The frenzy of NHL Free Agency has come and gone, but there will be a lasting impact for years to come as teams try to improve their stock.
NHL Free Agency ‘Frenzy Day’ has come and gone just like that. While the NHL off-season is still going on, the moves will only be slowly trickling in. Unlike what we saw on Wednesday, July 28th and before. As discussed on Full Press Hockey’s Free Agency Preview Show, a lot of the Top 10 Players that were on the board went to teams they were predicted to go to. There were a lot of moves that happened prior to free agency frenzy as well. While there were some moves that were predictable, there were also some shocking moves we did not see coming. However, most of what we saw on Day 1 of the NHL Free Agency was mostly predictable and that’s not a bad thing. Let’s take a look at some of the bigger signings of that day.
NHL Free Agency Notebook: Pretty Predictable Right?
New Jersey Devils
The New Jersey Devils made the biggest splash of the NHL Free Agency Day. New Jersey signed free agent defenceman Dougie Hamilton to a seven-year contract worth $63 million. The Devils were going all-in on Hamilton whether they got him or not. And they got him. Prior to signing day, the Devils were the front runner to land Hamilton because of the salary cap space they had. Once the Hurricanes made the moves they did, Hamilton was all but a lock to come to New Jersey. And it was really no surprise. But those that follow the Devils know nothing was set in stone until the papers were signed. But the Devils made the headlines as they filled needs on Day 1 of NHL Free Agency.
Another team that made noise on Day 1 of NHL Free Agency was the Edmonton Oilers. For a good solid three weeks, the Oilers and Zach Hyman were linked. They made it official when Hyman signed a seven-year deal with the Oilers. He will bring an element the team has not had in a long time. He will help Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. In addition, the Oilers re-signed Tyson Barrie. There was talk of Barrie leaving, but for the most part, the Oilers were doing everything in their power to keep in. What was shocking from the Oilers’ end of things was the trade of Ethan Bear to Carolina for Warren Foegele. Bear was a big part of the Oilers’ defence and a nice young player.
Another that made some predictable moves this past Wednesday was the Montreal Canadiens. Two players that were linked to the Canadiens were to David Savard and Mike Hoffman for most of the offseason. The Canadiens were linked to Hoffman last offseason but with the signings of Tyler Toffoli and the trade for Josh Anderson, Hoffman went to St. Louis. This year the Canadiens were able to land Hoffman to add more scoring. Savard will fill the void left by Shea Weber, who will be on LTIR next season because of an injury. No one will ever be able to replace Weber, but Savard is a nice addition. Even though the team did not re-sign Phillip Danault, the Canadiens were able to re-sign Joel Armia.
The Colorado Avalanche made some noise prior to the start of free agency when they re-signed their captain Gabriel Landeskog. There was thought he was going to leave, but Landeskog wanted to stay in Colorado and the team wanted their captain. He gets a nice extension along with Cale Makar. Unfortunately, the Avalanche could not come to terms with Philipp Grubauer, but they did trade for Darcy Kuemper. Colorado is trying to make another run for the Stanley Cup this season. But they will do it without Grubauer and Brandon Saad. Let’s see if they have found the winning combination.
Latest NHL Free Agency News
- Full Press NHL Player Movement Tracker
- What To Make Of The Bruins’ Lineup After David Krejci’s Departure
- Sabres Scramble After Ullmark Departure, Stay Patient In Eichel Trade Talks
- Devils Sign Dougie Hamilton and Jonthan Bernier To Fill Needs On Day One Of Free Agency
- Flyers Add UFAs Martin Jones and Keith Yandle, Bring Back Nate Thompson
The Boston Bruins made a couple of predictable moves this off-season. First they signed Taylor Hall to a new contract. Hall was a perfect fit for the Bruins when he came over at the deadline. The Bruins have finally found some secondary scoring with Hall on the second line. In addition to Hall, the Bruins also re-signed Mike Reilly. Reilly another trade deadline acquisition at the deadline filled in nicely on defence. The loss of David Krejci will hurt their second line, especially at the centre position. And with Tuukka Rask lost to injury for 5-6 months, the Bruins signed Linus Ullmark to a four-year deal. It appears the Rask era in Boston might be over. It will be interesting to see what Boston does next.
The final team we look at is the Seattle Kraken. Seattle signed Jaden Schwartz, who was linked to them during the expansion draft just a week prior. Schwartz will bring them offence they need. If you recall Schwartz was vital to the St. Louis Blues run to the Stanley Cup in 2019. The Kraken also made another offensive signing with Alexander Wennberg. Wennberg had a nice bounce-back season with the Florida Panthers recording 29 points (17 goals and 12 assists) in 56 games. He passed his career-high in goals. Another solid addition to the Kraken’s lineup.
However, nobody saw the signing of Philipp Grubauer coming. After selecting Chris Driedger and Vitek Vanecek in the expansion draft. Seattle signed Grubauer to a six-year deal. The team found their starting goaltender and with Driedger as the backup. This made Vanacek expandable. Vanecek was traded back to Washington. With Grubauer and Driedger the Kraken will be competitive in a weak Pacific Division.
Other teams making noise during the previous were the Chicago Blackhawks, Tampa Bay Lightning, Winnipeg Jets, and Philadelphia Flyers. Not to mention all the goalies that changed markets on the first day of NHL Free Agency.
Check out the rest of the NHL Free Agency with Full Press Hockey’s Free Agency Tracker Right Here.