Head2Head Sports

MenuSkip to content

Head2Head Fantasy Hockey

Hockey

Latest Player News

Marek Langhamer signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Coyotes on Monday, Craig Morgan of ArizonaSports.com reports.

Impact

Langhamer saw action in just one game with the Coyotes during the 2016-17 campaign, as he spent the majority of his time in both the ECHL and AHL. He'll get a two-way deal for the upcoming season, which likely means another developmental year with plenty of time spent in the minors, thus keeping him off the fantasy radar.

Adam Pelech agreed to terms on a four-year contract extension with the Islanders on Monday.

Impact

After playing in just 44 games last season, Pelech is expected to take on an expanded role this year – likely on the Isles' third pairing. When the 22-year-old was in the lineup during the 2016-17 campaign, he averaged a mere 16:50 of ice time but still tallied 10 points. With more outings and minutes potentially coming his way, the blueliner stands a decent chance of doubling his point total in the upcoming season.

Jordan Binnington secured a one-year, two-way contract with the Blues on Saturday, TSN reports.

Impact

Binnington is coming off a solid 2016-17 campaign with AHL Chicago in which he logged a 16-7-3 record along with a .911 save percentage. Although his NHL debut is likely one the 24-year-old would like to forget – one goal allowed on just four shots – the former third-round pick could replace Carter Hutton as the No. 2 in St. Louis within the next year or two. The jury is still out on whether Binnington is capable of being an NHL starter, but given his decent numbers in the minors, fantasy owners will want to track his progress.

Daniel Catenacci earned a new contract with the Rangers after tallying nine points in 19 outings with AHL Hartford, TSN reports.

Impact

Catenacci was brought in via trade last season in a minor-league swap. The center managed just five goals and eight helpers in 50 contests with AHL Rochester, but seems to have hit his stride with the Wolf Pack. Odds are the 24-year-old will spend the bulk of the upcoming campaign in the minors, but could get the occasional call-up due to injury.

Austin Watson inked a three-year, $3.3 million deal with Nashville on Monday.

Impact

With the two sides separated by $700,000 – Watson was seeking $1.4 million per season – they seem to have split the difference. The winger is coming off a sophomore campaign in which he registered career highs in goals (5), assists (12) and shots on goal (90). Given the talent he showed with AHL Milwaukee – 44 points in 76 games during the 2014-15 campaign – fantasy owners shouldn't be shocked to see the 26-year-old reach the 25-point mark this season.

Ryan Spooner and the Bruins are off by $1.85 million in regards to a new contract, Elliotte Friedman of Hockey Night in Canada reports.

Impact

Spooner's last deal carried an AAV of $950,000, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that he is looking for a significant pay bump heading into the 2017-18 campaign. After tallying 11 goals and 28 helpers in 2016-17, it is hard to argue against paying up for the center – although the terms of the 25-year-old's deal will likely impact how much Boston has to shell out for fellow restricted free agent David Pastrnak. Considering only two arbitration filings have actually made it to a hearing – both of which were settled prior to a ruling – the odds are in favor of the two sides bridging the divide in the coming days.

Johnny Oduya secured a one-year, $1 million deal with Ottawa on Monday.

Impact

Oduya's contract includes performance bonuses that could earn him another $1.25 million over the course of the season. For a 35-year-old player that logged a mere 52 outings last year – split between Dallas and Chicago – it makes sense to have an incentive laden deal. The blueliner has cracked the 20-point threshold just three times in his career – and just once since 2008-09 – so fantasy owners probably shouldn't be expecting an offensively dominant campaign out of him.

Brian Dumoulin (hand) signed a six-year, $24.6 million contract with Pittsburgh on Monday.

Impact

Locking Dumoulin in for six years will allow the Penguins to continue pairing the shutdown defender with the offensively minded Kris Letang (neck). The 25-year-old Dumoulin only registered 15 points last season – along with a zero plus/minus rating – but his contributions won't show up on the scoresheet as he is frequently tasked with going up against opposing team's best players. Fantasy owners won't be scrambling to add the Maine native to their lineups – nor should they be – but Pittsburgh fans will be happy to have Dumoulin under contract through the 2022-23 campaign.

Connor Hellebuyck agreed to terms on a one-year, $2.25 million contract with Winnipeg on Monday – avoiding arbitration.

Impact

Hellebuyck's new deal is a clear sign that the organization is still unsure if he can take the next step forward in his development. The netminder will likely be on a short leash this season as Winnipeg brought in Steve Mason to serve as the veteran backup. Heading into the 2017-18 campaign, Hellebuyck is the presumptive No. 1, but with a talented group of skaters around him, coach Paul Maurice likely won't hesitate to switch goalies in order to get the Jets into the playoffs.

Dennis Cholowski has a long way to go before he'll be in the NHL, but he's committed to getting stronger and will be taking cues from offseason acquisition Trevor Daley in training camp, The Detroit News reports.

Impact

Detroit's first-round (20th overall) draft pick from 2016, Cholowski is said to have a determined mindset; the young defenseman wants to know what he can do to improve his game, and that's impressed Red Wings director of player development Shawn Horcoff, who suggested the prospect takes note of Daley and how he "uses his speed and poise with the puck." Cholowski added one goal and 11 assists with St. Cloud State of the NCHC last season and also made a cameo appearance with AHL Grand Rapids. At this point, his destination for the upcoming season is still unknown.

