Wild agree to NHL deals with Brown, Pateryn, add depth with two-way contracts
New Minnesota Wild general manager Paul Fenton opened his first free agency signing period with a number of depth signings. The team announced Sunday that it agreed to NHL contracts with right wing J.T. Brown, right wing Eric Fehr, center Matt Hendricks and defenseman Greg Pateryn as well a two-way deals with defenseman Matt Bartkowski, goaltender Andrew Hammond and left wing Mike Liambas.
Brown, who is from Burnsville and played at Minnesota Duluth, will receive a two-year contract worth $1.375 million.
“They have a good team here,” Brown said. “Looking forward to coming back home and to competing.”
Signed as an undrafted free agent by Tampa Bay, Brown played 286 games with the Lightning from 2011-17 before being claimed on waivers by Anaheim this past January.
The right wing had two goals and five assists with 24 penalty minutes in 47 games combined last season for the Lightning and Ducks. In his career, Brown, who turns 28 on July 2, had 19 goals and 42 assists with 180 penalty minutes.
After appearing in 94 games with Montreal and Dallas from 2012-17, Pateyrn played in his first full NHL season this past year. In 73 games he had one goal, 12 assists, 50 penalty minutes and was a plus-6. The 6-fppt-3, 225-pound defenseman was second on the Stars in hits (155) and third in blocked shots (148). He also was second on the team in short-handed time on the ice.
A fifth-round draft pick in 2007 by Toronto, Pateryn has three goals and 26 assists in his career with 374 hits and 285 blocks. He receives a three-year contract worth $6.75 million.
“He’s a big, mobile guy,” Fenton said of Pateryn, “it adds some size to our defense.”
Said Pateryn on a conference call with reporters: “At the end of the day it felt like the right fit where they saw me and my role … right in line with what I wanted to be on a team … When you know, you know.”
The 32-year-old Fehr played last season for Toronto and San Jose and had four points in 14 regular-season games. He’s played 580 career games, including time with Washington when the Wild’s Bruce Boudreau was the head coach there, and has 106 goals and 100 assists. Fehr will sign a one-year contract worth $1 million.
Hendricks, 37, gets a $50,000 raise from the $650,000 he was making with the Winnipeg Jets. He had 13 points in 60 games last season in largely a fourth-line role. Like Brown, he’s returning home as he is from Blaine, Minn., and played collegiately at St. Cloud State. Also, like Fehr, he was coached by Boudreau in Washington.
In 581 career games, Hendricks has 54 goals and 59 assists.
A seventh-round pick in the 2008 draft, Bartkowski, 30, has appeared in 131 games since 2010 with Boston, Vancouver and Calgary, totaling seven goals, 40 assists and 157 penalty minutes. In 2017-18, he played in 18 games with the Flames, recording three assists.
Hammond, 30, has played in 55 NHL games, mainly with Ottawa, where he appeared in 55 games from 2013-17, posting a 2.31 goals-against average and .923 save percentage. He played one game for Colorado last season, allowing two goals and making 31 saves.
Liambas, 29, played in seven games with Anaheim last season, recording an assist. He made his NHL debut in 2016-17, appearing in one game for Nashville. Last season with San Diego of the American Hockey League, Liambis had four goals, three assists and 104 penalty minutes in 40 games.