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NHL Free Agency Quick Hits

The NHL’s free agency is unlike any other. There is a 4 day courting period where teams can talk to other teams Unrestricted Free Agents before they are eligible to sign at 12pm on July 1. This leads to 80% of signings happening on July 1, and chaos.

 

Here’s some quick hits on all the signings from the first week of free agency.

 

All numbers via Sportsnet’s signings tracker and CapFriendly

 

Garrett Sparks TOR → TOR 2 years 675K AAV

The 24 year old has a chance to compete for the Leafs backup job.

 

Curtis McElhinney TOR → TOR 2 years 850K AAV

The veteran backup will have the inside track to the Leafs backup job.

 

Mike Vecchione PHI → PHI 2 years 900K AAV

The Hobey Baker finalist will try for his first full time NHL job

 

Brian Boyle TOR → NJD 2 years 2.55M AAV

The Veteran of over 100 playoff games will get an expanded role on a Devils team who could surprise people next year. Was a hot name heading into FA.

 

Sam Gagner CBJ → VAN 3 years 3.15M AAV

After a bounce back year with Columbus, Gagner got himself a nice payday from a rebuilding Canucks team.

 

Steve Mason PHI → WPG 2 years 4.15M AAV

After a shaky year with the Flyers, Mason will give the Jets support behind young Connor Hellebuyck. A bit of a steep price for a platoon goalie.

 

Jonathan Bernier ANA → COL 1 year 2.75M AAV

Bernier will backup oft-injured Semyon Varlamov after losing Calvin Pickard to the Golden  Knights.

 

Patrick Sharp DAL → CHI 1 year 1M AAV

The 3 time Cup champ returns to the Blackhawks on a very cheap contract after an injury ridden season.

 

Karl Alzner WSH → MTL 5 years 4.625M AAV

One of the bigger names, Alzner signs with a defense desperate Habs team. That’s a hefty contract for a 4th defenseman, and could come back to hurt to Habs in the future of even now.

 

Brian Elliott CGY PHI 2 years 2.75M AAV

After an up and down year in Calgary, Elliott will likely see the majority of the starts in Philly.

 

Dan Girardi NYR → TBL 2 years 3M AAV

After being bought out by the Rangers, Girardi gets a fresh start with the Lightning who could use a defenseman like Girardi,

 

Tommy Wingles OTT CHI 1 year N/A AAV

Wingles provides depth to the Blackhawks who are in need of cheap NHL players.

 

Justin Williams WSH → CAR 2 years 4.5M AAV

Williams returns to the Carolina where he won a Cup in 2006. With 24 goals last season, Williams will provide scoring and veteran presence in Carolina’s quest to make to playoffs for the first time since 2009.


Trevor Daley PIT → DET 3 years 3.178M AAV

Winners get paid on July 1st, and back to back cups earned Trevor Daley a nice pay day in Detroit after reportedly receiving offers from multiple teams including the Bruins.

 

Mike Cammalleri NJD → LAK 1 year 1M AAV

One of the sneaky best signings of the day, Cammalleri returns to LA to help the Kings rise the bottom of the league in scoring and get back into the playoffs.

 

Chad Johnson CGY → BUF 1 year 2.5M AAV

After a good year in Calgary, Johnson should see an expanded role in his return to Buffalo behind Robin Lehner.

 

Tyler Pitlick EDM → DAL 3 years 1M AAV

After an injury ended his season last year, Dallas gets a young player who has room to grow.

 

Michael Del Zotto PHI → VAN 2 years 3M AAV

Del Zotto turned his career around in Philly and will get a chance to be in a top 4 role in Vancouver.

 

Josh Jooris ARZ → CAR 1 year 750K AAV

After being claimed off waivers by the Coyotes, Jooris will provide depth for the Hurricanes and potentially compete for a spot.

 

Nick Bonino PIT → NSH 4 years 4.1M AAV

One of the premiere free agents joins the team he beat in the Cup final. Teams pay for a winner, and it’s a risky move dollars wise for the Preds who are in of centers.

 

Benoit Pouliot EDM → BUF 1 year 1.15M AAV

After being bought out by Edmonton, Pouliot will get a fresh start in Buffalo in a top 6 role.

 

Peter Holland ARZ → MTL 2 years N/A AAV

The skilled Holland can provide bottom 6 scoring for the habs who are weak at center.

