NHL Free Agency Frenzy 2021: Signing Tracker and Analysis

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.
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Free agency

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.

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Vancouver Canucks: D Kyle Burroughs signs a two-year, $750,000 AAV deal

THN's Take: Burroughs had a five-game stint in Colorado last year but as Vancouver seemingly signed the entire AHL to a deal this year, he'll be another Baby Canucks product.

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Tampa Bay Lightning: LW Remi Elie signs a one-year, $750,000 AAV deal

THN's Take: Elie played 106 games over three seasons with Dallas and Buffalo, but none in the pats two years. Look for Elie to remain an AHL stalwart. 

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Columbus Blue Jackets: D Gavin Bayreuther signs a two-year, $750,000 AAV deal 

THN's Take: After a one-week stint in Seattle, the 27-year-old returns to Columbus to remain a depth option.

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Dallas Stars: D Andreas Borgman signs a one-year, $750,000 AAV deal

THN's Take: Another depth defender in a deep blueline situation for Dallas. Borgman does have some NHL experience with Toronto and Tampa and may get a shot if the opportunity arises. 

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Philadelphia Flyers: C Gerald Mayhew signs a one-year, $800,000 AAV deal

THN's Take: Mayhew is the type of player that's often labeled as a AAAA guy: someone who can put a beating on the AHL, but can't figure out the NHL. That was Mayhew in Minnesota, but could Philly be a different result? 

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Philadelphia Flyers: C Ryan Fitzgerald signs a one-year, $750,000 AAV deal

THN's Take: Fitzgerald heads back to Lehigh Valley for a second year after a solid season as one of the team's scoring leaders. Still no NHL games to his credit.

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Pittsburgh Penguins: D Taylor Fedun signs a one-year, $750,000 AAV deal

THN's Take: Fedun provided value for a few years in Dallas but fell out of favor there and didn't play in the NHL this past season. After just two AHL games, he'll be inching to prove he's still valuable at a low cost.

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Calgary Flames: G Adam Werner signs a one-year, $750,000 AAV deal

THN's Take: The Flames needed an AHL goaltender and the big 6-foot-5 Werner certainly fits the bill. He even has two NHL starts to his credit. 

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New Jersey Devils: RW Brian Flynn signs a one-year, $750,000 AAV deal

THN's Take: Now that's a throwback. After spending five years between Buffalo and Montreal, Flynn is seeking his first chance in the NHL since 2017. He'll likely factor into the Baby Devils more, but don't count out some NHL appearances.

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Vegas Golden Knights: C Patrick Brown signs a two-year, $750,000 AAV deal

THN's Take: Brown only has 33 games of regular season experience, but did step in 22 post-season games with Carolina and Vegas over the past three seasons. The Golden Knights clearly like him in pinch-hit situations and he looked good in Henderson this past year.

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Vegas Golden Knights: LW Gage Quinney signs a one-year, $750,000 AAV deal

THN's Take: Golden Knights fans, he's not going anywhere... except back to Henderson. Quinney stays in Vegas' farm system.

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Buffalo Sabres: D Jimmy Schuldt signs a one-year, $750,000 AAV deal

THN's Take: Schuldt recorded an assist in his lone NHL game to date back during the 2018-19 season. There's a good chance that'll be his only NHL point, although he won't be too far down in Buffalo's depth chart.

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Vancouver Canucks: RW Justin Bailey signs a one-year, $750,000 AAV deal

THN's Take: A couple of years ago, it looked like Bailey would be something for Buffalo. That never happened, and he's set to spend a third year in the Canucks system.

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Columbus Blue Jackets: C Tyler Sikura signs a one-year, $750,000 AAV deal

THN's Take: A career AHLer, Sikura gets signed by the parent team of his previous home in Cleveland, so that's a nice pay bonus.

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Calgary Flames: D Kevin Gravel signs a one-year, $750,000 AAV deal

THN's Take: After playing half seasons with Edmonton and Los Angeles in the past, Gravel has spent most of the past two years in the AHL and should again as he returns to Alberta.

