Free Agent Update: Parise, Chris Stewart, Suter, Campbell, Raymond, Kovalev
(6/15/12) More roster notes to pass along: the St. Louis Blues have resigned fantasy bust Chris Stewart for another season. After reaching 0.85 points/game in 2010-2011, Stewart tanked it in 2011-12. His point/game fell all the way to 0.38. The deal is for 1 year and $3 million; the Blues are obviously hoping for a bounce-back performance in 2012-13.
But, unless Stewart rediscovers his scoring touch this summer, and with the Blues being such a deep team, he may remain religated to a third or fourth line roster spot. Regardless, Stewart continues to have value as a rotisserie player and enforcer. Stewart finished with 109 PIMs last season.
In addition to the Chris Kelly signing, the Boston Bruins also inked Gregory Campbell to a three year/$4.8 million deal this week. Campbell played 78 games and recorded 8 goals and 16 points last season. Campbell plays a depth position for the Bs, and should continue to do so in 2012-13. He was third on the Bruins in PIMs with 80 last year.
Conflicting reports are surfacing regarding Ryan Suter. In one report, apparently he has let it be known that he is hoping to land in the East, and preferably with the Philadelphia Flyers. However, in a conflicting report, his agent has refuted any and all claims that Suter has indicated a preference. This off-season's #1 defensive free agent will have many suitors; his agent certainly welcomes all offers.
RFA Mason Raymond is staring at a pay cut. After a dismal drop in production over the past two seasons from his career high 25 goals and 53 points in 2009-10, Raymond's career appears to be suddenly on the backside. Apparently he still has a position with Vancouver, but unless he bulks up, he will continue to get bounced around on the ice like a pinball. We aren't takers on Raymond.
Here's one from the world of the weird: Alex Kovalev is reportedly hoping to return to the NHL this season, and Montreal is one of the teams he would like to play for. His latest team in Moscow of the KHL released him after 22 games last season because they "didn't want him around" anymore. The NHL is probably less interested in Kovalev than he hopes.
Finally, no surprise news with Zach Parise. The news is that both he and the New Jersey Devils want to lock up a new long-term deal. Expect to hear that something has been finalized in the coming weeks.