 

Antti Niemi DAL → PIT 1 year 750K AAV

Bought out of a horrible contract in Dallas, Niemi will backup Matt Murray in attempt to restart his NHL career.

 

Chris Thorburn VGK → STL 2 years 900K AAV

Thorburn will replace Ryan Reaves on the 4th line for St. Louis after trading Reaves to Pittsburgh.

 

Lance Bouma CGY → CHI 1 year N/A AAV

After being bought out by the Flames, the penalty kill specialist will look to repeat his 34 point season from 2014/15 after back to back seasons of just 7 points.

 

Oskar Sundqvist STL → STL 1 year 675K AAV

Acquired from Pittsburgh last week, the 23 year old will compete for his first NHL job.

 

Ryan Murray CGY → MIN 1 year 700K

Murray was traded to Calgary from Carolina then bought out by the Flames.  The 12th overall pick in 2011 will need to show why he was a first round pick in order to keep a full time gig on an elite Minnesota d-core.

 

Beau Bennett NJD → STL 1 year 650K AAV

Unqualified by New Jersey, Bennett is still waiting for his breakout year as a 25 year old.

 

Ron Hainsey PIT → TOR 2 years 3M AAV

The Leafs are clearly done rebuilding, and Hainsey will provide veteran leadership and solid defense on the young Leaf’s third pair.

 

Dmitry Kulikov BUF → WPG 3 years 4.33M AAV

Coming off of a bad year in Buffalo that he claims “set him back”, Kulikov could be a great signing for the Jets if he lives up to his potential.

 

Patrick Wiercioch COL → VAN 1 year 650K AAV

Wiercioch gets a “show me” contract from the Canucks and this year will prove if he can be a consistent NHLer.

 

Ryan Miller VAN → ANA 2 years 2M AAV

The former Vezina winner will give solid support to back up young John Gibson in Anaheim’s quest to win the Cup.

 

Christian Folin MIN → LAK 1 year 850K AAV

The former Umass Lowell Riverhawk will replace Vegas bound Brayden McNabb on the LA Kings 3rd pair.

 

Jamie McBain ARZ → TBL 1 year N/A AAV

McBain played just 3 games in the NHL last year, but the former NHL mainstay could very well fit into the Lightning’s top 6, especially if injuries.

 

Ondrej Pavelec WPG → NYR 1 year 1.3M AAV

The veteran goalie was placed on waivers by the Jets last year and will look to get his career back on track behind Henrik Lundqvist

 

JF Berube VGK → CHI 2 years N/A AAV

Berube is likely a Plan B to back up Corey Crawford if Anton Forsberg doesn’t work out.

 

Patrik Nemeth DAL → DAL 1 year 945K AAV

The defenseman resigns with the Stars as an RFA

 

Cal Petersen Notre Dame → LAK 2 years 925K AAV

The Irish’s back stop signs in LA with a chance to back up Quick next season or at some point in the future

 

Scott Hartnell CBJ → NSH 1 year 1M AAV

After being bought out by Columbus, Hartnell gives the Preds veteran leadership and physicality likely in a bottom 6 role,

 

Martin Hanzal MIN → DAL 3 years 4.75M AAV

This had the potential to be a brutal contract, but Dallas gets a solid 2nd line center at a contract that won’t kill them in the future in their attempt to win the Cup.

 

Nate Thompson ANA → OTT 2 years 1.65M AAV

The veteran faceoff specialist will likely replace Chris Kelly as Ottawa’s fourth line center.

 

Evgeni Dadonov KHL → FLA 3 years 4M AAV

Though rumors had him joining teammate Vadim Shipachyov in Vegas, Dadonov signs with the team he started his NHL career with.

 

Michael Leighton CAR → TBL 1 year 650K AAV

The veteran will be a 3rd goalie for the Lightning in case of injury.

 

Brian Flynn MTL → DAL 1 year 700K AAV

The Lynnfield, MA native will be NHL depth for the stars after a few good years in Montreal.

 

Seth Griffith TOR → BUF 1 year 650K AAV

The former Bruins was on waivers 3 times last season and will look to stick in the NHL with the Sabres.

 

Landon Ferraro STL → MIN 2 years 700K AAV

After a solid season with Boston in 2015/16, Ferraro hopes to find himself back in the NHL with the Wild following an ACL tear.

 

Alex Burmistrov ARZ → VAN 1 year 900K AAV

The once top prospect of the Jets looks to finally break out and show why he was a top pick this season in Vancouver.

