August marks hockey’s “silly season.” Very little happens. And idle hands are the devils’ playthings, right? Countless blog commenters and Twitter trolls dust off the “Slow news day?” insult whenever we find something to talk about. During the month before NHL training camps begin, fan bases twiddle their thumbs. And think. And overthink. And worry.
“Why hasn’t my team DONE anything this off-season?”
You know who you are. You, from that city with the sandwich everyone needs to try. Your team has been uncomfortably quiet this off-season, with nary a big trade or free agent splash. Should you panic over your team’s 2016-17 outlook? Or will you end up patting your favorite GM on the back for staying the course?
Here’s a rundown of the summer’s most tranquil teams – and whether their fan bases should worry.
On Sunday, the Colorado Avalanche avoided an arbitration-awarded contract with defenseman Tyson Barrie. They re-signed him to a four-year, $22-million deal worth an average annual value of $5.5 million.
For several months, Barrie’s contract status with the Avalanche generated considerable speculation about his future in Denver. Trade rumors linked the 25-year-old with the Boston Bruins, Detroit Red Wings, Edmonton Oilers and Vancouver Canucks.
While Barrie’s new contract should bring that trade chatter to an end, teammates Gabriel Landeskog and Matt Duchene have resurfaced in the summer rumor mill. Read more
It took longer than either Tyson Barrie or the Colorado Avalanche may have wanted, but the two sides have come to an agreement on a four-year contract for the 25-year-old restricted free agent blueliner.
Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported Sunday that Barrie has inked a four-year deal with an annual average salary of $5.5 million — a total of $22 million over the lifespan of the contract. The deal comes in shortly before Barrie was set to be awarded a contract through an arbitrator following an arbitration hearing between Barrie’s camp and the Avalanche on Friday.
It appears what it took for the deal to get done was Barrie giving in on term and the Avalanche showing wiggle room in terms of salary. When heading to arbitration, the reported ask by Barrie was a one-year, $6-million contract, while the Avalanche were seeking to ink Barrie to a two-year deal worth somewhere in the $4-million range per season.
Even with the contract signed, though, the question now becomes what Barrie’s future looks like in Colorado. Read more
It has been 10 days since the first salary arbitration case was set to be heard, yet of the 24 cases, there is only one that will go the distance.
Defenseman Tyson Barrie and the Colorado Avalanche spent Friday battling it out in front of an arbitrator to decide what the blueliner is worth on his next deal. Entering the hearing, Barrie was asking for $6 million on a one-year deal, while the Avalanche were hoping to lock him up to a two-year contract that would pay Barrie slightly more than $4 million per season.
Coming off of a 13-goal, 49-point season, Barrie should be in line to receive closer to his asking price than the one the Avalanche are seeking. After all, over the past two campaigns, Barrie is the seventh-highest scoring defenseman in the entire league with 102 points in 158 games.
The 25-year-old is trending in the right direction, and it wouldn’t be shocking if he were paid handsomely on his next contract. If the arbitrator awards him anything more than $5 million, it will be the second-highest arbitrated salary in the past 10 years. Here are the five biggest arbitration awards over the past 10 off-seasons: Read more
If the Colorado Avalanche and defenseman Tyson Barrie don’t come to an agreement on a contract before Sunday 3 p.m., Barrie will represent the only one of 25 players in the arbitration process this summer whose case actually went the distance.
A total of 24 players, including Barrie, filed for arbitration, while the Detroit Red Wings took goalie Petr Mrazek to arbitration. The 24 other cases all ended in a contract resolution, the last of which was Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Martin Marincin, who was scheduled to have his hearing Monday. Marincin, however, signed a two-year deal with the Maple Leafs on Friday worth $1.25 million per season.
It should really come as no surprise that of the 25 players who were slated to go to salary arbitration this summer, none has actually sat in front of the arbitrator and 22 of them have resulted in contract resolutions. That’s pretty much the standard these days.
And it should also come as no surprise if the remaining three are resolved well in advance of their hearings. Well, except Tyson Barrie of the Colorado Avalanche, largely because we have no idea what Joe Sakic and Patrick Roy are thinking these days. He actually might end up going. He’s slated for Thursday. (Martin Marincin of the Toronto Maple Leafs is scheduled for Aug. 2 and Michael Stone of the Arizona Coyotes is on the docket for Aug. 4.)
The Colorado Avalanche have re-signed center Mikhail Grigorenko to a one-year deal worth $1.3 million, giving the youngster a nice raise for 2016-17. Though the stat is largely ignored now, it’s worth noting that on a team filled with minus players, Grigorenko was a plus-2. But if the Avs want to make it back to the playoffs, they’re going to need more help than that.
The dog days of the NHL offseason got a nice jolt on Monday when the Senators and Rangers hooked up on a decent-sized trade. The deal sends Derick Brassard and a seventh to Ottawa in exchange for Mika Zibanejad and a second, improving the Senators’ top six while adding some youth to the Rangers and giving them some additional cap room to work with.
The trade also answered one of the offseason’s lingering questions, which was: When are the Rangers going to get around to doing something? We were all told to expect a busy offseason in New York, as GM Jeff Gorton would look to shake up his aging and expensive core. But until this week, not much had happened aside from a few minor free agency signings. Trading Broussard isn’t exactly a blockbuster, but at least now the Rangers are on the board.
But that still leaves a few more stories lingering in the “still waiting” file. Here are five moves everyone went into the offseason expecting to see that still haven’t happened yet. Read more