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Dallas Stars: D Alex Petrovic signs a one-year, $750,000 AAV deal

THN's Take: Remember when Petrovic signed a four-year deal a decade ago and then played next to nothing in the first three years? Petrovic never really panned out and has spent the past two seasons in the AHL and will do a lot of that again in Dallas.

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New York Rangers: D Dryden Hunt signs a two-year, $762,500 AAV deal

THN's Take: Hunt was a decent part-time player in Arizona and Florida and should provide some ice time relief from time to time in the Big Apple.

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Boston Bruins: D Tyler Lewington signs a one-year, $750,000 AAV deal

THN's Take: Lewington joins his third NHL team, but with just 10 games to his credit in the past three seasons, you can probably figure out on your own where he's headed.

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Boston Bruins: C Steven Fogarty signs a one-year, $750,000 AAV deal

THN's Take: Fogarty has had a few run-ins in the NHL over the pat four years, but he's likely only going to be good for a call-up or two this season.

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Minnesota Wild: Dmitry Kulikov signs a two-year, $2.25-million AAV deal

THN's Take: Kulikov's play has been a mixed bag for a few years now, but Minnesota's system could be a nice fit for the veteran blueliner.

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Boston Bruins: C Samuel Asselin signs a two-year, $750,000 AAV deal

THN's Take: Asselin stays in the Bruins system after cracking the baby squad full-time last year.

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Philadelphia Flyers: D Cooper Zech signs a two-year, $837,000 AAV deal

THN's Take: Awesome name. Has spent parts of three years in the AHL and proved to be a solid player in Providence. He'll call Lehigh Valley home for now.

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Tampa Bay Lightning: C Gabriel Dumont signs a one-year, $750,000 AAV deal

THN's Take: At one point, Montreal really thought Dumont could become something. He has bounced around a few teams, including a two-year stint in Tampa Bay previously, but he's an AHLer at best.

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Tampa Bay Lightning: D Darren Raddysh signs a one-year, $750,000 AAV

THN's Take: A career AHLer will remain just that.

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Tampa Bay Lightning: G Maxime Lagace signs a one-year, $750,000 AAV deal

THN's Take: Lagace has made a career out of being a solid AHLer and will continue to do so.

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Tampa Bay Lightning: D Andrej Sustr signs a one-year, $750,000 AAV

THN's Take: Talk about a familiar face. Sustr played with the Lightning from 2012-19 before leaving for a two-year stint in the KHL. He's back and will add to the team's defensive depth.

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Buffalo Sabres: G Craig Anderson signs a one-year, $750,000 AAV deal

THN's Take: Is Anderson actually going to be a No. 1 in the NHL again? At 40, it's hard to believe, but the Sabres goaltending situation doesn't look too pretty right now. At the least, he can be a mentor for Ukka-Pekka Luukkonen.

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Buffalo Sabres: G Aaron Dell signs a one-year, $750,000 AAV deal

THN's Take: Dell is a career backup that likely will factor into the team's third-goalie spot come the regular season. He was really good for the Sharks on occasion, but his past three NHL seasons have been a challenge for the most part.

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Edmonton Oilers: RW Derek Ryan signs a two-year, $1.25-million AAV deal 

THN's Take: At least he doesn't have to move far, shifting from Calgary to Edmonton. Ryan saw a dip in production over the past two years, but this is a forward who, twice, nearly hit the 40-point total. In Edmonton, he'll have some mighty fine centers to play with so perhaps we'll see a boost in his production.

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Buffalo Sabres: D Mark Pysyk signs a one-year, $900,000 AAV deal

THN's Take: Familiar territory for both sides. Pysyk started his career in Buffalo and since then, he has managed to add a bit of time as a forward to his resume. He'll be a consistent figure in Buffalo's depth.

