Lots of signings from late this afternoon. The Leafs have signed tough guy Andre Deveaux, who I believe was actually a UFA. Will he make the team? No. The Habs have re-signed Plekanec. Will he bounce back? I believe he will. A little bit. As in 50-60 points. I assume he will click with Cammalleri. The Oilers re-signed Denis Grebeshkov to a contract. Despite the depth on the point, I think he’ll still manage to reach 40 points. The Blues have re-signed Steve Wagner. It’s a two-way contract, so I don’t expect him to see much NHL time. The Rangers have signed Enver Lisin. His hopes for a decent season will lie in Nik Zherdev fleeing for the KHL.
The Kings have signed UFA prospect Juraj Mikus to a two-year entry level deal. He had 90 points in 56 games in Slovakia, playing with teammate Ziggy Palffy. It doubled his production from the year before. I’m going to assume that he will be in the AHL for much of this year, but will have every opportunity to prove himself.
Pittsburgh’s development camp kicks off today. We should get a lot of insight over the readiness of Caputi, Zabotel, Veillieux and Tangradi this week.
Columbus has signed Michael Blunden to a two-way contract. As such, I doubt we’ll see him full time in the NHL this year.
Dmitri Kalinin has signed a two-year contract to play in the KHL.
A devastating blow to John Curry. The Pens have signed Brent Johnson to a one-year contract. He is the perfect backup goalie and great in the dressing room, so it will be another year before we see Curry as a full-time backup now.
Mattias Tedenby had a monster development camp for New Jersey. He was mostly joined at the hip with recent draftee Jacob Josefsson (20th overall pick in ’09). The two had played together a lot in several tournaments overseas. We won’t see either of them this year as they are heading back to Sweden, but you may see Tedenby next season and Josefson the season after that. Tedenby is ranked 45th on my prospects list, but will get a bump from his play.
Jordan Staal is entering his fourth NHL season and while on many teams I could see him breaking out for as high as 70 points, I can’t see it on this one. The team is determined to keep him at center on the third line and unless one of the Big 2 gets hurt, he’ll see second-line PP time. He could go as high as 60 points under those conditions.
Nashville has signed UFA forward Ben Eaves. Patrick’s older brother, Ben was a top prospect for Pittsburgh in 2004-06, but after missing 05/06 with a knee injury, he dropped off the radar. To be honest, I thought I heard he retired. But anyway, He has been playing for parts of two years in Finland and actually broke the record for most points in an SM-Liiga playoffs with 24 points in 13 games. Still only 27, there is hope but it’s a long shot – bottom line is he is too fragile to sustain his production even if he does break into the NHL. The contract is two-way.
Petr Sykora’s agent has confirmed that he will not be back with the Penguins and that his decline in production to end last year was due t