NHL Free Agency 2014: primer, open thread, and signing tracker

Today's the day the Sabres spending spree can begin! Here's you're meta-hub for all the contracts that are signed today.

It's Christmas in July for hockey fans who enjoy player transactions as much as I do, as we are able to sit back and soak in another year of free agency. The class may not be as fancy as it has been in past years, but that doesn't mean that things will be quiet. The Sabres especially very likely will be making at least one move to try and move them closer to the cap floor.

This post serves multiple purposes. First of all, it will give you a little look into what players could be on the move in case you haven't been all that tuned in. It will also serve as the open thread for the day and will be updated throughout as signings occur.

Now that the league is fully past the lockout shortened season, free agency is back to starting at noon on July 1st. With the contact window open the past few days, one would expect that some signings may happen earlier than they normally do. You can watch the Sportsnet coverage of free agency starting at noon on NHL Network.

You can follow us on Twitter today @diebytheblade today for the latest updates as well.

Sabres Free Agents

Before looking at free agents from other teams, it is important to know what players that wore the Sabres jersey last season remain unsigned.

Unrestricted Free Agents

  • F Cory Conacher (not given an offer sheet), scored seven goals and 19 assists in 79 games
  • F Matt D'Agostini, scored five goals and seven assists in 57 games
  • D Christian Ehrhoff (compliance buy-out), scored six goals and 27 assists in 79 games
  • F Zenon Konopka, scored one goal and two assists in 59 games
  • F Ville Leino (compliance buy-out), scored zero goals and 15 assists in 58 games
  • D Jamie McBain (not given an offer sheet), scored six goals and 11 assists in 69 games
  • F Kevin Porter, scored one assist in 12 games
  • F John Scott, scored one goal in 56 games
  • D Henrik Tallinder, scored two goals and six assists in 64 games

Restricted Free Agents

    Free Agents of note

    • F Matt Moulson and F Steve Ott- Tim Murray has expressed his interest in bringing back both Ott and Moulson, and has even said that the interest is somewhat mutual. Signing both would go a long way in getting the Sabres closer to the floor, as combined they'd likely get about $10 million.
    • F Thomas Vanek and G Ryan Miller- Of course Sabres fans will be interested in what becomes of the former Sabres who were traded away after many seasons with the club. Many have penciled Vanek to the Wild for a while now, but it seems that they aren't interested in giving him a long-term deal. He should have many suitors, as at least eight teams are reportedly interested. Miller has been in contact with the Canucks this week, a team that currently boasts Eddie Lack as their starting goaltender.
    • F Brad Richards- Richards lasted three years in New York after signing his huge contract with the Rangers. After being bought out he is now a free agent once again, and will likely get a more comfortable contract from another team. This season he scored 20 goals and 31 assists in 82 games. One rumored interested party would be his former team, the Tampa Bay Lightning.
    • F Paul Stastny- Considered by some to be the best free agent on the market, Stastny is garnering tons of interest. It's been reported that half the league has been in contact with his camp. Last season he scored 25 goals and 35 assists in 71 games with the Avalanche and at 28 still has some years of his prime left.
    • D Matt Niskanen- Before Ehrhoff entered the market, Niskanen was the top defenseman available. The 27-year-old is hoping to cash in big time and will be looking for top dollar and a long-term contract. He scored 10 goals and 36 assists in 81 games for Pittsburgh last season. He doesn't fit into the mold the Sabres are looking for, but will be a frequently mentioned name today.

    Free Agency Tracker

    • Montreal signs Manny Malhotra to a one-year $800,000 deal
    • The Penguins signed former Sabre Christian Ehrhoff to a one-year $4 million deal
    • Oilers sign Benoit Pouliot to a five-year $20 million deal and Mark Fayne to a 4 years and $14 million
    • Chad Johnson signs a two-year $2.6 million deal with the Islanders
    • Paul Stastny signs a four-year $28 million deal with the Blues
    • Mike Cammalleri signs a five-year $25 million deal with New Jersey
    • Tom Gilbert signs a two-year $5.6 million deal with Montreal
    • The Panthers signed Jussi Jokinen to four years and $16 million and Dave Bolland to five years $27 million
    • Dan Boyle signs a two-year nine million dollar deal with the Rangers.
    • Ryan Miller is a Vancouver Canuck. He's signed a three year deal with $6 million per.
    • Dallas stayed busy, signing Ales Hemsky to a three-year deal with 4 million per.
    • Brooks Orpik signed a five year deal with $27 million with Washington.
    • Brian Gionta signed a three-year deal with the Sabres worth $12.75 million.
    • Mathieu Perreault signed a three-year $9 million deal with Washington.
    • Shawn Thornton signed a two-year $2.4 million deal with Florida.
    • Jonas Hiller signed a two-year deal with $9 million with Calgary.
    • Thomas Vanek surprised no one by signing a three-year deal with Minnesota worth $6.5 million per year.
    • Stephane Robidas signed a three-year $9 million deal with Toronto.
    • Derek MacKenzie signed a three-year $3.9 million deal with Florida.
    • Tanner Glass signed a three-year $4.35 million deal with the Rangers.
    • Dominic Moore is staying in New York, as he's signed a two-year $3 million deal with the Rangers.
    • Matt Moulson is back in Buffalo, as he's signed a five-year $25 million deal.
    • Martin Havlat signed a one-year $1.5 million deal with New Jersey.
    • Jarome Iginla is heading back out west, as he's signed a three-year deal worth $16 million with Colorado.