TOP News

Sports: NHL Free Agency Frenzy 2021: Signing Tracker and Analysis

Who will go No. 1 at 2021 NHL Draft? Owen Power, Luke Hughes among 10 candidates for top spot

  Who will go No. 1 at 2021 NHL Draft? Owen Power, Luke Hughes among 10 candidates for top spot The NHL Draft will be held virtually July 23-24.There was no player that everyone had to know before the year. There was not going to be a #FallinForDahlin, #LoseForHughes, or even a #FailForNail tanking slogan. This was always going to be a draft in which there would be a year-long, thorough discussion about who deserved to become the 58th No. 1 pick in NHL Draft history.

Follow along with all the big deals with live updates and instant analysis from The Hockey News' writing staff throughout the first day of the NHL's signing season.

a group of people posing for the camera © Provided by Hockey News on Sports Illustrated

Welcome to NHL free agency day 2021, and stay tuned to The Hockey News for a minute-by-minute analysis of the day’s biggest deals. Keep an eye on this tracker throughout July 28 as we break down the deals signed as free agency opens.

------------------------------

Seattle Kraken Expansion Roster Tracker

  Seattle Kraken Expansion Roster Tracker Follow along as the NHL's 32nd franchise, the Seattle Kraken, picks its inaugural roster via the expansion draft. © Provided by Hockey News on Sports Illustrated Follow along with Mike Stephens as the NHL's 32nd franchise, the Seattle Kraken, picks its inaugural r For a full list of who is available, click here. These picks have not officially been announced by the NHL, but has been reported by reputable sources.----------Anaheim Ducks: Haydn Fleury, DHow nice of the Kraken to unite the Fleury brothers in Seattle.

Dallas Stars: G Braden Holtby signs a one-year, $2-million AAV deal

THN's Take: This is a puzzling move from a Stars team that has been among the busiest of the off-season. Not only do the Stars have three NHL goaltenders already under contract through next season, with Bishop and Khudobin running through 2022-23, respectively, Holtby offers little if any of an upgrade on them all. This is not a starting goaltender anymore.  Holtby has been on a steep decline for the past few years now, failing to put up a save percentage above .911 since 2016-17, coming in below .900 the past two seasons and bottoming out as a Canuck in 2021 with a dreadful .889.

NHL Draft 2021 order by team: Complete list of picks for all 32 franchises

  NHL Draft 2021 order by team: Complete list of picks for all 32 franchises Here is the complete order of picks for the 2021 NHL Draft, organized by team.Over the course of two days, July 23-24, 223 players will find out where they'll get a chance to pursue their professional hockey dreams. Note that there are 224 slots but the Coyotes had to forfeit their first-rounder.

------------------------------

Brownstein: Montreal Canadiens brand takes seismic blast

  Brownstein: Montreal Canadiens brand takes seismic blast One-time Montreal Gazette sports columnist Michael Farber put it best years ago with this analogy: “Only two institutions in Western civilization truly grasp ceremony: the House of Windsor and the Montreal Canadiens.” Times change — on both sides of the pond. But by ceremony on this side, Farber was referencing truly top-tier events, with polish and panache and all available state-of-the-art tech, at the old Forum and Bell Centre to mark anniversaries, jersey and player retirements and feats of glory — like winning Stanley Cups. The team would then trot out a Who’s Who of Habs icons on to the ice to help celebrate and leave fans of Les Glorieux in a frenzied state.

San Jose Sharks: G James Reimer signs a two-year, $2.25-million AAV deal

THN's Take: Reimer had an eight-game stint with the Sharks in 2015-16 and played really well after leaving Toronto. He'll serve as a nice backup to Adin Hill after a couple years of solid action in Carolina and has the experience to fill in as starter for a few games at a time if needed.

------------------------------

NHL trade tracker: List of deals completed during the 2021 offseason

  NHL trade tracker: List of deals completed during the 2021 offseason It's expected to be a busy offseason with a flurry of activity."There’s a number of teams that — there’s just really big decisions to be made," former Lightning general manager Brian Lawton told The Associated Press' Stephen Whyno. "Now it’s fast and furious trying to figure out what they can get done.

San Jose Sharks: LW Andrew Cogliano signs a one-year, $1-million AAV deal

THN's Take: Purely a depth signing, but Cogliano can still bring the energy with his quick feet and can contribute some goals in spurts. Low-risk, nice reward deal here.

