NHL Free Agent Frenzy 2016: All the small contracts

Not every signing is earth shattering on free agent day. Still the addition of less heralded players can mean the difference between winning and losing in the post-season; even though we may not know it right now.

Here’s a running list of some of the other signings on Free Agent Frenzy Friday with a quick rundown of the details you need to know. Plus we tap the brains of the bloggers and media alike in what this signing does – and in some cases, doesn’t – bring to the team that they joined.

[Ed. Note: We’ll update this post throughout Friday evening as the NHL contracts keep rolling in. Check out Puck Daddy for stories and features on the signings rocking the hockey world.]

UPDATE at 9:36 p.m. EST

Dale Weise (RW), Philadelphia Flyers
Contract: 4 years, $2.35-million AAV
2015-16 team(s): Montreal Canadiens traded to Chicago Blackhawks
Previous contract: 2 year, $1.025-million AAV
2015-16 stats: 14 goals, 13 assists in 71 GP; 42 PIMs
What the pundits say: “Contract aside, Weise is a good option on the ice. He’s a better player than [Ryan] White in just about every way and certainly better than the average fourth line player — I mean, scoring nearly 30 points as a fourth line player in back-to-back years is certainly better than the average. Like White, Weise can also play on the second power play unit. He’s even a few months younger than White! The downside is that he’s coming off of an up year, and I guess there’s no guarantee that he repeats that performance for the next four.”Broad Street Hockey

Ryan White, (RW/C), Arizona Coyotes
Contract: 1 year, $1-million cap hit
2015-16 team: Philadelphia Flyers
Previous contract: 1 year, $800,000 cap hit
2015-16 stats: 11 goals, 5 assists in 73 GP; 101 PIMs
What the pundits say: “White’s scoring output for the Flyers may have been an anomaly, given that in one year he nearly doubled his career point total. Te defensive metrics also are not great on White. In 2015, his team had 30 goals with him on the ice but gave up 45. Most of the metrics project White as a 4th line center, which could work for the Coyotes … Having White as a backup is a safe gamble for a low price at one year. If he can replicate and build on last season, the Coyotes can negotiate a longer-term deal for White. If not, then the Coyotes are not tied to him.”Today’s Slapshot

Jeff Zatkoff (G), Los Angeles Kings
Contract: 2 year, $900,000 AAV
2015-16 team: Pittsburgh Penguins
Previous contract: 2 years, $600,000 AAV
2015-16 stats: 4-7-1 in 14 GP; 2.79 GAA, .917 SV%
What the pundits say:The Los Angeles Kings selected goaltender Jonathan Quick with the 72nd overall pick in the 2005 NHL Draft. A year later, they selected goaltender Jeff Zatkoff with the 74th overall pick in the 2006 NHL Draft. At the time, no one could have predicted that they might be sharing the net a decade later, but that’s now a possibility … As a backup, he’s probably right about at the level of Jhonas Enroth, and $300K cheaper to boot. If he can beat out Ontario Reign standout Peter Budaj, he’ll finally make his Los Angeles Kings debut at the age of 29.”Jewels From the Crown

Joe Colborne (C), Colorado Avalanche
Contract: 2 years, $2.5-million AAV
2015-16 team: Calgary Flames
Previous contract: 2 years, $1.275-million AAV
2015-16 stats: 19 goals, 25 assists in 73 GP; 27 PIMs
What the pundits say: “The Avalanche continue to add to their size as they sign center Joe Colberne to the roster. The 26-year-old Calgary native stands at 6’5″ and 221 pounds. He has 233 games in the NHL, putting up 38 goals and 68 assists. He’s spent the past three seasons with the Calgary Flames and three seasons prior to that with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He’s also a celebrated DU Pioneers alumnus.”BSN Denver

