According to agent Jay Grossman, Anton Babchuk is near to signing a two-yer deal with the Calgary Flames.
I’ve made my feelings on Babchuk pretty clear in the past. His lone noteworthy skill is his big shoot, which is pretty useful whenever he’s in the offensive zone. He’s a fairly limited player otherwise, however, and will have to be actively sheltered much the same way he was last year in order to be truly effective. He has never played in a top-four role in the NHL, so the goal should be avoid paying him like a top-four defender.
More analysis when things are made official.
UPDATE – Twitter reports are trickling in indicating the deal has been signed. Still waiting on terms.
UPDATE II – Flames have announced the official terms as $2.5M per year for two years. We’ll cover this signing more completely as the week moves along.