Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Jonathan Bernier entered training camp on a brand new two-year, $8.3-million contract in 2015-16. This year it appears he’ll be heading into camp with some serious competition for his starting job.
The Maple Leafs announced Monday afternoon they have acquired restricted free agent goaltender Frederik Andersen from the Anaheim Ducks for two draft picks — the first-round, 30th-overall selection in 2016 and a second-round pick in 2017.
Anaheim had long been trying to get Andersen under contract, with GM Bob Murray saying as recently as this past weekend that he was working on getting a deal done. Murray did, however, acknowledge that eventually one of Andersen or John Gibson would have to be moved. With Gibson being the presumptive goaltender of the future, though, it seemed Andersen would be the one sent packing. Monday’s deal makes that official.
The acquisition addresses a definite need for the Maple Leafs, who were hoping to rely on, but were mostly let down by, the play of Bernier this past season. Read more
As much as the stagnant salary cap has the possibility to effect rosters this off-season, the impending expansion draft is weighing just as heavily on roster decisions that will be made over the course of the off-season.
Penguins GM Jim Rutherford has already spoken about the potential expansion draft and the effect it could have on Pittsburgh goaltending situation with Marc-Andre Fleury and Matt Murray both having claims to the starting job, and one of Rutherford’s fellow GMs, Anaheim Ducks architect Bob Murray, is in a similar spot.
With John Gibson, 22, the presumptive future in goal for Anaheim, it appears to have made restricted free agent Frederik Andersen, 26, a potentially expendable piece of the Ducks roster. And even though Murray said he has been talking contract with Andersen, the Ducks GM realizes that, eventually, something is going to have to give.
“If I can get Freddie signed one way or the other, I’ve got to move one (goaltender) because I’ll lose one for sure in expansion,” Murray told the Orange County Register’s Eric Stephens. “It just will happen. It’s just something that’s in front of us. It’s there. We have a lot of defensemen. So we have to turn some of these things into assets.” Read more
Sami Vatanen has become an integral part of the Anaheim Ducks’ defense, and now the 25-year-old rearguard will be compensated as such.
The Ducks announced Saturday that Vatanen has signed a four-year, $19.5-million contract that will see him become the highest-paid defenseman on the Anaheim roster next season. Vatanen’s new deal will carry an annual cap hit of $4.875 million and, according to the Orange County Register’s Eric Stephens, will pay the defenseman $5 million in each of the next three seasons before dipping to $4.5 million in 2019-20.
The signing is an important one for the future of the Ducks blueline and rewards Vatanen following a career year. Read more
Ilya Bryzgalov has played 40 NHL games in the past three seasons — and didn’t play professionally at all in 2015-16 — but that isn’t about to stop the quirky, veteran netminder from setting his sights on an NHL return.
In an interview with NHLPA.com’s Chris Lomon, Bryzgalov, 35, said a season away from the game has reignited his desire to play in the league, to face the world’s best shooters and give his 10-year-old son, a goaltender himself, the opportunity to watch his father play.
“When I told my son I was looking to play in the NHL again, his eyes lit up,” Bryzgalov told Lomon. “He was so excited. Now he’s older and he understands the game more. It would be great if he could watch me play again, maybe to learn some things that can help him.” Read more
Randy Carlyle is coming back to Anaheim. That’s the news, according to TSN’s Darren Dreger. The fact Carlyle got another NHL job is pretty surprising in itself, but back in Anaheim, with a team in its Stanley Cup window? Let’s see what one of his former players had to say on the matter:
The NHL is expected to announce its decision on a possible expansion to Las Vegas by June 22. More details recently emerged regarding the guidelines for an expansion draft that could affect this summer’s trade market .
It was originally believed players with no-movement clause carrying partial no-trade clauses (such as Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury) wouldn’t be protected from the draft. However, that only applies to players whose contracts expire at the end of 2016-17. That also includes those with full no-movement clauses. Those with contracts that run through 2017-18 must be protected.
SAN JOSE – Things got so bad for Justin Schultz that he had to set up a fake Twitter account to keep up with the news of the day and read links to stories that interested him. That’s because his real Twitter account was so filled with vitriol and hate that he couldn’t stand looking at it.
So when a player tells you that he doesn’t read anything that’s written about him or that he’s impervious to the criticism, it isn’t always true. Some players can dismiss it, but others take it to heart. One win away from winning the Stanley Cup, Schultz can laugh about it now. But when he played with the Edmonton Oilers, he was hardly living the dream he’d spent so much of his life anticipating.
“It’s not a lot of fun getting booed in front of your home fans,” Schultz said. “It’s pretty tough to enjoy yourself when that’s happening.”
Anaheim Ducks center Ryan Kesler is one of the good ones. He’s a candid, thoughtful interviewee, reliable for some insightful and occasionally edgy comments when questioned.
In a story compiled by Vancouver Canucks beat writer and THN correspondent Ben Kuzma and brought to our attention by Yahoo Puck Daddy, Kesler shared some thoughts on what type of coach should fill the Ducks’ vacancy. And the comments didn’t shed the warmest of light on the departed Bruce Boudreau, tapped to stand behind the Minnesota Wild’s bench next season.
We shouldn’t put words in Ryan Kesler’s mouth, as he was simply responding to being asked what type of coach would help his team the best. Whichever way he answers the question, he’ll likely list qualities Boudreau doesn’t have, as Boudreau wouldn’t be fired if he had those missing qualities. Still, Kesler’s comments provide insight on what Boudreau’s players may believe he lacked as a coach: