-The Washington Capitals ensured their best two-way center will remain in the fold for a long time, re-signing Brooks Laich to a six-year, $27 million contract, worth an average cap hit of $4.5 million per season.
Laich, 27, was eligible for unrestricted free agency on July 1st, where his all-round would've attracted numerous suitors keen to bolster their depth at center.
In 82 games last season with the Capitals, Laich scored 16 goals and 48 points, with a plus-minus of +14. Highlighting his versatility is he notched 14 of those points on the power-play, three of them short-handed, with three of his goals being game-winners.
The announcement of the signing however has generated considerable criticism, who feel the Capitals overpaid to retain Laich, whose previous contract paid him an average cap hit of just over $2 million per season.
Perhaps he is now overpaid, but if the Capitals hadn't paid him that salary, another club would've had he hit the open market on Friday.
If the Capitals hope to win their first Stanley Cup in franchise history, they need a strong two-way center like Laich in the lineup.
- The Pittsburgh Penguins today announced the re-signing of one of their versatile forwards, inking left wing Pascal Dupuis to a two-year, $3 million extension, worth an average cap hit of $1.5 million per season.
Dupuis, 32, has been on the Penguins roster for the past three-and-a-half seasons, where he's proven a good fit on their checking lines, as well as on occasion filling in on one of the top two lines when called upon to fill in for injured players.
In 81 games with the Penguins last season, Dupuis had 17 goals and 37 points, with a plus-minus of +16, including a team-leading four short-handed goals and three game-winners.
It's an affordable option for a Penguins team which, despite the $5 million increase in the salary cap for next season, must still juggle its cap space effectively for next season.
- The Tampa Bay Lightning re-signed two potential UFAs today, signing defenseman Marc-Andrew Bergeron to a two-year, $2 million contract, and center Adam Hall to a one-year deal. Financial terms weren't disclosed for Hall.
Bergeron, 30, joined the Lightning late in the regular season as a free agent, and in 23 games had eight points with a plus-minus of -10.
He'd previously played for Lightning head coach Guy Boucher when both were part of the Montreal Canadiens farm team in Hamilton. Boucher obviously has considerable confidence in Bergeron, and his performance evidently also convinced management he was worth keeping on the roster.
Hall, 30, played 82 games for the Lightning as a checking forward, with 7 goals, 18 points and a plus-minus of -12. He also led the club in hits with 152.
His salary last season was $600K, so his new salary isn't likely to be much higher than that.