd jump the queue by five years," Button predicted.
Still, under the current cap system that forces teams to spend at least $48.3 million this season, Carolina GM Jim Rutherford doesn't expect there to be a proliferation of offer sheets.
The same issues still exist, Rutherford told ESPN.com, and that is the likelihood that teams will almost always match an offer sheet.
If there wasn't a salary-cap floor or if the floor didn't force teams to spend as much as is the case now, perhaps there would be more offer sheets, Rutherford said.
But given the current situation, with players hitting unrestricted free agency in their mid-20s and the need to keep young assets in the fold, Rutherford said he doesn't expect to see much change when it comes to offer sheets.
- The Anaheim Ducks announced the signing of center Andrew Cogliano to a three-year deal. Cogliano, who was acquired from Edmonton for a second-round draft pick in 2013 on July 12, had 35 points (11-24) and 64 penalty minutes this past season. He has not missed a game since making his NHL debut in the 2007-08 season.
- The Philadelphia Flyers signed goalie Jason Bacashihua to a one-year contract, center Jon Kalinski to a one-year extension and center Marcel Noebels to an entry-level deal.
- The Phoenix Coyotes signed forwards Brett MacLean, Kyle Chipchura, Marc-Antoine Pouliot and Mathieu Beaudoin each to a one-year, two-way contract.
- The San Jose Sharks signed unrestricted free agent Andrew Murray to a one-year contract. The 29-year-old center had eight points in 29 games with Columbus this past season but missed 31 games with injuries.
- The Tampa Bay Lightning signed All-Star center Steven Stamkos to a five-year, $37.5 million contract. Stamkos will earn $8 million in each of the first four seasons and $5.5 million in the final year, a source told ESPN.com's Scott Burnside, and will account for a $7.5 million salary cap hit annually.
- The Toronto Maple Leafs signed Joey Crabb to a one-year deal. Crabb split his time between the Leafs and the AHL's Toronto Marlies this past season, registering a career-high three points against the Bruins on March 19.
- The Winnipeg Jets agreed to terms with forward Jason Jaffray. The 30-year-old played with the AHL's Manitoba Moose this past season, but missed most of the year with an injury. On Monday, the Jets agreed to terms with right wing Blake Wheeler, Brett Festerling, Riley Holzapfel, Arturs Kulda, Spencer Machacek, Ben Maxwell and Kenndal McArdle.
Curious, but that's how it shakes out sometimes on July 1.
Still, it was a strange turn of events given Friday's whirlwind nature that Vokoun didn't end up with a starting gig somewhere. Then Saturday afternoon, he ended up taking a one-year, $1.5 million deal with the Washington Capitals and presumably will battle incumbent Michal Neuvirth and Braden Holtby for playing time.
The Colorado Avalanche looked like the perfect destination for the veteran netminder, especially after Vokoun turned down a pre-July 1 offer from his old team, the Florida Panthers, ensuring he would hit the market.
But the Avs did an about-face and acquired oft-injured Washington netminder Semyon Varlamov for a first- and second-round draft pick. They then signed former Stanley Cup winner Jean-Sebastien Giguere, who had been displaced in Toronto.
We are told the Avs did contact Vokoun's representatives early in free agency and asked that Vokoun not sign a deal until they had a chance to talk about the possibility of him coming to Denver.
By the time that chat actually happened, most of the first hour of free agency had evaporated and the Avs were headed in another direction. Despite rumors or misinformation to the contrary, there was never an official offer made for Vokoun's services by the Avalanche. In fact, dollar and term were never discussed.
The Panthers, meanwhile, signed free-agent netminder Jose Theodore to fill Vokoun's spot and the Phoenix Coyotes, another team looking for starting goaltending, were on their way to signing Mike Smith to a two-year deal.
And so Day 1 became Day 2 and Vokoun was looking to chart a Plan B he didn't think he'd need to chart, a Plan B that sees him land in Washington.
Wonder if we'll remember this curious turn of events next June come Stanley Cup finals time?
Players who have signed as of 6 p.m. ET on the secondday of free agency:
- Chris Bourque -- The Washington Capitals have signed free-agent left winger Bourque to a one-year contract. Bourque returns to the Capitals organization after spending last season splitting time between leagues in Switzerland and Russia. The 25-year-old son of Hall of Fame defenseman Ray Bourque was drafted by Washington in 2004.
- Matt Bradley -- After six seasons with the Capitals, Bradley signed a two-year deal with the Florida Panthers. The forward had 11 points in 61 games this past season.
