This year’s free agency period has proven to be an eventful and interesting one, with numerous intriguing signings, contract extensions, and trades that will all greatly impact this upcoming season.
Winner: Toronto Maple Leafs
Signing Franchise Player John Tavares was by far the most followed event of this free agency.
With a seven year $77 million deal, Tavares will be looking to help get the Maple Leafs past the First Round of the Playoffs and hopefully bring his home town a Stanley Cup.
Toronto now has a lethal combination with Tavares and Matthews.
It will be interesting to see what will come of Toronto in the near future.
Loser: Ottawa Senators
With Erik Karlsson most likely leaving Ottawa via trade, you would expect the Senators to be making some moves to improve their team’s future.
However, the Senators have done nothing at all, including an unsuccessful draft.
For a team that was consistently solid, the future does not look good for Ottawa.
Winner: Philadelphia Flyers
GM Ron Hextall signing James van Reimsdyk to a five year $35 million deal was an incredible deal for the Flyers.
Hopefully JVR can bring some offensive power to Philadelphia, as they look to make another playoff appearance and possibly go further than last year.
Loser: Winnipeg Jets
By no means am I worried about the Jets’ chances of making a playoff appearance this season.
However, Paul Stastny signing a three year $19.5 million deal with Vegas does not help their chances once they are in the playoffs.
Stastny was an instumental piece to Winnipeg’s playoff run last season, that ended with Vegas knocking them out in the Western Conference Finals.
Although, the Jets have signed their Vezina Nominee Goaltender Connor Hellebuyck to a six year $37 million extension, so their Goalie situation is solid right now.
Winner: Calgary Flames
I am extremely excited to see what the Flames do this coming season after an eventful free agency.
The Flames signed James Neal to a five year $28.75 million contract.
In my opinion, Neal has earned this after leading the Vegas Golden Knights to the Stanley Cup in their inaugural season.
Calgary has also acquired Defenseman Noah Hanifin from Carolina via trade.
With more support players to rely on, unlike in Carolina, I think Hanifin will prosper in Calgary.
Loser: Vancouver Canucks
In an offseason where the Canucks should be looking to rebuild their team after the retirement of the Sedin twins and Alex Burrows, Vancouver appears to simply just be signing aging depth players for too much money.
Jay Beagle and Antoine Roussel, both bottom six Forwards, are going to be receiving around three million per year.
Too much for Veteran depth players.
With the opportunity for a bright future, Vancouver is doing a poor job of managing this free agency period productively.
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