Devils Sign Tomas Tatar

The Devils came to terms today with unrestricted free agent forward Tomas Tatar. He signed a two-year contract worth an average annual value of $4.5 million.

The contract is worth $9,000,000 and the breakdown is $3,750,000 in 2021-22 and $5,250,000 in 2022-23.

The 30-year-old was with the Montreal Canadiens for the last three seasons starting in 2018. Last season, he played in 50 games and scored 10 goals and 20 assists (totaling 30 points) and was third in scoring among the Habs’ forwards.

He has participated in 625 games over his ten-year career with the Detroit Red Wings, Vegas Golden Knights and Canadiens. He has 176 goals and 201 assists for 377 points (a .60 point per game clip) to go with 224 penalty minutes.

He had seven straight years of 19 or more goals coming into this season (a shortened year) according to the Devils’ PR team who put out the press release. Over that seven-year span, he also had eight or more power play points (19 in 2014-15 was his career high).

The Ilava, Slovakia-native was the Wings’ second round pick, 60th overall in 2009. He played in the Detroit system with the Grand Rapids Griffins (AHL) before hitting the NHL. He won a Calder Cup with the Griffins in 2013, winning the Jack A. Butterfield Trophy as playoff MVP along the way.

Before coming to the NHL, he played with HK Dukla Trencin and HK Dubnica in his native Slovakia. He also played for Slovakia internationally at the 2009 and 2010 World Junior Championship, the 2010, 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2019 World Championship where he won a silver medal in 2010 and 2012. He was an alternate captain for the Slovaks in the other years. He also participated in the 2014 Winter Olympics and the 2016 World Cup of Hockey – he was on the runners-up, Team Europe).

Devils Make a Few More Free Agent Signings

On the second day of NHL free agency, the Devils made a few extra signings according to their app.

Those signings were Joe Gambardella, Brian Flynn, Robbie Russo and Chase DeLeo. DeLeo we covered in yesterday’s post.

Gambardella and Russo, the app press release said, were inked to two-year, two-way contracts and Flynn and DeLeo signed a one-year, two-way contract.

Forward Gambardella, the release noted, is 27 and has been with the Bakersfield Condors (Edmonton Oilers organization) since 2016. He has played 183 AHL games over his career in Bakersfield, where he has 63 goals and 48 assists totaling 111 points. He played in the 2019 AHL All-Star Game.

He is a 5-foot, 10-inch Staten Island native and played 13 games at the NHL level for Edmonton. He was undrafted out of UMass-Lowell, where the press release notes he served as an alternate captain his junior and senior seasons with the River Hawks.

His contract is $750,000 at the NHL level and $300,000 at the AHL level in 2021-22 and $750,000 (NHL) and $325,000 (AHL) in 2022-23.

Brian Flynn was also picked up for the Utica Comets. His deal is worth $750,000 at het NHL level and $280,000 in the AHL.

Flynn has been out of the NHL, playing in Switzerland since 2019-2020 with HC Ambr-Piotta (National League). There he played in 112 games accumulating 27 goals and 49 assists (76 points).

He has played in the American Hockey League with the Rochester Americans, Texas Stars and San Antonio Rampage between 2011 and 2019. In the AHL, the Lynnfield, Massachusetts-native has 35 goals and 54 assists (89 points) to go with 42 penalty minutes.

The press release notes that he “won a Swiss Cup with HC Ambr-Piotta in 2019.”

At the NHL level, the 6-foot, 1-inch, 185 pounder has played for the Sabres from 2012 to 2015 and the Canadiens (2014 to 2017) over 275 games. In the NHL, he has 27 goals and 34 assists totaling 61 points and 32 penalty minutes.

The undrafted forward played in a career high 79 NHL contests in 2013-14 when he had six goals and seven assists for 13 points. The press release says that he was captain of the University of Maine Black Bears in his senior year of 2011-12.

Defenseman Robbie Russo, 28 years old out of Westmont, Illinois, played last season for the San Jose Barracuda, the AHL affiliate of the San Jose Sharks.

He played in 34 games, notching two goals and 13 assists (15 points). Over his AHL career, he has appeared in 358 regular season games with the Grand Rapids Griffins, Tucson Roadrunners and the Barracuda between 2015 and 2021. He has a total of 176 points (31 goals and 145 assists) and 176 penalty minutes in the American League.

He was an alternate captain while with Tucson for two years according to the press release and also won the Calder Cup with the Griffins in 2017. He was also a 2016 AHL All-Star for Grand Rapids.

The 6-foot tall, 185-pound draft pick of the Islanders in 2011 played from 2011 to 2015 with the University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish of the Big10 (NCAA). Following the 2011-12 season, he was named to the All-Rookie team. He also won a National Championship in 2013 with the Irish.

His contract is worth $280,000 in the AHL in 2021-22 and $320,000 in 2022-23 (AHL). At the NHL level, his contract is $750,000 in 2021-22 and $750,000 in 2022-23 as well.