Fedor Tyutin (D), Colorado Avalanche
Contract: 1 year, $2-million cap hit
2015-16 team: Columbus Blue Jackets
Previous contract: 6 years, $4.5-million AAV
2015-16 stats: 1 goal, 2 assists in 61 GP; 28 PIMs
What the pundits say: “A defensive defenseman, Tyutin could be used in a shutdown role for the Avalanche. He has good hockey sense and positioning, and is also very adept at blocking shots. He also has good size (6’2”, 221 pounds). A veteran of 803 games, the 32-year-old could serve as a mentor to fellow Russian blueliner Nikita Zadorov. In his career with the Blue Jackets and New York Rangers, he has 54 goals and 251 points.”Mile High Sports

Yannick Weber (D), Nashville Predators
Contract: 1 year, $575,000 cap hit
2015-16 team: Vancouver Canucks
Previous contract: 1 year, $1.5-million cap hit
2015-16 stats: 0 goals, 7 assists in 45 GP; 24 PIMs
What the pundits say: “The 27-year-old Swiss blue liner has been with the Vancouver Canucks for the past three seasons and had seven assists in in 45 games on a not so good Vancouver team a year ago. He averaged 18:50 of ice time per contest with the Canucks during the 2015-16 campaign. He held a Corsi For percentage of 48.7 percent and it is interesting to note that 56.9 percent of his zone starts came on the offensive zone (per Hockey Reference). Weber is a right-handed shot and could very well be looking at the left-handed Anthonty Bitetto as his partner on the bottom pairing in Music City.”On The Forecheck

Michael Latta (C), Los Angeles Kings
Contract: 1 year, $600,000 cap hit
2015-16 team: Washington Capitals
Previous contract: 2 years, $575,000 AAV
2015-16 stats: 3 goals, 4 assists in 43 GP; 50 PIMs
What the pundits say: “Ironically, Latta was primarily squeezed out of playing time by Mike Richards, but he was a terrific defensive forward for the Caps. In fact, among players who appeared in at least half their team’s games, he had the best relative Corsi Against/60 in the NHL. (Naturally, Nick Shore had the best overall Corsi Against/60.) That’s offset by a lack of shot attempts for his team when he’s on the ice and only seven points in 43 games, but hey, the other team can’t score if they can’t shoot!”Jewels From The Crown

Vern Fiddler (C), New Jersey Devils
Contract: 1 year, $1.25-million cap hit
2015-16 team: Dallas Stars
Previous contract: 2 years, $1.25-million AAV
2015-16 stats: 12 goals, 10 assists in 82 GP; 31 assists
What the pundits say: “The Devils don’t necessarily need play drivers among the bottom six, just players to not get wrecked in that department … Fiddler’s been a regular part of Dallas’ penalty kill. He can take that role right away in New Jersey. While I can understand a seven-figure contract for what amounts to be a fourth liner and occasional third line player seems a bit much. But I’m fine with it. I’d rather see $1.25 million committed to someone who’s been good in that role rather than hand $800,000 to someone who can just handle it and hope to be decent on most nights. What’s more is that if someone who is playoff-bound wants a veteran center by next February, then the Devils should be able to make a deal happen. I like this signing, especially if it means Gionta isn’t coming back since Fiddler would take his spot in the lineup.”All About The Jersey

Anton Khudobin (G), Boston Bruins
Contract: 2 years, $1.2-million AAV
2015-16 team: Anaheim Ducks
Previous contract: 2 years, $2.25-million AAV
2015-16 stats: 3-3-0 in 9 GP; 2.70 GAA, .909 SV%
What the pundits say: “The 30-year old had seemed likely to sign in Europe following a disappointing season in Anaheim, with the puck-stopper’s agent publicly stating his client’s intention to join a KHL team in March. It seems the chance to return to Massachusetts was simply too good to turn down … The Russian netminder played just 14 games for the Bruins during the 2012-13 season, but did enough to earn a one-year deal from Carolina as an unrestricted free agent that summer … Khudobin will is now set to serve as backup to Bruins’ No. 1 Tuukka Rask, allowing Boston further time to develop top prospect Malcolm Subban.”Today’s Slapshot

