The Latest: Canadians sign Radulov; Leafs quiet on Day 1
The Latest on NHL free agency (all times Eastern):
The Montreal Canadiens signed forward Alexander Radulov and goaltender Al Montoya to a one-year contracts on Friday as NHL free agency began.
Radulov scored 23 goals in 53 games for CSKA Moscow of the Kontinental Hockey League last season. The Russian added 42 assists and tied for third in the KHL playoffs with 16 points as his club reached the Gagarin Cup final.
Radulov last appeared in the NHL in 2011-12 with the Nashville Predators where he scored three goals and four assists in nine regular season games before being suspended from the team in the post-season.
The 31-year-old Montoya was 12-7-3 with a 2.18 goals-against average and a .919 save percentage in 25 games last year for the Florida Panthers.
The Canadiens also re-signed Daniel Carr to a two-year deal. The 24-year-old winger scored five goals and three assists in 23 games for Montreal in 2015-16. The Habs submitted a qualifying offer to Carr on Monday.
— Canadian Press
Free agent forward Shawn Matthias signed a two-year contract with the Winnipeg Jets on Friday with an annual cap hit of $2.125 million. Winnipeg also signed forward Quinton Howden to a one-year, two-way contract that has an average annual salary of $650,000 in the NHL.
The 28-year-old Matthias scored 12 goals and 16 assists last year for the Toronto Maple Leafs and Colorado Avalanche.
Howden, 24, has spent his entire career with the Florida Panthers since being selected 25th overall in the 2010 draft.
— Canadian Press
The rebuilding Toronto Maple Leafs signed only fourth-line winger Matt Martin on the opening day of free agency.
Toronto was in the mix to sign Steven Stamkos, but he stayed with Tampa Bay.
Martin, formerly of the New York Islanders, joined the club on a four-year deal with a reported annual cap hit of $2.5 million. A six foot three, 220-pounder, Martin has led the league in hits for five years running, chipping in with 10 goals, too, last year.
— Canadian Press
Ottawa signed several players to one-year, two-way contracts Friday: defenseman Michael Kostka as well as forwards Phil Varone, Casey Bailey, Max McCormick and Chad Nehring.
Kostka’s contract will carry an annual value of $800,000 in the NHL and $325,000 in the American Hockey League. Kostka played in 15 games with Ottawa last season, recording one assist and four penalty minutes.
Varone was acquired by the Senators on Feb. 27 from the Buffalo Sabres.
— Canadian Press
The San Jose Sharks added some needed speed in free agency, signing unrestricted free agent forward Mikkel Boedker to a four-year contract.
San Jose often looked a step slow in losing the Stanley Cup Final to Pittsburgh in six games last month. The addition of Boedker should help address that.
The 26-year-old tied a career-high with 51 points last season with Arizona and Colorado, scoring 17 goals and adding 34 assists.
The Winnipeg Jets have signed defenseman Brian Strait to a $600,000, one-year deal.
Strait spent the past four seasons with the New York Islanders. In 182 NHL games, the 28-year-old Strait has six goals and 21 assists.
The New York Islanders moved quickly at the start of NHL free agency, signing forwards Andrew Ladd and Jason Chimera on Friday.
Ladd agreed to a seven-year contract and Chimera comes to New York on a two-year deal.
The Islanders saw two long-time stars go elsewhere as Frans Nielsen signed with Detroit on a six-year pact and Kyle Okposo is headed to Buffalo on a seven-year contract. New York is also expected to let forward Matt Martin go.
Ladd totaled 25 goals and 21 assists last season in 78 games for Winnipeg and Chicago. The 31-year-old left win has career totals of 210 goals and 256 assists in 12 seasons.
The 37-year-old Chimera had 20 goals and 20 assists for Presidents’ Trophy-winning Washington. He has 163 goals and 206 assists in 951 career NHL games spanning 15 seasons.
The Vancouver Canucks have signed winger Loui Eriksson to a six-year, $36 million deal.
