Southeast Division Notebook: Week of July 4-11
One week after the annual free agency period, several NHL teams are already beginning to take on new looks. Here’s a look back at the past week and all the rumblings around the Southeast Division.
Tampa Bay Lightning...
Crombeen, 6-foot-2, 210 pounds, has played in 288 career NHL games with the Blues and Dallas Stars, registering 27 goals and 56 points with 580 penalty minutes. He has logged more than 148 penalty minutes in three of the previous four seasons and led the Blues in penalty minutes with 154 during the 2010-11 campaign while tying for sixth in the NHL with 17 fighting majors.
The Lightning also offered wing Teddy Purcell a three-year contract extension, set to keep him in a Bolts uniform through the 2015-16 season.
Purcell is coming off a career year in which he finished the regular campaign with a personal NHL-high 24 goals, 41 assists and 65 points that eclipsed his previous career-high totals in each of those categories set during the 2010-11 season. He also finished first on the team this past season in plus/minus with a plus-9 rating.
Dana Tyrell, meanwhile, appeared at the team’s development camp and said that his surgically repaired right knee is “real close” to 100 percent, and that he should be “ready to go” by training camp.
Rounding out the week’s activities, the team inked goaltender Anders Lindback to a two-year deal, added defensive depth by signing free agent blueliner Matt Taormina and also signed Matt Carle to a six-year deal.
Carle, 6-foot, 205 pounds, has played in 471 career NHL games with San Jose, Tampa Bay and the Philadelphia Flyers. He has amassed 32 goals, 202 points and 17 power-play goals with a plus-55 rating. He returns to the Lightning after being traded by San Jose to Tampa Bay as part of the Dan Boyle deal on July 4, 2008.
Carolina Hurricanes... In a few moves coming from the hockey operations department, Carolina agreed to terms with several players, including Brett Sutter, Joe Corvo, Justin Peters and Jordan Staal.
Sutter, 25, completed his fifth professional season in 2011-12, spending the majority of the year with the Hurricanes’ top minor-league affiliate, the Charlotte Checkers. The Viking, Alberta native notched three assists in 15 NHL games with the Hurricanes, and averaged 7:34 in ice time per game. On the AHL level, he totaled 13 goals, 16 assists, 29 points and 58 penalty minutes in 63 games, and served as team captain for the Checkers.
Corvo, 35, completed his ninth NHL season in 2011-12, skating in 75 regular-season games with the Boston Bruins. The Oak Park, Illinois native notched four goals, earned 21 assists, 25 points and posted a plus-10 plus/minus rating, while averaging 18:48 of ice time per game. He ranked second among Bruins defensemen in power play points with nine (1g, 8a). Corvo skated in five playoff games and recorded a team-best plus-3 plus/minus rating as the Bruins fell to the Washington Capitals in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.
Peters, 25, split the 2011-12 season between Carolina and the Hurricanes’ AHL affiliate, the Charlotte Checkers. The Blyth, Ontario native went 2-3-2 with a 2.48 goals-against average and .931 save percentage for the Hurricanes in 2011-12. He appeared in 28 games for the Checkers, going 10-13-2 with a 2.77 goals-against average. Peters was named the Reebok/AHL Goaltender of the Month for November, after posting a 5-1-1 record with a 1.63 goals-against average and .949 save percentage in seven appearances.
Staal, 23, completed his sixth NHL season in 2011-12, posting career highs in assists (25) and points (50), and a career second-best 25 goals, despite playing in just 62 of Pittsburgh’s 82 regular-season games. The Thunder Bay, Ontario native added six goals and three assists (9 points) to lead the Penguins in scoring in their six-game, first-round playoff series against Philadelphia.
Florida Panthers... Panthers Executive Vice President and General Manager Dale Tallon announced today that the team agreed to entry-level contracts with prospects Michael Houser and Josh McFadden.
Houser, 19, won the Red Tilson Trophy as the most outstanding player in the Ontario Hockey League recording a 46-15-1 mark, while playing for London last season. He also was the first American-born player and first player from London to be named the Canadian Hockey League's top goaltender. The Wexford, Pennsylvania native posted a 2.47 goals-against average, had six shutouts, with a .925 save percentage.
McFadden, 21, has spent the last three years playing for the Sudbury Wolves (OHL). Last season, he led team blueliners with 41 points, including 15 goals in 47 games played. During the 2010-2011 campaign, the Guelph, Ontario native recorded a career best 19 goals with 53 assists, while pacing the Wolves with 72 points.
Tallon also agreed to terms with center Andre Deveaux on a one-year, two-way contract.