- Tim Connolly -- After missing out on the Brad Richards sweepstakes, the Toronto Maple Leafs signed the center to a two-year deal. The deal is worth $9.5 million, with a salary-cap hit of $4.75 million, NHL.com reported. In 627 career games, Connolly has 118 goals and 277 assists.
- Simon Gagne -- The Los Angeles Kings agreed to terms on a two-year deal with Gagne, who will be reunited with former Flyers teammate Mike Richards. Gagne, 31, spent the 2010-11 season with Tampa Bay after playing in Philadelphia for the previous 10 seasons. He collected 40 points in 67 games for the Lightning.
- Matt Gilroy -- The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed thefree-agent defenseman to a one-year contract. Gilroy had three goals and 11 points in 58 games with the New York Rangers this past season.
- Brad Richards -- The biggest prize on the free-agent market decided to go the New York Rangers for a nine-year, $60 million contract. He also gets a chance to reunite with coach John Tortorella. The 31-year-old center posted a career-high 28 goals and 49 assists this past season.
- Anthony Stewart -- The forward signed a two-year deal with the Carolina Hurricanes worth $1.8 million. Stewart at 14 goals and 39 points in 80 games this past season for the Atlanta Thrashers.
- Tomas Vokoun -- The Capitals signed the veteran netminder to a one-year $1.5 million deal on Saturday, one day after shipping an unhappy Semyon Varlamov to Colorado. Vokoun, 34, is 262-267-35-41 in 632 career games with the Canadiens, Nashville Predators and Florida Panthers.
- Ian White -- The Detroit Red Wings agreed to terms on a two-year deal with the defenseman on Saturday. White played for the San Jose Sharks this past season, posting 10 points and a plus-9 rating in 23 games.
Alex Tanguay to a long-term deal, he already has a solid forward corps in place. The question now becomes whether he will shop netminder Miikka Kiprusoff as the season goes on.
Ilya Kovalchuk. That probably turned out to be a blessing in disguise given the problems the New Jersey Devils and Kovalchuk had last season. This summer, though, the failure to land Richards stings less because GM Dean Lombardi has already added a front-line center in the form of former Philadelphia captain Mike Richards. Brad Richards would have made the Kings an instant favorite to climb to the top in the Western Conference. But his absence doesn't preclude the Kings from getting there. The top priority for Lombardi will be trying to replace the grit and productivity on the wings he lost in dealing Wayne Simmonds to Philadelphia and Ryan Smyth to Edmonton. Simon Gagne, anyone?
Players who have signed as of 9 p.m. ET on the first day of free agency:
- Sean Bergenheim -- TThe Florida Panthers inked free-agent forward Bergenheim to a four-year deal. Bergenheim seemingly came out of nowhere and became a postseason hero, scoring nine goals in 16 playoff games to help lead the Tampa Bay Lightning to the East finals.
- Ruslan Fedotenko -- The New York Rangers re-signed Fedotenko to one-year, $1.4 million deal, according to TSN. The unrestricted free agent had 10 goals and 25 points in 66 games for the Rangers.
- Michal Handzus -- The Sharks signed the 34-year-old center to a two-year deal worth $2.5 million annually. Handzus had 12 goals and 30 points in 82 games for the Los Angeles Kings this past season.
Detroit had offered the veteran defenseman a one-year deal worth $1 million.
Does he want it?
He's got 15 minutes to decide or the Wings will move on.
Commodore, who won a Cup in Carolina in 2006 but was banished to the minors by Columbus last season, pulled his truck over to the side of the road.
He was prepared to be patient, to perhaps wait until August to find a team that might want to give him a chance, and here was an offer on the first afternoon of free agency. And not just an offer, but an offer from one of the most respected teams in the NHL.
"I was like, oh my God," Commodore told ESPN.com Friday night.
He called his dad. His dad wasn't home.
"I was just kind of sitting there in my truck," Commodore said. "It happened fast."
About a minute later, he came up with his answer.
Heck yeah, he's going to Detroit.
"Obviously, it was a no-brainer," said Commodore, who earlier in the day was bought out of the final two years of his contract by the Blue Jackets.
The past two years have been difficult ones for the outgoing Commodore.
The 6-foot-5 defenseman suffered a groin injury and played in only 57 games in the 2009-2010 season . Then last year, he ran afoul of the coaching staff and management in Columbus and was sent to the team's AHL affiliate in Springfield.
"All of a sudden, I'm sitting in Springfield and I'm like, 'what just happened in the last few months?'" Commodore said.
With his time in Columbus at an end, Commodore had to confront the reality that perhaps no one would want him or that his opportunities would be limited at best.
