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 Pacific will look to start the 2021-22 regular season next month.
Who’s Out: Danton Heinen
The Ducks offseason was positively glacial, as most of GM Bob Murray’s work was internal, extending young forwards like Maxime Comtois and Max Jones, re-signing team captain Ryan Getzlaf and getting 2021 first rounder Mason McTavish signed to his entry-level deal.
Anaheim finished dead last in the Pacific and will be looking ro veterans Cam Fowler, Rickard Rakell, Adam Henrique and Jakob Silfverberg to lead the way and youngsters Comtois, Sam Steel, Troy Terry, and Trevor Zegras to take the next step.
The Flames faced a difficult choice and did not protect Giordano, losing their 37-year-old team captain to Seattle in the expansion draft. GM Brad Treliving was expected to be busy this summer, with rumors of forwards Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan being on the block, but nothing came to fruition.
Calgary’s big splash was the free-agent signing of two-time Cup winner Coleman to a six-year, $29.4 million deal and making the club more conducive to head coach Darryl Sutter’s style, by experience up front in ex-Kings Lewis and adding toughness on the blueline in Zadorov (trade with Chicago) and Gudbranson.
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The Oilers made the boldest of moves on the opening day of free agency, signing one of the best two-way forwards in the NHL in Hyman to play in the top six with either Connor McDavid or Leon Draisaitl.
GM Ken Holland other moves are head-scratching, not finding help between the pipes with a 39-year-old Mike Smith and Mikko Koskinen as their tandem and addressing Edmonton’s need to improve on defense after losing Larsson and Oscar Klefbom by trading for a 38-year-old Keith, signing journeyman Ceci and swapping Bear to Carolina for Foegele.
Los Angeles Kings
Who’s Out: No One
After showing some growth and being in the playoff race last season, GM Rob Blake used his available cap space to add some veteran support players, acquiring Arvidsson from Nashville for two draft picks, signing free agent Danault to a six-year contract coming off an impressive playoff performance, and adding long-time Canuck Edler on a one-year deal.
The key to the Kings returning to playoff contention will be young prospects like 2020 second overall pick Quinton Byfield, first-rounders Gabe Vilardi and Alex Turcotte contributing at some point to take some of the burden off of the remaining core group of the championship Kings of last decade (Drew Doughty, Anze Kopitar, Dustin Brown, Jonathan Quick).