The Coyotes announced on Wednesday night that they have re-signed forward Scottie Upshall to a new 1-year deal worth $2.25 million. Upshall was scheduled to become a restricted free agent on July 1st after finishng another 1-year deal, which had a cap hit of $1.5 million. This new deal for Upshall will lead him into unrestricted free agency in 2011, for he'll be over the ripe age of 27 when July 1st rolls around next year.
Upshall had a pretty tough year, suffering a serious right knee injury in January, which cut his season short, playing in only 49 games in 2010. In those games, he did score 18 goals and add 14 assists, which gave him a pretty decent scoring rate of 0.65 points per game, which put him in the top 200 in the league, but his points ranked him at 263rd overall, 187th among forwards. If Upshall can remain healthy, he could eclipse the 50-point barrier, but his health is a concern, not having played a full 82-game season in the NHL yet.
The Coyotes also announced that they re-signed tough guy Ryan Hollweg to a 1-year deal as well. Hollweg spent the entire 2010 season in the minors and will be kept in the organization as insurance. Robert Lang and Mathieu Schneider, two veteran players signed on last year by the club, will both be going to unrestricted free agency, as they will not be offered new deals for the 2011 season. It would not be surprising if either (or both) announced their retirement this year.
As for the salary cap implications, Upshall's new deal is a nice chunk of change to help the team reach the cap floor at the moment. The Coyotes have 13 players expected on the 2011 roster signed on at an approximate cost of $31.4 million. Now, the cap number does not include some of the young players that have new deals or existing deals, because they haven't really made the team yet and won't count right away. Kyle Turris, Viktor Tikhonov and Oliver Ekman-Larsson all spring to mind in that category. If there is an announcement saying that they have got a roster spot, then they will be on the table.