Public Skate: several serviceable free agents still remain

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Toronto GM Dave Nonis chats with Peter Chiarelli at the 2013 NHL draft

Public Skate: July 26, 2013

The Anaheim Ducks and restricted free agent Kyle Palmieri agreed to terms on a new three-year deal. Several reports are saying the contract will be worth a total of $4.4 million. Palmieri potted ten goals and added eleven assists last season with the Ducks.

The Carolina Hurricanes have signed free agent winger Nathan Gerbe to a one-year, two-way contract. The miniscule, yet feisty winger will make a reported $550,000 if he plays in the NHL and $150,000 if he skates at the AHL level. Gerbe spent last season with the Buffalo Sabres.

It’s no secret that the Maple Leafs are an up and coming club in the NHL. They locked up the brains behind the turnaround, signing GM Dave Nonis to five-year contract extension. Toronto feels Nonis has a clear vision of what it takes to win the NHL and they are hoping he can lead them back to glory.

The Chicago Blackhawks are expected to sign head coach Joel Quenneville to a contract extension. Quenneville more than deserves it, as he has led the Hawks to two Cup victories over the last four seasons.

The St.Louis Blues have re-upped with restricted free agent goaltender Jake Allen. Allen’s new contract is reportedly a two-year, two-way deal. He’ll be paid $750,000 at the NHL level and $125,00 in the AHL. Allen was 9-4 last season and led all rookie goalies in wins and GAA.

Bill Guerin and Doug Weight were inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame class of 2013.

NHL Free Agency Update:

As we enter the dog days of summer, dozens of talented free agents still remain on the market in search of jobs. Ken Campbell of The Hockey News takes an interesting look at who is available, advocating for an expansion to 32 NHL teams.

Read Campbell’s article here: http://www.thehockeynews.com/articles/52950-NHL-ripe-for-expansion-to-32-teams.html

Some of the bigger name free agents looking for work include Tim Thomas, Brenden Morrow, Mikhail Grabovski, Dan Cleary, Ryan Whitney, Tom Gilbert, Kyle Wellwood, Damien Brunner, Brad Boyes, Simon Gagne and Mason Raymond.

It is quite puzzling that things have been so quiet across the league with that sort of talent ripe for the picking. I’d whole-heartedly agree with Campbell’s notion that expansion may be a good move for the NHL because it would accommodate a vast pool of talent hoping to find a home.

Frank O’Laughlin – Senior NHL Contributor – Title Town Sports Network

Follow along with Frank on Twitter: @BruinsHub

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