There were two intriguing National Hockey League free agency signings on Friday. The Seattle Kraken signed left winger Pierre-Edouard Bellemare of Le Blanc-Mesnil, France and the Pittsburgh Penguins signed centre Vinnie Hinostroza of Chicago, Illinois. Both contracts are for the exact same. Bellemare and Hinostroza have signed one-year contracts worth $775,000.
Bellemare is joining his fifth National Hockey League team. He previously played three seasons with the Philadelphia Flyers from 2014 to 2017, two seasons with the Vegas Golden Knights from 2017 to 2019, two seasons with the Colorado Avalanche from 2019 to 2021, and two seasons with the Tampa Bay Lightning from 2021 to 2023.
In 73 games with the Lightning in 2022-23, Bellemare had four goals and nine assists for 13 points. He was a -9 with 34 penalty minutes, two shorthanded points, 51 shots on goal, 48 blocked shots, 67 hits, 30 takeaways and 21 giveaways.
In 660 NHL career games, Bellemare has 60 goals and 70 assists for 131 points. He is a +18 with 176 penalty minutes, 12 shorthanded points, four game-winning goals, 773 shots on goal, 3264 faceoff wins, 480 blocked shots, 595 hits, 305 takeaways, and 171 giveaways.
Bellemare is third all-time among French born players in the NHL in points with 131. Paul McLean of Grostenquin, France had 673 points with the St. Louis, Winnipeg Jets and Detroit Red Wings from 1980 to 1991. Antoine Roussel of Roubaix, France had 197 points with the Dallas Stars, Vancouver Canucks and Arizona Coyotes from 2012 to 2022. Bellemare also has the distinction of being the NHL All-Time leader for most shorthanded points with 12 without recording a power-play point.
Hinostroza is joining his fifth NHL franchise. He previously played with Chicago Blackhawks (2015 to 2018 and 2021), the Arizona Coyotes (2018 to 2020), the Florida Panthers (2020 to 2021), and the Buffalo Sabres (2021 to 2023).
In 26 games this past season with the Sabres, Hinostroza had two goals and nine assists for 11 points. He was a -1 with six penalty minutes, one game-winning goal, one shorthanded point, 38 shots on goal, one faceoff win, seven blocked shots, one hit, eight takeaways, and seven giveaways.
Hinostroza’s shorthanded point and two goals came in Sabres wins. His shorthanded point came in a 6-3 Sabres win over the Calgary Flames, as he helped set up Casey Mittelstadt of Eden Prairie, Minnesota, at 13:10 of the first period, which put the Sabres up 3-1 at the time. Hinostroza also had three assists for a season-high three points in the contest.
Hinostroza’s first goal of the season came in a 7-4 Sabres win over the Washington Capitals on February 26. His goal was the game-winning goal, and came from Owen Power of Mississauga, Ontario and Dylan Cozens of Whitehorse, Yukon at 10:07 of the second period and put the Sabres up 5-2 at the time. Hinostroza then scored in a 5-3 Sabres win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on March 4. He scored from Mittelstadt and Cousins at 5:35 of the second period and put the Sabres up 2-1 at the time.
In Hinostroza’s career, he has 53 goals and 95 assists for 148 points in 360 games. He is a -12 with 99 penalty minutes, 12 power-play points, nine game-winning goals, two shorthanded points, 615 shots on goal. 201 faceoff wins, 128 blocked shots, 242 hits, 155 takeaways, and 131 giveaways.