NHL free agency: Bachman re-signs with Dallas Stars

The Dallas Stars announced today that the club has signed restricted free agent goaltender Richard Bachman to a one-year, one-way contract for the 2012-13 season worth $625,000.

Bachman, 24, posted an 8-5-1 record with a 2.77 goals against average and a .910 save percentage in 18 games with Dallas last season. Bachman earned a win in his NHL debut on Dec. 10, 2011 at Los Angeles, and recorded his first career NHL shutout on Dec. 12, 2011 against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.

The 5-foot-10, 170-pound Bachman became the first rookie goaltender in Dallas Stars history to win his first three NHL starts, and the first to start seven consecutive games. He was also the first goaltender in Dallas Stars history, and the third in franchise history, to shutout the Rangers (also Gilles Meloche and Gump Worsley).

Bachman represented the United States for the first time in his career at the 2012 IIHF World Championships, stopping 17 of 19 shots en-route to a win over Kazakhstan in his only appearance at the tournament.

Originally drafted in the fourth round (No. 120 overall) by Dallas in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, Bachman spent two seasons at Colorado College before making his professional debut with the Idaho Steelheads, Dallas Stars’ ECHL affiliate, during the 2009-10 season. Bachman was named to the ECHL All-Rookie Team in 2009-10 and finished as runner-up for the ECHL Goaltender of the Year award.

Prior to his tenure as backup goaltender last season for the Stars, Bachman spent two partial seasons and one full season (2010-11) with the Texas Stars, Dallas’ affiliate in the American Hockey League. In 78 career games with Texas, Bachman posted a 39-29-6 record with a 2.37 GAA and nine shutouts.

Here are the remaining available free agents (all unrestricted) as of 2 p.m. Mountain on Thursday: They are (name, 2011-12 team): Mark Cullen (Florida); Kris Fredheim (Wild); Trevor Frischmon, (Islanders); Richard Petiot (Tampa Bay);  and Colin Stuart (Sabres).

NHL free agency: Wild ink Connelly to two-year, two-way deal

The Wild brass continue to make smart moves including this very good depth signing. This was a smart move by former Tiger Brian Connelly, pictured in foreground, who reportedly did not seem a good fit for the Flames organization.

Tiger fans can expect Connelly to make his NHL debut and  spend a little time in St. Paul this season depending on the big club’s health.

He joins Nate Prosser and Chad Rau at the Minnesota training camp later this summer/fall.

Here is the updated list of former Tigers testing the waters of free agency as of 9a.m. MT this July 7.

They are (name, 2011-12 team):  Richard Bachman, (Dallas): Mark Cullen (Florida); Kris Fredheim (Wild); Trevor Frischmon, (Islanders); Richard Petiot (Tampa Bay);  Brett Sterling (Blues), and Colin Stuart (Sabres).

From NHL.com …

The Minnesota Wild bolstered its defensive depth late Friday night by inking defenseman Brian Connelly to a two-year, two-way deal. The move gives the Wild an added weapon from the blue line capable of contributing at the offensive end and displaying outstanding puck moving ability and skating.

The Bloomington native split time between the Abbotsford Heat and Rockford IceHogs last season of the American Hockey League. His 52 points (6-46=52) ranked second amongst defensemen in the AHL.

Connelly has played in the AHL All-Star Game the last two seasons. At last year’s AHL Skills Competition, he represented the Western Conference in the Fastest Skater Competition.

The 26-year-old has played professionally. For three seasons, all in the AHL. Before turning pro, the blueliner was a three-year standout at Colorado College. With the Tigers, he amassed 63 points (8-55=63) and was a teammate of Nate Prosser and Chad Rau.

A left-handed shot, Connelly is listed at 5-foot-11 and 185 pounds.

NHL free agency: Available Tigers update

Here is the updated list of former CC Tigers testing the waters of free agency as of 11 a.m. MT this July 4th.

They are (name, 2011-12 team):  Richard Bachman, pictured, (Dallas): Brian Connelly (Calgary); Mark Cullen (Florida); Kris Fredheim (Wild); Trevor Frischmon, (Islanders); Richard Petiot (Tampa Bay);  Brett Sterling (Blues), and Colin Stuart (Sabres).

Of those listed, Bachman has the best chance of an NHL-only contract while the others are looking for two-way deals.

NHL free agency: Wild land Parise, Suter

Reports from credible sources say both top free agents Zach Parise, a former North Dakota standout, and the top available forward, will be joined by the top available defenseman, former Badgers standout Ryan Suter of Nashville in St. Paul.

If so, this is a HUGE day for the Minnesota Wild franchise. You may want to buy your season tickets now, because they will sell quickly once this is confirmed. FYI, The Wild will need that ticket revenue to pay those two.

ESPN reported both deals are for 13 years and $98 million, which locks them up through the 2024-25 season and would carry a salary cap hit of $7.538 million per campaign.

Here is an updated version of the story from nhl.com. Here is some excellent detail from the Wild beat writer, who also suggests how both their significant others played a big role in coming to the Twin Cities.

