MINNESOTA WILD SIGNS SEVEN PLAYERS TO START FREE AGENCYJul 1, 2018
Minnesota Wild General Manager Paul Fenton today announced the National Hockey League (NHL) club signed seven players at the start of free agency: forwards Matt Hendricks, J.T. Brown, Eric Fehr, and Mike Liambas, defensemen Greg Pateryn and Matt Bartkowski and goaltender Andrew Hammond. Bartkowski, Hammond and Liambas signed two-way contracts, while Hendricks, Brown, Pateryn and Fehr all signed one-way deals.
Bartkowski, 30 (6/4/88), registered three assists and four penalty minutes (PIM) in 18 games with Calgary in 2017-18. The 6-foot-1, 196-pound native of Pittsburgh, Pa., has totaled 47 points (7g, 40a), 157 PIM and 481 hits in 253 games during parts of eight NHL seasons with Boston (2010-15), Vancouver (2015-16) and Calgary (2016-18). The left-shot defenseman has tallied three points (1g, 2a) and 14 PIM in 19 career Stanley Cup Playoff contests with Boston (2012-14) and Calgary (2016-17).
Bartkowski owns 79 points (13a, 66a) and 163 PIM in 209 games during four seasons in the American Hockey League (AHL) with the Providence Bruins (2010-13, 2016-17). He totaled 38 points (11g, 27a) and 145 PIM in 80 games during two seasons at Ohio State University (2008-10).
Florida selected Bartkowski in the seventh round (190th overall) of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.
Hammond, 30, (2/11/88) went 9-6-2 with a 3.21 goals-against average (GAA) and a .904 save percentage (SV%) in 19 games in the American Hockey League (AHL) with the Belleville Senators and the San Antonio Rampage in 2017-18. He stopped 31-of-33 shots in his sole regular season action with the Avalanche on March 28, 2018 and went 1-1 with a 2.62 GAA and a .933 SV% in three Stanley Cup Playoff games for Colorado.
Hammond is 27-15-6 with a 2.31 GAA, a .923 SV% and four shutouts in 56 career NHL games (49 starts) in parts of five NHL seasons with Ottawa (2013-17) and Colorado (2017-18). He is 1-3 with a 3.00 GAA and a .924 SV% in five career Stanley Cup Playoff games with Ottawa (2014-15) and Colorado (2017-18).
Ottawa signed Hammond as a free agent on March 20, 2013 and made his NHL debut on Feb. 27, 2014 vs. Detroit. He went 14-0-1 with a 1.58 GAA, a .949 SV% and two shutouts in his first 15 NHL starts with Ottawa (Feb. 18, 2015 - March 23, 2015) and became the second goaltender in NHL history to allow two goals or less in his first 12 starts (Frank Brimsek, 1938-39). Hammond also became the first goaltender to earn at least one point in each of his first 15 NHL starts (14-0-1) since Patrick Lalime (1996-97). He finished the 2014-15 season with a 20-1-2 record and a 1.79 GAA, a .942 SV% and four shutouts in 24 games (23 starts) and was named a finalist for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy alongside winner Devan Dubnyk.
Hammond went 30-68-13 with a 2.85 GAA, a .896 SV% and seven shutouts in 119 career games during four seasons with Bowling Green State University (2009-13). He was named the team's Jim Ruehl Best Defensive Player and Jim Sears Most Valuable Defensive Player two consecutive seasons (2010-12).
Liambas, 29 (2/16/89), collected seven points (4g, 3a) and 104 penalty minutes (PIM) in 40 games with the San Diego Gulls of the American Hockey League (AHL) in 2017-18. He ranked second on the Gulls in PIM and was one of four players to score a shorthanded goal (SHG). The 5-foot-10, 196-pound native of Toronto, Ont., also tallied an assist and 21 PIM in seven games with the Anaheim Ducks. He owns an assist, 21 PIM and 16 hits in eight career NHL games with Nashville (2016-17) and Anaheim (2017-18).
Liambas owns 37 points (17g, 20a) and 940 PIM in 297 career AHL games in six seasons with Milwaukee (2012-15, 2016-17), Rockford (2015-16) and San Diego (2017-18). The left-shot forward led the AHL in PIM (149) during the 2016-17 campaign.
He spent three seasons in the ECHL and recorded 21 points (3g, 18a) and 403 PIM in 87 career games with Cincinnati (2010-13) and Orlando (2012-13). The left wing also collected 13 points (5g, 8a) and 357 PIM in 124 games with the Erie Otters of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) in four seasons (2006-10).
Liambas was originally signed as a free agent by Chicago on July 2, 2015 and made his NHL debut with the Predators on Dec. 3, 2016 vs. New Jersey.
The Iowa Wild 2018-19 season is presented by Mercy Medical Center and runs from October through April. Minnesota Wild and St. Louis Blues will compete in an NHL preseason game at Wells Fargo Arena on Wednesday, September 19. Iowa Wild opening night will take place on October 5. For more information, please contact the Wild office by calling 515-564-8700 or by visiting www.iowawild.com.