NHL Free Agency: The Complete WTF Sports Guide (So Far)

NHL Free Agency has been overlooked in the sports world due to the incredible quickness of the NBA Free Agency and how many stars were available. Believe it or not however, the NHL has had its own incredible amount of talent switching homes whether it is through big time contracts or shocking trades. Let’s take a look at the notable moves so far.

Free Agency Signings:

LW Artemi Panarin signs with the New York Rangers
Contract: 7 years, $81.5 million

The prized free agent of 2019 was Artemi Panarin. Believe it or not, he somehow took the longest to sign out of a lot of the top options. Panarin would sign with the New York Rangers, a move that many had expected in the regular season but then disappeared early on in the offseason. Panarin wanted to be in a big market and there is not a bigger one than New York. In four seasons, Panarin has produced point totals of 77, 74, 82, and 87 this year. The Rangers and Panarin are going to make a splash this season.

C Matt Duchene signs with the Nashville Predators
Contract: 7 years, $56 million

A move that was years in the making. The Nashville Predators and Matt Duchene finally have come together as the Predators traded PK Subban to make this move work. He managed to cash-in finally after having his best season since 2013-14, totaling 70 points. He will slot in the top six forwards while happily being in Nashville.

G Sergei Bobrovsky signs with the Florida Panthers
Contract: 7 years, $70 million

To have success in the NHL, you have to have an outstanding goaltender. Sergei Bobrovsky proved that in the postseason and got the Florida Panthers to buy-in. With an average of $10 million per year, the former 2x Vezina Trophy winner will happily be in Florida for the next seven seasons as their number one goaltender.

LW Anders Lee re-signs with the New York Islanders
Contract: 7 years, $49 million

The captain of the New York Islanders is staying put as Anders Lee has re-signed a contract with an annual average of $7 million per year. Lee has scored 34, 40, and 28 goals in his last three seasons.

D Tyler Myers signs with the Vancouver Canucks
Contract: 5 years, $30 million

The now former Winnipeg Jets D-Man Tyler Myers has cashed in, joining the Vancouver Canucks on a five-year deal. Myers has developed into a great defender as a part of the Canucks and has earned this contract. He now becomes Vancouver’s number one defenseman and a key part of their future.

C Joe Pavelski and RW Corey Perry sign with the Dallas Stars
Contracts: (Pavelski) 3 years, $21 million, (Perry) 1 year, $1.5 million

The Dallas Stars are going for it. Joe Pavelski dawning any other jersey and a San Jose Sharks jersey is not going to be a fun visual, but this is a great move for both the Stars and the former Sharks captain. Corey Perry on the other hand has signed a one year prove it deal as he hopes to return to the glory days. People forget, Perry is a former league MVP.

RW Mats Zuccarello signs with the Minnesota Wild
Contract: 5 years, $30 million

Mats Zuccarello and the Wild are the perfect match as the Wild get the winger they have been searching for and Zuccarello gets the long-term contract he hoped for.

G Robin Lehner signs with the Chicago Blackhawks
Contract: 1 year, $5 million

The Vezina Trophy finalist shocked the world. Robin Lehner has officially left the New York Islanders for a one-year deal with the Chicago Blackhawks. Lehner will now help spell Corey Crawford who has dealt with injuries for the past two seasons as they hoped to find their way back to the playoffs soon.

RW Wayne Simmonds signs with the New Jersey Devils
Contract: 1 year, $5 million

Too much money, but the New Jersey Devils are going all in.

G Semyon Varlamov signs with the New York Islanders
Contract: 4 years, $20 million

The Islanders found their replacement for Lehner with Semyon Varlamov who had a great season with the Colorado Avalanche and could be even better with the Islanders.

Trades:

Nashville Predators trade D PK Subban to the New Jersey Devils for nothing

Literally nothing. This was a pure money dumb of a former Norris Trophy winner. Subban should do awesome in New Jersey.

Pittsburgh Penguins trade RW Phil Kessel to the Arizona Coyotes for C Alex Galchenyuk

A very solid salary dump for the Penguins while getting a talented forward back. Kessel in a Coyotes uniform may not look right, but he will be happier to be there.

Toronto Maple Leafs trade C Nazem Kadri, D Calle Rosen, 2020 3rd round pick to the Colorado Avalanche for D Tyson Barrie, C Alex Kerfoot, and 2020 6th round pick

Awesome move for the Maple Leafs. Get rid of Kadri who continuously hurt them more than helped while getting an awesome puck moving D-Man in Tyson Barrie.

Toronto Maple Leafs trade D Nikita Zaitsev to Ottawa Senators for D Cody Ceci

There is more to the deal you do not care about. Toronto is completely rebuilding their defense while try to save money to pay their players with money they do not have.

Buffalo Sabres trade for D Colin Miller from the Vegas Golden Knights

Great move for Buffalo.

Notable Players still available:

  • RW Ryan Dzingel
  • RW Marcus Johansson
  • C Joe Thornton
  • F Patrick Marleau
  • RW Justin Williams
  • D Jake Gardiner
  • D Niklas Kronwall

Plenty of names left on the board for teams to add at a lower price in NHL Free Agency. Dzingel, Johansson, and Gardiner are bound to get pretty big deals still, however. Waiting it out may work well for them.

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