------------------------------

NBA free agency winners and losers: Heat upgrade roster; Pelicans, Knicks make confusing moves

  NBA free agency winners and losers: Heat upgrade roster; Pelicans, Knicks make confusing moves Let's roll through the early winners and losers from NBA free agency based on what we know so far.Several players still haven't reached agreements with teams, but 13 of Sporting News' top 20 free agents are already off the market. Kawhi Leonard, the No. 1 player in SN's rankings, is technically available, but he is widely expected to sign a new deal with the Clippers at some point in the near future.

Montreal Canadiens: D David Savard signs a four-year, $3.5-million AAV deal

EXPLAINER: How leagues investigate gambling allegations

  EXPLAINER: How leagues investigate gambling allegations Allegations from his estranged wife that Evander Kane bet on hockey games, including his own, and tried to lose for profit have sparked an NHL investigation into the San Jose Sharks forward's gambling activities. Just what the league will find and how quickly is anyone's guess. If the investigation reveals Kane bet against his own team, those are uncharted waters for a league that has signed more than a half dozen partnerships with sportsbooks, data providers and other gambling-related entities since the Supreme Court cleared the way for legalized sports betting in 2018.

THN's Take: Montreal needed to address its defensive situation with Shea Weber out for likely the rest of his career and Savard definitely meets the criteria. Savard has been known to be a good stay-at-home defender who forces players to the outside, something that was overlooked at times on Tampa's high-offense outfit.

------------------------------

The Road Ahead for Evander Kane

  The Road Ahead for Evander Kane Evander Kane's NHL career currently exists in limbo, awaiting the results of a league investigation that is making no promises about protecting him. What happens next is the big question. © Provided by Hockey News on Sports Illustrated Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports The first thing you should know about Evander Kane is he is a very good hockey player. You don’t sign contracts worth a grand total of $80.8-million if you’re just getting by on the reputation burnished by one or two good years of competing at the NHL level. The man can play the game.

Montreal Canadiens: C Cedric Paquette signs a one-year, $950,000 AAV deal

THN's Take: Paquette bounced around a bit last year with Ottawa and Carolina and never found his footing. Will it be better in Montreal? We'll see, but he has size and toughness the Canadiens can use in the bottom-six and might be capable of 10 goals or so.

------------------------------

Dallas Stars: C Luke Glendening signs a two-year, $1.5 million AAV deal

THN's Take: A nice depth center that can win faceoffs and be a workhorse defensively. This could be one of the more underrated signings of the off-season if everything works out. Don't expect a ton of points, but Detroit fans loved him.

------------------------------

Vancouver Canucks: G Jaroslav Halak signs a one-year, $3-million AAV deal

THN's Take: Halak, a former NHL all-star game participant and winner of the Jennings Trophy with Tuukka Rask in 2019-20, spent the past three years as a solid backup in Boston. While injuries/inconsistency hurt Halak's performance this year, the 36-year-old proved he could steal games for Boston when Rask sat out, a big reason why the Bruins made it to the Cup final in 2019 against St. Louis. For the Canucks, Rask will likely take 20 games away from Thatcher Demko, the team's 25-year-old starting goalie that's set to begin a five-year deal worth $5-million per season.

------------------------------

Tampa Bay Lightning: D Zach Bogosian signs a three-year, $850,000 AAV deal

THN's Take: Bogosian gets a second tour of duty with the team he won the Cup with in 2020. As a depth guy, Bogosian fits the mold thanks to his size and typically has been good enough in spurts. For this term and price, great pickup for Tampa.

------------------------------

Minnesota Wild: D Alex Goligoski signs a one-year, $5-million AAV

THN's Take: A pricy one for a 35-year-old, but Goligoski can still perform and at the term, he could be a trade rental somewhere if the Wild don't find themselves in contention late in the year. From a pure asset standpoint, he'll give Minnesota's D-core a nice veteran boost.

------------------------------

Vancouver Canucks: Travis Hamonic signs a two-year, $3-million AAV deal

THN's Take: Hamonic isn't going anywhere. The depth defender probably won't get second-pairing ice time this season, but can fill in when needed.

------------------------------

Carolina Hurricanes: G Frederik Andersen signs a two-year, $4.5-million AAV deal

THN's Take: A year or two ago, the idea of a Stanley Cup contender pursuing Andersen would’ve made plenty of sense. From 2016-17, his first season as the Toronto Maple Leafs’ starting netminder, through 2019-20, Andersen was the NHL’s No. 1 workhorse, leading all goaltenders in starts and placing third in wins while posting a respectable .916 save percentage on a team that, at the time, was known for extremely leaky defensive play. Fair or not, Andersen carried a reputation of underwhelming in the post-season, but he was undeniably an upper-echelon regular-season netminder over that span. He finished fourth in the 2017-18 Vezina Trophy vote.

