First Day of Free Agency: Eastern Conference Grades
Note: these grades are being written as of 3:29 PM EST of July 1st
New York Rangers
The Rangers had a good day by any means. They kept Dominic Moore, signed a Tanner Glass, and brought in Dan Boyle to replace Anton Stralman. They should be right back up there contending next year.
New York Islanders
After a disappointing last season, the Islanders went out only to spend 1,900,000 in the first day of free agency, signing TJ Brennan and Chad Johnson. They failed to get a big left winger, and Garth Snow failed by any means this far.
Handcuffed by high salaries and bonuses, Philadelphia was not able to make any big moves early into free agency. They signed G Rob Zepp, but that was all. Not a very exciting day for Flyers fans.
The Penguins had a pretty good day. Despite losing Jussi Jokinen and Tanner a Glass, they were able to pick up Christian Ehrhoff for a fairly cheap 4m for one year and a backup goalie in Thomas Greiss. They also picked up a cheap 4th liner in Blake Comeau at 700k. Good day for Jim Rutherford.
New Jersey Devils
The Devils were finally able to add scoring today. Despite losing out on Sekac, they were able to sign Mike Cammalleri for 5 years and GM Lamoriello said he would like to bring in a veteran goalie. Good day for New Jersey.
Keeping the team together isn’t bad. The Bruins didn’t sign anyone on the first day, but locked up Nik Svedberg a few days before free agency. I don’t expect the Bruins to be done as they need a winger due to Jarome Iginla’s departure. Prices may drop as well as time goes on.
Toronto Maple Leafs
They definitely made moves. Letting Bolland go was smart, but the Jerry D’Amigo decision wasn’t the best. They also solidified their defense with Robidas for 3 years despite his leg injuries, but lost TJ Brennan. The Leafs also brought back Leo Komarov from the KHL at a steel 2.95 per for 4 years.
Despite losing captain Brian Gionta and ‘future captain’ Josh Gorges, Montreal didn’t do too shabby on July 1st. They boosted their team yesterday with the Parenteau trade, and brought in Manny Malhotra and Tom Gilbert. The Habs also locked up Mike Weaver for another year. They also won the Jiri Sekac competition, which is very interesting. The Czech brings a new aspect to the team.
Horrid offseason start for Ottawa. No first round pick, now trading their captain Jason Spezza. The Sens acquired Alex Chiasson among other small assets from Dallas for Jason Spezza, and really didn’t get fair value for him. The Sens brought back Milan Michalek for 3 years, and didn’t add anyone new.
Amazing day for Tim Murray. He did exactly what he wanted to do and signed role guys for the young and upcoming Sabres. He ditched Kevin Porter & Christian Ehrhoff, but brought in Brian Gionta, Matt Moulson (again), re-signed Cody McCormick, re-signed Marcus Foligno and traded for Josh Gorges. I’d suspect Gorges to be the future captain of Buffalo.
Great job by Dale Tallon today. Despite overpaying for Dave Bolland at 5 years at 5.5 million, Tallon also picked up Shawn Thornton, Jussi Jokinen, Derek MacKenize, and Al Montoya. Tallon puts that on top of the drafting of Aaron Ekblad and it’s a very successful offseason for Florida.
They kept the team together. Carolina signed Jiri Tlusty again and also picked up Brad Malone in free agency. The big factor for them next year will be goaltending and if Ward/Khudobin will work well.
Detroit Red Wings
Detroit took a swung and missed in free agency. They went after both Dan Boyle and Matt Niskanen in free agency, both whom denied them. Detroit hasn’t made a trade yet (3:18) but they are aggressively working the phones to get a defenseman which could change their grade. Their only signing thus far is Kevin Porter.
Tampa Bay Lightning
The Lightning did what they needed to do and picked up a defenseman. They signed Anton Stralman for 5 years at 4 million per. They have Jonathan Drouin coming next year so that will help their offense greatly.
Washington had some big acquisitions, although the price wasn’t great. They sighed a good defenseman in Orpik for 5 years at 5.5 per. They also lost Perrault to Winnipeg but re-signed Matt Laata to the team. They also picked up solid backup Justin Peters.
Columbus Blue Jackets
Columbus picked up a strong young player in Jerry D’Amigo from Toronto in a trade but failed to make any more moves. They lost Derek MacKenzie to FLA and Blake Comeau to PIT but the Hartnell trade makes everything okay.
Stay tuned for more news as it roles in during free agency.