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Free Agency NHL Nick's Net

Motte re-signs with Canucks

Vancouver Canucks forward, Tyler Motte, re-signed with the club on a two-year deal worth $1.225 million per season on Friday as the NHL’s free agency period began.

The 25-year-old native of St. Clair, Michigan was originally drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks in the fourth round (121st overall) in 2013, and made his league debut with Chicago in the 2016-17 season.

He was later dealt to the Columbus Blue Jackets with Artemi Panarin and Chicago’s 6th round pick (Jonathan Davidsson) in the 2017 NHL Draft (previously acquired from the N.Y. Islanders) for Brandon Saad, Anton Forsberg and Columbus’ 2018 5th round pick (later traded to Arizona, Coyotes selected Michael Callahan) on June 23, 2017.

On Feb. 26, 2018, Motte was traded with Jussi Jokinen by the Blue Jackets to the Canucks for Thomas Vanek.

In parts of four seasons in the NHL, Motte has 22-16–38 totals in 187 career games for the Blackhawks, Blue Jackets and Canucks.

He had eight points (four goals, four assists) in 34 games with Vancouver last season and plays a vital role on head coach, Travis Green’s fourth line.

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Free Agency NHL

Evan Rodrigues Re-signs with the Penguins

Forward, Evan Rodrigues, re-signed with the Pittsburgh Penguins for another year. The deal is worth $700,000.

The 27-year-old had 6-4–10 totals in 45 games last season– including one goal in seven games with the Penguins after he was traded at the deadline by the Buffalo Sabres to Pittsburgh, having requested a trade due to a lack of playing time.

One season removed from setting career-highs in goals (nine), assists (20) and points (29) in 74 games with the Sabres in 2018-19, Rodrigues wasn’t nearly consistent enough to make even Buffalo’s lineup.

As a result, it’s been a bit of a tumultuous offseason for the Toronto, Ontario native.

He was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs in the Kasperi Kapanen trade (part II) that sent Kapanen back to the team that drafted him (the Penguins) on Aug. 25th, but wasn’t tendered a qualifying offer by his hometown team.

In the end, Rodrigues went back to the Pens on a one-year “prove it” deal as some added depth to Pittsburgh’s roster.

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Free Agency NHL

Arizona makes some noise at depth

The Arizona Coyotes added some depth with the signings of Tyler Pitlick and John Hayden in free agency.

Pitlick, 28, signed a two-year deal worth $1.750 million per season and had 20 points (eight goals, 12 assists) in 63 games with the Philadelphia Flyers last season.

The Minneapolis, Minnesota native has 41-32–73 totals in 248 career NHL games with the Edmonton Oilers, Dallas Stars and Flyers since being drafted by Edmonton in the second round (31st overall) of the 2010 NHL Draft and making his league debut with the Oilers in the 2013-14 season.

He’s a hard-nosed right wing that could add some bottom-six depth for the Coyotes.

Hayden, 25, signed a one-year deal worth $750,000 and had three goals and one assist (four points) in 43 games with the New Jersey Devils last season.

A native of Chicago, Illinois, he has 11-15–26 totals in 156 career NHL games with the Chicago Blackhawks and Devils since being drafted by Chicago in the third round (74th overall) of the 2013 NHL Draft and made his league debut with the Blackhawks in the 2016-17 season.

He will more than likely slot in on occasion for Arizona, as his stats don’t exactly prove him worthy of consistent ice time.

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Free Agency NHL Nick's Net

Report: Gudas on his way to Florida Panthers via free agency

Known for his on-the-edge play, Radko Gudas is taking his talents to the Florida Panthers defense on a three-year contract worth a reported $2.500 million per season.

The 30-year-old native of Prague, Czech Republic was originally drafted by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the third round (66th overall) of the 2010 NHL Draft and spent last season with the Washington Capitals after he was traded by the Philadelphia Flyers for Matt Niskanen on June 14, 2019.

Gudas had 2-13–15 totals in 63 games with the Capitals before the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic shortened the regular season and only had 40 penalty minutes without recording a single suspension last season.

A right-shot defender, he made his NHL debut with the Lightning in the 2012-13 season and spent parts of three seasons with Tampa before being traded to the Flyers on March 2, 2015, where he spent the next four years before being dealt to Washington prior to the 2019-20 season.

In eight NHL seasons, Gudas has 120 points (26 goals, 94 assists) in 479 career games for the Capitals, Lightning and Flyers.

He’ll bring some necessary upgrades in toughness and versatility to Florida’s changing landscape on defense in the wake of new General Manager, Bill Zito’s hiring and acquisition of Markus Nutivaara from the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday.

