Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Mike Peca

Mike Peca signed a 1 year contract to play with the Columbus Blue Jackets for $1.3 million with a $700,000 signing bonus. A 728 game veteran defensive center, Peca has had an award winning career despite recent injury problems. A two time Selke Award winner for best defensive forward (1996-97, 2001-02) and an Olympic Gold Medalist (2002), Peca was one of the last major signings of the offseason. On his career he has 164 goals and 245 assists for 409 points with 676 penalty minutes and a stellar +73 rating. He has also had an excellent playoff record notching 34 points (15 goals, 19 assists) in 93 postseason games. Peca had his best season wearing the orange and blue scoring 60 points (25 goals, 35 assists) in 80 games with a +19 rating. In 222 games as an Isle, Peca tallied 49 goals, 93 assists, 142 goals, a +32 rating and 176 penalty minutes. Peca has had tours of duty with the Canucks, Sabres, Isles, Oilers and Leafs. Peca was drafted in the 2nd Round, 40th overall in the 1992 NHL Entry Draft.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Mattias Weinhandl

Reports show that winger Mattias Weinhandl has signed with Linkopings HC of the Swedish Elite League. No terms were found. Despite playing 182 NHL games, Weinhandl never found a true home in the NHL. In that time he scored 19 goals and 37 assists for 56 points with a +1 rating and only 70 penalty minutes. Between the 2002-03 and 2005-06 seasons, Weinhandl played 155 games for the Isles 16 goals and 33 assists. Weinhandl also saw playing time with the Minnesota Wild.

Update: Thanks to FIW's first valuable comment ever (!) we have been informed that Weinhandl signed for about 300,000 kroner (SW) which is currently around $43,200 (USD).

Jamie McLennan

After a 1 minute playoff substitution that raised eyebrows for his vicious torso slash on Red Wing forward Johan Franzen, goaltender Jamie McLennan has signed with Metallurg Magnitogorsk of the Russian Super League. A 254 game veteran (220 of them starts), McLennan saw playing time throughout the NHL never finding success as a 1st stringer but finding stints backing up a variety of successful teams. A former 3rd Round NHL Entry Draft pick of the Islanders in 1991, 48th overall, McLennan entered the league in 1993 as Ron Hextall's backup. On his career, McLennan compiled an 80-109-36 record with a 2.68 goals against average and an .898 save percentage. He compiled 13 shutouts while playing 13,834 minutes of ice time. McLennan saw tours of duty with the Isles, Blues, Wild, Flames, Rangers and Panthers.

Eric Boguniecki

Eric Boguniecki, a career minor-league call up, who had a small stint with the Isles last season has signed with ERC Ingolstadt Panthers of the German League. No terms were found. The information was gathered on Eric's official website, A one-time 49 point scorer, Boguniecki played 178 NHL games between the 2000-01 and 2006-07 seasons scoring 34 goals and 42 assists for 76 points with 105 penalty minutes and a +14 rating. At times a flashy right wing, Boguniecki floundered with the Islanders notching no points and 8 penalty minutes in 11 games while filling in for the injured Alexei Yashin. Boguniecki has played for the Blues, Pens and Isles.

Jamie Heward

Reports have it that defenseman Jamie Heward has signed with SKA St. Petersburg of the Russian Super League. No terms have been found. A former 1st Round pick in the 1989 NHL Entry Draft, 16th overall by the Pittsburgh Penguin. Heward didn't crack into the league until 1995-96 with Toronto. In 381 career games Heward notched 38 goals and 84 assists for 122 points with 217 penalty minutes and a -49 rating. During the 1999-2000 season, Heward played 54 games for the Isles with 6 goals and 11 assists for 17 points. Heward is just another in a series of attrition moves by veteran players to European leagues. During his 8 season career, Heward saw playing time with the Maple Leafs, Predators, Isles, Blue Jackets, Capitals and Kings.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Really Under the Radar: Wade Flaherty

Former Islander back up goalie Wade Flaherty signed a deal with the Chicago Blackhawks on July 27. FIW sees this as an insurance signing making Flaherty the third string in case of injury to either underwhelming Khabibulin or overpaid Lalime. No terms were found. Flaherty has not played in the NHL since the 2002-03 season but is a 120 game veteran. A career 3.51 goals against average, Wade was 27-56-9 with 5 shutouts between 1991 and 2003. He provides solid goaltending ability for Chicago's AHL affiliate Wolves. As an AHLer, Flaherty has a much more solid 2.48 gaa and is 125-83-25 on his career with 19 shutouts in 252 games. Flaherty played parts of 4 seasons between 1997 and 2001 with the Isles seeing 60 games of action in that time while compiling a 15-26-5 record with 4 shutouts. Though it is doubtful that Flaherty will see any pro time with the Blackhawks, he has also seen tours of duty with the Sharks, Lightning, Panthers and Predators.