Eriksson was considered one of the top players available in free agency and got the same $6 million cap hit as Milan Lucic did with the Edmonton Oilers and Kyle Okposo with the Buffalo Sabres. Lucic and Okposo signed seven-year contracts.
Eriksson had 30 goals and 33 assists last season for the Boston Bruins.
“Loui is an excellent two-way forward, an elite scorer and playmaker with great defensive instincts,” general manager Jim Benning said. “He is an accomplished player who helps our team now and in the future as a leader and role model for our young players to follow. We’re excited to have Loui join our team and help us compete every night.”
Philadelphia Flyers general manager Ron Hextall says the team filled some of its needs on the first day of free agency by signing forwards Dale Weise and Boyd Gordon.
Weise, signed for $9.4 million over four years, and Gordon, a one-year deal, push Ryan White out of Philadelphia. Hextall says he tried to re-sign the fourth-liner as late as this morning but couldn’t get a deal done.
Eric Staal is banking on a bounce-back season with Minnesota, after agreeing to a three-year, $10.5 million contract with the Wild.
The 45 goals and 55 assists that Stall tallied in 2005-06 while leading the Hurricanes to the Stanley Cup title are an improbability, but playing on a line with Zach Parise and perhaps Charlie Coyle ought to at least put him in position to be a productive offensive player.
As Staal did when Parise was on the market four years ago, ultimately picking Minnesota on a 13-year, $98 million contract, Parise reached out to Staal earlier this week with a pitch for the Wild. Staal says he “definitely” needed to get back to the playoffs. The Hurricanes have qualified only once in 10 seasons since their championship.
Staal has three younger brothers who have played in the NHL: Marc, Jordan and Jared. With 2,237 career regular-season games between the quartet, none of them have played for a Western Conference team, until now. Minnesota is the closest NHL market and major city to their hometown of Thunder Bay, Ontario, about a six-hour drive across the border.
Thomas Vanek has agreed to sign a one-year, $2.6 million contract with the Detroit Red Wings.
The agreement was reached a week after the Wild bought out the final year of Vanek’s contract and following a disappointing two-year stint with Minnesota.
The 32-year-old Austrian is a former 40-goal-scorer and was selected by Buffalo with the fifth pick in the 2003 draft after leading Minnesota to win the NCAA championship.
Vanek’s 19 goals last season were a career-low, and he managed just 39 goals and 54 assists in 154 games with the Wild.
Overall, he has 316 goals and 333 assists in 817 NHL career games.
The Washington Capitals picked up a depth forward on the first day of free agency, signing Brett Connolly to an $850,000, one-year deal.
Connolly had 25 points in 71 games last season with the Boston Bruins. He has 59 points in 210 NHL games with the Bruins and Tampa Bay Lightning.
The signing of Connolly, 24, should help to replace left wing Jason Chimera, who signed a $4.5 million, two-year deal with the New York Islanders.
The Florida Panthers have another backup goalie behind starter Roberto Luongo.
Florida signed James Reimer to a five-year contract Thursday, a week after acquiring Reto Berra in a trade with Colorado.
Reimer went 17-14-7 last season with Toronto and San Jose, posting a 2.31 goals against average and .922 save percentage in 40 games.
The 28-yer-old Reimer was dealt to the Sharks before the trade deadline and played well as Martin Jones’ backup down the stretch with a 6-2 record and 1.62 goals against average. He had three shutouts in eight games with San Jose.
The 37-year-old Luongo started 60 games last season for Florida, going 35-19-6 with a 2.35 goals against average. Luongo is under contract through the 2020-21 season.
The Carolina Hurricanes have given Lee Stempniak a two-year contract.
General manager Ron Francis says Stempniak has agreed to terms on a deal worth $2.5 million per season.
The 33-year-old Stempniak had 19 goals and 33 assists in 82 games with New Jersey and Boston last season, and has 184 goals during an 11-season NHL career that also includes stints in St. Louis, Toronto, Phoenix, Calgary, Pittsburgh and with the New York Rangers.
