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 Metro will look to start the 2021-22 regular season next month.
After being eliminated in the second round by Tampa Bay, the Hurricanes have undergone a significant roster turnover, including trading starting goalie Nedeljkovic to Detroit and signing free agent goalies Andersen and Raanta to replace the departed Mrazek and Reimer.
Owner Tom Dundon and GM Don Waddell were unwilling to meet the price that Hamilton attracted in free agency and chose to bolster their blueline depth with the signings of Cole and Smith and swapping Foegele to Edmonton for Bear, but their big move was a revenge play against Montreal for signing Aho to an offer sheet and snagging big forward Kotkaniemi on a one-year deal.
Columbus Blue Jackets
Columbus GM Jarmo Kekalainen was proactive in trading center Pierre-Luc Dubois, team captain Nick Foligno and defenseman David Savard last season and continued over the summer by dealing Jones with one year left on his contract to Chicago for Boqvist and a package of draft picks, and swapping Atkinson to Philadelphia for former Blue Jacket Voracek.
Waddell extended blueliner Zach Werenski on a six-year deal and added former first-rounder Bean in a deal with Carolina, but it will take some time for Columbus to build back up to a playoff contender.
New Jersey Devils
The Devils used their space under the salary cap to snag the big prize of the free agent class in Hamilton to a seven-year, $63 million contract and take advantage of Colorado’s expansion draft protection dilemma by acquiring Graves for Maltsev and a second-round pick.
GM Tom Fitzgerald took a second swing at finding a tandem partner for Mackenzie Blackwood after Corey Crawford’s retirement and some offensive depth in free agency, signing Tatar and Bernier to two-year deals.
New York Islanders
The Islanders came within one game of the Stanley Cup Final and GM Lou Lamoriello opted to bring back most of his roster for one more kick at the can. Eberle being drafted by Seattle cleared $5.5 million in cap space, but the Isles needed to move out another big salary in Leddy to re-sign deadline acquisition Kyle Palmieri, center Casey Cizikas, goalie Ilya Sorokin and defenseman Adam Pelech to extensions.
Other than Panik, the only significant addition is Parise, who played for Lamoriello in New Jersey and was bought out by Minnesota over the summer.