Islanders bolster D, ink veteran Zidlicky to one-year deal

Jared Clinton
Marek Zidlicky (Dave Reginek/Getty Images)

Even after dealing Michael Grabner to kick off training camp, New York Islanders GM Garth Snow isn’t done tinkering with his roster.

Friday evening, the Islanders agreed to terms on a one-year with Marek Zidlicky in a move that will further bolster an up-and-coming defense. According to Newsday’s Arthur Staple, the contract is worth $1.5-million. Zidlicky, 38, spent the 2014-15 campaign between the New Jersey Devils and Detroit Red Wings, and, even at his age, still has the offensive ability to be an impact player for the Islanders this campaign. Read more

Dany Heatley joins German team, Martin Erat inks deal with KHL’s Omsk

Jared Clinton
Dany Heatley (Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

Dany Heatley may have played his final game in the NHL.

It was announced Thursday morning that Heatley has signed a contract with the Nuremberg Ice Tigers of the German DEL. The contract will carry the 34-year-old through to the end of the DEL season, and Heatley is expected to be in the lineup as soon as Sunday when the Ice Tigers face the Hamburg Freezers. While he plays for Canada nationally, Heatley is German-born, so the DEL presents an opportunity for him to play in what is technically his home country.

“Dany Heatley is one of the largest commitments in the history of the DEL,” said Ice Tigers sports director Martin Jiranek. “We are very pleased and happy that he has chosen to play for the Ice Tigers in Nuremberg. We have been in contact with Dany for more than a month, he is friends with several players with us. He does not come for the money, he comes because he wants to play in Nuremberg.” Read more

Devils get a steal, sign Tlusty to one-year, $800,000 deal

Jared Clinton
Jiri Tlusty (Jonathan Kozub/Getty Images)

It took nearly the entire summer, but Jiri Tlusty has finally found a home for the 2015-16 season.

The New Jersey Devils announced they have signed the left winger to a one-year, $800,000 contract, which stands to be an absolute steal of a deal for the Devils.

This past season, Tlusty, 27, was on a one-year, $2.95-million pact with the Carolina Hurricanes before being shipped to the Winnipeg Jets at the trade deadline. At the deadline, Tlusty was an interesting commodity, boasting both offensive talent and the puck-possession game that’s becoming more coveted in the analytics era. That a player of his ability took a $2-million-plus pay cut shows just how difficult this off-season market was for unrestricted free agents. Read more

Inside Jonathan Huberdeau’s two-year “prove it” contract

Matt Larkin
Jonathan Huberdeau (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Wasn’t P.K. Subban’s contract last summer, paying him $9 million annually, supposed to be a cautionary tale about bridge deals?

The Montreal Canadiens didn’t lock him down as a restricted free agent in 2012, opting for a two-year extension. He ended up winning the Norris Trophy in 2012-13 and, boom, the bridge deal didn’t look so good anymore. The Ottawa Senators, on the other hand, nabbed Erik Karlsson on a seven-year extension that same summer after his entry-level deal and have him for four more seasons at $6.5 million per, which is a steal. Drew Doughty walked out of his ELC into an eight-year contract with a $7-million cap hit. He’s a steal, too, for four more seasons. John Tavares, Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews all signed long extensions for their second deals that turned out to be massive bargains.

The Habs went the short-term route with Subban on his second contract, and he now makes more money per year than all but four NHLers on his third contract, with seven years left on an eight-year deal. You’d think it would scare teams into avoiding the bridge, but that hasn’t really happened. Ryan Johansen has just two years left on his deal after last summer’s arduous negotiation. And this summer has been rife with bridge contracts, from Mika Zibanejad’s to Elias Lindholm’s to Mikael Granlund’s to Alex Galchenyuk’s to Brock Nelson’s and, most recently, Jonathan Huberdeau’s.

The Panthers have inked their first-line left winger, a restricted free agent, to a two-year, $6.5-million contract carrying a $3.25-million cap hit. It’s a bridge deal if there ever was one.

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PTO Tracker: Which free agents are looking for training camp deals?

Jared Clinton
Curtis Glencross. (Photo by Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images)

This off-season has been a difficult one for free agents, which has led to one of the most impressive crops of players signing professional tryouts in recent memory. Some players who were thought to be possible free agent targets — players like Curtis Glencross and Tomas Fleischmann — have had to settle for coming into camp with the hope of landing a job via training camp.

Players on PTOs will begin their quest for jobs later this week when training camps open league-wide. How many of these players land NHL contracts is yet to be seen, but some teams could end up benefitting big time from an off-season in which free agent contracts were hard to come by.

Here are the players currently on PTOs: Read more

Brock Nelson, Islanders haven’t spoken in six weeks with internal contract deadline looming

Jared Clinton
Brock Nelson (Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

In his second full season in the NHL, Brock Nelson became a 20-goal, 40-point player for the New York Islanders. But Islanders faithful hoping to see what kind of campaign Nelson can follow his sophomore season with might have to cross their fingers that a last-minute deal gets done.

In an interview with Newsday’s Arthur Staple, Nelson’s agent Ron Salcer said he hasn’t spoken with Islanders GM Garth Snow in six weeks.

“Garth and I talked six weeks ago after they made an offer, which was nowhere near commensurate with what players like Brock are making,” Salcer told Staple. “Garth said he’d get back to me and that was it. No negotiations whatsoever.” Read more

Curtis Glencross should make Maple Leafs – and become part of their master plan

Matt Larkin
Curtis Glencross. (Photo by Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images)

Another day, another respectable veteran addition to Toronto’s island of misfit toys.

On Wednesday the Maple Leafs signed left winger Curtis Glencross, 32, to a professional tryout. That comes less than a month after right winger Devin Setoguchi joined the Blue and White on a PTO.

Glencross shouldn’t have much trouble making this team. He’s produced eight straight seasons of double-digit goal scoring. He’s a two-time 20-goal man. He’s an accurate shooter, 12 percent or better in seven of his eight full seasons. Glencross disappointed as Washington Capitals trade deadline acquisition from Calgary this past spring, but a guy who produces 35 points in a down year still has a place on any NHL roster.

Why Toronto, though? Why would a scorched-earth rebuild squad want a veteran top-nine forward? It’s all part of a master plan being confidently executed by the Leafs’ suped up new regime, including Brendan Shanahan, Mike Babcock, Lou Lamoriello, Kyle Dubas and Mark Hunter.

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Sabres improve further, land Cody Franson on two-year deal

Jared Clinton
Cody Franson.  (Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images)

It took more than two months, but Cody Franson has finally found his home for the 2015-16 season.

After publicly stating he was looking for something longer than a one-year deal, Franson, 28, has signed a two-year deal with the Buffalo Sabres. TSN’s Bob McKenzie first reported late Wednesday that Franson was in Buffalo to put the finishing touches on the contract, which has now been signed, according to McKenzie.

Exact terms of the deal have not yet been released, but ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun reported the contract would carry an annual cap hit of $3.325-million. At that cap hit, Franson is not earning a massive raise on his previous contract, a one-year, $3.3-million deal he signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs in July 2014. Read more