Free Agent Frenzy Live Blog - Day 1

Wednesday, July 1, 2015
NHL and AHL rosters alike will look very different by the end of the day.
  • The Philadelphia Flyers have signed goaltender Michael Neuvirth to a 2-year deal worth $3.25 million - an average annual value of $1.62 million per season. This move leaves the Flyers with three goaltenders in the organization signed through next season (Steve Mason, Michael Neuvirth and Anthony Stolarz). They'll likely be looking to add an AHL starter to battle with Stolarz for starting time in Lehigh Valley in the fall.
  • The Flyers also made depth signings to bolster the Lehigh Valley Phantoms roster, signing forwards Tim Brent (1-year) and Chris Conner (two-years) and defenseman Davis Drewiske (1-year) to two-way NHL contracts.
  • The Pittsburgh Penguins were unable to sign any of their pending UFA's last second, and it didn't take long for some of them to find new homes:
    • Thomas Greiss: Two-year deal worth a total of $3 million with New York Islanders
    • Taylor Chorney: One-year (one-way) deal worth $700,000 with Washington Capitals
    • Paul Martin: Four-year deal worth $19.4 million with San Jose Sharks
    • Blake Comeau: Three-year deal worth $7.2 million with Colorado Avalanche
    • Jayson Megna: One-year deal with New York Rangers 
  • The trade that stole the show on the first day of free agency: The Phil Kessel trade. The Penguins and Maple Leafs made a massive trade to make it work for both sides:
    • Penguins Acquire
      • (RW) Phil Kessel
      • (D) Tim Erixon
      • (LW) Tyler Biggs
      • 2016-2nd round pick (PIT's own)
    • Maple Leafs Acquire
      • (F) Kasperi Kapanen
      • (D) Scott Harrington
      • (F) Nick Spaling
      • Conditional 1st round pick
      • 2016-3rd round pick 
  • The Penguins were also active in adding depth players to build competition for NHL jobs as well as stock the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins roster with depth:
    • Pittsburgh made official the signing of forward Sergei Plotnikov to a one-year, two-way entry level contract ($925,000/$70,000).
    • The Penguins re-signed forward Conor Sheary, adding him to a two-year entry level contract - his first NHL deal after playing last season on an AHL-only contract in 2014-15.
    • The Pens also added some defensemen in free agency, signing David Warsofsky (1-year, $600,000) and Steve Oleksy (1-year, $575,000/$250,000) to short term deals to restore some depth on the blue line at the AHL level following the departure of Scott Harrington in the Phil Kessel trade.
    • Pittsburgh also bolstered the forward depth with veterans Kevin Porter (1-year, $575,000/$250,000) and Kael Mouillerat (1-year, $575,000).
  • After talking with Jameson Olive, formerly of Fox Sports Florida, I've discovered a low-risk AHL depth signing at the goaltender position the Penguins should be considering this summer. Take a look at Michael Houser, who played well down the stretch for the San Antonio Rampage last season and is hitting unrestricted free agency for the first time in his pro career today.
The NHL's Free Agency Period begins at noon E.T.

This live blog will be the place to be for the latest news coming out of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers organizations as well as highlight free agent signings that affect the depth and balance of AHL teams around the league.

I wrote up some overviews of both Pittsburgh and Philadelphia in recent days and have linked them below.

I will continue to post links to updates here throughout the day, so stay tuned both here and on Twitter:
@H_P_Hockey for Penguins-related news 
@TonyAndrock_TCG for news on the Flyers organization

Penguins Qualifying Offers, Sheary's Situation & Weekly Update

Flyers Qualifying Offers, AHL Phantoms Roster Update


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