 

Adam Clendening NYR ARZ

After finding a nice role with the Rangers last season, Clendening will look to stick as a number 6 or 7th defenseman.

 

Matt Tennyson CAR → BUF 2 years N/A AAV

The 27 year old journeyman could get top 6 time on a weak Sabres defense.

 

Alex Grant BOS → MIN 1 year 700K AAV

After leading Providence’s defense to an appearance in the conference finals, the AHL journeyman will play top minutes on Iowa’s defense but it unlikely to get any extended NHL time.

 

Anders Nilsson BUF → VAN 2 years 2.5M AAV

The Canucks may have overpaid for a backup, but it could pay off if Nilsson and Jacob Markstrom can work a nice platoon.

 

Kevin Shattenkirk WSH → NYR 4 years 6.65M AAV

The biggest name on the Free Agent market lands in New York. There was a fear heading in that Shattenkirk was going to get an albatross of a contract, and he did get paid, but it wasn’t as bad as people may have feared. 4 years for a 28 year old is not bad for a defenseman of Shattenkirk’s caliber, however the 6.65M is an overpayment, even if he did take less to play for his childhood team. Shattenkirk will bring offense from the backed and serve as a power play QB, but Shattenkirk will need to show a better defensive game than he did in his short stint with the Capitals if this contract is going to be worthwhile for the Rangers as they take a shot at the cup as the Henrik Lundqvist era window slowly closes.

 

Jeremy Smith COL → CAR 1 year N/A AAV

After dealing Eddie Lack, the AHL journeyman Smith will serve as the ‘Canes emergency 3rd goalie.

 

Radim Vrbata ARZ → FLA 1 year 2.5M AAV

The 36 year old veteran can still score, and will replace the voids left by Jonathan Marchessault and Riley Smith who are now Golden Knights.

 

Kevin Porter PIT → BUF 2 years 650K AAV

A member of the 2016 Penguins cup team can bring depth to a young Sabres team.

 

Niklas Svedberg BOS → MIN 1 year 700K AAV

After 2 years in Russia, the former Bruins backup could win the Wild’s backup job in training camp over Alex Stalock.

 

Joe Morrow BOS → MTL 1 year 575K AAV

Unqualified by the Bruins, Morrow joins a shallow Habs defense and former Bruins coach Claude Julien.

 

Tyler Randell BOS → OTT 1 year 700K AAV

Randell has a career 33% shooting percentage (6 goals on 18 shots), and is not afraid to drop the gloves as he showed with the Bruins in 2016.

 

Michael Sgarbossa VAN → WPG 1 year 650K AAV

The 24 year old bounced around last year and will look to win a full time job in Winnipeg.

 

Nick Cousins ARZ → ARZ 2 years 1M AAV

After being acquired from the FLyers before the expansion draft, Cousins can play a big role on a Coyotes team looking to get back to the playoffs.

 

Kyle Quincey CBJ → MIN 1 year 1.25M AAV

Quincy will come to Minnesota to play in a top six role and replace some of the minutes left by Marco Scandella

 

Michael Haley SJS → FLA 2 years 825K AAV

One of the only true enforcers left in the NHL signs with a confusing Panthers team.

 

Dominic Moore BOS → TOR 1 year 1M AAV

After a great season in Boston, the PKer will fill a void at 4th line center for the Leafs as the Bruins look at younger options.

 

Matt Hunwick TOR → PIT 3 years 2.25M AAV

Hunwick revived his career in Toronto and gets a nice payday from the Penguins to play in their top 6.

 

Chris Kunitz PIT → TBL 1 year 2M AAV

After 9 seasons and 3 cups with the Penguins, the 37 year old will try to win his 4th cup with Tampa in a bottom 6 role.

 

Paul Carey WSH → NYR 1 year 650K AAV

The Weymouth, Mass. native is a fringe NHLer and will likely get time with the Rangers come injuries.

 

Jarred TInordi ARZ → PIT 1 year 650K AAV

The former first rounder gives Pittsburgh depth on defense in their organization.

 

Colin Greening TOR → TOR 1 year 750K AAV

The Leafs have essentially no center depth in their organization, and with Freddy Gauthier out long term, Greening could see time back in the NHL if there are injuries, but will likely start in the AHL.

