Ducks extend Bieksa, Anisimov gets new deal in Chicago

Jared Clinton
Artem Anisimov featured

Less than 24 hours after being traded, both Kevin Bieksa and Artem Anisimov have signed contract extensions with their new clubs.

Bieksa, who went from the Vancouver Canucks to the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for a second-round pick in 2016, was said to be closing in on an extension with the team as early as Tuesday evening. As of Wednesday morning, it was reported by Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman that Bieksa has his new deal.

According to Friedman, the extension is for two years at $8 million and also carries a no-trade clause. The terms of the clause – whether it’s limited and, if so, to how many teams – have not been reported. The average cap hit of $4 million is less than what Bieksa is currently making, as his current deal has the Ducks on the hook for $4.6 million hit this upcoming season. Read more

Rumor Roundup: Buzz surrounding the big name free agents

Lyle Richardson
Mike Green (Photo by Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images)

On the eve of the 2015 NHL free agent period, here’s a look at the latest speculation involving the notable UFAs.

Mike Green: Considered by most observers the best player available in this summer’s UFA market, the 29-year-old Green should attract interest from several clubs. Among the suitors could be the Colorado Avalanche, Detroit Red Wings and Edmonton Oilers. The Dallas Morning News’ Mike Heika included Green on his list of possible free-agent targets for the Stars.

Alexander Semin: He enters the UFA market following a contract buyout by the Carolina Hurricanes. Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press wonders if the Detroit Red Wings could have interest in the 31-year-old winger. Semin’s a right-handed shot, a commodity the Wings currently don’t have enough of on their roster. Read more

Report: Police investigation into Mike Richards involves prescription drug

Jared Clinton
(Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NHL)

According to a report, an alleged incident at the Canada-U.S. border has Mike Richards under investigation by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

TMZ Sports reported late Tuesday evening that now-former Los Angeles Kings center Richards, whose contract was terminated by the Kings for a “material breach” on Monday, was allegedly held up when crossing the border from the United States into Canada on June 17.

Following the TMZ report, the Winnipeg Sun’s Paul Friesen cited a source that told him the RCMP are investigating, “after a man was held in custody at the Emerson, Man., border crossing for at least four hours after allegedly trying to import OxyContin pills on June 17.”

It’s important to note, however, that no charges have been laid against Richards. Read more

Martin Jones signs for three years, $9 million with San Jose Sharks

Jared Clinton
Martin Jones' numbers are unbelievable, but is he simply the product of his environment? (Getty Images)

Before the San Jose Sharks acquired netminder Martin Jones from the Boston Bruins, the club’s future between the pipes looked uncertain. Hours after trading for Jones, however, the Sharks shored up their goaltending situation for at least the next few seasons.

Tuesday evening the Sharks announced they have locked up the 25-year-old Jones to a three-year deal worth $9 million. The cap hit, a mere $3 million per season, all but solidifies the fact that the Sharks will look to Jones as their starter as early as next season. Jones’ price tag puts him at almost double the cap hit of the Sharks’ backup netminder, Alex Stalock, who was the frontrunner for the starting job had San Jose not gone out and acquired Jones.

“Martin was at the top of our list of players that we had targeted,” Sharks GM Doug Wilson said in a release by the club. “We’re extremely excited to have him on board.” Read more

Kevin Bieksa does the electric slide down the West Coast in trade to Anaheim

Brian Costello
Kevin Bieksa. (Getty Images)

For the second summer in a row, the Vancouver Canucks are sending a proven playoff performer down the Pacific Coast to Anaheim. The Ducks acquired 34-year-old defenseman Kevin Bieksa from the Canucks for a second round draft choice in 2016.

Last summer, the Canucks sent Ryan Kesler to the Ducks for a package the included Nick Bonino.

Vancouver GM Jim Benning has been trying to deal Bieksa since the end of the season and was thought to be close to a deal that would send him to San Jose. Winding up in another part of California was just fine for him.

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Saad return underwhelming, but what did you expect?

Brandon Saad (Photo by Megan Bearder /Sports Illustrated/Getty Images)

At first glance, it’s pretty tempting to look at the return Chicago Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman got for Brandon Saad and deem it to be underwhelming. Like, really underwhelming. But Bowman also realizes, perhaps better than any other GM in the business, that when you’re not dealing from a position of strength, your pals in the GM fraternity are more likely to throw you an anchor than a life preserver.

Either that, or Marko Dano is going to be a lot better than everyone thought. Or perhaps Bowman, who seems to know a little bit about evaluating talent, saw in Saad a player whose value was perhaps a little inflated by playing with Jonathan Toews so much and being part of such a strong team. No doubt, he saw an offer sheet coming. But if that offer sheet had contained a six at the front of the salary number, the Blackhawks would have received a first-, second- and third-round choice. Instead, they dealt Saad and two prospects to the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for Artem Anisimov, Dano, Jeremy Morin, Corey Tropp and a fourth-round pick in 2016.

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Blackhawks shock everyone, trade Saad to Blue Jackets for package including Anisimov, Dano

Brandon Saad (Photo by Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images)

It was clear changes would be coming for the Chicago Blackhawks following their 2015 Stanley Cup championship, but no one would have expected those changes to include trading away burgeoning star Brandon Saad. But with their hand forced, the Blackhawks did exactly that.

Chicago confirmed Tuesday afternoon that they have dealt restricted free agent Saad, along with prospects Alex Broadhurst and Michael Paliotta, to the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for a four-player package that includes Artem Anisimov, Marko Dano, Jeremy Morin, Corey Tropp and a fourth-round selection in the 2016 draft.

News of the deal took the hockey world by storm. Less than half an hour after the first reports of the deal between Chicago and Columbus first surfaced from Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, the deal had gone through and Saad was sent packing to the Blue Jackets. Read more

THN’s top 25 unrestricted free agents

Dominik Luszczyszyn
Matt Beleskey (Photo by Debora Robinson/NHLI via Getty Images)

It’s July 1st and your phone beeps. It’s a Twitter notification. ___________ (insert your favorite team here) has just signed Player X. At first there’s excitement, because Player X is awesome (and also mysterious), but then comes the dread: ‘how much did this cost?’ Once you find out the cost, then comes the inevitable, ‘is he worth it?’

And that’s the most important question to ask during the free agent frenzy. Luckily for you, we here at THN have the answer. We compared every UFA contract signed over the past two seasons under the new CBA (as well as new extensions that kicked in during that time frame) to a player’s value, measured in wins above replacement (an all-in-one stat developed by war-on-ice.com), to get a sense of how much that value is worth. Read more