Penguins re-sign Letang; Avalanche acquire goalie Georgiev

Jul 6, 2022, 10:33 PM | Updated: Jul 10, 2022, 6:55 pm
Chicago Blackhawks left wing Alex DeBrincat against the San Jose Sharks during an NHL hockey game i...

Chicago Blackhawks left wing Alex DeBrincat against the San Jose Sharks during an NHL hockey game in San Jose, Calif., April 23, 2022. The Blackhawks made the biggest trade so far by sending DeBrincat to the Ottawa Senators for the seventh and 39th pick this year and a third-rounder in 2024. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, file)

(AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, file)

MONTREAL (AP) — Colorado, Chicago and Pittsburgh all made key moves Thursday ahead of the NHL draft, with the Stanley Cup champion Avalanche making a deal to shore up their goaltending situation and the Penguins ensuring a long-time defenseman was sticking around.

The Avalanche acquired goaltender Alexandar Georgiev from the New York Rangers for three draft picks, and the Pittsburgh Penguins also signed veteran defenseman Kris Letang to a $36.6 million, six-year contract that carries a $6.1 million annual salary cap hit.

“It was more of a contract to fit both parties: give a chance to the Penguins to sign other players and also based on performance and what I did in the last few years,” Letang said. “I think it was a mix of both. There was not like a set number or a set of years. It was just to fit both parties and make sure we can still compete and win and not take a big chunk and not leaving anything left.”

Before the draft began, the Blackhawks began their much-anticipated dismantling process by trading Alex DeBrincat to the Ottawa Senators for the seventh pick and more, and the Minnesota Wild re-signed goalie Marc-Andre Fleury to a $7 million, two-year contract.

The Blackhawks weren’t done dealing by trading third-year center Kirby Dach to Montreal during the draft to acquire two more picks. Chicago acquired the No. 13 and 66th selection for Dach, who had a career-best nine goals and 26 points in 82 games last season.

Montreal spurred the move by acquiring the No. 13 pick in trading defenseman Alexander Romanov and the 98th pick to the Islanders.

Later in the first round Thursday night, the Blackhawks acquired goaltender Petr Mrazek and the No. 25 from the Toronto Maple Leafs for the 38th. That was the price the Leafs had to pay to get rid of Mrazek’s contract and clear salary cap space.

The goalie domino effect started early in the day when Colorado gave up third- and fifth-round picks this year and a third-rounder next year for Georgiev. The move seems to spell the end of playoff starting goalie Darcy Kuemper’s time with the Avalanche.

The Avalanche can now pair Georgiev, who needs a new contract as a restricted free agent, with Pavel Francouz as they try to defend their third title in franchise history.

The Penguins, who won it all back to back in 2016 and ’17, now turn their attention to trying to re-sign star center Evgeni Malkin, who’s set to be an unrestricted free agent next week. General manager Ron Hextall said Wednesday the team was closer to an agreement with Letang than Malkin.

When Malkin texted Letang on Thursday, he responded, “I hope you get this done soon so we keep it all together.”

The Blackhawks are certainly not keeping their group together after trading DeBrincat and Dach. The Senators on the way to contending sooner than later were thrilled to make a trade with rebuilding Chicago.

“It’s way more fun adding than deleting,” GM Pierre Dorion said. “We want to play meaningful games until the end of the year. I think that’s one step closer to doing that. Obviously the rebuild has been going on. We feel we’re in the next phase now, and for us adding a player of this caliber you have to pay a certain price, and we felt it was a fair deal.”

___

Follow AP Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SWhyno

___

More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Texas Rangers' Marcus Semien runs the bases after hitting a solo home run off Oakland Athletics sta...
Associated Press

Rangers win 3rd straight, top A’s 2-1 after Woodward firing

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Marcus Semien homered, rookie Bubba Thompson had a tiebreaking RBI single and the Texas Rangers won hours after manager Chris Woodward was fired, beating the Oakland Athletics 2-1 on Monday night. Woodward, who was in his fourth season and two games shy of his 500th game as manager, was let go […]
21 hours ago
Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Johnny Cueto winds up during the first inning of the team's base...
Associated Press

Moncada, Cueto lead White Sox past Astros 4-2

CHICAGO (AP) — Yoán Moncada hit a tiebreaking two-run single in Chicago’s four-run eighth inning, and the White Sox beat the Houston Astros 4-2 on Monday night for their fourth straight win. Chicago’s winning rally started after José Urquidy retired the first two batters. Urquidy was pulled after AJ Pollock’s infield hit, and the White […]
21 hours ago
Minnesota Twins' Luis Arraez scores past Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez during the fifth...
Associated Press

Kepler helps Twins bats get going in 4-2 win over Royals

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Max Kepler went 3 for 4 with a slump-busting RBI to give Minnesota’s lagging lineup a lift, and the Twins started a vital homestand with a 4-2 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Monday night. Kepler snapped an 0-for-29 skid with his one-out single in the second inning against Royals starter […]
21 hours ago
New York Yankees designated hitter Miguel Andujar reacts after striking out then being tagged by Ta...
Associated Press

Yankees blanked for 2nd straight game, lose to Rays 4-0

NEW YORK (AP) — The slumping New York Yankees were shut out in consecutive games for the first time since 2016, losing to Ryan Yarbrough and the Tampa Bay Rays 4-0 on Monday night. Coming off a 3-0 defeat Sunday night against the Boston Red Sox, New York failed to provide any run support for […]
21 hours ago
Baltimore Orioles' Ryan McKenna, right, celebrates with Ryan Mountcastle after scoring against the ...
Associated Press

Mountcastle HRs, surging Orioles beat struggling Jays 7-3

TORONTO (AP) — Ryan Mountcastle hit a two-run home run in his return to the lineup, Ryan McKenna had his first three-hit game and an RBI, and the surging Baltimore Orioles improved to 9-4 in August by beating the Toronto Blue Jays 7-3 Monday night. Baltimore (60-55) reached 60 wins in a season for the […]
21 hours ago
Washington Nationals shortstop CJ Abrams gestures during the fourth inning of the team's baseball g...
Associated Press

Cruz’s eighth-inning homer lifts Nationals over Cubs 5-4

WASHINGTON (AP) — Nelson Cruz hit a tiebreaking solo homer in the eighth inning to lift the Washington Nationals to a 5-4 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Monday night. Cruz, who hit a two-run double in the fifth, smacked a 1-1 pitch from Brandon Hughes (1-1) to center to snap a 4-all tie with […]
21 hours ago
Penguins re-sign Letang; Avalanche acquire goalie Georgiev