TLN Free Agency Live Blog: Reacting to moves all around the NHL

Photo credit:John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Kyle Cushman
1 year ago
Happy free agency day, everyone!
It is shaping up to be a massive day in the NHL as per usual, with major names set to become unrestricted free agents at 12 pm EST. The Toronto Maple Leafs are also set for a big day with important moves to come to address the backup goaltending position and forward depth.
The newest updates will come at the top of the page!

1:26 pm EST

@Thomas Greiss to St. Louis
Veteran backup going for the veteran backup rate, who had a terrible year in Detroit.
@Vladislav Namestnikov to Tampa Bay
Namestnikov’s best season came with the Lightning, and he heads back for $2.5M. Should be a versatile forward that chips in some scoring.
@Anthony Cirelli, @Erik Cernak extend with Tampa Bay
I do like these extensions, unlike the Sergachev one. Cirelli is an elite defensive forward, and while $6.25M is a steep price over eight years, he’s an underrated player and a worthwhile bet to me. Cernak is the unsung hero of their defence and getting him at $5.2M is a fantastic deal, especially when Sergachev is getting $8.5M. Busy day for Julien BriseBois.

1:20 pm EST

@Brett Kulak re-signs in Edmonton
Big fan of Kulak over here. Good number at $2.75M for four years for a defenceman that has had top four results for multiple seasons. Great move for Edmonton.
@Mikhail Sergachev extends with Tampa Bay
Mikhail Sergachev is a really good defenceman. I don’t think he’s an $8.5M defenceman. Tampa Bay is betting huge on Sergachev that he will have a stellar season stepping into their top four full-time and will make this deal worthwhile. We’ll have to see…but I don’t know about this one.

1:12 pm EST

@Frank Vatrano to Anaheim
Did not expect Vatrano to get $3.65M! Three-year term for a goal scorer that could be a nice stylistic fit in the Ducks top nine.
@Adam Gaudette to Toronto
Depth pickup for the Leafs who has yet to become much of an NHL player. Potential 4C at league minimum or a top-six player for the Marlies.

1:05 pm EST

@Ilya Mikheyev to Vancouver
Another rich contract for a former Leafs player. Four years at $4.75M is a lot for Mikheyev, good for him for cashing in, but I’d have no interest at that number. Sure, he’s a good defensive forward with goal upside…but he’s never shown much of an ability to actually cash in on that goal upside.
@Jaroslav Halak to NY Rangers
Good fit here for a veteran backup at $1.55M on a one-year deal. @Igor Shesterkin will play a ton and Halak is still serviceable as a backup, especially with a clear #1 goaltender like there is in New York.

12:55 pm EST

@Brent Burns to Carolina?!?!
WOW, what a blockbuster. Well, at least in name value. The Hurricanes replace @Tony DeAngelo by getting Brent Burns for essentially no assets, just fourth liner @Steven Lorentz, fringe prospect @Eetu Makiniemi, and a conditional third-round pick. Also get depth forward @Lane Pederson.
San Jose is retaining 33% of Burns’ salary and he should slot in quite nicely alongside @Jaccob Slavin, whose defensive value could see Burns have a resurgence. Big swing from the Canes.
@Eric Comrie to Buffalo
Perfect match here at two years and $1.8M AAV. Young goaltender who finally broke into the NHL this year, will get starting minutes in Buffalo and have a chance to become an established goaltender in the league with the Sabres.
UDFA Felix Robert to Tampa Bay
It’s not a Kyle Cushman article if we aren’t getting niche. Love this pickup for the Lightning, Robert had a strong season on an AHL contract in the Penguins organization.

12:48 pm EST

@Troy Stecher to Arizona
Well, the Coyotes need bodies and Stecher will fill a role on their blueline. I’ve always liked the player and at $1.2M, he’ll be a depth deadline addition for someone once again.
@Olli Maata to Detroit
Maata has consistently been a good defensive defenceman and at one year for $2.25M, he should be a great fit on the Red Wings blueline potentially beside @Filip Hronek.
@Andreas Athanasiou, @Max Domi to Chicago
Both players get one year and $3M to head to the Blackhawks. Both will certainly be shopped at the trade deadline and be a warm body for Chicago in the meantime.
@Ilya Lyubushkin to Buffalo
That’s…a lot for Lyubushkin. Two years, $2.75M AAV for the physical, defensive defenceman that was a decent deadline add for Toronto. At that number though? No thank you, and best of luck in Buffalo. Could play alongside either @Rasmus Dahlin or @Owen Power.

