The New Jersey Devils are bringing back tough guy Mason Geertsen, according to Chris Johnston of TSN. PuckPedia reports that the one-year deal is worth $750K at the NHL level, $300K in the AHL, and includes a minor league guarantee of $350K.
Geertsen, 27, made his NHL debut this season and suited up 25 times for the Devils. In those games, he averaged nearly as many minutes in the penalty box as on the ice, being used almost entirely for his fighting ability and intimidation factor. The 6’4″ forward logged 58 hits and 77 penalty minutes on the year, while averaging fewer than seven minutes of ice time and failing to score a single point.
It’s not really different in the minor leagues, where Geertsen has only ever scored nine goals, despite more than 300 AHL appearances. One of the last remaining enforcers, he does have over 500 penalty minutes and a lengthy fight card.
New Jersey added more depth this evening, signing forward Brian Pinho to a one-year, two-way contract, says CapFriendly (link). The contract will pay Pinho $750K at the NHL level and $325K at the minor league level.
After an impressive four-year tenure at Providence College, Pinho, a sixth-round selection by the Washington Capitals in 2013, turned pro, spending parts of the previous four seasons as a member of the AHL’s Hershey Bears, putting up 17 points in 27 games this past season. Though primarily an AHLer for his career, Pinho did appear in two games for the Capitals in 2020-21.
Forward Jack Dugan will also head to New Jersey, signing a one-year, two-way contract according to CapFriendly (link). Dugan’s contract will pay him $750K at the NHL level and $125K at the minor league level and leaves him an RFA at its expiration. A fifth-round pick in the Vegas Golden Knights’ inaugural draft class, Dugan spent a year with the Chicago Steel fo rhte USHL before heading to Providence, like Pinho, then eventually turning pro, spending the previous two seasons with the Henderson Silver Knights of the AHL.
The Devils also brought back defenseman Tyler Wotherspoon on a two-year, two-way contract, per CapFriendly (link). Wotherspoon’s deal is worth $750K at the NHL level in year one and bumps up to $775K in year two. At the minor league level, the deal is wroth $300K in the first year and $325K in the second.
A veteran of 30 NHL games spread over four seasons in the Calgary Flames organization, Wotherspoon represents solid depth for a Devils organization that has had its share of injuries that have forced them to dig deep to find replacements. The defenseman has carved out a career for himself in the AHL as a reliable defenseman, blending in and producing for whatever team he has been on, the 2021-22 Utica Comets representing his fifth team, all in the AHL, in the previous five seasons.
Speaking of the Comets, Wotherspoon, as well as Pinho and Dugan, will have a chance to help Utica run it back once again after an absolutely dominant 2021-22 campaign that saw them go 43-20-8-1, clinching first place in the AHL’s North Division.