The first of the fringe signings of the day was Dallas' Patrick Eaves, re-signing with the club, taking a 1-year, $1.15 million deal, opting against testing the free market. Eaves had 27 points in 47 games, giving him a pretty good scoring rate through the season, but a concussion and a broken ankle limited his playing time substantially and may have boosted his numbers a little bit. I would think that if he is playing 82 games next season, he'll see his scoring rate drop a little bit, playing the averages.
I would also be a bit weary, given the concussion status of Eaves, he will earn a discount to his projections, come draft time.
Maybe due more to my projections for him next season, then anything else, pool worthy defenseman Yannick Weber re-signs with the Vancouver Canucks, signing a 1-year, $1.5 million deal at the start of the free agent frenzy, coming back to the team that employed him on the power play, near the end of the year. Weber finished last season with 21 points in 65 games, having been a healthy scratch for a number of games as well.
The New York Islanders have their backup goalie now in tow, as they have decided upon Thomas Greiss to back up Jaroslav Halak for the 2015 season. Greiss won 9 games with the Penguins last season, but averaged just under a point for every 60 minutes in the net, suggesting that his scoring rate as the back-up, isn't nearly as great as it could be.
Behind a big minute guy like Halak, Greiss might be, at best, a fringe goalie, late in the draft.
More back-up goalie mayhem came after, as the Philadelphia Flyers signed Michal Neuvirth to a 2-year deal, with a cap hit of $1.625 million per season, a solid back-up deal, for sure. Neuvirth split time last season between Buffalo and Long Island, winning only 7 games and a point production of 0.45 points per 60 minutes played, mostly in Buffalo, which was looking to tank for the most part. His numbers could improve with a big push behind Steve Mason.
The Colorado Avalanche are already tinkering with a 23-man roster, by my count, as they added forward Blake Comeau with a new 3-year deal, worth $7.2 million in total. Comeau spent last season with the Pittsburgh Penguins and picked up 31 points in 61 games, registering another good scoring rate on a pretty talented team. Comeau will move to a young team, where there is plenty of talent, but where he slots in will dictate where his projections end up. My early thoughts are some losses in his projection, but that could change with a good camp.
The Nashville Predators added to their stable of defensemen with the signing of veteran blueliner Barret Jackman, signing him to a 2-year, $4 million deal on Wednesday. Jackman was not re-signed by the Blues, the team he has spent his entire career with until now. Last season with St. Louis, Jackman picked up 15 points in 80 games, ranking 113th among all blueliners. His presence should be welcomed among the young players on the back end, so he'll likely be relied upon for his leadership.
The Arizona Coyotes didn't lose out on defenseman Zbynek Michalek, even though he went to unrestricted free agency for a little while today. The Coyotes signed the veteran defender to a 2-year, $6.4 million deal, which gets him to return for another year in the desert. Last season, Michalek picked up 4 goals and 12 points in the year and should register enough minutes to be close to consideration for the hockey pool next season, depending on how deep the draft actually goes.
Going into the back-up role in Los Angeles, immediately turns Jhonas Enroth into a fringe player from a worthy player, because it isn't like he is expected to get a ton of minutes behind Jonathan Quick. Enroth signed a 1-year, $1.25 million deal with the Kings on Wednesday, bumping himself up into the back-up job for the coming year. Enroth won 18 games with 2 shutouts for 40 points, between Buffalo and Dallas, so he should provide adequate support for Quick in the Kings net.