Deveaux, 28, has played in 31 National Hockey League games for Toronto (2008-2010) and NY Rangers (2011-2012) registering two assists and 104 penalty minutes. The 6-foot-4, 232-pound forward played in nine games for the Rangers last season picking up an assist, while also appearing in 59 contests for Connecticut (AHL) scoring 20 goals with 20 assists.
Lastly, the Panthers last week re-signed defenseman Keaton Ellerby to a one-year extension.
Ellerby, 23, has played in 116 National Hockey League games for Florida registering 17 points and 34 penalty minutes. The 6-foot-4, 217-pound defenseman played in 40 games with the Panthers during the 2011-12 regular season, recording five assists and 10 penalty minutes. Ellerby also made his NHL playoff debut in Game 4 against the New Jersey Devils.
Washington Capitals... Today, the Capitals announced that they have re-signed center Zach Hamill to a one-year contract.
Hamill, 23, recorded 21 points in 41 games last season with the Providence Bruins of the American Hockey League (AHL). The 5’11”, 180-pound center tallied two assists in 16 games with the Boston Bruins in 2011-12. In 20 career NHL games, Hamill has collected four assists and has registered 139 points in 256 career AHL games.
The team also entered into affiliation with the Reading Royals of the ECHL this past Monday, a team that finished the 2011-12 campaign with a record of 36-28-4-4 under head coach and director of hockey operations Larry Courville.
General manager George McPhee signed forward Ryan Stoa to a one-year contract after the center collected 36 points and 65 penalty minutes in 75 games with Lake Erie of the American Hockey League (AHL) last season and also re-signed both Jay Beagle and Mathieu Perrault.
Beagle, 26, set career highs in goals (4), points (5), games played (41) and penalty minutes (23) last season. He finished the season ranked second on Washington in face-off percentage (57.7%) and recorded 66 hits and 23 blocked shots during the regular season. Beagle tallied his first career playoff goal and assist and finished sixth among forwards in average ice time per game (18:25) during the postseason.
Perreault, meanwhile, set career highs in goals (16), assists (14), points (30), games played (64) and plus/minus (+9) in 2011-12. He finished first on Washington in shooting percentage (26.7%) and tied for fourth on the team with four game-winning goals. His 30 points ranked 10th on the team while he finished tied for fifth in goals and tied for fourth in plus/minus.
Winnipeg Jets... After somewhat of a slow start to the summer, the Jets got things rolling this past week with a number of transactions.
This past weekend, the club agreed to terms with forward Alex Ponikarovsky, who split time last year between New Jersey Devils and Carolina Hurricanes. He played in 33 games with the Devils where he scored 18 points to go along with eight penalty minutes. The native of Kiev, Ukraine also appeared in 24 post-season games for the Devils as they advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals where he scored nine points and collected 12 penalty minutes. Prior to joining the Devils, he played in 49 games with the Carolina Hurricanes where he scored 15 points and collected 26 penalty minutes.
The team also announced it had come to terms with long-time Lightning foe Olli Jokinen.
Jokinen, 33, played in all 82 games last season with the Calgary Flames where he finished second on the team in scoring with 23 goals, 38 assists and 61 points and collected 54 penalty minutes. His 38 assists were tops on the Flames as were his nine power-play goals.
Winnipeg didn’t wait long either after agreeing to terms with Ondrej Pavelec before signing another to assist in the goaltending department this season.
The Jets agreed to terms with former Islanders goaltender Al Montoya, who played in 31 games with New York during the 2011-12 season. In that time, the Chicago, Illinois native earned a 9-11-5 record, 3.11 goals against average and 0.893 save percentage. He has played in 57 career NHL games, between the Islanders and Coyotes, for a 21-17-10 career record, 2.76 goals against average and .906 save percentage.
Lastly, the club agreed to terms with both Ben Maxwell and Mark Dekanich. Maxwell, 24, played nine games with the Winnipeg Jets last season, recording five points. He spent the majority of the season with the St. John’s IceCaps of the American Hockey League where he recorded 25 points and 35 penalty minutes in 43 games played. He also appeared in 15 Calder Cup Playoff games with the club for seven points.
Dekanich, 26, played five games with the Springfield Falcons last season where he recorded a 1-2-1 record, 4.00 goals against average and .867 save percentage. He has played in one NHL game with the Nashville Predators on December 18, 2010 in a relief effort where he made 22 saves.
*Information from the official web sites of the Carolina Hurricanes, Florida Panthers, Washington Capitals and Winnipeg Jets was used in this report.
*Some information used in this report such as statistics and prospect news was taken from the official web sites of the Carolina Hurricanes, Florida Panthers, Washington Capitals and Winnipeg Jets.