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Sami Vatanen Signs 2 Year $2.5 Million Contract

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Harry How

The Anaheim Ducks announced this morning that they have signed Sami Vatanen to a two year contract. Per Lisa Dillman of the LA Times the contract will pay Vatanen $1.25 million this year and $1.275 in 2015-16, for an annual cap hit of $1.26 million.  At the conclusion of the contract Vatanen will still be a Restricted Free Agent, having neither turned 27 nor played seven years in the NHL.

There is really no downside to this deal.  A good young player is under contract for a reasonable raise (from the $900,000 he made in actual salary last year) and the Ducks keep his rights after it expires and he'll be due a more significant raise.  As of this writing, there is no official word on whether it is a one-way or two-way deal, but I personally would be shocked to see it be a two-way. (Update: per NBC's Pro Hockey Talk, One way as expected)

This signing gives the Ducks eight NHL defensemen on the roster.  So, as we've been suggesting all summer, if any improvement is to be made on the blueline it will most likely have to come from some sort of trade.  Also this leaves Jakob Silfverberg and Devante Smith-Pelly as the remaining RFAs still for Bob Murray to sign before training camp.