By Stefan Kubus -
Now that we’re through almost a full work-week of the free agent madness that comes along with July 1, here’s a list of all the signings that relate to the Mitten.
Kevin Porter – Buffalo Sabres
Porter, former Michigan Wolverine and Hobey Baker winner from Northville, recorded seven points in 35 games with the Colorado Avalanche this past season as a part-time player.
Al Montoya – Winnipeg Jets
Former University of Michigan standout Al Montoya will compete for the backup goaltending job in Winnipeg behind Ondrej Pavelec, after signing a one-year deal and seeing former Jets backup Chris Mason return to the Nashville Predators.
Chris Conner – Phoenix Coyotes
After a brief stint in Detroit that saw the shifty Conner dress for eight games (1 goal, 2 assists), the 28-year-old Westland native will be taking his game to the desert.
Andrew Ebbett – Vancouver Canucks
The 29-year-old Ebbett agreed to a two-way deal to remain a Vancouver Canuck. The former Wolverine has amassed 24 goals and 58 points over 163 career NHL games spent with five different teams.
Jeff Petry – Edmonton Oilers
On the heels of his wedding day this weekend, former Michigan State Spartan and Ann Arbor native Jeff Petry re-signed a two-year deal with the Edmonton Oilers.
Jiri Hudler – Calgary Flames
After tallying 25 goals and 50 points this past season for Detroit, Hudler received a hefty pay day from the Calgary Flames, signing a four-year, $16 million deal.
John Mitchell – Colorado Avalanche
Mitchell will take his game to Colorado after a stint with the New York Rangers this past year. The former Plymouth Whaler recorded 16 points in 63 games in a depth role on Broadway.
David Moss – Phoenix Coyotes
Moss, a former Wolverine and Catholic Central High School product, signed a two-year deal with the Coyotes. The 6-foot-4 Livonia native had spent his entire career with the Calgary Flames, where he posted a line of 61-63-124 in 317 regular season games. In 2011-12, Moss was limited to only 32 games due to injury.
Matt Taormina – Tampa Bay Lightning
Warren native Matt Taormina signed a one-year, two-way deal with the Lightning. Taormina played in 47 games with the Devils the last two seasons, and collected 12 points along the way, after signing with New Jersey in 2010.
Damien Brunner – Detroit Red Wings
The hot commodity free agent out of Switzerland decided to go with Detroit, signing a one-year, $925,000 deal. In 45 games with EV Zug of the Swiss-A league last year, the 26-year-old Brunner registered 24 goals and 60 points.
Jeff Zatkoff – Pittsburgh Penguins
The 25-year-old Zatkoff, from Detroit, signed a two-year, two-way deal with the Penguins after playing the last four years in the Los Angeles Kings organization. In 2011-12, Zatkoff posted a 21-17-1 record, 2.49 GAA, and a .920 save percentage with the Manchester Monarchs of the AHL. Zatkoff played his college hockey with Miami in the CCHA.
Jordin Tootoo – Detroit Red Wings
The Wings were looking to add some toughness this off-season, and they sure found it in the 29-year-old Tootoo. In 2011-12, Tootoo put up 30 points (career-high) and 92 PIMs in 77 games. His five fighting majors this past season should help take some weight off of Justin Abdelkader’s shoulders, who dropped the mitts six times.
Mikael Samuelsson – Detroit Red Wings
The former Red Wing is back for a second stint. Samuelsson, 35, returns after a first-round Stanley Cup Playoffs exit with the Florida Panthers. In 278 regular season games with Detroit, Samuelsson amassed 67 goals and 92 assists.
Ray Whitney – Dallas Stars
The one-time member of the Red Wings, back in 2003-04, recorded 43 points in 67 games in a President’s Trophy-winning season for Detroit. At age 40, there’s no signs of slowing down, as Whitney tallied 24 goals and 77 points in 82 games this past season with the Phoenix Coyotes. That earned him a two-year, $9 million deal with the Stars.
Greg Rallo – Florida Panthers
Rallo, a former Ferris State Bulldog, signed a one-year, two-way deal with the Florida Panthers. Last season, Rallo had 22 goals and 20 assists for the AHL’s San Antonio Rampage.
Jonas Gustavsson – Detroit Red Wings
Nicknamed “The Monster,” Gustavsson appeared in over half of the games last season for the Toronto Maple Leafs. In 42 games, the Swedish netminder posted a 17-17-4 record, 2.92 GAA, and .902 save percentage. He also posted a career-high four shutouts, and should serve as a trusty backup for Jimmy Howard.
Joe Corvo – Carolina Hurricanes
Corvo, a Western Michigan Broncos alum, signed a one-year deal with Carolina quickly on July 1. It will be his third stint in Raleigh.
Justin Peters – Carolina Hurricanes
Former Plymouth Whalers goaltender Justin Peters re-upped with Carolina. He signed a two-year deal; Season 1 is a two-way contract, Season 2 is a one-way.
Jared Nightingale – Syracuse Crunch (AHL)
Nightingale, a Cheboygan native, is expected to add some toughness to the Crunch. The four-year member of the Michigan State Spartans has played in 264 AHL games, and recorded 38 points and 619 penalty minutes.