Nathan Gerbe (LW/C), New York Rangers
Contract: 1 year, $600,000 cap hit
2015-16 team: Carolina Hurricanes
Previous contract: 2 years, $1.75-million AAV
2015-16 stats: 3 goals, 4 assists in 47 GP; 14 PIMs
What the pundits say: “The diminutive winger played in just 47 games last season with the Hurricanes. He had 7 points in that span playing in a depth forward role … Gerbe missed significant time last season after being on the receiving end of a Kyle Clifford hit in late November … Gerbe’s deal is very low risk for a depth, bottom-six forward … Gerbe stands at 5’4” or 5’5”. In skates he’s a little bit taller than that.”Blueshirt Banter

Boyd Gordon (C), Philadelphia Flyers
Contract: 1 year, $950,000 cap hit
2015-16 team: Arizona Coyotes
Previous contract: 3 years, $3-million AAV
2015-16 stats: 2 goals, 2 assists in 65 GP; 10 PIMs
What the pundits say: “Gordon, 32, is hopefully just going to be AHL depth if all goes according to plan. The former 17th overall pick by the Capitals in 2002 has played in the NHL for the majority of his career, with 693 games under his belt. In fact, he’s been an NHL regular in each of the last 10 seasons and has played just two AHL games since 2006.But … well, not a very good one. In 65 games with Arizona last season he had just two goals and two assists to go along with a weak 43 percent Corsi For percentage. The concern here would be if the Flyers are signing him to be an NHL player, and given that he hasn’t played an AHL game in six years, it’s a legitimate concern.”Broad Street Hockey

Riley Nash (C), Boston Bruins
Contract: 2 year, $900,000 AAV
2015-16 team: Carolina Hurricanes
Previous contract: 1 year, $1.15-million cap hit
2015-16 stats: 9 goals, 13 assists in 64 GP; 18 PIMs

ORIGINAL POST

Tom Gilbert (D), Los Angeles Kings
Contract: 1 year, $1.4-million cap hit
2015-16 team: Montreal Canadiens
Previous contract: 2 year, $2.8-million AAV
2015-16 stats: 1 goal, 1 assist in 45 GP; 12 PIMs
What the pundits say: “In the past, Gilbert has been praised for his mobility and his relative possession success on bad possession teams, but he provided almost zero offense as a low-event player last season, and his season ended early due to knee surgery in February. In that way, he fits LA’s M.O. as a player who’s been useful before, might be useful again, and is near the bottom of his value right now.”Jewels from the Crown

Chad Johnson (G), Calgary Flames
Contract: 1 year, $1.7-million cap hit
2015-16 team: Buffalo Sabres
Previous contract: 2 year, $1.3-million AAV
2015-16 stats: 22-16-4 in 45 GP; 2.36 GAA, .920 SV%
What the pundits say: “The deal will presumably slot him in as backup to Brian Elliott on the Pacific Division club … He’s had spurts of solid numbers, including a .920 save percentage in all situations this past year for Buffalo over a 45-game span. If he’s able to replicate that kind of success again – something he did with the Boston Bruins in the 2013-14, where he put up a .925 save percentage over 27 games – the Flames will have completely revamped their image in net for the upcoming season.”Today’s Slapshot

John-Michael Liles (D), Boston Bruins
Contract: 1 year, $2-million cap hit
2015-16 team(s): Carolina Hurricanes traded to Boston Bruins (re-upped with team after free agency opened)
Previous contract: 4 year, $3.875-million AAV
2015-16 stats: 6 goals, 15 assists in 81 games played; 18 PIMs
What the pundits say: “In 17 games with the Bruins, Liles compiled six assists and was a calming presence in the Bruins top-4 to close out the year. In his previous 64 games with Carolina, Liles scored 6 goals and 15 points. Through the 17 games that Liles played in a Bruins uniform, he averaged 19:19 of ice time and was an immediate fit in the Bruins lineup as a result of his veteran experience, and natural puck-moving abilities.”Causeway Crowd

