With the Stanley Cup playoffs completed, attention now shifts to the upcoming draft on June 30th and the league’s free agency period.
Many of the teams in the league have already been active in the off-season. Some of the more notable moves include:
The Dallas Stars accepting a new logo, hiring free agent Lindy Ruff as head coach, and possible acquiring veteran defence Sergei Gonchar from the Ottawa Senators.
The coaching swap between the New York Rangers involving former Head Coach John Torterella going to Vancouver and Alain Vigneault signing a five-year deal with the Rangers.
Claude Noel has received a one-year extension with the Winnipeg Jets.
The Toronto Maple Leafs have traded goaltender Scrivens, a second round draft pick and forward Matt Frattin in exchange for goaltender Jonathan Bernier.
Niklas Backstrom has been re-signed by the Minnesota Wild. The starting goaltender was given a three-year deal by the organization.
Many of the league’s teams have also been forced to buyout contracts as well. Some of the more notable compliance buyout moves include:
Flyers forward and long-time assistant captain Daniel Brier will be bought out. The forward still had two years remaining on his deal with the Flyers.
Toronto Maple Leafs have decided it’s finally time to part ways with Mike Komisarek.
The Montreal Canadians have decided to part ways with Tomas Kaberle.
These compliance buyouts mean that they’ll be quite a few more experienced players going into the free agency market. I’m most interested to see where veteran Danny Brier ends up next season. Even though it was a tough decision for the Flyer’s organization, I believe it was the right one. The Flyers have established who their core players are now and can focus on helping Simmons, Voracek, and Giroux improve.
The only deal I disagree with so far is the one involving Ben Scrivens of the Toronto Maple Leafs. I believe this was a cruel, unnecessary deal. I think Scrivens did a fantastic job backing up James Riemer last season. But I didn’t agree with the Dion Phaneuf deal or the Phil Kessel deal either. We'll have to wait and see if Jonothan Bernier can prove his worth.
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