Stastny agrees to sign with Vegas, clarification on O’Reilly

It’s officially Canada Day. Happy Canada Day to all those who celebrate up north. The July 1 frenzy doesn’t officially get started until high noon. However, that doesn’t mean teams haven’t reached agreements with players.

The biggest name today is Paul Stastny. He had agreed to sign with the Golden Knights. According to reports, it’s expected to be for three years. No details on the financial terms yet. TSN’s Bob McKenzie all but confirmed it along with some additional information.

If it’s true that Vegas is in on Erik Karlsson, holy moly. They had been rumored to have interest as far back as the trade deadline. Ottawa is saying goodbye to the potential 2019 unrestricted free agent. Despicable by Eugene Melnyk. Bobby Ryan will join Karlsson.

I can understand why they’re gonna do it. They can get back a great return for Karlsson, speeding up their rebuild. Plus they’ll rid themselves of Ryan’s expensive contract, which pays him an average cap hit of $7.25 million through 2022. They’ll free up plenty of room to re-sign Matt Duchene and be active next summer.

Clarifying on Ryan O’Reilly, I wanted to correct something I said in the last post. The Sabres have until midnight tonight to pay him the $7.5 million signing bonus. McKenzie made that point clear earlier.

Good stuff from the number one TSN insider. He’s been busy the past 24 hours and will be even busier later today.

David Perron will return to St. Louis following his career year with Vegas. The term is said to be four years for an AAV of $4 million. Fair value for a veteran forward who maximized his potential playing for Vegas. A good addition for the Blues. I wonder though if he’ll feel the pressure to perform under increased expectations.

Jack Johnson to the Penguins will become official. It’s for five years and around $16 million. I don’t get the fascination with the former Blue Jacket defenseman. He’s 31 and became the odd man out under John Tortorella. The Pens have fixed other D before. Maybe they’re banking on reuniting him with buddy Sidney Crosby, which should motivate Johnson. Five years though?

Antoine Roussel is going to the Canucks for four years with an AAV of $3.2 million per season. Not sure I would’ve gone four years on him. Especially off a down season. But he’s a solid secondary player, who can supply offense and toughness.

The Devils are expected to sign veteran defenseman Eric Gryba. McKenzie reported it. So, it has merit. He’s nothing special. But is gritty and physical.

Roman Polak will be headed to Dallas. Speaking of tough, he loves to hit. He’s a bottom pair defenseman, who’ll rack up hits and fight occasionally. So, the Stars beef up.

In a feel good story, Tomas Plekanec will return to Montreal. That’s great. He’ll get to play his 1,000th career game with the only team he knew until he was traded to rival Toronto as a rental. That’ll be a great moment for a classy player.

John Tavares probably won’t decide for a while. He can only receive seven years now. That includes the Islanders, who lost the extra year last night when Tavares didn’t agree to re-upping. What will he do? I have no clue. But it’s an important decision for him and his fiancée. The last big contract he’ll probably get unless he takes a short term contract to try to win, similar to NBA players. We’ll see.

That’s about it for now. See you later.

About Derek Felix

Derek Felix is sports blogger whose previous experience included separate stints at ESPN as a stat researcher for NHL and WNBA telecasts. The Staten Island native also interned for or hockey historian Stan Fischler and worked behind the scenes for MSG as a production assistant on New Jersey Devil telecasts. An avid New York sports fan who enjoys covering events, writing, concerts, movies and the outdoors, Derek has covered consecutive Staten Island Yankees NY Penn League championships in '05 and '06. He also scored Berkeley Carroll high school basketball games from '06-14 and provided an outlet for the Park Slope school's student athletes. Hitting Back gives them the publicity they deserve. In his free time, he also attends Ranger games and is a loyal St. John's alum with a sports management degree. The Battle Of Hudson administrator and chief editor can be followed below on Twitter and Facebook.
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