Francis says Stempniak is “a veteran, skilled forward who will provide offense ... as well as leadership.” In 28 career postseason games, Stempniak has 14 points.
The Philadelphia Flyers have signed forward Dale Weise and Boyd Gordon.
Weise signed for $9.4 million over four years. These deals likely mean the end of Ryan White’s time in Philadelphia.
The New York Rangers agreed to terms on contracts with forwards Nathan Gerbe and Michael Grabner and defenseman Adam Clendening.
Gerbe’s deal is worth $600,000 for next season, agent Jordan Neumann confirmed in an email to The Associated Press.
Gerbe and Grabner bring speed to the Rangers’ bottom-six forwards.
The Minnesota Wild have agreed to terms with center Eric Staal to a three-year, $10.5 million contract, the upgrade to their top two lines they were seeking this season.
The deal was done Friday, soon after free agency began. The Wild also agreed to a deal to bring back left wing Chris Stewart for two years and $2.3 million and add goalie Alex Stalock for depth.
Staal spent 12 seasons with the Carolina Hurricanes before being traded to the New York Rangers before the deadline. The second overall pick in the 2003 draft has 325 goals and 456 assists in 929 career games. The 31-year-old totaled 13 goals between the Hurricanes and Rangers last season, his lowest total since his rookie year.
Sharks general manager Doug Wilson didn’t wait long to fill one of his biggest free-agent needs.
San Jose opened free agency by signing defenseman David Schlemko to a four-year contract in a move that should upgrade the third defensive pair that struggled in the Stanley Cup Final loss to Pittsburgh.
Schlemko will likely slot into Roman Polak’s role alongside Brenden Dillon. But Schlemko is a better puck mover and has more speed and versatility than the physical Polak.
The other big hole for the Sharks is at backup goalie to replace the departing James Reimer.
The Dallas Stars have signed defenseman Dan Hamhuis to a $7.5 million, two-year deal.
Hamhuis will count $3.75 million against the Stars’ salary cap.
Agent Wade Arnott confirmed the terms of the deal in a text message to The Associated Press.
The Calgary Flames have agreed to sign veteran free-agent forward Troy Brouwer to a four-year, $18 million contract.
An eight-year veteran, Brouwer joins his third team in three seasons after playing a significant role in helping the St. Louis Blues reach the Western Conference finals.
Brouwer is a three-time 20-goal-scorer and had 18 goals and 39 points in 82 games with the Blues last season. He then added eight goals and 15 points in St. Louis’ playoff run.
Selected by Chicago in the seventh round of the 2004 NHL draft, Brouwer was a member of the Blackhawks team that won the 2010 Stanley Cup championship. He then played four seasons in Washington.
Overall, he has 150 goals and 294 points in 613 career games.
The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed defenseman Victor Hedman to a $63 million, eight-year contract extension.
Hedman will count $7.875 million against the salary cap when the deal begins in the 2017-18 season.
The 6-foot-6, 223-pound Hedman was in the running for the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP when Tampa Bay lost to the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2015 Stanley Cup Final.
In 473 NHL games, the 25-year-old has 49 goals and 180 assists. Last season he had 10 goals and 37 assists.
The Hedman extension comes on the heels of the Lightning signing captain Steven Stamkos to a $68 million, eight-year contract.
The New Jersey Devils have signed defenseman Ben Lovejoy to an $8 million, three-year deal.
General manager Ray Shero announced the deal about an hour into the start of the NHL free agency period.
Lovejoy will count $2.67 million against the salary cap through the 2018-19 season. He’ll make $2.5 million next season and in 2017-18 and $2.75 million in the final year of the contract.
The 32-year-old Lovejoy won the Stanley Cup with the Pittsburgh Penguins. He played in all 24 playoff games and recorded two goals and four assists.
A person with direct knowledge of the deal tells The Associated Press that the Calgary Flames have agreed to a one-year contract to sign free-agent goalie Chad Johnson.