Under the Radar: Eric Godard

In a little case of non-information FIW has learned that tough winger Eric Godard resigned with the Calgary Flames to a 1 year deal for $475,000. Injured most of last season, Godard played in only 19 games for the Flames. Never a prolific scorer, Godard managed 1 point (an assist) while racking up an impressive 50 penalty minutes. A born fighter, a healthy Godard should bring some much needed muscle to Calgary's attack. In 126 NHL games (107 with the Isles), Godard has 2 goals and 4 assists for 6 points. The impressive number is his 310 penalty minutes, many of them via fisticuffs. He is also a fairly impressive -6 rating considering the role he fills.

Matt Koalska

Forward Matt Koalska signed with HC Bolzano of the Italian Serie A League on August 9. A veteran AHLer, Koalska played 3 games for the Islanders during the 2005-06 season but never found footing with an NHL club. A star during his 4 years of play at the University of Minnesota, Koalska never lived up to expectations and in a surprise move has signed to play in the vortex of ice hockey: the Italian League. During his 3 game NHL career, Koalska had no points, 3 shots, 2 penalty minutes and a -1 rating.

Justin Mapletoft

Center Justin Mapletoft was signed by Ottawa to a 1 year deal on August 10. Financial terms have yet to be released. His last recorded playing activity was 10 games with the Sinupret Ice Tigers of Nurnberg in the German League in 2006-07. Mapletoft played 38 games for Isles between 2002 and 2004 recording 3 goals and 6 assists for 9 points in that time. Following the lockout, Mapletoft split playing time in Sweden, Finland and eventually Germany.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Josh Green and Darby Hendrickson

After playing for the surprisingly successful Vancouver Canucks last season, center Josh Green attracted no substantial interest on the NHL free agent market. On July 30 he signed with The Red Bulls Salzburg of the Austrian League. No terms have been found. He will be joined by fellow FI Darby Hendrickson whom I could also find no terms for.

Green, who has seen time with the Isles, Kings, Oilers, Rangers, Capitals, Flames, Rangers (again!) and Canucks, has played 325 games since 1998-99. In that time, he has managed a meager 35 goals and 39 assists including a mere 7 points (2 goals, 5 assists) in 57 games with Vancouver last year. He also notched 1 assist in 9 playoff games last spring. Green was a former 2nd round, 30th overall pick in the 1996 NHL Draft by the Los Angeles Kings.

Hendrickson hasn't played in the NHL since 2003-04 when he split time between Colorado and Minnesota. Since then he has played in Riga in the Latvian League and signed on with Red Bulls Salzburg in 2005. No further details have been found. A former 4th round, 73rd pick overall in the 1990 NHL Draft by the Toronto Maple Leafs. A 518 game veteran of the NHL, Hendrickson has had tours of duty with Toronto, the Islanders, Vancouver, Minnesota and Colorado. In that time he notched 65 goals and 64 assists for 129 points but never shined in the center role.

Further signing information as we hear about here on FIW.

Juraj Kolnik

Following a less than stellar season, partially shortened season with the Florida Panthers in which he notched only 25 points (11 goals, 14 assists) in 64 games, Juraj Kolnik signed on with HC Geneve-Servette of the Swiss National League on August 6. Terms could not be found. The Slovak native played 240 NHL games with the Isles and Panthers scoring 46 goals and 49 assists for 95 points. He never really found footing pretty consistent playing time over the last 3 seasons with Florida. The former 4th round, 101st pick in the 1999 NHL draft, Kolnik played only 36 games over 2 seasons with the Isles before being traded in 2003 to Florida.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Arron Asham

After a couple of weeks off something finally happened in the FIW world. 29 year old toughman right wing Arron Asham signed a contract with the New Jersey Devils. No terms have been disclosed yet. Known for his solid work ethic, Asham is a good 3rd or 4th liner who can hold his own in a glove dropping fight. In 421 games between the Canadiens and Islanders, Asham has 58 goals and 67 assists for 125 points along with 453 penalty minutes and a healthy 11.55 shooting percentage. He has scored 11 or more goals in 3 of his last 4 seasons a number that would be hired if he weren't reknowned for his innate ability to ring one off the post with amazing accuracy. Asham is now a tough Islander loss but a great pickup for the Devils. We wish Arron the best.

Update: 1 year, $700,000