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Free Agency NHL

Penguins sign Mark Jankowski

The Pittsburgh Penguins signed penalty kill specialist, Mark Jankowski, to a one-year deal worth $700,000 on Friday.

Jankowski, 26, is a solid depth player, but never made much of an impact at 5-on-5 play with the Calgary Flames in his tenure.

A native of Hamilton, Ontario, he was drafted by the Flames in the first round (21st overall) in the 2012 NHL Draft and had seven points (five goals, two assists) last season in 56 games with Calgary and was a minus-12.

His production fell off after setting career-highs in assists (18) and points (32), while amassing 14 goals in 79 hames in 2018-19, and had a career-high 17 goals in 72 games in the 2017-18 season with the Flames.

He’s more of a bottom-six role player these days and has 36-28–64 totals in 208 career NHL games (all with Calgary).

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Free Agency NHL Nick's Net

Ryan signs one-year deal with Red Wings

Bobby Ryan signed a one-year contract worth $1.000 million with the Detroit Red Wings on Friday as the National Hockey League’s free agency market kicked things off after noon Eastern Time.

The reigning Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy winner and native of Cherry Hill, New Jersey joins the Red Wings as his third NHL club after amassing 555 points (254 goals, 301 assists) in 833 career games with the Anaheim Ducks and Ottawa Senators since making his league debut in the 2007-08 season with Anaheim.

Ryan was originally drafted by Anaheim in the first round (2nd overall) of the 2005 NHL Draft and had 5-3–8 totals in 24 games for the Senators in 2019-20 after missing most of the year due to a four-month leave of absence from Ottawa to enter the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program.

He scored a hat trick in his first game back with the Sens in his first home game since returning to the lineup on Feb. 27th.

Detroit is in the midst of rebuilding and setting themselves up for returning to playoff contention in the near future, so signing Ryan to a short “prove it” deal is beneficial for both sides.

The Red Wings can focus on improving in general, while Ryan can focus on finding his game as a bottom-six forward– unless he’s able to turn back the clock and regain his scoring touch as a four-time 30-goal scorer from 2008-12.

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Free Agency NHL

Braden Holtby heads north to Vancouver

Braden Holtby signed a two-year deal with the Vancouver Canucks worth $8.600 million ($4.300 million AAV) on Friday– moving on to the Canucks after the Washington Capitals picked up former New York Rangers goaltender, Henrik Lundqvist, as their new backup to Ilya Samsonov.

Holtby’s deal contains two minor interesting details.

One, it has a modified no trade clause in which Holtby can submit a list of up to four teams he won’t accept being traded to if Vancouver decides to move him. And two, it doesn’t contain a no movement clause, which means he’ll likely be available next offseason for the expansion draft for the Seattle Kraken, who will begin play in the 2021-22 season.

Last season Holtby went 25-14-6 in 48 games played (47 starts) and had a 3.11 goals against average, as well as an .897 save percentage to go along with 1,243 saves on 1,385 shots faced and 142 goals against.

For just the second time in his career he failed to record a shutout on the season.

With Thatcher Demko taking on a larger role for the Canucks– including some healthy competition with Holtby for the starting job, Holtby adds experience to the crease and is already willing to work with the young goaltender of the future in Vancouver.

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Free Agency

Kevin Rooney signs with New York Rangers

The New York Rangers have added Kevin Rooney to their Center depth. The former New Jersey Devil is packing it up and moving to the big apple for another team in a rebuild state.

The center has played 95 games and tallied 19 points. He will continue to be a depth player or take a seat in the press box for less than a million dollars a year.

CONTRACT BREAKDOWN

Year 1: $700,000
Year 2: $800.000

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Free Agency

Carter Verhaeghe signs with Florida panthers

Carter Verhaeghe stays in Florida but moves to a different zip code. The forward signed a two year deal with the Florida Panthers after him and the Lightning could not reach a deal and wanted to avoid arbitration. The deal is for an AAV of $1m.

Does it get better than winning the cup after your first year in the league? Verhaeghe will have to wait and find out as he heads to Sunshine Florida, another team in somewhat of a rebuild.

Vergaeghe was in and out of the lineup this past postseason, slotting in when needed. Could he be more of an asset in Florida?

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Uncategorized

Jon Merril to the Red Wings

Defenseman Jon Merril is moving on from the Vegas Golden Knights and on to Detroit for one year with a price tag of $925,000.

He’s spent seven years in the league and has tallied 61 points. Merril played college hockey at University of Michigan so it is a bit of a homecoming for the blue liner. Last year he had a career high of 32 penalty minutes.

This is just another piece to the Detroit rebuild that seems to be coming together.