32 NHL clubs will report for training camp later this month after a busy summer that saw over 100 free agent signings and 60 trades. A number of teams will look dramatically different because of moves to improve, rebuild or made out of necessity to adjust to the league’s flat salary cap.
Here is how teams in the Atlantic Division will look to start the 2021-22 regular season next month:
Is the beginning of the end for the Bruins window as a championship contender or the beginning of a transitional phase. With long-time #1 Rask out until January with hip surgery, GM Don Sweeney brought in former Sabre Ullmark to share the goaltending duties with 22-year-old Jeremy Swayman.
Krejci opted to return to the Czech Republic after playing 15 years in the NHL, and Boston signed Foligno, Nosek, and Haula to help plug the hole up the middle and add forward depth to take some of the burden off of the “Perfection Line” of Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, and David Pastrnak.
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The Sabres are leaving little doubt that their plan is a full rebuild after dealing leading scorer Reinhart and big blueliner Ristolainen for futures, losing Ullmark in free agency and counting the days until Jack Eichel is moved out.
With the club transitioning to a new core group headed by Rasmus Dahlin, Dylan Cozens and Casey Mittelstadt, GM Kevyn Adams brought in replacements on one-year deals or with short-term remaining on their contracts. Veterans Anderson and Dell were signed to buy goalie prospect Ukka-Pekka Luukkonen time to mature in the American Hockey League, and guarantee Buffalo another season at the bottom of the NHL standings.
Detroit Red Wings
The Red Wings are emerging from the dismantling portion of their rebuild, with GM Steve Yzerman making strategic additions to surround young building blocks like defenseman Moritz Seider and forwards Filip Zadina and Lucas Raymond.
Detroit acquired Calder Trophy finalist Nedeljkovic, veteran blueliner Leddy and young forward Stephens in trades for draft choices, and signed center Suter after Chicago did not the 25-year-old a qualifying offer.
Who’s in: Sam Reinhart, Joe Thornton
Panthers GM Bill Zito spent most of the summer internally managing his roster, buying out Yandle, trading Stralman to Arizona, and signing Sam Bennett, Anthony Duclair, Carter Verhaeghe, Brandon Montour and Gustav Forsling to long-term extensions.
After losing Driedger and Wennberg to the expansion Kraken, Florida traded a first-round pick and goalie prospect Devon Levi to Buffalo for Reinhart, who will play second-line center behind Aleksander Barkov, and added future Hall-of-Famer Thornton on a one-year deal.