Jason Chimera (LW), New York Islanders
Contract: 2 years, $2.25-million AAV
2015-16 team: Washington Capitals
Previous contract: 2 year, $2-million AAV
2015-16 stats: 20 goals, 20 assists in 82 GP; 22 PIMs
What the pundits say: “Chimera has 20, 7 and 15 goals in each of the last three years, so he brings more pop to the lineup than Martin has. However, his underlyings aren’t particularly good, with CF%s of 48, 47 and 46.6% over that same time period. He’s been known to get some special teams time with the Caps, too. What I also know about him is that he’s old (37), bald and has a propensity to take bad penalties. He’s also not Kyle Okposo or Frans Nielsen, but that’s not his fault.”Lighthouse Hockey

Carter Hutton (G), St. Louis Blues
Contract: 2 years, $1.125-million AAV
2015-16 team: Nashville Predators
Previous contract: 2 year, $725,000 AAV
2015-16 stats: 7-5-4 in 17 GP; 2.33 GAA, .918 SV%
What the pundits say: “The Blues solidified their goaltending today by signing former Predator Carter Hutton to a two year deal. Doug Armstrong hinted at maybe attempting another 1A/1B tandem in net, but the chances of signing a 1B at the same term and value as Brian Elliott was slim to none. It was going to be the Jake Allen Show the second Elliott was dealt to the Calgary Flames at the draft.”St. Louis Game Time

Alex Stalock (G), Minnesota Wild
Contract: 1 year, $650,000 cap hit (two way deal)
2015-16 team: San Jose Sharks
Previous contract: 2 year, $1.6-million AAV
2015-16 stats: 3-5-2 in 13 GP; 2.94 GAA, .884 SV%
What the pundits say: “The former San Jose Sharks goalie will likely be the Wild’s third goaltender and will play with the Iowa Wild … He admittedly knows he needs a chance to re-establish his game and to do that with the Wild organization. He’s 28 years old … He’s been up and down for most of his career, but with some NHL experience in Iowa, and if something traumatic happens to either Devan Dubnyk or Darcy Kuemper, the franchise knows they can fall back on a goalie that’s had some success in the NHL, and one that’s motivated to get his game back on track.”Hockey Wilderness

Jamie McGinn (LW), Arizona Coyotes
Contract: 3 years, $3.333-million AAV
2015-16 team(s): Buffalo Sabres traded to Anaheim Ducks
Previous contract: 2 year, $2.95-million AAV
2015-16 stats: 22 goals, 17 assists in 84 (not a typo) GP; 33 PIMs
What the pundits say: “The Coyotes pick up a heavy left winger who has spurts of scoring. He will add depth and offensive presence to the bottom six, which the Coyotes were looking for.”Five For Howling

Ben Lovejoy (D), New Jersey Devils
Contract: 3 years, $2.66-million AAV
2015-16 team: Pittsburgh Penguins
Previous contract: 3 year, $1.10-million AAV
2015-16 stats: 4 goals, 6 assists in 66 games played; 30 PIMs
What the pundits say: “I’m not a terribly big fan of Ben Lovejoy or this contract. The 32-year old spent last season with Pittsburgh, appearing in 66 games and playing an average of 18:52 per night according to NHL.com. While he was a regular in the postseason, that average ice time dipped to 17:45 per game. The ice time alone means he’s not going to step in to replace [Adam] Larsson. That would be one thing. The other thing is what Lovejoy has done on the ice. According to Puckalytics, the good news is that he’s been a positive possession player in 5-on-5 play. He was at 51.3% last season with Pittsburgh. However, that may have been a function of who he played with as Lovejoy’s SA/60 last season was 29.4, the third highest among their defenders. And his CF% rate was the third lowest among Pittsburgh’s defensemen. That’s not terribly encouraging.”All About The Jersey

Chris Stewart (RW), Minnesota Wild
Contract: 2 years; $1.15-million AAV
2015-16 team: Anaheim Ducks
Previous contract: 1 year, $1.70-million cap hit
2015-16 stats: 8 goals, 12 assists in 56 GP; 73 PIMs
What the pundits say: “This week, [Bruce] Boudreau called Stewart and pitched to him the idea of playing once again for the Wild. ‘He’s a really good head coach and he’s hungry and wants to win now too,’ Stewart said. ‘We talked for a couple minutes and as soon as I got off the phone with him, I sort of knew in my heart that’s where I wanted to be.’ … He’ll likely start on the fourth line with the Wild, but said he’s confident he’ll be able to play a number of roles.”Twin Cities Pioneer Press