Libor Sulak will participate in the Red Wings' training camp this fall, though he's likely to play for Lahti of the Finnish hockey league in the coming season, the Detroit Free Press reports.

Impact

European prospects often put themselves in complicated situations by agreeing to contracts both in their home land and the NHL – Sulak is no exception, as he's promised a higher salary in Finland, but signed a two-year, entry-level deal with Detroit this past May. Still, the 23-year-old rearguard is held in high regard by former Red Wing and current director of player evaluation Jiri Fischer, who said, "We have been watching him for the last several years and he has improved every year."

Al Montoya could see an increase in his workload in the 2017-18 season, Steven Nechay of Canadiens.com reports.

Impact

Canadiens goaltending coach Steven Waite has expressed his trust in Montoya, saying, "We're not afraid to put Al in goal against any team in the league." This implies Montreal can use Montoya whenever starting goalie Carey Price needs rest, not just against weaker opponents. Montoya's increase in playing time will be limited however, as he will remain in a backup role to Price.

Andreas Athanasiou is expected to get a new contract from the Red Wings well ahead of training camp in September, The Detroit News reports.

Impact

Double A is a restricted free agent, but he's still in the infancy of his career and therefore ineligible for arbitration. The priority signing for the Wings was veteran scoring machine Tomas Tatar, who ended up re-signing before an arbitrator could rule on his case and settled on a four-year, $21.2 million extension. As noted in the report, the Original Six franchise currently has less than $1 million in available cap space, meaning the team will have to explore the option of placing an injured player like Ryan Sproul (knee) on long-term injured reserve in order to give Athanasiou – who tacked on 18 goals and 11 assists over 64 games last season – a fair deal.

Viktor Arvidsson signed a seven-year, $29.75 million contract with the Predators on Saturday, Adam Vingan of the Tennessean reports.

Impact

Arvidsson led the Predators in both goals and points last season, with 31 tallies and 30 assists. The 24-year-old was able to cash in on his breakout season, as he landed a long-term deal. He'll continue to operate as the team's top right wing, and power-play ice time is a given as well.

David Rittich signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Flames on Saturday.

Impact

Rittich appeared in 31 regular-season games with AHL Stockton last season, compiling a 15-11-1 record while registering a 2.27 GAA and .924 save percentage over that span. The 24-year-old will return to his role as AHL Stockton's starting netminder in 2017-18.

Jon Gillies signed a one-year, two-way contract extension with the Flames on Saturday. Financial terms of the deal were not immediately disclosed.

Impact

Gillies, a top prospect, is likely to be the first goalie called up from AHL Stockton in the event of an injury to newcomers Mike Smith or Eddie Lack. The 23-year-old did experience a number of performance-induced road bumps on the way to a 2.93 GAA and .910 save percentage for the minor-league Heat last season, but this contract proves the Flames want to give him a closer look. He could give Lack – a guy who had frustrated coach Bill Peters as a tender for the Hurricanes – a run for his money by showing well in training camp.

Tyler Gaudet signed a one-year, two-way contract extension with the Coyotes on Saturday, Craig Morgan of Arizona Sports reports. The 24-year-old center will make $650,000 in the NHL or $85,000 at the minor-league level.

Impact

Gaudet's contract also includes $110,000 in guaranteed salary. With a new deal in place, the Ontario native can challenge for a bottom-six role in training camp this fall. Last season, he generated six goals and 16 assists in 62 games with AHL Tucson, and also picked up a helper over four games at the highest level.

Brian Dumoulin (hand) is seeking a $4.35 million contract extension, which happens to be $2.4 million more than Pittsburgh's current offer, Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet reports.

Impact

Dumoulin proved last season that he can handle more than 20 minutes per contest, and his agent will likely embellish a bit in an attempt to procure a lucrative salary for his client – after all, NHL defensemen are generally paid out at a premium rate. One thing is for sure: it's not worth breaking the bank on the brawny reaguard in fantasy leagues given his shutdown role and scant offensive output of 33 points in 163 career contests. Once Dumoulin formally enters an arbitration hearing, it could take up to 48 hours for a fair salary cap figure to be assessed.

Austin Watson – who ended up filling for salary arbitration – is seeking $1.4 million, whereas the Predators have proposed an offer of $700,000, Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet reports.

Impact

We suspect an arbitrator will ultimately grant Watson a salary that comes in less than his $1.4 million ask, but higher than the $700,000 the Preds wish to provide. The Michigan native largely avoided the AHL this past season and proceeded to put up five goals, 12 assists and 99 PIM in 77 games for the parent club during the regular season. Watson also held his own during the postseason, as he averaged 13:40 of ice time and skated to a plus-3 rating with nine points over 22 grueling contests.

Jordan Martinook reached a contract settlement with the Coyotes on Saturday, Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet reports. The winger, who narrowly avoided an arbitration hearing, will earn $3.6 million over the next two years.

Impact

The 24-year-old pivot was selected by the 'Yotes in the second round of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. Last season, he fashioned 11 goals and 14 helpers over 77 games, and received 2:14 of ice time in shorthanded situations. Arizona's qualifying offer of one year and $687,500 was a bit of a head scratcher given Martinook's scoring acumen and middle-six role, but there should be no hard feelings since the two sides ended up reaching a settlement on their own.