While we’ll be waiting until November for the start of NHL free agency to begin, the AHL free agent market still got underway on July 1st like usual. The limitations are that players had to have been on minor league deals previously and sign another one for next year or head overseas; anyone hoping to convert to an NHL contract will have to wait. The early indication is that many will be waiting to sign but here is a rundown of the handful of moves made so far.
- Defenseman Stuart Percy is leaving the AHL and has signed with Vaasan Sport, the SM-liiga team announced. The 27-year-old was once viewed as a promising NHL prospect and he got into a dozen games with Toronto in the past but has bounced around the minors over the last few years. He spent parts of the last two seasons with Belleville (Ottawa’s affiliate) but was limited to just five games this season.
- The Canadiens have signed Sam Vigneault and Corey Schuenemann to minor league deals, per a team release from their affiliate in Laval. Vigneault inked an entry-level deal with Columbus back in 2017 and while the center was non-tendered last summer, he stayed with their farm team in Cleveland where he had 11 goals and five assists in 57 games. Schuenemann, meanwhile, played his first full professional season in 2019-20 and posted respectable numbers for a blueliner, collecting three goals and 18 helpers in just 44 games with AHL Stockton, Calgary’s affiliate.
- After spending last season on an AHL deal with Nashville following a non-tender by New Jersey, goaltender Cam Johnson is dipping down a level once again as the Florida Everblades of the ECHL announced (Twitter link) that they’ve signed the 25-year-old to a one-year deal. Johnson actually spent all of this season with the Everblades, posting an impressive 2.32 GAA with a .925 SV% in 21 games so he will remain in Nashville’s extended organization.