Lost in the hubbub of the free agent frenzy was the news that both Sheldon Souray and Scott Clemmensen have decided to hang up their respective skates.
Souray, 38, was largely forced into retirement due to a wrist injury that has sidelined him for the past two seasons. Known for a booming shot that made him one of the best power play quarterbacks in the NHL for several seasons, Souray officially ends his career as a member of the Anaheim Ducks.
Over the course of his 13-year NHL career, Souray suited up for the Ducks, Dallas Stars, Edmonton Oilers, Montreal Canadiens and New Jersey Devils. Selected by the Devils in the third round, 71st overall, of the 1994 draft, Souray didn’t make the jump to a full-time NHL career until the 1997-98 campaign and didn’t become a standout blueliner in the league until the 2003-04 season as a member of the Canadiens. Read more
The Colorado Avalanche needed someone to defend, so they went out and got a defenseman who established a career-high in goals last season when they signed Francois Beachemin to a three-year deal worth a reported $4.5 million per season.
This, however, will be a good addition for the Avalanche, at least in the short term. Beauchemin is a veteran defenseman who can help stabilize the blueline corps in Colorado. The 11 goals last year was nice, but the Avs don’t necessarily need him to score that way with the likes of Tyson Barrie and Erik Johnson providing much of the offense they need from the back end. Read more
Less than 24 hours after being traded, both Kevin Bieksa and Artem Anisimov have signed contract extensions with their new clubs.
Bieksa, who went from the Vancouver Canucks to the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for a second-round pick in 2016, was said to be closing in on an extension with the team as early as Tuesday evening. As of Wednesday morning, it was reported by Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman that Bieksa has his new deal.
According to Friedman, the extension is for two years at $8 million and also carries a no-trade clause. The terms of the clause – whether it’s limited and, if so, to how many teams – have not been reported. The average cap hit of $4 million is less than what Bieksa is currently making, as his current deal has the Ducks on the hook for $4.6 million hit this upcoming season. Read more
For the second summer in a row, the Vancouver Canucks are sending a proven playoff performer down the Pacific Coast to Anaheim. The Ducks acquired 34-year-old defenseman Kevin Bieksa from the Canucks for a second round draft choice in 2016.
Last summer, the Canucks sent Ryan Kesler to the Ducks for a package the included Nick Bonino.
Vancouver GM Jim Benning has been trying to deal Bieksa since the end of the season and was thought to be close to a deal that would send him to San Jose. Winding up in another part of California was just fine for him.
The CHL’s Import Draft was held today, giving every major junior team on the continent a chance to pick up some prime European talent. Franchises are allowed to play two Euros on their roster, but no goaltenders. Teams that have a European player taken in the first round of the NHL can select a third player’s rights as well, in case the first-rounder ends up leaving.
With that out of the way, let’s look at how things went down. Consider this a non-comprehensive list, as I am cobbling together commitments or denials as I receive them from various sources in the industry.
SUNRISE, Fla. – So much for a quiet Day 2 of the NHL draft. Before the second round was completed, five significant trades were completed, four of them involving goaltenders.
And perhaps the most shocking aspect of all of it was two moves by the New York Rangers to trade established players in return for prospects and draft picks. Much of that was necessitated by salary cap concerns, but it does represent something of a reversal for them.
The 2015 draft has largely focused on North America, what with twin terrors Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel dominating headlines, with Dylan Strome, Noah Hanifin and Mitch Marner not far behind.
But there were some excellent prospects plying their trades on the other side of the Atlantic this season and they’re ready to let their skills do the talking.
The Anaheim Ducks’ efforts to re-sign pending UFA winger Matt Beleskey ended in failure. Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston reports the 27-year-old rejected the club’s best offer and is headed to unrestricted free agency on July first.
Murray told media members at Tuesday’s GM meetings: “We made a really fair offer. God bless him.”
Beleskey is coming off a career-best 22-goal season, along with eight goals in 16 playoff games. He’s completing a two-year deal worth an annual cap hit of $1.35 million. Given the lack of depth in this summer’s UFA pool, Beleskey could command more than $4-million annually on the open market.
It’s possible the Ducks could shop Beleskey’s rights before the July 1 free-agent deadline. If so, the Ducks could get a conditional draft pick if the winger signs with the team his rights were dealt to. It’s not much, but it will be better for the Ducks than losing him for nothing.
KESSEL TO…THE PENGUINS?
Hearing word that the Pittsburgh Penguins were among the preferred trade destinations of Toronto Maple Leafs right winger Phil Kessel raised some eyebrows in Pittsburgh. Joe Starkey of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review believes acquiring Kessel is something the Penguins should consider, though he acknowledges there are significant issues working against such a move.