The Montreal Canadiens took one of the biggest gambles as free agency opened Friday, signing Alexander Radulov to a one-year $5.75-million deal, and though the Russian forward's character has been questioned in the past, he insists he's matured since his last NHL stint in 2012.
Meanwhile, his new general manager Marc Bergevin also supported the notion that Radulov's past is behind him, and he's a new man coming to Montreal.
"When Radulov was playing in Nashville, the problem wasn't related to character. It was about maturity," Bergevin said.
Radulov infamously left the NHL after being suspended by the Predators in 2012 for missing a team curfew during the playoffs.
Since then, the 29-year-old has finished among the top-two in KHL scoring in three of the past four seasons, and Bergevin believes he may make one of the biggest impacts of any free agent signed Friday:
GLENDALE, Ariz. - The Arizona Coyotes have re-signed defenceman Kevin Connauton to a two-year contract and signed former Los Angeles Kings defenceman Jamie McBain to a one-year deal.
Arizona also signed defenceman Jarred Tinordi, forward Garr...
The 28-year-old agitator had 11 goals and five assists in 73 games for the Philadelphia Flyers last season. His 16 points were a career high, a result of his logging regular duty for the first time in the NHL.
In a matter of days, the Tampa Bay Lightning managed to lock up captain Steven Stamkos and defenseman Victor Hedman to eight-year extensions that were well below market value, and general manager Steve Yzerman credits his stars' desire to win as the reason the deals got done.
"With Stamkos and Hedman (signing), these are our cornerstones," Yzerman said Friday. "Very important parts of our franchise and good guys to represent us."
"They both want to win and they both wanted to stay here," he continued. "They've had some success and they want to continue that."
Some rumors saw a potential Stamkos contract pegged at upwards of $12 million per year, but the 26-year-old opted to remain in Tampa on a deal averaging $8.5 million.
Meanwhile, some believe Hedman would have commanded more if he hit free agency next offseason, but the blue-liner will also stay to contend for a Cup, on a deal worth $7.85 million per season, starting in 2017.
With backup goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy receiving a three-year extension of his own Friday, the next step is signing restricted free agent Nikita Kucherov, and Yzerman said he's confident an agreement with the 30-goal scorer will be reached "at some point."
NEW YORK, N.Y. - The New York Rangers have signed free agent forwards Michael Grabner and Nathan Gerbe.
General manager Jeff Gorton announced the signings Friday as the Rangers used the opening day of free agency to improve their team speed a...
The 27-year-old winger scored a career-high 10 goals for the New York Islanders last season, albeit on an inflated 11.6 shooting percentage. He also added nine assists, tying a previous single-season high.
Martin, however, is not known for his scoring. He led the NHL in hits with 365 (4.6 per game) in 2015-16, and has been at the top of this category in each of the past five seasons.
The 24-year-old got his first taste of the NHL this season, suiting up in 23 games with the Canadiens.
Carr proved he could have value with the team going forward, posting six goals and nine points while being nearly a point-per-game player in the American Hockey League with 10 goals and 21 points in 24 games.
WINNIPEG - The Winnipeg Jets signed free-agent forward Shawn Matthias to a two-year contract on Friday.
The deal carries an annual cap hit of US$2.125 million.
The Jets also inked forward Quinton Howden to a one-year, two-way contract that...