Wednesday reading: Crabb, Trouba, LaLeggia, Merrimack AD

Former Tiger Joey Crabb talks about why he chose the Capitals: a chance to make the playoffs. Here is more from the Anchorage Daily News and that he likely will be on the fourth line.

Michigan signee Jacob Trouba, pictured, will not head to the OHL, which has denied offering Trouba, the top college-bound player chosen in the recent NHL Draft, $200,000 to go to Kitchener. He was the ninth pick overall by Winnipeg. He would have been the 22nd Wolverine to leave the program early or never even show up since 2000.

DU defenseman Joey LaLeggia is featured by the Edmonton Oilers in their daily development camp feature.

The Merrimack athletic director has been put on paid leave over a “personnel matter,” according to USCHO.

NHL free agency: Testwuide re-signs; eight Tigers remain available

Former Tiger captain Mike Testwuide re-signed with the Flyers on Tuesday morning.

That leaves eight former Tigers (as of 11 a.m. MT) weighing their free agency options.

They are (name, 2011-12 team):  Richard Bachman (Dallas): Brian Connelly (Calgary); Mark Cullen (Florida); Kris Fredheim (Wild); Trevor Frischmon, (Islanders); Richard Petiot (Tampa Bay);  Brett Sterling (Blues), and Colin Stuart (Sabres).

From NHL.com …

11:40 a.m. – DAY 3: FLYERS INK THREE
With the third day of free agency underway, the Flyers announced three signings. Defenseman Cullen Eddy and forward Mike Testwuide will return to the Flyers organization, as will defenseman Danny Syvret who enters his third separate campaign with the team.

Eddy attended Flyers training camp for the past two seasons and appeared in 54 games for the club’s AHL affiliate, the Adirondack Phantoms, where he posted 15 points (2G-13A) and 130 penalty minutes. Eddy also recorded 14 points (4G-10A) in 15 games for the Greenville Road Warriors of the ECHL this past season.

Syvret played for the Flyers from 2008-2010 and part of the 2010-11 season.

He recorded his first NHL goal with the Flyers during the 2010 NHL Winter Classic against the Boston Bruins at Fenway Park.

Overall, Syvret has four points (2G-2A) in 27 games with the Flyers.

With the Flyers’ AHL affiliate, Syvret has produced 27 goals and 79 assists for 106 points in 142 regular season games, including 57 points (12G-45A) in 76 games during the 2008-09 season to finish second among all AHL defensemen for the Phantoms during the team’s final year in Philadelphia.

Testwuide has spent the previous two seasons in Glens Falls with the Phantoms. He posted 29 points (12G-17A) in 66 games to go along with 79 penalty minutes.

Since signing with the Flyers on March 19, 2010 out of Colorado College, the 6-3, 220-pound Testwuide has recorded 30 goals and 38 assists for 68 points in 142 games with Adirondack.

NHL free agency: Hillen joins Crabb in Washington

CC fans have another reason to follow the Washington Capitals (which also have David Civitarese in AHL Hershey) closely this upcoming season.

Former Tiger Jack Hillen, pictured, signed a one-year $650,000 NHL-only contract with the Caps on Tuesday morning. It looks like Washington expects him to contribute at the top club.

That leaves nine former Tigers (as of 10 a.m. MT) weighing their free agency options. They are (name, 2011-12 team):  Richard Bachman (Dallas): Brian Connelly (Calgary); Mark Cullen (Florida); Kris Fredheim (Wild); Trevor Frischmon, (Islanders); Richard Petiot (Tampa Bay);  Brett Sterling (Blues), Colin Stuart (Sabres) and Mike Testwuide (Flyers).

Here is the Hillen press release:

The Capitals announced Tuesday morning they have signed defenseman Jack Hillen to a one-year contract. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Hillen, 26, had six points (two goals, four assists), a plus-6 rating and 20 penalty minutes in 55 games with the Nashville Predators in 2011-12. He finished tied for eighth on the club in blocked shots (65).

The Minnetonka, Minn., native has 56 points (10 goals, 46 assists) and 129 penalty minutes in 230 NHL games with the Islanders and Nashville. He posted career highs in goals (four), assists (tied; 18), points (22) and penalty minutes (45) during the 2010-11 campaign with the Isles.

Hillen (5-foot-10, 190 pounds) spent four seasons with Colorado College of the WCHA, where he was teammates with newly acquired Caps forward Joey Crabb. Hillen earned WCHA Defensive Player of the Year, WCHA First All-Star Team and NCAA (West) First All-American Team honors during his senior season in 2008. He was originally signed as an undrafted free agent by the Islanders on April 1, 2008.

NHL free agency: Crabb to Caps, Petersen re-signs with Stars

From NHL.com …

The Washington Capitals have signed right wing  and former Tiger Joey Crabb, pictured scoring against the Rangers, to a one-year contract, vice president and general manager George McPhee announced today. In keeping with club policy, financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

NOTE: Caps Insider reports the deal is worth $950,000.

