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


More AP NHL: and

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Associated Press

Ex-Packer Guion gets 1 year for domestic violence assault

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Former Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Letroy Guion was sentenced to one year in jail after pleading no contest in a domestic violence assault at his home last fall. Brown County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Walsh also ordered Guion on Tuesday to serve three years’ probation and complete a domestic […]

3 months ago

Joe Jarzynka...

Associated Press

Durant eager for Suns debut vs. Hornets after knee injury

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kevin Durant has been through quite a bit during his 15-year NBA career — but joining a new team midway through the season is a new one for the 13-time All-Star. The 34-year-old Durant doesn’t seem all that worried. Durant makes his highly anticipated Phoenix Suns debut on Wednesday night against […]

3 months ago

FILE - Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores stands on the sideline during the second half of an N...

Associated Press

Judge: NFL coach can press discrimination claims in court

NEW YORK (AP) — NFL Coach Brian Flores can pursue some of his discrimination claims against the league and its teams in court rather than through arbitration, a judge ruled Wednesday. The written decision by Judge Valerie Caproni in Manhattan was issued months after lawyers for the league tried to get the lawsuit moved to […]

3 months ago

Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Alex Stalock cools off in the first period during an NHL hockey game ...

Associated Press

Kane trade reinforces hard reality of Blackhawks rebuild

CHICAGO (AP) — After days of speculation, the harsh reality of the Chicago Blackhawks’ situation was reinforced by one move in a flurry of transactions ahead of the NHL trade deadline. Showtime is over, at least in Chicago, and a seemingly bright future is, well, way off in the distance. The reverberations of Chicago’s decision […]

3 months ago

FILE -  Yves Jean-Bart, president of the Haitian Football Federation, wearing a protective face mas...

Associated Press

Disgraced ex-Haitian soccer president announces he’s back

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Haiti’s former soccer federation president whose lifetime ban from sport over sexual abuse allegations was overturned last month announced Wednesday that he is reclaiming his position. Yves Jean-Bart’s defiant announcement could lead to a standoff with FIFA, which already has appointed an emergency management committee to lead the Haitian Football Association […]

3 months ago

FILE - Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers walks off the field after an NFL football game against the ...

Associated Press

Rodgers says decision on future will come ‘soon enough’

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Aaron Rodgers says he will make a decision on his future “soon enough” as the four-time MVP quarterback ponders whether to play next season and if his future remains with the Green Bay Packers. Rodgers, 39, discussed his future while speaking on an episode of the “Aubrey Marcus Podcast” that […]

3 months ago

Penguins re-sign Letang; Avalanche acquire goalie Georgiev