NHL Offseason Recap
After a summer of wild offseason transactions, the dust has settled. Here's a recap
Congrats to the Colorado Avalanche for winning the Stanley Cup!
The NHL Draft
There were plenty of surprises in this year's draft. Shane Wright had been hyped as the #1 pick in this draft since he was 14. However, fans were stunned when the Montreal Canadiens picked Juraj Slavkovsky, an Olympic standout from Slovakia, with the first pick. Wright was eventually selected by the Seattle Kraken with the fourth pick
In other NHL Draft news, the Chicago Blackhawks boldly traded their young superstar Alex DeBrincat to the Ottawa Senators, for the 7th pick in the draft (Defenseman Kevin Korchinski), a second round draft pick, and a third rounder, committing to their rebuild. Still, DeBrincat is only 24 years old and is a superstar with elite skating and a amazing shot. A young superstar is hard to replace. The Hawks also traded Kirby Dach and let go Dylan Strome and Dominik Kubalik in free agency, further cementing the teardown of their whole organization. Oh, and they're most likely to trade the faces of their franchise (Toews and Kane) during the middle of the season.
The Calgary Flames
Any major news about this year's free agency likely centers around the Calgary Flames. After losing in the second round last year, their two superstars (Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk) had their contract expired, and chose not to play for their teams.
Johnny Gaudreau, who was 3rd in scoring in the NHL, chose to leave Calgary because he wanted to play closer to his hometown. Johnny Hockey entered free agency and chose to sign with the Columbus Blue Jackets for close to 10 million a season, which took many fans by surprise. Many expected Gaudreau to sign in New York, New Jersey, or Philly, instead of the small market of Columbus, and many others expected Gaudreau to stay with the Calgary Flames, who offered more money than Columbus, and won the Pacific Division last year.
Matthew Tkachuk was a restricted free agent Calgary still had rights to, but he sent Calgary Flames fans in panic mode when he asked out of Calgary a week after Gaudreau left. After heavy trade speculation, the Florida Panthers and Flames agreed on a blockbuster, with the Panthers receiving Tkachuk and Calgary receiving superstar Jonathan Huberdeau, promising defenseman Mackensie Weegar, and two more players.
NHL Fans waited over a month to find out where Nazem Kadri, the top free agent center, was headed. The Calgary Flames struck once again, signing Kadri to a 7 year 49 million dollar deal.
In a wild offseason, the Flames offset the departure of Gaudreau and Thachuk, adding new faces in Johnathan Huberdeau, Nazem Kadri, and MacKenzie Weegar.
The Anaheim Ducks signed John Klingberg
The Detroit Red Wings signed David Perron
The Tampa Bay Lightning lost two core players over the offseason, Ondrej Palat (to the New Jersey Devils), and was forced to trade Ryan McDonough to the Nashville Predators
The Washington Capitals signed Stanley Cup winning Goalie Darcy Kuemper
The Ottawa Senators also signed former Flyers Captain Claude Giroux
The Carolina Hurricanes traded for Brent Burns (from the Sharks) and Max Pacioretty (From the Vegas Golden Knights) to bolster their lineup.
Hundreds of players signed with new NHL teams, but these were the most important transactions of the offseason