Vegas Golden Knights
The Vegas Golden Knights have reached a new, one-year deal with defenseman Deryk Engelland. The one year contract is worth $700,000 and includes incentives that could boost his earnings to upwards of $1.5-million. Engelland had two goals and ten assists in 74 games last season for the Golden Knights.
Another arbitration hearing has been avoided as the Nashville Predators reached a new deal with forward Colton Sissons. Sissons agreed to a seven-year deal worth $20-million. The contract is worth $2.85-million annually. Last season Sissons hit a career-high of 15 goals and had 30 points. He was scheduled for an arbitration hearing on July 26.
Restricted free agent Zach Aston-Reese has signed a new deal with the Pittsburgh Penguins. The new contract means the two sides have avoided an arbitration hearing. The deal is worth $2-million over the next two seasons. Aston-Reese had 17 points last season but was limited to only 43 games due to a broken hand.
The Winnipeg Jets have come to terms on a new deal with defenseman Neal Pionk. The Jets acquired Pionk near the trade deadline last season in the deal that sent Jacob Trouba to the New York Rangers. The 23-year-old signed a two-year, $6-million deal. In 73 games last season Pionk had six goals, 20 assists, 138 hits, and 98 blocked shots.
St. Louis Blues
The St. Louis Blues and restricted free agent forward Oskar Sundqvist have avoided arbitration as well and agreed to a new four-year deal worth $11-million. Sundqvist had the best season of his career with the Blues last season, scoring 14 goals and 17 assists. He also had nine points in the team’s Stanley Cup-winning playoff run.
Restricted free agent Brock McGinn has signed a new deal with the Carolina Hurricanes. The new deal is reported to be worth $4.2-million over the next two seasons. The forward had 26 points in 82 regular-season games and six points in 15 playoff games last season.
Sam Bennett received a raise and avoided arbitration with his new deal with the Calgary Flames. The two-year contract will see Bennett earn $2.55-million per season. He was previously making $1.95-million per season. Last year, Bennett put up 13 goals and 27 points in 71 regular-season games and added five more points in five playoff games before the Flames were eliminated in the first round.
Toronto Maple Leafs
The Toronto Maple Leafs have signed goaltender Michal Neuvirth to a professional tryout offer. The Leafs are looking to fill a gap left when they traded away back up goalie Garrett Sparks. The Leafs also have goalie Michael Hutchinson signed to a one-year, $700,000 deal. Neuvirth played only seven games last season with the Philadelphia Flyers, missing much of the season due to injuries.
Forward David Clarkson is once again a Toronto Maple Leaf. The Vegas Golden Knights and the Leafs reached a deal that sent David Clarkson and a fourth-round 2020 draft pick to Toronto in exchange for goaltender Garrett Sparks. Due to a career-ending back injury, Clarkson has not played since 2016. Because of that, he can be placed on long-term injured reserve and the final year of his contract, worth $5.25-million, will not be held against Toronto’s salary cap.
The Stanley Cup champions, the St. Louis Blues, have signed 13-season NHL veteran Marc Savard as an assistant coach. Due to severe concussion issues, Savard has not played an NHL game since 2011 and officially announced his retirement last year. He finished his career with 706 points in 807 games and was even a teammate of current Blues head coach Craig Berube while they both played for the Boston Bruins.
The Calgary Flames, in association with Calgary Sports and Entertainment and Calgary Exhibition and Stampede Limited, have announced that they have agreed to fundamental terms on the construction of a new stadium. Currently, the Flames play out of the Saddledome. They have played there since 1983 and it is the third-oldest arena in the NHL. The estimated cost of the new arena is $550-million and will house the Flames, the WHL’s Calgary Hitmen, as well as the NLL’s (National Lacrosse League) Calgary Roughnecks. Construction begins in 2021 and will last roughly three years.
NHL Future Odds
Oddsmakers have released who will have the best odds to win their division next season. It’s no surprise that the Tampa Bay Lightning are the favorites to win the Atlantic division crown but what about the other three? The Washington Capitals are favored to take the other Eastern conference division title: the Metropolitan. In the Western Conference, the Vegas Golden Knights are projected to take the Pacific division and the Colorado Avalanche are listed as the favorites for the Central division. The worst odds in each division are as follows: Ottawa Senators (Atlantic), Columbus Blue Jackets (Metropolitan), the Los Angeles Kings (Pacific), and the Minnesota Wild (Central).
Odds have also been released on the over/under of each NHL teams’ point total for next season. The Tampa Bay Lightning and the Vegas Golden Knights sit at the top with over/under of 108.5 and 103.5 respectively. Only three other teams are expected to crack 100-points next season: the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Boston Bruins, and the Colorado Avalanche. The Ottawa Senators sit at the bottom with an over/under of 68.5.