Signings that are a little less exciting today are the contract extensions, as they don't mean that a player has changed teams on July 1st, just that they get new deals done before their current one runs out... next year! Although, in this case, the two players that got extensions, changed teams yesterday, so there's that, I guess.
Defenseman Kevin Bieksa got a new deal from the Anaheim Ducks before the free agency whistle went off for all teams, as he signed a 2-year, $8 million deal. He was acquired by the Ducks from the Canucks in a deal, which saw a pick go the other way.
Bieksa's cap hit actually goes down with the new deal, as his current one currently stands at $4.6 million, this deal takes it down to $4 million. Possibly a discount for wanting him on the payroll, perhaps?
The Chicago Blackhawks were currently really high on getting Artem Anisimov into the fold. So much so, the team offered him a 5-year, $22.75 million contract extension to stay with the club and work down the middle. Anisimov was acquired in the deal that sent Brandon Saad over to Columbus in what was likely the biggest news of the day on Tuesday.
I'm not sure how the Blackhawks can really justify throwing more money out the door, especially giving a guy a raise, who hasn't played a game for their team yet. I know you can be pretty high on a guy, but with the salary cap ceiling only going up 3.5% this year and some real uncertainty over next year, this extension is a bold move.
Mixed up in the frenzy was a contract extension, as the St. Louis Blues announced that they tacked on an additional three seasons to Jori Lehtera's commitment to the team, which carries a cap hit of $4.7 million per season. Lehtera will get a raise from his $2.75 million cap hit, which he earned last year and this year to come, thanks to a solid season with the Blues in 2015, where he picked up 44 points in 75 games.
He was a sneaky pick in last year's draft, a sleeper, if you will, helping to earn 2nd place money in the standings. Will he slip through again?