Skip to main content
The Buzz

NHL Summer Buzz: Maple Leafs, Flyers look for goaltending help

Toronto searching for quality backup, Philadelphia seeking better short-term option

NHL.com @NHL

Welcome to NHL Summer Buzz. With the NHL Expansion Draft and its trade/waiver freeze over, and the beginning of free agency on July 1, the 31 NHL teams are free to make moves to shape their roster for the 2017-18 season.

Here's a look at the latest offseason happenings around the League:

 

[ RELATED: CHI trades Panarin to CBJ for Saad | NYR trade Stepan, Raanta to ARI ]

 

2 p.m.
Jordan Schroeder traded to Blue Jackets

Center Jordan Schroeder was traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets from the Minnesota Wild for center Dante Salituro on Friday.

Schroeder, 26, had 13 points (six goals, seven assists) in 37 games with the Wild this season. He has 40 points (17 goals, 23 assists) in 140 NHL games with the Wild and Vancouver Canucks since making his NHL debut in 2012-13.

Salituro, 20, was an undrafted free agent who signed an entry-level contract with the Blue Jackets on July 1. He had 22 points (11 goals, 11 assists) in 30 games with London of the Ontario Hockey League this season, then had a combined two points (one goal, one assist) in seven games with Cincinnati and Norfolk of the ECHL, and one goal in five games with Cleveland of the American Hockey League.

 

1 p.m.
Jack Capuano joins Panthers as associate coach

Jack Capuano was hired as an associate coach by the Florida Panthers on Friday.

He's the first hire since the Panthers named Bob Boughner as coach on June 12.

Capuano was fired as coach of the New York Islanders on Jan. 17. The Islanders went 227-192-64 and made three appearances in the Stanley Cup Playoffs under Capuano but were 17-17-8 and last in the Eastern Conference when he was replaced by Doug Weight. In 2016, Capuano guided the Islanders to a six-game victory against the Panthers in the Eastern Conference First Round for their first playoff series victory since 1993.

 

Kings buy out defenseman Matt Greene

The Los Angeles Kings have bought out the final year of defenseman Matt Greene's contract.

Greene, 34, played nine seasons with the Kings and helped them win the Stanley Cup in 2012 and 2014. But he was limited to 26 games this season by injury, finishing with two points (one goal, one assist).

In 464 games with the Kings, who acquired him in a trade with the Edmonton Oilers on June 29, 2008, Greene had 67 points (16 goals, 51 assists). He has 14 points (two goals, 12 assists) in 79 career Stanley Cup Playoff games.

He had one year remaining on a four-year, $10 million contract that had an average annual value of $2.5 million.

 

Chad Ruhwedel signs with Penguins

Defenseman Chad Ruhwedel has signed a two-year contract to remain with the Pittsburgh Penguins. It runs through the 2018-19 season and has an average annual value of $650,000.

Ruhwedel, 27, played 34 games for the Penguins this season after signing as an unrestricted free agent on July 1. He finished with 10 points (two goals, eight assists). He did not have a point in six Stanley Cup Playoff games.

He's played 67 NHL games with the Penguins and Buffalo Sabres and has 12 points (two goals, 10 assists).

 

9:45 a.m.
Maple Leafs looking for backup goalie

The Toronto Maple Leafs will look to improve in every area this offseason, general manager Lou Lamoriello said, but there is one position they absolutely need to address.

"Right now, we do not have a backup goaltender," Lamoriello said after NHL general managers met in Chicago on Thursday, one day ahead of the first round of the 2017 NHL Draft presented by adidas (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN). "And that's a hole certainly we have to fill."

Curtis McElhinney, who went 6-7-0 with a 2.85 goals-against average and .914 save percentage in 14 games after being claimed off waivers from the Columbus Blue Jackets on Jan. 10 to back up Frederik Andersen, can become an unrestricted free agent July 1. There are no other goalies on the roster besides Andersen, who was 33-16-14 with a 2.67 GAA and .918 save percentage in 66 games this season.

Another potential unrestricted free agent is forward Brian Boyle, who had three assists in 21 regular-season games for the Maple Leafs after he was acquired in a trade from the Tampa Bay Lighting on Feb. 27.

Lamoriello said he has spoken to Boyle, but not about his future with the Maple Leafs.

"Our conversation was about his new baby and how things are going, but we haven't had any discussions [about his future]," Lamoriello said.

Lamoriello said forward Joffrey Lupul, who was left unprotected by the Maple Leafs in the NHL Expansion Draft, failed his exit physical after the season. Lupul, who has one year remaining on his contract with a $5.25 million charge against the NHL salary cap, according to CapFriendly.com, has played 701 career NHL games and has been with the Maple Leafs since the 2010-11 season.

Lupul, 33, hasn't played since Feb. 6, 2016, because of an abdominal injury.

"He will continue to do rehab," Lamoriello said.

 

[RELATED: Full 2017 NHL Draft coverage]

 

Flyers trying to shore up goaltending

The Philadelphia Flyers are content with Michal Neuvirth as one of two goaltenders next season, but they're not sure Anthony Stolarz can be the second.

"We'll see if we find an option for us that's better for us short-term," general manager Ron Hextall told the Philadelphia Inquirer on Thursday. "[Stolarz] is an option. Is he the best option? I don't know if I can quite say that. He's young (23). [Neuvirth], we all know the history of injuries. I'm not sure if I'm comfortable with Stolie and him given Neuvy's history of injuries -- and Stolie's inexperience -- [and] putting them both together."

Stolarz was 4-2-1 with a 2.07 goals-against average and .928 save percentage after making his NHL debut Nov. 27.

The Flyers protected Stolarz in the NHL Expansion Draft, and Neuvirth was not selected by the Vegas Golden Knights on Wednesday. Stolarz, who can become a restricted free agent July 1, reportedly had surgery in April to repair the MCL in his right knee after he was injured in a late-season game playing for Lehigh Valley of the American Hockey League.

Neuvirth, 29, was 11-11-1 with a 2.82 GAA and .891 save percentage this season. He sustained a concussion when he collapsed in his crease against the New Jersey Devils on April 1 and earlier missed 24 games after sustaining a lower-body injury Nov. 12 against the Minnesota Wild.

The Flyers signed Neuvirth to a contract reportedly for two years and $5 million (average annual value of $2.5 million) on March 1.

Steve Mason, who was 26-21-8 with a 2.66 GAA and .908 save percentage this season, can become an unrestricted free agent July 1. The 29-year-old said in April he would want to be the undisputed No. 1 goalie to return to Philadelphia. Hextall didn't rule out bringing him back.

"Is it [Mason]? Is it a free agent? Is it a trade?" said Hextall, who is in Chicago for the 2017 NHL Draft presented by adidas. "I don't have the answer to that. We expect to do a platoon. Neuvy's too good to say, 'He's your backup and he's going to play 20 games.'"

View More