The start of NHL training camps are here and we are only a few weeks now from the start of the 2021-22 NHL Regular Season. Preseason action begins this upcoming weekend. Not to mention prospect tournaments have been going on as well. With that being said there were some notable players yet to be signed but finally did prior to the start of training. Let us dive into the news and notes version of the NHL Notebook featuring Kirill Kaprizov getting paid, Zdeno Chara heads back to where it started, Elvis Merzlikins has a long-term gig, Zach Parise finally signs, and much more.
Kirill Kaprizov Gets Paid From Minnesota
The saga between the Minnesota Wild and Kirill Kaprizov has finally been resolved. The 2021 Calder Trophy winner has signed a new five-year extension worth $45 million. His contract carries a salary-cap hit of $9 million. This was a long and drawn-out process between the two parties. There were lots of reports of him going back to the KHL. But that was more of a negotiating ploy. Kaprizov wanted a short-term deal to maximize his value. While the team wanted something long-term. The parties met in the middle and the Wild have their best player signed for five more years with a full no-movement clause. This dynamic young player will only get better and better as he continues his NHL career.
Islanders Sign Zdeno Chara and Zach Parise
The New York Islanders continue to be all in for this upcoming season. New York finally announced the signing of Zach Parise to a one-year deal. No details were released. But this had been long rumoured for a long time. If it was not for some cap gymnastics, this deal would have been done on the first day of free agency. Parise is familiar with the style being played in New York and will fit in nicely on their third line.
An interesting signing was defenceman Zdeno Chara. Chara is coming back to where it all started for him. It will be interesting to see how he fits into Barry Trotz’s system as he is not the same player he used to be. This is more of a depth move by the Islanders. Chara will be playing third pair minutes and sometimes be the seventh defenceman. Over the past couple of years, his game has become a liability, especially in the playoffs.
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Elvis Merzlikins Residence in Columbus
Elvis has a long-term gig at least for now. The Columbus Blue Jackets signed goaltender Elvis Merzlikins to a five-year, $27 million deal. His contract carries a cap hit of $5.4 million. For Columbus, it appears Elvis will be the starting goalie with Joonas Korpisalo backing him up. This potentially could open the trade market for goalies as the Blue Jackets have depth at that position.
Robert Thomas Inks Deal in St. Louis
Of course, there always has to be at least one late-night signing. The St. Louis Blues Blues agreed to terms with restricted free agent Robert Thomas. Thomas and the team agreed to a two-year, $5.6 million contract extension that carries a cap hit of $2.8 million. The Blues expect Thomas to have a big role with the team this season now that Jaden Schwartz has left to go to Seattle.
In other news and notes, Travis Zajac signed a one-day deal to retire with the New Jersey Devils, legendary broadcaster Jim Hughson retires after 42 years and Kevin Hayes will be out six to eight weeks after abdominal surgery.