Pittsburgh Penguins re-sign F Jared McCann with 2-year deal McCann, 24, tied a career high with 35 points during the 2020-21 season, collecting 14 goals and 21 assists in 66 games. He added one assist in Pittsburgh's four-game loss to Montreal in the qualifying round of the Stanley Cup playoffs and was a healthy scratch for Game 3.
Toronto Maple Leafs sign Joe Thornton, 41, for 23rd season
Since entering the league in 1997-98, after being drafted first overall by Boston in 1997, he amassed 1,509 points in 1,636 games with the Sharks and Bruins -- most among active players. He's 14th in career points and seventh in career assists (1,089). He won the NHL scoring title in 2005-06 along with MVP honors.
Offseason grades for all 31 NHL teams: Best signings, cap space, remaining roster holes
After one of the most challenging postseason in NHL history, teams and players had to navigate an equally challenging start to the offseason. The salary cap remained flat at $81.5 million, per the new collective bargaining agreement, which forced teams to scuttle plans and trade high-priced talent to open up space. The economic impact of the COVID-19 shutdown created budget crunches that limited options for free agents and the teams seeking to sign them. Then there was the shadow of the Seattle Kraken, as the expansion draft loomed large in offseason decisions. Some teams handled all of this well. Other teams, not so much through the first few weeks of the offseason.
Columbus Blue Jackets sign Vladislav Gavrikov to 3-year, $8.4M contract
The Blue Jackets have signed defenseman Vladislav Gavikov to a three-year, $8.4 million contract, the team said Thursday. The deal locks up the 24-year-old Russian, who was among the NHL's top rookie defensemen in goals, assists and points last season. Gavrikov, who was a restricted free agent, is seen as important element in the team's defensive rotation for the future, skating behind star blueliners Seth Jones and Zach Werenski. Before making his NHL debut in the 2019 playoffs for Columbus, Gavrikov played in Europe's Kontinental Hockey League, where he logged 16 goals and 33 assists in 222 games.The 6-foot-3, 213-pounder was selected by the Blue Jackets in the sixth round of the 2015 draft.
New York Islanders, D-man Ryan Pulock reach 2-year deal
The New York Islanders and restricted free agent Ryan Pulock reached agreement on a two-year contract ahead of Friday's arbitration hearing. According to multiple reports, the deal is for $10 million. The 26-year-old defenseman had 10 goals and 35 points last season, skating on the top blue-line pairing on an Islanders team that stresses defense under coach Barry Trotz. Pulock is coming off a two-year, $4 million deal and has had 35 or more points the past three seasons. Pulock was taken in the first round, 15th overall by the Islanders in the 2013 draft.
NHLPA 'blindsided' by owners' request to change terms on new CBA
The NHL and NHL Players' Association are still hoping to begin the 2020-21 season on Jan. 1, but talks between the two sides hit a significant snag this week as players felt "blindsided" when owners asked to change the terms of their new collective bargaining agreement, just four months after it was agreed upon, according to a player rep. Said the rep: "This is a headache we weren't expecting." NHL owners expect to take significant financial hits in the 2020-21 season due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on revenues, specifically arena attendance. The owners informed the players that they're looking for additional cash flow and brought two ideas forward. In the new CBA, which was agreed to in July along with a "return to play" plan that allowed the 2019-20 season to finish, the players opted to defer 10% of their 2020-21 salary to be paid in three installments from 2022 to '25. Escrow was capped at 20% for the season as well.