Edmonton big winner, insanity big loser in Free Agent Frenzy

Andrej Sekera  (Photo by Jared Silber/NHLI via Getty Images)

The same day Connor McDavid wore his Edmonton Oiler colors for the first time ever on the ice, his bosses were upstairs going about the process of giving him some legitimate NHL players to surround him.

It’s difficult, nay impossible, to declare the winners and losers of a free agent frenzy day before Canada Day has even included, but it’s difficult to not get excited about what’s going on in western Canada these days. The oil patch has been sucked dry of good hockey for so long that sometimes it looked as though neither the Oilers nor the Calgary Flames were ever going to get it right.

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Calgary Flames sign Michael Frolik to five-year, $21.5-million deal

Matt Larkin
Michael Frolik. (Photo by Debora Robinson/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Battle of Alberta gets more interesting by the hour. The Edmonton Oilers have made drastic changes to start the off-season, but the Calgary Flames have been just as active. They made a massive splash last week by acquiring blueliner Dougie Hamilton from the Boston Bruins (and subsequently signing him). On Wednesday, they added an important piece in right winger Michael Frolik on a five-year, $21.5-million deal.

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Flames re-sign goaltender Karri Ramo to one-year deal

Jared Clinton
Karri Ramo (Derek Leung/Getty Images)

He may not be the second coming of Patrick Roy, but Karri Ramo was widely considered the top goaltender among this season’s free agent crop. He won’t be leaving Calgary, however, as the Flames have re-signed the netminder.

According to Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston, Ramo has signed a one-year, $3.8 million deal to stay in Calgary. The contract means Ramo, who suited up in 34 games for the Flames this past season and posted a record of 15-9-3, will be back to split time with Jonas Hiller in the Flames’ crease. Read more

CHL Import Draft: who is coming over?

Oliver Kylington (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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.

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Dougie Hamilton signs six-year deal with Calgary Flames

Jared Clinton
Dougie Hamilton (Photo by Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images)

Four days after acquiring Dougie Hamilton from the Boston Bruins for three draft picks, the Calgary Flames have signed the 22-year-old defenseman to a six-year contract extension that will pay him less than $6 million per season.

According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, the deal will pay Hamilton $34.5 million, meaning his contract will carry an annual cap hit of $5.75 million. Interestingly, the deal comes in at a price tag just barely higher than the deal that Hamilton reportedly shot down from the Bruins, which would have seen him paid $33 million over six seasons, a difference of $250,000 per year.

The contract itself sees Hamiton receive two separate pay increases, Dreger reported, as the blueliner will go from making $5.5 million in the first two years of the deal to $5.75 million in years three and four with a $6 million salary coming his way in the final two seasons of the contract. The agreement also carries a limited no trade clause in years five and six. Read more

Before they were stars: the risky business of trading prospects

Mike Brophy
Jarome Iginla after being drafted by Dallas in 1995. (Photo by Marco Campanelli/Getty Images)

The Dallas Stars were thrilled when they drafted Jarome Iginla in 1995 and, yes, they did think he’d be available when they chose 11th.

“I believe Central Scouting had him ranked in the twenties,” recalled former Stars director of player personnel Craig Button.

The Stars envisioned Iginla as a future power forward; a John MacLean-type winger who would one day provide them with 25-to-30 goals a season.

Turns out Iginla was better than even the Stars imagined. It also turned out he’d never play a game for the Stars.

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Day 1 a great one for Buffalo, miserable one for Bruins

Dylan Strome, Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel (Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images)

SUNRISE, Fla. – Friday night will go down in history as the night Connor McDavid officially became a card-carrying member of the NHL fraternity and embarked on his career as the savior of the Edmonton Oilers. But that’s not all we’ll remember about the first night of the draft in 2015.

We may all look back at this night 10 years from now and identify it as the precise moment in time when two seismic events occurred. The first one is the ascension of the Buffalo Sabres into respectability. And the second is we may very well point to June 26, 2015 as the day the Boston Bruins began their downward spiral into mediocrity. Or worse.

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Hamilton trade a cautionary tale in bad salary cap management

Dougie Hamilton (Photo by Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images)

SUNRISE, Fla. – Well here we are still hours before the NHL draft and already THN senior editor Brian Costello has already won Twitter today. After the Calgary Flames-Boston Bruins blockbuster, Costello took to social media to point out that according to our Draft Preview, the Bruins had traded Dougie Hamilton in exchange for Nick Merkley, Dennis Yan and Graham Knott.

Those are the three players we have ranked No. 15, 54 and 53 respectively. It almost certainly won’t turn out that way, but you get the idea. Now get this idea. Over the course of 24 hours, the Bruins traded a 50-point scorer and an elite defenseman in exchange for a package that could amount to nothing.

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