Thursday, June 20, 2013

Who's signed for next year 6/20

The Adirondack Phantoms news of this Thursday afternoon is that center Rob Bordson gave up a shot at being an unrestricted free agent to re-sign an American Hockey League contract with the club. This is a good move for the Phantoms, who lock down the player that was their best defensive center and penalty killer last year and also established new AHL career highs with 12 goals and 25 points. I have a call in to Bordson, who was spending the afternoon golfing, and hope to hear back from him soon.

Now that the Calder Cup finals are over -- congratulations to Albany Academy's Brian Lashoff and the Grand Rapids Griffins, who beat Syracuse in six games -- and the Stanley Cup Finals are winding down, it seems like a good time to hit the reset button and take a look at where this season's Phantoms stand for the coming campaign, at least as far as their contracts are concerned. Below, I've basically listed all of the Phantoms players alphabetically and included some annotations for each of them.

I didn't bother including players like Brayden Schenn, Sean Couturier or Zac Rinaldo, who did not see any time with the Phantoms once the lockout ended. They have seen the last of these parts. I also did not include Scott Laughton, who is not eligible to play in the AHL until his junior season ends.
Player Name 2012-13 Contract Type 2013-14 Contract Status
Jason Akeson (RW) NHL SIGNED
Brandon Alderson (W) ATO SIGNED - NHL
Rob Bordson (LW/C) AHL SIGNED - AHL
Brian Boucher (G) NHL UFA
Marc-Andre Bourdon (D) NHL SIGNED
Tyler Brown (LW) NHL SIGNED
Nick Cousins (C) NHL SIGNED
Jeff Dimmen (D) AHL UFA
Cullen Eddy (D) NHL SIGNED
Zack FitzGerald (LW/D) AHL UFA
Kyle Flanagan (C) ATO SIGNED - NHL
Erik Gustafsson (D) NHL RFA
Shane Harper (RW) NHL TRADED - NYI
Cal Heeter (G) NHL SIGNED
Ben Holmstrom (RW) NHL SIGNED
Tyler Hostetter (D) NHL SIGNED
Andrew Johnston (F) NHL SIGNED
Blake Kessel (D) NHL RFA
Matt Konan (D) NHL SIGNED
David Laliberte (LW) AHL UFA
Oliver Lauridsen (D) NHL RFA
Andreas Lilja (D) NHL SIGNED - SWEDEN
Brandon Manning (D) NHL RFA
Matt Mangene (F) NHL SIGNED
Derek Mathers (RW) NHL SIGNED
Scott Munroe (G) AHL SIGNED - SWEDEN
Marcel Noebels (LW/C) NHL SIGNED
Garrett Roe (C) AHL UFA
Ian Slater (LW/C) AHL UFA
Danny Syvret (D) NHL SIGNED
Mitch Wahl (C) NHL RFA
Eric Wellwood (F) NHL RFA

UFA means the player is an unrestricted free agent, and thus free to sign with any team in any league. RFA means the player is a restricted free agent, so the Flyers would have to extend them a qualifying offer to retain their rights. If the Flyers don't give them a qualifying offer, they would become a UFA. Those players who are listed with blue annotations have signed or been traded elsewhere.

Most of the players listed as "signed" have no change in their contract status from this past season. If they were on an NHL deal, they remain on an NHL deal. The exceptions are guys like Mark Alt, Brandon Alderson and Kyle Flanagan, who spent the end of 2012-13 with the Phantoms on amateur try-out deals after their collegiate and junior seasons ended. Their NHL contracts will kick in this fall.

The following junior, college or European players have also been signed to contracts for the coming season: D Maxim Lamarche, F Michael Raffl, F Peter Straka and G Carsen Chubak (AHL). Be sure to keep an eye out on this blog, because I'm compiling a list of the best available AHL free agents. That'll probably run a little bit closer to the July 5 start of the NHL's free agency period.

Until next time,

Monday, June 17, 2013

Report: Munroe heading to Sweden 6/17

When the Adirondack Phantoms signed rookie goaltender Carsen Chubak to a contract last month, it appeared to signal the end of Scott Munroe’s tenure with the Phantoms.

The goaltender formally parted ways with the team on Monday, according to a Swedish report.

Munroe signed a contract to play for the Swedish Elite League’s Vaxjo Lakers, according to an article published in the Aftonbladet newspaper. The contract’s terms were not available Monday, but Aftonbladet reported he appears to be a frontrunner for the team’s starting job because his predecessor, former National Hockey League goalie Fredrik Norrena, returned home to play in his native Finland.

Munroe did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

The 31-year-old has played all but one of his seven professional seasons in the American Hockey League.

He spent 2010-11 with Nizhnekamsk Neftekhimik of Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League before signing AHL deals with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in 2011-12 and Adirondack last year.

He went 12-16 for the Phantoms, recording a 2.76 goals-against average and .913 save percentage. But he appeared in just 11 of Adirondack’s final 45 games and was often a healthy scratch after the Philadelphia Flyers acquired NHL journeyman Brian Boucher in a January trade. With three goalies on the roster, Munroe underwent season-ending knee surgery in April to repair cartilage. It was not expected to impact his off-season training.

Munroe leaves the Phantoms ranked second in franchise history in goalie saves (4,510), games (165) and wins (76), though most of them came during his three-plus years with the Philadelphia Phantoms.

