Ramblings: Puljujarvi, Berube, Pickard, Jensen, two-way contracts (July 6)

by Dobber on July 5, 2016
  • Hockey Rambling
  • Ramblings: Puljujarvi, Berube, Pickard, Jensen, two-way contracts (July 6)

Rambling about two-way contracts; also Puljujarvi, Pickard, Jensen, Brennan, Pulkkinen, Vey, Boll and more…


I had great and unexpected support for my Monday pro-Oilers statement. Of course, there were plenty of haters as well, but by March they’ll pretend they never said anything. Don’t worry – I’ll be right here rubbing it in reminding you.

Just to be clear though – I believe the Oilers could have and should have done better with that trade, and I believe that the Habs got the lesser player in Shea Weber. My stance is simply that it’s not that bad. Weber is still a star and Larsson will surprise. I’m just trying to throw a bit of water on the flames of hatred and anger that hockey fans have when it comes to these deals.

Anyway, I’ve spent enough time on this. If my opinion isn’t clear after the two trade breakdowns and the last Ramblings, then I can’t help you. Perhaps medical help?


I have heard a couple of comments expressing concern about Jesse Puljujarvi’s knee surgery. If you want to let that impact where you draft him by knocking him down your list, you go ahead. I won’t be adjusting one iota. It was minor knee surgery and he’ll be fine. In fact, if I were to have a concern about any part of owning Puljujarvi in a one-year league, it’s the fact that he is one of those rare 18-year-olds who is eligible to play in the AHL. Often an NHL team will keep their junior-aged prospect because they would be too dominant in the CHL. But because they have an option for Puljujarvi that would challenge him but on a lesser scale, the risk of demotion is there. Injury – no worries about that.


J. Schultz has finally signed! Yep, a two-way contract…with Anaheim! Okay, so it’s ‘Jeff’ Schultz and not ‘Justin’. I just wanted to scare Schultz owners…


J-F Berube signed a one-way contract worth $676k contract with the Islanders, meaning they will again have three goaltenders on one-way deals. Last year they claimed Berube off of waivers and it was confusing as to why they stuck with this three-headed monster in net. But by May it was pretty clear to me that GM Garth Snow was concerned about Jaroslav Halak’s health and his ability to come back properly from this latest injury. And of course they’re going to sign Berube and chances are it would be near the minimum and a one-way deal. It’s a little concerning to me nonetheless and I can’t shake the feeling that something is wrong with Halak to the extent that the team isn’t 100 percent certain that he’ll be able to be relied upon for more than half the games. I think the Isles goaltending situation – from a fantasy standpoint – is going to be a messy, bothersome situation not unlike how it’s been with the Blues for the last five years.


Jacob Josefson signed a one-year deal with the Devils at $1.1 million. It’s hard to believe he’s already played 238 games and we’re still waiting for him to show us a sign. Any sign. That he can do something offensively. Something other than Jaromir Jagr saying how good he is. With Vernon Fiddler signed and Pavel Zacha pressing for a job, Josefson will need to do better than 14 points and minus-21. He’ll also need to cut it out with the chronic injuries. Three of his four goals last season were on the power play.


Calvin Pickard signed a two-year contract with the Avalanche and this time – finally – it’s a one-way deal. The number is modest at just a shade over $1 million (did I just call a million bucks “modest”? Ugh) per season. Here is another great dark horse goalie to grab as your fourth goalie. Because he’s behind a Band-Aid Boy and according to Dobber’s Theory of Band-Aid Starting Goalies, that’s a prime target for better-than-expected numbers in the season ahead.


I need to write a book that outlines all my theories. Best seller?


Yikes. Teemu Pulkkinen couldn’t have picked a worse time in his career for this to happen to him. He had shoulder surgery last month and is out until November or possibly December recovering from that. Pulkkinen is a bubble player with lots of upside and he’s trying to fall on the happy side of the fence that his career is on. To do that, he needs to get in the lineup and produce. To do that, he needs to be healthy. Miss out, and any potential prime spots could be gone. And then all that would be left is a depth role playing with Jimmy Stonehands and Bill Brickfeet, which of course would lead to questions as to why he’s not producing.