"Fortunately there are still some people that believe in me," he said.
Among them, obviously, is Detroit GM Ken Holland who hopes Commodore will rediscover the kind of play that saw him become an integral part of Carolina's defense by committee during their Cup run in 2006.
"My mindset is that whatever they ask me to do, I'll do," Commodore said.
"Obviously it's exciting. It's a very unexpected surprise. A very unexpected, pleasant surprise."
The veteran defenseman suffered through a grisly 2010-11 campaign, banished by the Edmonton Oilers to the AHL after making critical comments about the team during the previous season -- and not even the Oilers own minor league team but to Washington's farm team in Hershey.
He was injured, unwanted and hoping he'd get a chance to show people he wasn't done.
That chance came Friday when the Dallas Stars signed Souray to a one-year deal shortly after the Oilers bought him out of the final year of his contract, making him an unrestricted free agent.
Souray's new deal will pay him $1.65 million, far less than the $5.4 million his five-year deal with the Oilers paid him.
But, at the risk of sounding na´ve, this isn't so much about the money as it is about the opportunity.
"All those things, [last season] aside, it just worked out perfectly," Souray said of signing a new deal.
"I'm a motivated player coming in. I'm thankful that Dallas has given me the opportunity to go there and get my career back on track," Souray told ESPN.com Friday.
The 34-year-old twice scored more than 20 goals in his career. He isn't afraid of physical play, although injuries have reduced his effectiveness in recent years.
Still, he has all summer to get into shape and just knowing he has a place to go come training camp is a powerful tonic for Souray.
"I know there are a lot of questions about my health and questions about how I can play," Souray said. "But I know what kind of player I expect to be. And I want to show management in Dallas they made a good choice," he said.
Watching the dramatic transmogrification of the long-suffering Florida Panthers and their gung-ho dive into free agency Friday, we can't help but think of the situation GM Dale Tallon was in during the first couple of seasons after the lockout.
Then with Chicago, Tallon knew he had some good young talent in Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane. He also knew he needed to try to accelerate the growing curve, and to do that meant spending money and, in some cases, over-spending.
Not everything worked out, but when the Hawks hoisted the Cup in 2010, Tallon's fingerprints were all over that team even if he'd been replaced by that time by Stan Bowman.
Now in Florida, Tallon has a bevy of top young talent, including what they hope will be a young franchise defenseman in Erik Gudbranson, centers Nick Bjugstad and Quinton Howden and junior scoring star Jonathan Huberdeau (selected third overall in last week's NHL draft).
But to try and bridge the gap between the team's ugly past and its promising future, Tallon has within a matter of days completely retooled the Panthers' lineup with an interesting mix of veterans and emerging young players. Florida signed Tampa Bay playoff hero Sean Bergenheim and one-time Panthers star Ed Jovanovski to a four-year deals after acquiring Brian Campbell and Tomas Kopecky via trades in the past week.
From top to bottom, front to back, Tallon has quickly remade this team.
"It changes our whole personality," Tallon told ESPN.com on Friday.
Unable to get Tomas Vokoun to return to Florida, Tallon also elected to give former Hart and Vezina Trophy winner Jose Theodore a chance to recapture the magic, signing him Friday to a two-year deal worth $1.5 million annually.
"He's really rebounded nicely the past few years," Tallon said of his new No. 1 netminder. "He's turned his career around. He's a winner."
Tallon also brought in oft-injured but skilled center Marcel Goc (three-year deal worth $1.7 million annually) and forward Scottie Upshall (four-year deal worth $4.5 million per), who scored 22 goals last season in Phoenix and Columbus. The GM then acquired former Blackhawk Kris Versteeg from Toronto via trade.
Late in the day, Tallon finished his buying spree by signing Tomas Fleischmann to a four-year deal worth $4.5 million per year. The skilled center missed the last half of the 2010-11 campaign with blood clots in his lungs, but is believed to have the condition under control and is expecting to be at full health come training camp.
Upshall, Fleischmann and Goc should help take the pressure off Stephen Weiss, who has struggled as the team's "franchise" player. Throw in Kopeck and a rookie head coach in Kevin Dineen, and it's a lot to throw at the wall all at once.
But it was the same way in Chicago; while not all the pieces stuck, enough did to create the core of a team that would win the Stanley Cup.
Now, is four years at $3.5 million per year too much for Upshall?
Is four years at $3 million too much for Kopecky?
Is four years at $4.125 million overpaying for Jovanovski?