12:42 pm EST

@Nick Leddy re-signs with St. Louis
Oof, no thank you on this one. $4M AAV for Leddy on a four-year term for a player that’s already declining and had a pretty terrible year. This one will age poorly

12:40 pm EST

UDFA Nathan Staios to Florida
Former Leafs development camp invite Nathan Staios signs with Florida after a stellar year with the Hamilton Bulldogs. Nice to see him rewarded with an NHL contract.

12:36 pm EST

@Nicolas Aube-Kubel to Toronto
One year, $1M. Buriable amount for the Leafs for a good defensive fourth liner, should be a fit alongside @David Kampf. Hard to dislike this one.
@Vincent Trocheck to NY Rangers
Big contract here, seven years at $5.625M. I’m a fan of Trocheck and that’s a great fit with the Rangers. Term is scary but a reasonable cap hit.
@Andrew Copp to Detroit
Love Copp to Detroit here. Only five years at $5.625M for the former University of Michigan player and home state kid. More than a reasonable number for the Red Wings and fills a need. Big fan of this signing for Stevie Y.

12:27 pm EST

@Robert Thomas extends with St. Louis
HUGE extension for Robert Thomas, eight years at $8.125M. Deserving for a player that had a massive breakout season with 77 points in 70 games and is one of the league’s more underrated developing stars.

12:20 pm EST

@Kevin Rooney to Calgary
Two years, $1.3M AAV for Rooney. Was sub-replacement level last year for the Rangers, don’t love that number (although it’s mostly buriable and Calgary needs depth forwards).

12:18 pm EST

@Curtis Lazar to Vancouver
Not too often do you see a multi-year contract for just a $1M AAV. Lazar is a good fourth liner, I like this depth pickup for Vancouver.

12:11 pm EST

@Justin Schultz to Seattle
This is a weird one. Don’t really get why Seattle is targeting Schultz, other than maybe needing some more offence from their blueline. Two years in the $3M range is too much for him given

12:08 pm EST

@Ian Cole to Tampa Bay
Surprised by the cap hit here, up at $3M for Cole on a one-year contract. Replaces @Ryan McDonagh on the blueline and will likely anchor their third pairing.
@Brendan Smith to New Jersey
Solid depth defenceman at a nice number for the Devils, two years at $1.1M. Could fit on their third pairing alongside @Ty Smith.

12:00 pm EST

@Jack Campbell to Edmonton
Finally official. Campbell to Edmonton, 5 years at $5M. Campbell was good when healthy, but that’s quite the gamble for the Oilers. Great to see Campbell get to cash in.
@Ilya Samsonov to Toronto
Nice 1B pickup for the Leafs that makes me feel a lot better about the @Matt Murray bet. One year at $1.8M is a good number and should give the Leafs RFA rights next summer.
@Claude Giroux to Ottawa
What an offseason so far for the Senators. Giroux goes home for a more than reasonable $6.5M cap hit for three years. Suddenly, the Sens have a formidable top six and a solid tandem in net. Need to make some progress on defence, but Ottawa is set to climb the standings quite a bit.

11:48 am EST

RFA @Victor Olofsson re-sign in Buffalo
Victor Olofsson re-signs for two years at $4.75M. It’s a bit of a hefty number for a player that is all offence, only offence, but is also not much higher than his qualifying offer. His 20-goal, 49-point season had him projected at $4M by Evolving Hockey.

11:35 am EST

Maxim Mamin to KHL
Depth forward Maxim Mamin is headed back to Russia, signing a three-year deal with CSKA Moscow. He was a potential fourth-line target for Toronto.

11:15 am EST

@Josh Manson re-signs in Colorado
Manson transitioned seamlessly into the Avalanche system and provides them with a bit of a different look to balance their defence group. Four years at $4.5M is a reasonable number and he’ll be a great match with any of their left-side defencemen over that term. Nice piece of business for Chris McFarland and Joe Sakic.
@Pavel Zacha traded to Boston for @Erik Haula
Zacha wanted out in New Jersey and the Bruins needed some more forward options, especially with @Brad Marchand out to start the season. Zacha can play either centre or the left wing and should slot into Boston’s third line. Zacha is an RFA.
Erik Haula will likely slide into New Jersey’s 3C role. He has one year remaining at just $2.375M, coming off of a 44-point season that’s a really solid pickup for the Devils.
For New Jersey, after buying out @Janne Kuokkanen and now trading Zacha, they’ve opened up a couple of spots on their wings. @Johnny Gaudreau would be an incredible fit with the Devils, I wonder if that’s where the top UFA goes.
@Darren Helm re-signs in Colorado
The Avalanche are in need of a couple of depth forwards, so it only makes sense to bring back Darren Helm on an identical contract to @Andrew Cogliano’s for one year and $1.25M. Helm was a solid fourth liner during Colorado’s run to the Cup and the Avs have the room.

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