I was called to task Monday when I stressed how important cap room is and how valuable teams regard it, giving up great prospects and/or picks just to get a couple of million bucks freed up (i.e. Teravainen to the Hurricanes) – and then later I said that the Leafs “only” overpaid Matt Martin by about $500k. He was right though – even I underestimate cap room. You can’t be wasting $200k here, $500k there. You have to be smart. Martin is the best hitter in all of hockey (save your “home arena stats bias” stuff for another discussion).

Well you saw this at work again on Tuesday in the case of Jared Boll. Boll, who is a 30-year-old pugilist (and not even a good one), was set to make $1.7M this year and $1.7M next year. Columbus put him on waivers and no team claimed him. So they bought him out and now they have $567k on the cap for a savings up $1.133M per season. Basically they could have traded him to Anaheim for good ol’ “future considerations” and retained $550k of his salary (thereby saving $17,000) and Anaheim would pay $1.15M. Instead, Anaheim signed him for $900k after he was bought out and was a free agent. That’s a savings of $200k versus what they’d pay if they did that example trade with Columbus.


The Rangers came to terms with Nicklas Jensen. It’s a one-year, two-way contract. Jensen faded quickly after making an impact in 2013-14 when he clicked nicely (though briefly) with one Sedin while the other was hurt. However, after he was traded to the Rangers last season his game turned around in Hartford. He scored 15 goals in 41 games, some of the highlight reel variety. A long shot, but one worth paying attention to.

A couple of Jensen highlights starting at 2:15 here. The first is a sweet setup, followed immediately by a shootout goal:


Chicago signed Jordin Tootoo to a one-year contract. I wish it was a two-year deal. Then I could say they signed Tootoo to two.


I found this signing a little strange. Not for the club, but for the player. Ryan Dzingel signed a two-way deal. I think if he was going to do that, he could have waited a little longer. But the surprise here is his minor-league pay. Just $72,000 in the minors and $750,000 if he makes the team. Clearly he’s confident he’ll make it.

Take a deal like Jensen’s above, also a two-way deal. His NHL number is $600k while his AHL number is $200k. This contract encourages the team to keep him up – closer to the NHL minimum than Dzingel’s, and the team’s out-of-pocket savings aren’t as much if he goes to the AHL (save just $400k compared to Ottawa saving $675k by sending Dzingel down). Meanwhile, Dzingel is actually very close to a roster spot – you’d think he’d get the better contract. Yes, his NHL number is higher so like I said – that just exemplifies his confidence in himself.

Dzingel was recalled in early February and stuck with the big club until the end. He is profiled in the Fantasy Prospects Report.


Another example of a two-way deal that increases the player’s odds of making the team is TJ Brennan’s contract with the Flyers. The 27-year-old is from the area and is coming off his second defenseman-of-the-year award in the AHL. His contract pays him $600k in the NHL (nice and low) and $300k in the AHL (which is close to his NHL number). If those numbers got any closer, it would be a one-way deal!


Linden Vey has signed a one-year two-way deal with the Calgary Flames. It’s $700k in the NHL and $325k in the AHL, another contract that is built to increase his odds of sticking. At least as far as two-way contracts go. Vey was a promising prospects who, as you know, had his development derailed by some pretty drastic personal issues involving his parents (Google if you don’t know). At this point, even though he’s only 25 (in two weeks), I think his shot at becoming even an NHL regular is about done. If he overcomes this and succeeds I would have the utmost respect for him – it would be pretty huge.


Here are the players who filed for salary arbitration, meaning they can’t be given an offer sheet now:

Michael Stone, ARI

Mikhail Grigorenko, Tyson Barrie, COL

Danny DeKeyser, Jared Coreau, DET

Jordan Schroeder, MIN

Petter Granberg, Calle Jarnkrok, NSH

Kyle Palmieri, NJD

JT Miller, Dylan McIlrath, Chris Kreider, Kevin Hayes, NYR

Mike Hoffman, OTT

Brayden Schenn, Brandon Manning, PHI

Jaden Schwartz, STL

Alex Killorn, Vladislav Namestnikov, TBL

Martin Marincin, Peter Holland, Frank Corrado, TOR

Marcus Johansson, WSH