It's only too much if it doesn't work and you continue to flounder, as the Panthers have done in failing to qualify for the playoffs for 10 straight seasons.
Assistant GM Mike Santos explained that Friday's moves were part of a clearly defined process.
"We didn't just come in here this morning and start making calls," he said.
It's funny how people have belittled the eight-year deal Tallon gave to Campbell when both were in Chicago, but we don't think anyone complained when the Hawks held their Cup parade. People forget Campbell actually turned down more money elsewhere to sign in Chicago and agreed to go beyond his limited no-trade clause to follow Tallon to Florida.
In the end, sometimes it's about more than the money, it's about credibility, and sometimes credibility costs more when you don't have any.
Maybe Campbell and Jovanovski and the rest of the players brought into the fold can help kids like Gudbranson and the rest mature into winners.
Imagine that, a winner in South Florida. If it happens, folks will remember this July1 as the day the franchise perhaps turned an elusive corner in the land that hockey forgot.
"A lot of players wanted to come here," Tallon told ESPN.com, "and that's really exciting."
Players who have signed as of 7 p.m. ET on the first day of free agency:
- Daniel Carcillo -- The Blackhawks announced Friday that they have signed Carcillo to a one-year deal. He had 127 penalty minutes in 57 games with the Flyers this past season.
- Sean Collins -- The Washington Capitals re-signed the defenseman with a one-year contract. Collins played just four games with the Capitals this past season, scoring one goal.
- Mark Dekanich -- The Columbus Blue Jackets agreed to terms with the 25-year-old netminder on Friday. Dekanich posted a 23-12-2 record with a 2.02 goals-against average and a .931 save percentage in the AHL this past season. He was Nashville's third pick in the 2006 draft.
- Christopher Higgins -- The Vancouver Canucks re-signed Higgins to a two-year deal worth $1.9 million. The 28-year-old had just five points in 14 games this past season, but dealt with a number of injuries, including an ailing hamstring, broken thumb and issue with his foot.
- Colin McDonald -- The Pittsburgh Penguins signed McDonald to a one-year, two-way deal. The 26-year-old played two games with the Edmonton Oilers this past season and scored one goal.
- Curtis Sanford -- The Columbus Blue Jackets agreed to terms with Sanford on a one-year deal. The 32-year-old goaltender spent the last two season's with the Montreal Canadiens' AHL affiliate the Hamilton Bulldogs.
Players who have signed as of 6 p.m. ET on the first day of free agency:
- Brian Elliott -- The St. Louis Blues signed the netminder to a one-year, two-way deal. Elliott had a 15-27-9 record with a 3.34 goals-against average and a .893 save percentage with the Colorado Avalanche, who did not make a qualifying offer to Elliott.
- Tomas Fleischmann -- The Florida Panthers have signed the unrestricted free agent to a four-year deal worth $4.5 million annually. Fleischmann, who was shut down after a blood clot was discovered in his lung, had 12 goals and 31 points in 45 games for the Colorado Avalanche and Washington Capitals this past season.
- Kurtis Foster -- The Anaheim Ducks acquired defenseman Foster from the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for defenseman Andy Sutton. Foster appeared in 74 games last season, recording 14 assists and 22 points. Sutton had four assists in 39 games.
- Jean-Sebastien Giguere -- The Colorado Avalanche signed the netminder to a two-year deal. Giguere, who helped lead the Anaheim Ducks to a Stanley Cup in 2007, was with the Maple Leafs since Toronto acquired him before the 2010 NHL trade deadline. He had an 11-11-4 record with a 2.87 GAA and .900 save percentage in 33 games this past season.
- Boyd Gordon -- The Phoenix Coyotes signed the 27-year-old forward to a two-year contract. Gordon, who played seven seasons with the Washington Capitals, had nine points in 60 games this past season.
- Andrew Joudrey -- The Columbus Blue Jackets signed Joudrey for two years. The 26-year-old center spent the past five years in the Washington Capitals organization. The Jackets also signed Nicholas Drazenovic to a one-year deal.
- Chuck Kobasew -- The Avalanche signed forward Chuck Kobasew to a deal. According to TSN, it's a two-year deal worth $1.25 million.
- Anton Khudobin -- The Boston Bruins signed the goaltender to a two-year deal. Khudobin will serve as the team's third goaltender next season.
- Benoit Pouliot -- The Bruins have signed the free-agent forward to a one-year contract. The 24-year-old former fourth overall pick set career highs with 17 assists, 30 points and 87 penalty minutes along with 13 goals for the Montreal Canadiens this past season.
