Toews signs 8-year, $84 million deal

The Chicago Blackhawks are keeping their captain for a long time.

Former UND standout Jonathan Toews signed an eight-year, $84 million deal on Wednesday, the richest per-year deal in NHL history.

Toews and dynamic winger Patrick Kane signed identical deals, according to TSN.

The cap hits for Toews and Kane will be $10.5 million, which eclipses that of Alexander Ovechkin’s $9.5 million cap hit, previously the highest.

The six highest-paid UND players — Toews, Zach Parise, Travis Zajac, Matt Greene, T.J. Oshie and Drew Stafford — have all recently signed deals worth a combined $275 million and have inked career earnings worth about $387 million.

UND at NHL camps

A total of 18 past and current UND players are attending development camps, including Troy Stecher, an undrafted free agent invitee of both the Vancouver Canucks and Chicago Blackhawks and Drake Caggiula, an undrafted free agent invitee of the Buffalo Sabres.

Here’s a list, thanks to College Hockey Inc.

Signed players

Dillon Simpson, Edmonton Oilers
Rocco Grimaldi, Florida Panthers

Current players

Shane Gersich, Washington Capitals
Drake Caggiula, Buffalo Sabres
Jordan Schmaltz, St. Louis Blues
Austin Poganski, St. Louis Blues
Michael Parks, Philadelphia Flyers
Keaton Thompson, Anaheim Ducks
Wade Murphy, Nashville Predators
Zane Gothberg, Boston Bruins
Mark MacMillan, Montreal Canadiens
Gage Ausmus, San Jose Sharks
Brendan O’Donnell, Tampa Bay Lightning
Tucker Poolman, Winnipeg Jets
Nick Schmaltz, Chicago Blackhawks
Nick Mattson, Chicago Blackhawks
Luke Johnson, Chicago Blackhawks
Troy Stecher, Vancouver Canucks
Troy Stecher, Chicago Blackhawks

Sometimes, interesting info comes out of these camps as to who is playing well. Sometimes, there are stories from the local media, too.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch wrote a feature on the Schmaltz brothers. You can read that here.

VandeVelde re-signs with Philly

Former UND center Chris VandeVelde is staying with the Philadelphia Flyers’ organization.

VandeVelde re-signed with the Flyers this week, inking a one-year, two-way deal. The deal is worth $575,000 if he’s playing in the NHL and $150,000 if he’s in the AHL according to CapGeek.

VandeVelde played 18 games for the Flyers last season, tallying one assist. He played 41 games for the AHL Adirondack Phantoms, tallying 10 goals and 24 points.

For his career, the former Moorhead High star has played in 46 NHL games with the Oilers and Flyers, scoring a goal and tallying four points.

New deal coming for Toews?

Former UND star Jonathan Toews is not a free agent this summer. But the Chicago Blackhawks want to make sure that he doesn’t become one a year from now.

Chicago general manager Stan Bowman says he is negotiating with Pat Brisson, the agent for both Toews and Patrick Kane with hopes of signing both players longterm in the near future.

The big question: How much will Toews and Kane get from the Blackhawks?

They signed identical five-year, $31.5 million deals in 2010 and both are set to expire next season. They will be unrestricted free agents if nothing gets done. But all signs point to something happening.

It wouldn’t be surprising if they both sign identical deals again — something that Zach Parise and Ryan Suter did with the Minnesota Wild.

Speculation is that Toews and Kane could become among the NHL’s highest-paid players ever. But at the same time, they probably don’t want to handcuff the Blackhawks from putting quality players around them.

So, what do you think Toews will get?

Greenes get to watch this Cup run

Former UND captain Matt Greene won his first Stanley Cup two years ago.

His parents didn’t get to watch a single game.

Jim and Darcy Greene were on a research trip to Benin, a small country in West Africa. They would go to an Internet Cafe and try to get the Kings’ website to load just to see game scores. They were en route back to America during the clinching Game 6.

This time, they got to watch.

The Kings flew families of players to Madison Square Garden for Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final, then flew them back to Los Angeles for Game 5. So, Greene’s family was able to join him on the ice to celebrate after the Kings clinched the title with a double overtime goal in Game 5.

“It was a lot better this way,” Jim said with a laugh.

Greene hammering out Cup plans

Matt Greene is working on plans for his day with the Stanley Cup.

That day will happen in Grand Forks.

The former UND captain will bring the trophy to his old college city in mid-August. The date is expected to be Aug. 11 or Aug. 12. He is still working on the details of his trip and day with the Cup. They are expected to be announced at a later date.

Here’s the story on the Herald’s site.

Greene’s deal = $10M

Matt Greene re-signed with the Los Angeles before the start of the free agency period and has listed the details of his contract.

Greene will make $10 million over the next four seasons, getting an equal $2.5 million share each year. The contract will bring Greene’s career earnings to roughly $30 million.

The former UND captain just completed a five-year deal with the Kings, helping them to a pair of Stanley Cups. He was an alternate captain on both Cup-winning teams.

Greene, 31, has played 504 games in the NHL with the Edmonton Oilers and the Kings, scoring 13 goals, tallying 69 points and registering 583 penalty minutes. He also has played 79 NHL playoff games in his career, going to three Cup Finals.

Also of note, the Kings lost defenseman Willie Mitchell in free agency today.

Chorney signs with Pens

Former UND defenseman Taylor Chorney is heading to the Pittsburgh Penguins — the same organization where his father, Marc, played from 1980-84.

Chorney signed a one-year, two-way deal with the Pens worth $550,000, according to TSN.

Chorney previously has played for the St. Louis Blues and Edmonton Oilers. He has suited up for 61 NHL games, scoring a goal and adding six assists. The defenseman last played in the NHL during the 2011-12 season.

Frattin headed back to Toronto

Former Hobey Baker Award finalist Matt Frattin is headed back to his original NHL team, the Toronto Maple Leafs.

After spending last season on the move — from Toronto to Los Angeles to Columbus — the Blue Jackets have sent Frattin back to Toronto in exchange for Leafs forward Jerry D’Amigo.

The Leafs still had to sign Frattin — a restricted free agency whose rights were retained with a qualifying offer — and they did just that on Tuesday. Frattin’s deal with the Leafs is for two years.

Frattin made his NHL debut with the Leafs at the end of the 2010-11 season. He played the next two seasons with the Leafs as well. Last year, he was traded to the Kings before the start of the season, then dealt to the Blue Jackets at the trading deadline.

For his career, Frattin has played in 126 NHL games and has tallied 17 goals and 35 points.

Malone signs with Carolina

Former UND forward Brad Malone is on the move.

Malone signed a two-year deal with the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday, the opening day of the NHL’s free agency period. Malone’s contract will be worth $1.3 million — $600,000 this upcoming season and $700,000 in 2015-16.

The contract is a one-way deal according to, which means Malone should have a great opportunity to play quite a bit in the NHL this season.

Malone started to cement himself in the NHL at the end of the season, playing in six of seven playoff games for the Colorado Avalanche. During the regular season, he played in 32 games and scored three goals and had five points.

For his career, Malone has played 54 regular-season NHL games, scoring five goals and tallying nine points.