Why hasn’t your team done anything this off-season?

Tampa Bay GM Steve Yzerman.  (Photo by Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images)

We’ve seen plenty of turnover on NHL rosters so far this summer, setting up what appears to be even crazier parity than normal in each division. The Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers and San Jose Sharks made major moves in the Pacific. The Washington Capitals jazzed up their top two lines in the Metropolitan. The Chicago Blackhawks did anything but sit on their championship team, making over a quarter of their roster.

A bushel of franchises, however, have been oddly quiet so far. Some are justified in their thought process. Others have their angry fans yelling “DO something!”

Why do some of these teams appear to be deer in the headlights right now? There’s a plausible explanation for each, though some are more maddening than others.

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Predators’ Ribeiro reaches out-of-court settlement in sexual assault case

Jared Clinton
Mike Ribeiro. (Photo by Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images)

The sexual assault case against Nashville Predators center Mike Ribeiro has been settled out of court.

Ribeiro was accused by a former nanny of making unwanted sexual advances, which, the complaint stated, resulted in her suffering, “anguish, medical treatment, physical pain and suffering, physical impairment, humiliation, shame, fright and damage to her reputation as a result of the actions committed by Ribeiro and Williams.”

The Nashville Post reported Thursday that the suit was settled as the result of an eight-hour mediation, which took place July 6. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed. Read more

10 players facing make or break seasons in 2015-16

Justin Schultz  (Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images)

The Edmonton Oilers avoided arbitration with Justin Schultz Wednesday by inking the 25-year-old blueliner to a one-year, $3.9 million deal. But the arbitration wasn’t Schultz’s choice. Rather, it was the Oilers who wanted to plead their case for a lower cost on Schultz’s contract.

However, by opting for team-elected arbitration – which, as mentioned, has now been avoided with the one-year contract – Edmonton was essentially giving Schultz an ultimatum: if he wants to keep his spot in the Oilers lineup for what he believes to be fair value, he’s going to have to prove that he’s worth it. Thus, the one-year deal.

Schultz isn’t the only restricted free agent signed to a one-year contract and he’s not the only player who can, as Mike Babcock put it with regards to Nazem Kadri, “put the screws,” to his club. On the flip side, though, one bad year could see some franchises giving up on their young guns.

Here are 10 players who could have make-or-break seasons in 2014-15: Read more

Five unforgettable NHL free agent sagas

Jared Clinton
Shea Weber (Getty Images)

The NBA may have just gone through one of the most interesting free agent scenarios in league history, but the NHL has had some of its own.

For those who don’t follow the NBA, the free agent situation regarding DeAndre Jordan, the Los Angeles Clippers and Dallas Mavericks reached infamous status Wednesday evening.

In a nutshell, the NBA’s negotiation period leaves a window of several days for free agents to discuss, and potentially commit, to contracts with teams. Jordan, a free agent who had previously played with for Clippers, had intended to sign with the Mavericks, but changed his mind at some point in the past week, leading to him reneging on a potential deal with Dallas to head back to Los Angeles. All Thursday, it has been the talk of the sports world.

While the NHL free agency period doesn’t quite allow for situations such as Jordan’s to occur, it doesn’t mean the league hasn’t had its own major storylines happen thanks to the signing season. Here are five examples from the past 15 years: Read more

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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Nashville Predators add Cody Hodgson, Barret Jackman in free agent deals

Matt Larkin
Cody Hodgson (Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Nashville Predators have flown relatively under the radar this off-season, re-signing their top two centers, Mike Ribeiro and Mike Fisher. But GM David Poile’s quiet moves last summer helped the team make a surprise run to the playoffs, and it appears he’s making similar decisions this off-season.

Picking Ribeiro off the scrap heape worked wonders, and Poile will try to duplicate that feat with Cody Hodgson. The maligned center, just 25, was bought out by the Buffalo Sabres this week. Now he’ll attempt a career turnaround in Nashville on a one-year, $1.05-million contract. Hodgson scored 20 goals in 2013-14 and appeared to be a key cog for the Sabres, but he tumbled to just six goals and 13 points in 78 games this season, often criticized for his level of effort.

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Mike Ribeiro signs two-year extension with Nashville Predators

Jared Clinton
Mike Ribeiro. (Photo by Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images)

Nashville GM David Poile has locked up one of his top free agent prizes: veteran center Mike Ribeiro.

According to TSN’s Aaron Ward, Nashville has re-signed Ribeiro to a two-year deal worth $7 million.

The re-signing comes following a big year for Ribeiro in which he signed a one-year, $1.05 million deal with the Predators to prove he still had something left in the tank.
During last year’s off-season, the Arizona Coyotes had bought out Ribeiro just one season into a four-year deal. Following the buyout, Nashville inked Ribeiro to a one-year deal that was low-risk, high reward: if Ribeiro failed, it wasn’t a deal that broke the bank for the Predators and it wouldn’t damage their salary cap; if he played well, they had found a steal. Read more

Predators play it safe with Fisher, Avalanche play it risky with Soderberg

Carl Soderberg. (Photo by Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

Two signings, two centers, two Central Division teams, two very different meanings.

Unrestricted free agent to-be Mike Fisher, 35, will return to the Nashville Predators. Fisher signed a two-year, $8.8-million deal. Is $4.4 million per year a bit much for a 35-year-old veteran who has never topped 25 goals or 53 points? Maybe, but it was a matter of Nashville’s needs. General manager David Poile couldn’t risk losing one of his top two centers, especially with UFA Mike Ribeiro’s status up in the air. Fisher loves Nashville, Nashville loves Fisher, and his country star wife Carrie Underwood is based there. The two-year term makes the meaty cap hit palatable, too.

Colorado’s signing of Carl Soderberg, who turns 30 Oct. 12, is much more eyebrow-raising. The Avalanche acquired the 6-foot-3, 216-pound pivot’s rights from the Boston Bruins Thursday and locked him up to a five-year, $23.75-million contract. So whereas the Preds will play $4.4 million for a sure thing, if an unexciting one, the Avs bet big on the unproven Soderberg for $4.75 million a year.

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