 

Greg McKegg TBL → PIT 1 year 650K AAV

After playing for both Florida teams last season, McKegg looks to stick in Pittsburgh

 

Zach Trotman LAK → PIT 1 year 650K AAV

The former Bruin bought a house, got married, and signed with the Penguins all in 48 hours.

 

Brian Strait WPG → NJD 1 year 650K AAV

The veteran will give New Jersey veteran assurance on a young blue line.

 

Darcy Kuemper MIN → LAK 1 year 650K AAV

The 27 year old will have the inside track to backing up Jonathan Quick,

 

Zac Rinaldo BOS → ARZ 1 year 700K AAV

The former Bruin still has a 5 game suspension to serve from his final game in Boston.

 

Kenny Agostino STL → BOS 1 year 875K AAV

The AHL MVP who’s proven he can score will be a plan B for the Bruins if the likes of Jake DeBrusk, Anders Bjork, or Danton Heinen aren’t ready for full time duty.

 

Paul Posta WIN → BOS 1 year 725K AAV

With Rob O’Gara and Matt Grzelcyk as unproven depth on the left side, the Bruins sign a proven NHLer as LHD depth and 7th defenseman.

 

Jacob Josefson NJD → BUF 1 year 700K AAV

The once top prospect of the Devils can give the Devils bottom 6 depth.

 

Anders Lindback Rogle BK → NSH 1 year 650K AAV

Lindback returns to the team he broke into the NHL with as a 3rd goalie being Rinne and Saros.

 

Anthony Peluso WPG → WSH 1 year 650K AAV

The former Jets enforcer signs with a depleted capitals team in desperate need of depth and NHL players in general.

 

Andre Benoit Malmo → CBJ 1 year 650K AAV

After a great year on the 2014 Avalanche, Benoit has struggled to stay in the NHL but could be a replacement option for the Jackets.

Luke Gazdic NJD → CGY 1 year N/A AAV

The enforcer has hung around but will likely be beat out of a top 12 job in an explosive Flames offense.

 

Patrick Marleau SJS → TOR 3 years 6.25M AAV

This has been one of the more interesting signings of FA thus far. After 19 years with the Sharks, Marleau moves on to the Leafs, who gave him the 3rd year. The Leafs have a 2 year window before they have to sign Marner and Matthews, and this shows they may be going for it. 6.25M is an overpayment, and that 3rd year could be an albatross especially with Matthews, Marner, Nylander, Carrick, and Brown all needing new contracts in the next 2 years. It shows the Leafs are going for it, and it’s affordable for now, but it could come back bit them in that 3rd year when they’re paying a 41 year old 6.25M.

 

Derek Grant BUF → ANA 1 year 650K AAV

The grinder bounced around on waiver last season and could again this season unless he makes the Ducks.

 

Joe Thornton SJS → SJS 1 year 8M AAV

After losing Marleau, the Sharks got desperate and silly and decided to give 38 year old 8 million dollars. Don’t get me wrong, Thornton is a shoo-in hall of famer and still a great player, and the Sharks are clearly giving this thing one last shot, but 8 million is pretty ridiculous.

 

Devante Smith-Pelly NJD → WSH 1 year 650K AAV

After dealing Marcus Johansson, the Caps straight up need NHL players, and Smith-Pelly is an NHLer who can play bottom 6.

 

Alex Radulov MTL → DAL 5 year 6.25M AAV

This is a huge contract for Radulov, but automatically makes the Stars cup contenders once again. He joins an already potent offense with Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn, and leaves a huge hole in Montreal. It’s a good fit at a big price that may come back to hurt the Stars, but Dallas is going for it now.

 

Ales Hemsky MTL → DAL 1 year 1M AAV

Hensky will replace Radulov on the depth chart, but he only played 15 games last season and hasn’t topped 40 points since 2011.

 

Nail Yakupov STL → COL 1 year 875K AAV

The Avs make a low-risk move on the former #1 pick who will get a chance to play full time with the Avs.

 

Oscar Lindberg VGK → VGK 2 years 1.7M AAV

Claimed from the Rangers in the expansion draft, Lindberg will have his chance to break out in Vegas

 

David Desharnais EDM → NYR 1 year 1M AAV

Desharnais will take Derek Stepan’s spot on the depth chart, and could get extended time if they fail to add another center.

Jussi Jokinen FLA → EDM 1 year 1.1M AAV

After questionably being bought out by the Panthers, Edmonton gets Jokinen  who is still a good 2 way player and can put up points at 34 for a good price.

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