Saturday, July 12, 2014

Some Possible Sleeper Signings

Now, I may not be inclined to put him on the projected roster, as of yet, but Tampa Bay Lightning forward Brett Connolly may have his time to shine in the 2015 season, after signing a new 1-year deal on Thursday, worth $850,000. Last season, Connolly scored 1 goal in 11 games with the big club, playing the bulk of the season in the AHL with the Syracuse Crunch.  With Tampa Bay's cap crunch at the moment, the relatively inexpensive signing could make for an opportunity for Tampa's 6th overall pick in 2010.  I would imagine Connolly getting a long look at training camp, possibly trying to find a match with a Jonathan Drouin, Nikita Kucherov or Alex Killorn.

On Friday, another kid in need of an opportunity got a new deal, as the Anaheim Ducks signed recently acquired forward Louis Leblanc to a new 1-year deal. Leblanc signed for the league minimum of $550,000, but the former 18th overall pick in 2009 for the Canadiens will likely get a good look at camp as well and should be in line to fit in, given a good showing.  Leblanc hasn't had many good showing in the NHL in Montreal, so they had given up on him, but the signing is a sign of good faith that he will get one more shot at an NHL career or else it's back to the AHL for him.

Another discarded former 1st round draft pick, Jordan Schroeder signed with the Minnesota Wild on Friday, giving him a new 2-year deal, but no cap numbers were disclosed right away.  Schroeder was a 22nd overall pick of the Vancouver Canucks, but was not qualified as a restricted free agent this Summer, giving him the opportunity for unrestricted free agency right away.  In 2014, Schroeder appeared in 25 games for the Canucks, scoring 3 goals and 6 points and he may get a good shot as a 3rd liner with the Wild.  The kid does have some talent, despite his small stature, so he may be worth an extra look or two in training camp.

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