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Anaheim Ducks: D Brogan Rafferty signs a one-year, $750,000 AAV deal 

THN's Take: A rare player LEAVING Vancouver today, Rafferty is a good AHLer that got into just one game total last year, an NHL one with the Canucks. The San Diego Gulls lost some key players today and Rafferty will be a nice addition.

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Boston Bruins: G Troy Grosenick signs a one-year, $750,000 AAV deal

THN's Take: After Daniel Vladar was traded to Calgary, the Bruins needed someone to fill a hole in the AHL. Who else but one of the best AHL goaltenders from the past few years?

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Buffalo Sabres: D Brandon Davidson signs a one-year, $750,000 AAV deal

THN's Take: Davidson will continue to add depth to the Sabres defense core, but is doing so after playing just eight games between the NHL and AHL in 2021.

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San Jose Sharks: D Jaycob Megna signs a one-year, $750,000 AAV deal

THN's Take: Megna is a fill-in at best for the Sharks and a solid AHLer at worst.

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San Jose Sharks: RW Nick Merkley signs a one-year, $750,000 AAV deal 

THN's Take: After getting acquired by the Sharks earlier in the week, the 2015 first-round pick will get a shot on his third NHL team. He played well enough for New Jersey last year to be considered for a full-time roster spot in San Jose.

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Washington Capitals: G Hunter Shepard signs a two-year, $750,000 AAV deal

THN's Take: Shepard will look to become a full-timer with the Hershey Bears after the Capitals needed to add a goalie to the system following Vitek Vanecek's departure to Seattle. Purely a depth deal, but he inks his first NHL pact out of it.

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New Jersey Devils: D Dougie Hamilton signs a seven-year, $9-million AAV deal

THN's Take: The top name on the board is gone. Just 28, Hamilton has become an analytical darling in the NHL after finishing with the Carolina Hurricanes over the past few seasons. With 106 goals and 235 assists for 341 career points in 607 career games, Hamilton has been one of the better offensive defenders over the past half-decade and earned serious Norris Trophy consideration this season.

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Boston Bruins: G Linus Ullmark signs a four-year, $5-million AAV deal

THN's Take: The deal comes as starter Tuukka Rask currently sits as a UFA and will be injured to start the season. Ullmark should give the team options with youngsters Dan Vladar and Jeremy Swayman in the mix, too. Ullmark was one of the few bright spots for the franchise, posting a 9-6-3 record with a respectable .917 save percentage. Ullmark consistently found a way to steal games for a team that, despite adding Taylor Hall in the off-season, would struggle from the get-go and finished dead last.

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Montreal Canadiens: LW Mike Hoffman signs a three-year, $4.5-million AAV deal

THN's Take: Which version of Hoffman will the Canadiens get? The 30-goal scorer that could hang with other high-quality talents, or the one that seemingly fell out of favor at points in St. Louis? Either way, not a huge cap hit to swallow and could help find goals in the way Jonathan Drouin and Tomas Tatar were supposed to do on a more regular basis.

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Vancouver Canucks: Brad Hunt signs a one-year, $800,000 AAV deal

THN's Take: This could be a sneaky good signing. Hunt had a good 2019-20 season but was limited to just 12 games this past year in Minnesota. There are some solid offensive traits in Hunt's game but as a bottom-pairing guy, this is a good deal.

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Vancouver Canucks: C Justin Dowling signs a two-year, $750,000 AAV deal

THN's Take: In case you couldn't figure it out, the Canucks plan on signing the entire free agent market. Dowling has played spot duty with Dallas over the past few years but will likely head to Abbotsford to start the season.

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Carolina Hurricanes: LW C.J. Smith signs a one-year, $750,000 AAV deal

THN's Take: Smith leaves the Buffalo Sabres with three points in 14 games since 2016. He's headed to the farm.

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Buffalo Sabres: C Sean Malone signs a one-year, $750,000 AAV deal 

THN's Take: Malone goes back to the team where he spent his first four years battling for time in the team's depth chart. He's off to Rochester where the fans love him.