Munroe has not had a NHL contract since the end of the 2009-10 season.

His departure appears to solidify the Phantoms’ goaltending tandem for the upcoming campaign.

They have Chubak, a Niagara University product who was one of ten finalists for the 2012-13 Hobey Baker Award, signed to an AHL contract. Cal Heeter will be in the second season of his entry-level NHL deal.

Boucher, 36, will become an unrestricted free agent July 5.

Munroe isn't the only Phantoms player headed to Sweden.

In April, defenseman Andreas Lilja signed a two-year contract to play for Rogle BK.

Report: Streit signed 6/17 (UPDATE)

Less than a week after dealing Shane Harper and a draft pick to the New York Islanders for the rights to Mark Streit, the Philadelphia Flyers have agreed to terms with the defenseman, according to TSN.

The Flyers, meanwhile, say there is "nothing to report" on that front.

Darren Dreger reported Streit agreed to every detail of a four-year, $21 million contract that will pay him $5.25 per season, but he can not physically sign the contract until the Flyers have enough cap space. Dave Issac of the Camden Courier-Post did a pretty good job at explaining their current cap situation in a story that went online this morning, which you can check out by clicking this link.

But Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren issued a statement later Monday: "We continue to have talks with Mark's agent. Although there is nothing to report, we remain confident that we will get something done."

If Streit is signed for that price, it would almost assuredly guarantee a couple of big roster shake-ups in Philadelphia.

With the salary cap dropping from $70.2 million to $64.3 million next season, it's difficult to imagine a scenario where the Flyers keep forward Danny Briere, who has two years left on a contract with a $6.5 million cap hit, and goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov, who has seven years left on a deal with a $5.66 million cap hit. NHL clubs can use two contract buyouts to help them comply with the lower salary cap, but that window does not open until 48 hours after the conclusion of the Stanley Cup Finals.

If Streit signs and the Flyers don't buy out or move a defenseman, they would have seven NHL-ready blueliners under contract for next season: Streit, Kimmo Timonen, Braydon Coburn, Nicklas Grossmann, Andrej Meszaros, Luke Schenn and Bruno Gervais. That list does not include Chris Pronger, who is expected to remain on long-term injured reserve, or Marc-Andre Bourdon, who has not played since Nov. 30, 2012, while recovering from his second concussion in less than a year.

Grossman has some health issues of his own, as he is recovering from a concussion that Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren has publicly said led to "vestibular issues."

Adirondack Phantoms products Erik Gustafsson, Oliver Lauridsen and Brandon Manning, who all finished 2012-13 with the Flyers, are all restricted free agents. Lauridsen and Manning are exempt from waivers, which makes them more likely to return to Adirondack if the Flyers re-sign them. But Gustafsson would not be exempt from waivers next season, according to If the Flyers bring him back and try to send him to Adirondack, he could be claimed by another NHL team.

Bourdon, who is under contract for next season, is also no longer exempt from waivers.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Harper dealt to Islanders 6/12

Because he signed a try-out with the Adirondack Phantoms at the end of his junior career, Shane Harper was one of just four players who had suited up for the team in each season of its existence.

He won't be back for the team's fifth season in Glens Falls.

The Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday dealt the winger, an impending restricted free agent, and a fourth-round pick to the New York Islanders for soon-to-be-unrestricted-free-agent defenseman Mark Streit, a perennial point-producer and former all-star that can significantly strengthen their blue line.

Harper was not immediately available for comment, though a message was left on his cell phone.

Harper was a prolific scorer in his junior hockey career with the WHL's Everett Silvertips, and ranked sixth in that league with 42 goals during his overage season, 2009-10. But he was never able to replicate that success at the AHL level, netting just 41 points in 143 games over four seasons.

The California native's most productive season with the Phantoms came in 2011-12, when he produced 13-14-27 in 70 games and scored the overtime game-winner in the AHL Outdoor Classic at Citizens Bank Park. But he fell off sharply under Phantoms coach Terry Murray this season, netting just 5-5-10 in 48 games, and was demoted to the ECHL's Trenton Titans on more than one occasion.

Meanwhile, sources told Newsday that Streit wasn't planning on returning to the Islanders, that the captain turned down the team's best offer and he was planning on testing free agency on July 5. The Flyers could have pushed for him then, but they now have a few weeks to try and get a deal in place before any team can make their pitch. If they get a deal done, they get an established puck-mover who has produced 65-223-288 in 491 NHL games and can help quarterback the team's power play.

"Mark is a player we would have had interest in on July 5," Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren told the Flyers' website. "We now have exclusive negotiating rights and we are hopeful that we can get an agreement in place prior to him becoming an unrestricted free agent."

If they don't lock Streit up, it's not like they sold the farm to get his rights. Harper was going to be a restricted free agent this summer, so they would have had to tender him a qualifying offer to retain his rights. NHL teams are only allotted 50 contracts, and the Flyers have a bevy of prospects who are turning pro and will begin to count against that limit. Mark Alt, Kyle Flanagan, Petr Straka, Maxim Lamarche and Michael Raffl immediately come to mind. Harper becomes expandable in that case.

Harper finishes his Phantoms career 10th on the team's all-time games played list with 143. The other Phantoms to play in all four seasons in Glens Falls are Ben Holmstrom, Marc-Andre Bourdon and Erik Gustafsson.