After a number of busy days on the free agent market, NHL transactions are starting to show signs of cooling down. Those big-league deals will continue throughout the summer, but now the minor deals will increase in frequency as some NHL hopefuls settle for minor league deals or make the jump overseas. Follow along with those contracts here:
- The San Jose Barracuda announced that they have signed veteran defenseman Mark Alt to a one-year AHL contract. Alt, 29, is entering his ninth NHL season, having previously spent time with the Philadelphia Flyers, Colorado Avalanche, and Los Angeles Kings, as well as their respective affiliates. Alt has logged over 400 AHL games and 20 NHL games. What he may lack in high-end ability, Alt makes up for in dependability as a big, defensively sound blue liner. The former Colorado Eagles captain and Ontario Reign alternate also brings leadership and experience to the AHL ranks, something that the San Jose Sharks will value as they groom their prospects.
- Goaltender Evan Fitzpatrick has inked a two-year deal with the AHL’s Charlotte Checkers, the team announced. The St. Louis Blues opted not to extend a qualifying offer to the 23-year-old Fitzpatrick, a somewhat surprising move for a formerly well-regarded second-round prospect. It is equally strange to see him settle for a minor league deal. While Fitzpatrick had struggled in the pros leading up to this past season, he did nothing to damage his stock in a brief 2020-21 showing. In three appearances, Fitzpatrick recorded a 2-0-0 record with a 1.65 GAA and .930 save percentage. While a very small sample size, it also could have marked the beginning of Fitzpatrick meeting his potential. If so, the Checkers stand to gain for not one but two years, unless an NHL competitor swoops in. Charlotte also signed former Florida Panthers prospect Karch Bachman, who spent his first pro season in the ECHL after a standout career at Miami University.
- Overage forward Simon Knak was drafted in his second go-round this year after another stellar year with the WHL’s Portland Winterhawks, picked up by the Nashville Predators in the sixth round. However, he won’t make his pro debut in North America any time soon. The 19-year-old Swiss winger signed a two-year deal back home with the NLA’s HC Davos, the team he spent 25 games with on loan this past season. Knak will be under contract through the 2022-23 season, after which time the Predators hope he will be ready to return.