Crabb, 29, recorded career highs in goals (11), assists (15), points (26) and games played (67) last season with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He finished the season ranked 11th on Toronto in points and eighth in goals while his plus-one rating finished tied for fifth on the team. Crabb tallied four game-winning goals in 2011-12, tied for the second-most among all Maple Leaf players, and his two shorthanded goals tied for the team lead. He averaged 1:34 of penalty kill time on ice per game, the third-most among all Maple Leaf forwards (minimum 40 games). In addition, Crabb registered 15 points (seven goals, eight assists) in nine games with the Toronto Marlies in the American Hockey League (AHL) last season and recorded three assists in eight games with the United States at the 2012 World Championships.

The Anchorage, Alaska, native has appeared in 144 career NHL games with Atlanta and Toronto, compiling 50 points (18 goals, 32 assists) and 85 penalty minutes. He has collected 172 points (73 goals, 99 assists) in 299 career AHL games with Chicago and Toronto. The 6’1”, 190-pound forward won a Calder Cup championship with the Chicago Wolves in 2007-08, posting one goal and five assists in 24 playoff games. Crabb was originally drafted by the New York Rangers in the seventh round (226th overall) of the 2002 NHL Entry Draft after spending four seasons at Colorado College (NCAA).

From NHL.com …

The Dallas Stars announced today that the club has signed former Tigers center Toby Petersen to a  two-year, two-way contract through the 2013-14 season.

Petersen, 33, has spent five of his nine NHL seasons with the Dallas Stars and is coming off a 2011-12 season that saw him post five points (2 goals, 3 assists) and six penalty minutes in 39 games.

In 397 career NHL games with Pittsburgh, Edmonton and Dallas, Petersen has posted 81 points (33 goals, 48 assists) and 50 penalty minutes. His career-best for points in a season is 15, set twice in 2009-10 with Dallas and 2006-07 with Edmonton. He has added a goal and two penalty minutes in 18 career NHL playoff games.

Originally drafted in the ninth round (No. 244 overall) by Pittsburgh, the Minneapolis native made his NHL debut with the Penguins on Dec. 5, 2000 at Ottawa. He scored his first NHL goal three games later, on Dec. 10, 2000 at Detroit.

During his time with the Iowa Stars (AHL) in 2007-08, was named the team’s MVP after tallying 51 points (21-30-51) in 63 games. He also appeared in the 2008 AHL All-Star Game, winning the Fastest Skater skills competition.

Friday reading: NHL free agency, BC should leave Hockey East?

CC captain William Rapuzzi celebrated his goal against Boston College during the 2011 NCAA Tournament West regional in St. Louis.

Four of the top 10 NHL free agent defensemen are WCHA alumni. Thanks to Brad Schlossman of the Grand Forks Herald for tweeting the article.

This BC fan blog thinks the Eagles should leave Hockey East to create a stronger six-team league of the top-tier teams.

Mandi Schwartz continues to inspire her former Yale teammates.

Several WCHA players have done well at summer prospects camps. Others are headed to them now.

A Denver recruit is considering the Windsor Spitfires.

Here are more North Dakota links. A former UND defenseman re-signs with Tampa Bay.

Weekend reading: Interesting 2014 WCHA playoff format, North Dakota nickname, Jaden and Mandi Schwartz, Parise, Big 10

The WCHA announced its nine-team playoff format which includes Anchorage and Fairbanks playing in a best-of-three first-round series every time unless one is the No. 1 seed.

It is clearly a cost-cutting measure so the league does not have to pay for two teams’ round trips to or from Alaska, but could make for some weird playoff scenarios in March 2014.

Here are more details from the Mankato beat writer and a reaction from the UND reporter.

Also, there was no word about any move toward adding Alabama Huntsville. Too bad. There is a lot of unfinished business ahead for the new-look WCHA. There was no word on the postseason venue either.

The state Board of Higher Education has directed the University of North Dakota to retire its Fighting Sioux nickname. State residents voted overwhelmingly earlier this week to uphold the Legislature’s repeal of a state law requiring the school to use the nickname. The moniker that the NCAA finds offensive had been brought out of retirement for a second time while the measure was decided.

Board President Grant Shaft, of Grand Forks, says there’s not much more that can be said about the issue that hasn’t been said already. UND will be asked to report its progress at a later date.

Former Tiger Jaden Schwartz will get to see the CHL’s Memorial Cup firsthand this week.

One of Mandi Schwartz‘s former teammates is a finalist for a league award in her honor.

The Minnesota Wild keep being mentioned as the possible new homes for free agents Ryan Sutter and Zach Parise. This may be a case of wishful thinking judging from this NHL.com interview by Parise.

Here is a feature on UNO recruit Brian Cooper of Anchorage.

The Big Ten paid out $24,6 million to its member schools.

The Fargo arena is in financial trouble. The Dartmouth women add an assistant.

Division III New England ran afoul of the NCAA’s financial aid rules. UMass has lost its radio home.

The dream is one step closer to fruition: the Penn State club hockey web site shut down voluntarily since the varsity program is handled by the university. Follow TYT for PSU updates.

Here is a look at the Mercyhurst program.