(got to love Google Translate.)
If you were on Cap Geek or Elite Prospects today, it appears that New Jersey has signed their first free agent of the offseason, forward Harri Pesonen. He was given a one year, two way contract. Pesonen is a native of Muurame, Finland, and played last season for JYP in Finland’s SM-liiga, putting up 35 points (including 21 goals) in 60 games played, plus an additional 11 points in 14 postseason games. John from In Lou We Trust has more information and a scouting report here. (Fun fact: One of Pesonen’s now former teammates on JYP? Former River Rat/Devil prospect Tuomas Pihlman, last seen in Lowell during the 2006-07 season.)
The Devils also noted yesterday that the annual conditioning/prospects camp is set for July 16-21st. I’m sure I’ll have something up about that as it gets closer as far as who will be in attendance.
Finally, from the Worst Kept Secret Ever department: Wednesday afternoon Norfolk celebrated their Calder Cup title with a few thousand close friends (and got their playoff beards shaved off for charity at the same time). Not even 24 hours later, thanks to someone in the Tampa Bay organization spilling the beans so to speak, the Lightning announced a new affiliation agreement with Syracuse beginning next season. It had been widely known since mid season (right around the beginning of the 28 game win streak) that the move was going to happen, with the Tampa Bay-Norfolk contract ending and the Crunch and Anaheim dissolving their partnership after just 2 seasons. Norfolk and Anaheim are expected to team up soon, but nothing official as of yet. The unofficial “silly season” may already be over, since Tampa Bay and Anaheim were the only two NHL teams with AHL affiliation deals coming to an end. Having gone through this kind of move twice since getting involved in River Rats (and now Devils hockey), I can relate to what both sides are going through. Even the “we knew this for months, now it’s finally official” stuff.