The Anaheim Ducks are bringing back a familiar face to the 2018 season, signing unrestricted free agent defenseman Francois Beauchemin to a 1-year deal. The early reports suggest that the 37-year old will have a $1 million salary and he'll also be in line for another $500,000 in performance bonuses in his 35+ deal.
The veteran defenseman spent the last couple of seasons with the struggling Colorado Avalanche, unable to provide a calming presence on that young team and the last year of his 3-year deal was bought out this summer, sending him to free agency.
Last season, Beauchemin played in 81 games, scoring 5 goals and 18 points, which was good enough for 92nd among all defensemen in hockey pool scoring, having him just inside the pool worthiness conversation in last year's contest.
The Ducks last had the veteran back in the 2015 season, when he finished with 11 goals and 23 points, playing in 64 games that year, before he headed for unrestricted agency that year.
The gains are quite big for the Ducks, who were looking to go into the regular season with a pretty young blueline, especially with Hampus Lindholm and Sami Vatanen on the shelf to start the year. Beauchemin should be able to provide that good veteran presence on a very competitive team already, a team that has a good veteran presence, up front more than anything. Still, this is a pretty good move, which may take down the numbers of one of those young players, but the inclusion on a good Anaheim team suggests to me that he'll continue to be a pool worthy player.
The Ducks are in really good shape against the salary cap ceiling, still sitting with about $7.1 million in unused cap space with a very good projected roster. Now, that projected roster doesn't quite take into account the injuries to Lindholm and Vatanen, which likely means a couple of those young players are still to be added, while those two are on the IR, but they are still pretty comfortable in their situation.