Golden Knights sign 6 free agents

Sat, Jul 1, 2017 (5:56 p.m.)

The free-agency period for the NHL began at 9 a.m. this morning and the Golden Knights announced a small flurry of signings.

Vegas signed six players today that will likely play for the Golden Knights’ affiliate Chicago Wolves in the future.

“We were trying to build that organizational depth so we have guys challenging for guys here to push the guys that are already on the roster, as well as help in Chicago,” general manager George McPhee said. “We believe they have some upside, and they’re going to play games here. It will be up to them to see how many games they get to play and if they can make an NHL career out of this.”

The team signed defenseman Brad Hunt and forward T.J. Tynan to two-year contracts, and defenseman Chris Castro, forwards Paul Thompson, Stevfan Matteau and goaltender Maxime Lagace to one-year contracts.

McPhee said the team hasn’t signed any major free agents and doesn’t expect to.

“You have to be careful with free agency,” he said. “A lot of mistakes are made on July 1. It can be a bit of a sucker’s game. But for us it was more that we feel we have a pretty good team.”

Jean-Francois Berube, whom Vegas acquired in the expansion draft from the Islanders, agreed to a 2-year deal in Chicago, making his stay in Las Vegas a short one.

“Historically, I personally haven’t been that active in free agency,” McPhee said. “Every once in awhile there’s a hole you can fill but if you’re looking for core pieces in free agency it usually means you aren’t doing a good enough job drafting.”

The team did, however, trade defenseman Alexie Emilin to the Nashville Predators for a third-round pick.

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