------------------------------

Carolina Hurricanes: G Antti Raanta signs a two-year, $2-million AAV deal

THN's Take: Carolina helps to shore up its goaltending situation by also bringing in Raanta. When healthy, Raanta shows signs of being a capable No. 1 goaltender. Staying healthy, though, has been a problem in recent years. Still, hard not to love this deal for the Hurricanes, who, after losing Mrazek, got aggressive on the market with two of the best goalies available.

------------------------------

Calgary Flames: LW Blake Coleman signs a six-year, $4.9-million AAV deal

THN's Take: One of the bigger signings of the off-season. Good middle-six option for Calgary that really boosted his value on Tampa's two Cup-winning efforts. He's 29 now so the deal likely cause some pain down the line, but Calgary needed some help up front and got it.

------------------------------

Seattle Kraken: C Alexander Wennberg signs a three-year, $4.5-million AAV deal

THN's Take: Wennberg gets a fresh start after a couple of poor years in Columbus. We know Wennberg can be a solid offensive contributor, having recorded 59 points in 2016-17, but now he'll be an integral part of Seattle's offense for the next few years.

------------------------------

Pittsburgh Penguins: C Evan Rodrigues signs a one-year deal.

THN's Take: Happy 28th birthday, Evan. Rodrigues is coming off of a 14-point season as a depth guy in Pittsburgh and the Pens liked what they saw after bringing him back last season following a brief time in Toronto's system.

------------------------------

Carolina Hurricanes: LW Jordan Martinook signs a three-year, $1.8-million AAV extension

THN's Take: It's not Dougie Hamilton, but it's familiar territory. Fourth season with the team and definitely capable of 20 points a year in a full campaign.

------------------------------

Edmonton Oilers: D Cody Ceci signs a four-year, $3-million AAV deal (Report)

THN's Take: Based on his play for, well, most of his career, this brings significant risk along with it. The cap hit isn't a big problem right now, but this screams like a deal the Oilers will want out of pretty quickly. Ceci has a career average of 20:46 of ice time a game, making him a top-four defenseman by those numbers. How good has he been as a top-four defender? That's a different question.

------------------------------

Vegas Golden Knights: D Alec Martinez signs a three-year, $5.25-million AAV extension

THN's Take: Martinez scored 32 points in 53 games last season, putting him on pace for the best offensive output of his NHL career. His bread and butter is his defensive play, especially in regards to blocked shots. A quality signing for a team with some extra cap space for other moves following the Marc-Andre Fleury trade.

------------------------------

Edmonton Oilers: LW Zach Hyman signs a seven-year, $5.5-million deal

THN's Take: Hyman's name was one that came up often in regards to free agency with multiple teams reportedly showing interest in the services for the winger. He has the ability to help the Oilers forward core and is a strong forechecker and adds extra scoring depth in a position that needed the help. He'll be 37 when his deal ends, so it'll be interesting to see if the cap hurts the team in the later years.

------------------------------

Detroit Red Wings: C Sam Gagner signs a one-year, $850,000 extension

THN's Take: Easy call to keep him around for another season. He can still chip in on offense from time to time and has always been a popular guy with fans and teammates. Works his hardest and finds random spurts of greatness. Low-risk with the potential for a solid reward.

------------------------------

Detroit Red Wings: G Calvin Pickard signs a one-year extension

THN's Take: Pickard played spot duty for the Red Wings the past few years and has generally been an AHLer for most of his career. That shouldn't change next year, especially with the Red Wings bringing in Alex Nedeljkovic.

------------------------------

Colorado Avalanche: Gabriel Landeskog signs an eight-year, $7-million AAV deal

THN's Take: Landeskog, Colorado's captain, has played his entire NHL career with the Avalanche, scoring 218 goals and 512 games since the team selected him second overall in 2011. The 28-year-old Landeskog has been a key member of Colorado's rebuild in recent years that have quickly made them a Stanley Cup contender. The biggest UFA forward never even hit the open market.

The Road Ahead for Evander Kane .
Evander Kane's NHL career currently exists in limbo, awaiting the results of a league investigation that is making no promises about protecting him. What happens next is the big question. © Provided by Hockey News on Sports Illustrated Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports The first thing you should know about Evander Kane is he is a very good hockey player. You don’t sign contracts worth a grand total of $80.8-million if you’re just getting by on the reputation burnished by one or two good years of competing at the NHL level. The man can play the game.

See also