First Day of Free Agency: Western Conference Grades
The Blackhawks locked down their #2 center spot with Brad Richards at a great price, and kept a Peter Regin for depth. They were also able to lock down Raanta, Smith, and Morin to a combined 3m salary.
St. Louis Blues
St. Louis was able to nail down Paul Stastny to a 4 year deal at 7m per, and made no moves after that. The price will put Stastny into an elite group, and that’s a little weary. Good day none the less.
The Predators did nothing on day 1, but signed Olli Jokinen on Day 2. The Neal trade salvages some hope, and they’ll take the trade route to get a good center. Bad free agency start for the Music City.
The Jets did average on Tuesday. They signed Perrault out of Washington for 3 years to replace Jokinen, and that was their only move. More to come via trade in the future.
San Jose Sharks
The Sharks kept quiet in free agency, only signing Taylor Fedun. But fear not, they signed John Scott today on Day 2. All hope salvaged.
There’s really nothing for LA to do, especially after winning the Cup 2 of 3 years. They re-signed Jeff Schultz and let Willie Mitchell go. They also signed David Van Der Gulik and Adam Cracknell to one-year deals.
Dallas hit a home run in free agency. After getting Jason Spezza before free agency started, they signed Ales Hemsky to compliment Spezza and replace Whitney, and also got Patrick Eaves. Bravo, Jim Nill.
The Ducks mainly made their big move acquiring Ryan Kesler, and made little moves on day 1. They signed Jason Labarbera to a one year deal and also signed Clayton Stoner for 4 years. Good day for Murray.
The Coyotes had a quiet day despite signing 5 players. Bolduc, Campbell, Hodgman, McKenna, and Reese all signed two way deals, and they also inked Joe Vitale and Devan Dubnyk. Some interesting names there.
The Fayne signing was great for Edmonton, but the Pouliot signing is a head scratches. Props to Craig MacTavish for improving Edmonton big time however.
The Flames made big strides in their goaltending, signing Jonas Hiller, and signed speedy forward Mason Raymond to a three year deal. It would have been a good day if they didn’t sign Engelland to the huge 2.9m per contract, but I don’t think they’ll be near the cap floor.
They signed Ryan Miller, great, but they also created a goalie controversy again with 3 goalies that should be in the NHL next year. They also signed Jeffery, Sanguinetti, and O’Reilly the next day. With the depth gotten from the Kesler deal, the Canucks may be competing next year.
The Wild did good bringing home Thomas Vanek for a check 3 year deal which was their only move and a home run. They have a defensive gap due to Stoner’s departure but they’ll be fine.
The Avalanche did good signing Jarome Iginla although the contract, especially at four years, wasn’t the best. He still provides a good leadership presence to the young Avs. They also inked Jesse Winchester.