- Mike Rupp -- The Rangers agreed to terms with the unrestricted free agent on Friday. Rupp, 31, registered nine goals and 17 points in 81 games for the Pittsburgh Penguins this past season.
- Marco Sturm -- The Vancouver Canucks signed Sturm to a one-year deal. Terms were not disclosed, but TSN of Canada reported the deal is worth $2.25 million.
- J.T. Wyman -- The Tampa Bay Lightning signed the free agent to a one-year, two-way deal. Wyman played in 80 games with the AHL's Hamilton Bulldogs this past season, posting 18 goals and 36 points.
McPhee was emphatic he was not.
At the deadline, however, the Caps' GM picked up Cristobal Huet from Montreal, and Huet was splendid down the stretch in helping the Caps win the Southeast Division.
McPhee was likewise emphatic in recent days that in spite of contract issues with Varlamov he was not interested in trading any of his three promising young netminders.
Things change, though, and Varlamov will now get a chance to be the starter in Colorado where, at this point in time, there isn't much in the way of competition.
McPhee has said Varlamov would have had the same chance to outplay last year's starter, Michal Neuvirth, and Braden Holtby, who might be the best of the three, when training camp started in September.
Now it's a moot point, as the Avs hope they've solved their goaltending woes not just for next season, but for the future, as well.
McPhee got a good return for a player who has been prone to injury and was threatening to go back to the KHL, if the Twitter buzz was at all accurate.
Now the question is whether McPhee turns over the goaltending reins to youngsters Neuvirth and Holtby -- which is the Caps' company line as of Friday afternoon -- or takes the opportunity to bring in a top veteran netminder like, say, Tomas Vokoun after another disappointing playoff run for the Caps this past spring.
Certainly the free-agency goaltending landscape took a right turn when Varlamov went to the Avs, who were thought to be one of a handful of teams that would take a run at Vokoun, the top free-agent netminder on the market.
When the Florida Panthers, Vokoun's old team, signed Jose Theodore to a two-year deal early in the going Friday, that seemed to close the door on a return to Florida for Vokoun, who turned down the Panthers' last offer on Thursday.
And when Phoenix signed Mike Smith to a two-year deal at $2 million a season, that seemed to close another door to Vokoun.
"I'm really excited," Smith told ESPN.com Friday afternoon.
He and his wife are expecting a child on July 15, their first, so the security of a two-year deal was important.
"But the opportunity to play was the most important," Smith added.
The former Dallas Stars prospect will reunite with head coach Dave Tippett, and Smith said he's also looking forward to working with goaltending coach Sean Burke, who helped Ilya Bryzgalov become a Vezina Trophy nominee.
Bryzgalov signed with Philadelphia after his rights were acquired by the Flyers before the draft.
"I feel like I could follow in his footsteps," Smith said.
Also on Friday, three other teams filled their goaltending needs when Josh Harding (Minnesota), Brian Boucher (Carolina) and Peter Budaj (Montreal) all signed.
One wonders, though, whether a door will open in the nation's capital before all is said and done.
Players who have signed as of 5 p.m. ET on the first day of free agency:
- Brian Boucher -- The Carolina Hurricanes agreed to terms on a two-year, $1.9 million deal with the goaltender. The 34-year-old Boucher went 18-10-4 with a 2.42 goals-against average and .916 save percentage in 34 games with Philadelphia this past season.
- Tim Brent -- Brent received a two-year, $1.5 million contract from the Hurricanes. Brent had eight goals and 12 assists with the Toronto Maple Leafs in 201-11.
- Mathieu Garon -- The Lightning signed Garon to a two-year, $2.6 million deal. The goaltender had a 10-14-6 record with the Blue Jackets last season, posting a 2.72 goals-against average and .901 save percentage.
- Ville Leino -- The Buffalo Sabres signed the unrestricted free agent to a six-year, $27 million deal. Leino was one of a handful of sought-after forwards entering the market this offseason. He had 19 goals and 34 assists in 81 games this past season with the Philadelphia Flyers.
- Sheldon Souray -- The Dallas Stars signed Souray to a one-year, $1.65 million contract after the Oilers bought out the remaining $4.5 million of the defenseman's contract. The Oilers not only sent Souray down to the AHL this past season, they sent him to Washington's farm team so he wouldn't be near their prospects. He has 262 points, including 96 goals, in 650 career NHL games.
- Jim Vandermeer -- The San Jose Sharks have signed the defenseman to a one-year contract. Vandermeer, 31, posted 14 points and 74 penalty minutes in 62 games with Edmonton this past season.