Jonas Gustavsson (G), Edmonton Oilers
2015-16 team: Boston Bruins
Previous contract: 1 year, $700,000 cap hit
2015-16 stats: 11-9-1 in 24 GP; 2.72 GAA, .908 SV%
What the pundits say: “A handful of goaltenders including Jhonas Enroth were available at the time of this writing, and with that, the Oilers definitely missed out. Gustavsson’s lifetime SV% is a not-replacement-level .902 and I’ve got to believe that there were better options for a bit more capital.  With a career .902 SV%, I’m less than thrilled.”Copper & Blue

David Schlemko (D), San Jose Sharks
Contract: 4 years, $2.10-million AAV
2015-16 team: New Jersey Devils
Previous contract: 1 year, $625,000 AAV
2015-16 stats: 6 goals, 13 assists in 67 GP; 16 PIMs
What the pundits say: “His possession numbers are quite good and he’s a relatively mobile, puck moving defender which should make him a great partner for Brenden Dillon. It looks like San Jose has shored up their biggest defensive hole, leaving the Sharks with some cap space to go get a forward.”Fear The Fin

Al Montoya (G), Montreal Canadiens
Contract: 1 year, $950,000 AAV
2015-16 team: Florida Panthers
Previous contract: 2 year, $1.05-million AAV
2015-16 stats: 12-7-3 in 25 GP; 2.18 GAA, .919 SV%
What the pundits say: “The Canadiens currently have several goalies vying for the job of Carey Price’s number two, so you can probably expect at least one of Mike Condon, Charlie Lindgren, and Zachary Fucale to be moved to another team before the start of the season. Montoya spent the 2015-16 backing up Roberto Luongo with the Florida Panthers, but the five-year deal signed by James Reimer with the Panthers made Montoya expendable. He will bring his skills to the Montreal Canadiens, and you’d have to believe that he’ll be the front-runner to be the one to sit on the Habs bench this season.”Eyes on the Prize

Viktor Stalberg (LW), Carolina Hurricanes
Contract: 1 year, $1.5-million cap hit
2015-16 team: New York Rangers
Previous contract: 1 year, $1.10-million cap hit
2015-16 stats: 9 goals, 11 assists in 75 GP; 22 PIMs
What the pundits say: “He should serve as a bottom six forward for the Hurricanes. Stalberg is known for being a solid defensive forward who can provide a little bit of offense … He should be a strong mentor for the Hurricanes and their young core of forwards. Stalberg should help the Hurricanes improve their penalty kill as the team hopes to make the playoffs next season, or at least contend for a playoff spot. He will likely be on the Hurricanes third line, providing their bottom six with some size. Stalberg is a well-rounded player who is a reliable third line or fourth line option.”Fansided

Michael Grabner (RW), New York Rangers
Contract: 2 years, $1.6-million AAV
2015-16 team: Toronto Maple Leafs
Previous contract: 5 years, $3-million AAV
2015-16 stats: 9 goals, 9 assists in 80 GP; 12 PIMs
What the pundits say: “With the Rangers letting Viktor Stalberg walk to Carolina earlier in the day, they essentially replaced his speed with the addition of Grabner. They also get a key upgrade on the penalty killing unit, which was a glaring issue for the Rangers last season.Another thing to keep an eye on here is that the Rangers included an extra year on the deal, which likely plays into the expansion draft focus next year. They will most likely expose Grabner next year, which gives them the option of protecting another important asset instead. While this isn’t a big name signing, the Rangers identified one of their needs, and patched it up with a relatively cheap deal.”Blueshirt Banter

