The NHL season is right around the corner as the season is set to begin on October 7th in Czechia between the Sharks and Predators. Before the season gets underway, you should know how the league has changed since the Avalanche lifted the Cup earlier this year. Every one of the big-name free agents left their old teams in search of a new start. There were also a few blockbuster-level trades this summer.
There are four major trades from this offseason that need to be looked at. The Hurricanes started the summer out strong with two major deals. Defenseman Brent Burns was traded to Carolina along with forward Lane Pederson in exchange for forward Steven Lorentz, goaltender Eetu Makiniemi and a conditional third-round pick. The Canes were not done there as Carolina acquired Max Pacioretty and defenseman Dylan Coghlan from Vegas for future considerations (a.k.a nothing).
The other two major deals involved the Calgary Flames. The first deal sent Matthew Tkachuk and a pick to Florida in exchange for Johnathan Huberdeau, MacKenzie Weegar and forward Cole Schwindt. The second deal sent forward Sean Monahan and a 2025 first-round pick to Montreal for future considerations.
One more trade of value occurred as the first action of the 2022 offseason. Goaltender Cam Talbot was traded from Minnesota to Ottawa for goaltender Filip Gustavsson. This would start a domino effect of the Senators buying heavily in free agency.
This off-season’s top free agents jumbled the league in a way that had not been seen in quite a while. The class’s biggest fish, Johnny Gaudreau shocked everyone when he decided to sign with the Columbus Blue Jackets for less money than any of his other offers. The Jackets also locked up Patrik Laine on a four-year deal.
Stanley Cup champion forward Nazem Kadri left Denver and headed North of the border to Calgary inking a seven-year, $49 million deal. Other notable forwards Vincent Trochek, Mason Marchment, Ryan Strome and Claude Giroux all found new teams, too. Trocheck signed with the New York Rangers. Marchment inked a four-year deal with the Dallas Stars. Strome left New York and headed to Southern California to sign with the Anaheim Ducks. Giroux decided to head home to Ottawa and the high-spending Senators.
The goaltenders also got in on the free-agent action. Darcey Kuemper signed with the Capitals on a five-year deal, while Marc-Andre Fleury inked a two-year deal to stay in Minnesota. Edmonton found a new netminder with Jack Campbell, while Matt Murray will replace Campbell in Toronto.
This offseason also saw a slew of extensions and re-signings by older veterans to finish their careers with the teams they have been with for a long time. The Pittsburgh Penguins were a prime example of this. The Penguins inked Bryan Rust and Rickard Rakell to a six-year deals while re-signing both Kris Letang and Evgeni Malkin to contracts that should take each player through his retirement. The Boston Bruins also did something similar to this by bringing back both Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci.
The defending champions locked up Nikita Zadorov for eight years, while both Calgary and Florida extended their newest star players to massive extensions. St. Louis extended Robert Thomas for eight years, while Ottawa gave Josh Norris an eight-year extension.
The NHL’s newest evil empire, the Tampa Bay Lightning, were hard at work once again this offseason signing multiple players to massive extensions. Nick Paul, Mikhail Sergachev, Anthony Cerelli and Erik Cernak were able to combine for 31 years and $189.6 million. Where the Bolts are getting this money and how they are staying under the salary cap remains a mystery.
Those are just the major moves that happened this summer. Starting next Friday, I will be releasing the first of four division breakdowns and prediction articles which will briefly dive into each team’s offseason and season preview.