That explosion you heard in the East was not from a Fourth of July celebration. Or from a round of thunderstorms.
Nope. That was the Albany roster as we know it blowing up.
On the first day of NHL free agency, a lot of players changed teams, but the AHL Devils took a huge hit, despite picking up three new veteran players that could see significant time here.
-Albany’s top 4 scorers from last season all have new homes, as Matt Lorito signed for two years with Detroit, and Mike Sislo and Jim O’Brien joined former Devil Joe Whitney in Colorado on one year contracts. You may want to keep an eye on the San Antonio Rampage (Colorado’s AHL affiliate) after the day the Avs had.
-Also finding a new home: Pierre-Luc Leblond, as he signed a one year deal with Tampa Bay. He’ll most likely be with Syracuse, taking over from David Broll as the primary enforcer (ironically the two fought each other a couple of times last season).
But, all was not totally lost, as New Jersey took care of a few of their free agents (DSP, Beau Bennett, Jon Merrill) and picked up Ben Lovejoy and Vern Fiddler. And, three new vets who we’ll likely be seeing here come October:
Carter Camper: #20 on the Big Board, the 27-year-old center spent all of last season with Hershey, picking up 34 points (9 goals, 25 assists) in 64 games. He was second in the AHL in playoff scoring, scoring 6 times and assisting on 11 others in 21 games, and lead the AHL in playoff power play points (8). He only has three games of NHL experience, all with Boston in 2011-12. This will be his fifth AHL stop behind Providence, Springfield, Binghamton, and the Bears. You can follow him on Twitter at @carter_camper.
Andrew Macwilliam: The 26-year-old defenseman spent all of last season in Manitoba, scoring once and picking up 14 assists in 72 games. He started his career with Toronto after finishing his college career at North Dakota, getting in 12 games with the Maple Leafs during the 2014-15 season.
Karl Stollery: Another veteran signing on defense, the 28-year-old spent last season in San Jose with the Barracuda, where in 67 games he scored a career high 6 goals and 18 assists. He started his career with the Avalanche organization, spending three seasons with Lake Erie before joining the Sharks. He has some NHL experience, appearing in a combined 12 games with Colorado and San Jose in 2013-14 and 2014-15. You can follow him on Twitter at @stolleryk.