The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the Flames have not announced the agreement reached shortly after the NHL’s free-agency period opened on Friday.
Johnson has six seasons of NHL experience, and showed he has starting potential after enjoying a career-best season in Buffalo last year. In playing a career-high 45 games, he posted a 22-16-4 record in filling in for Robin Lehner after the starter hurt his right ankle in the Sabres season opener.
The Flames are re-shuffling their goalies after struggling at the position last season. Last week, Calgary acquired goalie Brian Elliott in a trade with St. Louis.
— By John Wawrow
The St. Louis Blues wasted little time getting down to business in NHL free agency, signing winger David Perron and goaltender Carter Hutton and extending goaltender Jake Allen.
The Blues signed winger David Perron to a $7.5 million, two-year deal. He’ll count $3.75 million against the cap in each of the next two seasons.
Perron spent last season with the Pittsburgh Penguins and Anaheim Ducks and had 12 goals and 24 assists. He’s returning to St. Louis, which drafted him 26th overall in 2007. In 570 NHL games, Perron has 141 goals and 191 assists.
Perron helps replace right wing Troy Brouwer, who signed an $18 million, four-year deal with the Calgary Flames.
Allen’s extension is worth $17.4 million over four years. It begins with the 2017-18 season.
The Blues got his backup in Hutton, who signed for two years and $2.25 million. That $1.25 million cap hit is a significant savings over Brian Elliott, whom the Blues traded to the Calgary Flames at the draft last weekend.
Defenseman Brian Campbell has agreed to a one-year contract with the Chicago Blackhawks and is returning to the team he helped win the Stanley Cup.
The 37-year-old Campbell played in Chicago from 2008 to 2011 and was part of a team that won it all in 2010 — the first of three titles in a six-year span for the Blackhawks.
He spent the past five seasons with the Florida Panthers, appearing in all of the team’s 376 regular-season games. He had 28 goals and 147 assists.
The Edmonton Oilers have signed left wing Milan Lucic to a $42 million, seven-year deal. Lucic will count $6 million against the Oilers’ salary cap.
Agent Gerry Johannson confirmed the terms of the deal in an email to The Associated Press.
Lucic will help fill the void left by Edmonton’s trade of left wing Taylor Hall to the New Jersey Devils for defenseman Adam Larsson.
The Buffalo Sabres have signed winger Kyle Okposo to a $42 million, seven-year deal. Agent Pat Brisson confirmed the terms of the contract.
The Sabres turned to Okposo after Steven Stamkos re-signed with the Tampa Bay Lightning on a $68 million, eight-year deal.
The Okposo deal was among a flurry of early signings that included Troy Brouwer to the Calgary Flames for $4.5 million person on a four-year deal and David Backes to the Boston Bruins on a $30 million, five-year deal.
The puck has dropped on NHL free agency.
A slew of deals were expected to be done before the sun sets Friday.
Steven Stamkos stopped the sweepstakes for his services Wednesday with a $68 million, eight-year contract to stay in Tampa Bay. That deal was announced on the same day as a blockbuster trade that sent defenseman P.K. Subban to Nashville and Shea Weber to Montreal.
The Buffalo Sabres, Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs were projected to be major players in free agency, hoping to make a splash by signing big-name players.
Milan Lucic, Kyle Okposo and Loui Eriksson were among the top players available.
The NHL’s salary cap went up slightly to $73 million for next season.
A person familiar with the moves says the Detroit Red Wings have agreed to deals with forward Darren Helm and defenseman Alexey Marchenko.
The person spoke Friday on condition of anonymity because the agreements haven’t been announced.
Detroit retained Helm with a five-year contract, counting $3.85 million against the salary cap each season. The Red Wings are keeping Marchenko for two more seasons, taking $1.45 million off their cap each year.
Helm had 13 goals and 26 points last season. He has 72 goals and 90 assists since making his debut during the 2007-08 season.
Marchenko is coming off his first full season in the NHL. He played in 66 games last season, scoring twice and adding nine assists.
— By Larry Lage