Stars Stand Out On Free Agency Day 1; Canadiens Take A Gamble
Stars GM Jim Nill "went out and had himself a great day" on the first day of free agency, getting a haul headlined by the signing of C Joe Pavelski to a three-year, $21M deal, according to Ryan Kennedy of THE HOCKEY NEWS. The Stars with Pavelski "get a fantastic performer who can do it all on the ice and be a great voice in the dressing room" (THEHOCKEYNEWS.com, 7/1). USA TODAY's Kevin Allen notes Nill, realizing the Stars' Stanley Cup window is open, dove "aggressively into the marketplace" and signed Pavelski, RW Corey Perry and D Andrej Sekera. Nill was "one of the winners" yesterday (USA TODAY, 7/2).
PUT UP OR SHUT UP: In Montreal, Stu Cowan noted Canadiens Exec VP & GM Marc Bergevin "made a bold offer sheet" to the Hurricanes C Sebastian Aho, who is a restricted free agent. The Canadiens’ offer is a five-year deal worth a total of $42.25M with an $11.3M signing bonus in Year 1. The Hurricanes now have seven days to match the offer. The Canadiens and Bergevin are "hoping the Hurricanes -- a budget-conscious team -- won’t be able to match the huge signing bonuses" (MONTREALGAZETTE.com, 7/1). The CP's Joshua Clipperton noted the last NHL offer sheet to be accepted was in '07 (CP, 7/1). Hurricanes Owner Tom Dundon today said that the team "will match the Aho offer," and an announcement "should come soon" (TWITTER.com, 7/2).
ALL IN: In Columbus, Brian Hedger notes the Blue Jackets went "all in" last season. They "knew the risks and accepted every one of them," knowing that LW Artemi Panarin, G Sergei Bobrovsky and C Matt Duchene "could exit" as unrestricted free agents, which is exactly what happened. Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen said the team "accepted the risk at the deadline." Kekalainen: "We said all along that even if they're all rentals, we're fine. And that's why we took the run at it" (COLUMBUS DISPATCH, 7/2).