Shawn Matthias (C), Winnipeg Jets
Contract: 2 year, $2.125-million AAV
2015-16 team(s): Toronto Maple Leafs traded to Colorado Avalanche
Previous contract: 1 year, $2.3-million cap hit
2015-16 stats: 12 goals, 16 assists in 71 GP; 20 PIMs
What the pundits say: “After playing parts of seven seasons with the Florida Panthers, Matthias has been a bit of a journeyman of late. Winnipeg will be his fifth team in four seasons … Matthias provides competent veteran depth, and next season his presence will likely push a kid out of the bottom-six and onto the Manitoba Moose. In terms of specific lineup projections, speculation has already begun that his addition may keep Mathieu Perreault on the wing. However, there are a couple reasons why Winnipeg’s new addition may be better suited to the wing than down the middle. Matthias’ playmaking ability is lackluster at best, and his reputation as a solid faceoff guy is horribly outdated.”Arctic Ice Hockey

Lee Stempniak (RW), Carolina Hurricanes
Contract: 2 years, $2.5-million AAV
2015-16 team: New Jersey Devils traded to Boston Bruins
Previous contract: 1 year, $850,000 cap hit
2015-16 stats: 19 goals, 31 assists in 82 GP; 38 PIMs
What the pundits say: “It was the third season in a row Stempniak was moved at the trade deadline, and the ninth team he’s played for in 11 years. This is the plight of a player like Stempniak, who is a solid secondary scorer who can chip in his share of goals but will never be a team’s primary source of offense. In the right situation, however, Stempniak is a solid top-six forward and an excellent complementary piece. The Hurricanes will be hoping that Stempniak can be a solid scoring piece and a productive player who upgrades one of their top three lines … His signing won’t make headlines, but Stempniak is the type of solid, reliable option that a team in need of depth can depend on to play each night while providing quality production.”Bleacher Report

Patrick Wiercioch (D), Colorado Avalanche
Contract: 1 year, $800,000 cap hit
2015-16 team: Ottawa Senators
Previous contract: 3 years, $2-million AAV
2015-16 stats: 0 goals, 5 assists in 52 GP; 24 PIMs
What the pundits say: “There are some players that divide the hockey community. Without question, one of these is Patrick Wiercioch. He is a defenceman that some more traditional hockey analysts do not think can be an NHL regular, while the analytics community is much higher on him … It’s not a big contract, either in term or money, so there’s not much to lose here for Colorado. But a team that has typically been at the bottom of the possession charts for several years now could use the help of guys that are decent possession drivers, and that’s what Wiercioch has been over the last few years. Of course, role plays a factor here. Would he be a possession-driver playing 24 minutes a night against top lines? Doubtful. Can he do that playing a third pairing role in protected minutes? I think he can.”Dobber

Steve Ott (C), Detroit Red Wings
Contract: 1 year, $800,000 cap hit
2015-16 team: St. Louis Blues
Previous contract: 2 year, $2.6-million AAV
2015-16 stats: 0 goals, 2 assists in 21 GP; 34 PIMs
What the pundits say: “I’d fit him into a suitcase and put him in the cargo hold of a plane bound for Iceland if I could. I’m honestly terrified of a Miller-Glendening-Ott fourth line for the Red Wings. Ott’s value is entirely contained within intangibles in which I don’t necessarily believe. I promise not to use him as an ultimate proof-of-concept, but it’s hard to justify his spot on an NHL team anymore.”Winging It In Motown

Teddy Purcell (RW), Los Angeles Kings
Contract: 1 year, $1.6-million cap hit
2015-16 team(s): Edmonton Oilers traded to Florida Panthers
Previous contract: 3 years, $4.5-million AAV
2015-16 stats: 14 goals, 29 assists in 76 GP; 12 PIMs
What the pundits say: “Los Angeles is pretty tight up against the salary cap, so while they were hoping to keep Milan Lucic on their roster, they simply couldn’t make the money work. Adding additional, inexpensive depth like Purcell will hopefully fill holes in the roster their big-name free agent left. One thing that Purcell will definitely benefit from is the Kings’ possession focused system, as nearly everyone gets a huge bump in their Corsi For percentage when they join Los Angeles … This could be a big bargaining chip for him when his contract is up next year.”Today’s Slapshot