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Log Angeles Kings: C T.J. Tynan signs a one-year, $750,000 AAV deal 

THN's Take: With 19 games of NHL experience with Columbus and Colorado over the past five years, he doesn't get a ton of big-game action. In the AHL, though, he's capable of putting up 70 points, and that's exciting.

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Winnipeg Jets: C Michael Eyssimont signs a two-year, $750,000 AAV deal 

THN's Take: Couldn't crack the Los Angeles Kings over the past four years and is likely going down to Manitoba for the 2021-22 season.

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Washington Capitals: D Matt Irwin signs a one-year, $750,000 AAV deal 

THN's Take: Irwin was once a full-time NHLer but is more of a seventh guy at this point in his career. As a depth signing, this works.

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Washington Capitals: D Dylan McIlrath signs a two-year, $750,000 AAV deal 

THN's Take: McIlrath has played 66 NHL games over the past eight years and will likely head back to Hershey of the AHL.

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Washington Capitals: D Lucas Johansen signs a one-year, $750,000 AAV deal 

THN's Take: Again, another career AHLer. Four years in Hershey and he'll remain there.

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Winnipeg Jets: C Luke Johnson signs a one-year, $750,000 deal AAV

THN's Take: With two points in 32 career games with Chicago and Minnesota, you already know he's headed for the AHL.

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Detroit Red Wings: C Pius Suter signs a two-year, $  AAV deal

THN's Take: Suter was surprisingly not brought back to Chicago despite a solid rookie season where he had 14 goals. In Detroit, he'll play a solid role as a good two-way forward that, while he may not have the most offensive upside in the NHL, can do nice things in the bottom-six.

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Los Angeles Kings: G Garret Sparks signs a one-year, $750,000 AAV Deal 

THN's Take: Sparks has done big things in the AHL For most of the past decade and that won't change in the LA organization.

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Columbus Blue Jackets: C Alex Texier signs a two-year, $1.525-million AAV deal

THN's Take: Texier hasn't really blown things out of the water like expected, but at 21, this is a great chance for Texier to show what he's capable of, especially with Cam Atkinson out of the picture. 

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Nashville Predators: D Matt Tennyson signs a two-year, $750,000 AAV deal

THN's Take: Matt Tennesean, anyone? Tennyson joins the Predators after spending the past two years as a depth guy for New Jersey with some trips to the AHL. He'll be the new Yannick Weber for Nashville.

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Anaheim Ducks: C Ryan Getzlaf signs a one-year, $4.5-million AAV deal

THN's Take: A bit of a surprise, with so many rumors of him looking elsewhere. Getzlaf is nowhere near the level he used to play at, having posted just five goals and 17 points in 48 games, but with a young, developing group in Anaheim, his veteran presence is still important to Anaheim's management.

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Minnesota Wild: C Domenic Turgeon signs a one-year, $750,000 AAV deal 

THN's Take: With nine NHL games over the past four years, expect Turgeon to stay in the AHL, this time with Iowa.

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Toronto Maple Leafs: D Alex Biega signs a one-year, $750,000 AAV deal

THN's Take: They're definitely not paying Biega for his offense with four goals in seven years, but he can play a shutdown role and give some of the younger guys a night or two off every now and then.

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Toronto Maple Leafs: D Carl Dahlstrom signs a one-year, $750,000 AAV deal

THN's Take: Already on his fourth NHL team at 26, Dahlstrom is simply a depth signing that can be a veteran presence in the AHL.

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Arizona Coyotes: C Liam O'Brien signs a one-year, $750,000 AAV deal 

THN's Take: A big body that'll likely spend next year in the AHL, but the Coyotes could use his toughness every now and then.

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Vegas Golden Knights: LW Mattias Janmark signs a one-year, $2-million cap hit 

THN's Take: Janmark's acquisition by Vegas went under-the-radar on deadline day in April, but with eight points in 16 playoff games for a team that struggled to get offense from its top stars, he was worth keeping around as a depth forward.

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Arizona Coyotes: RW Dmitri Jaskin signs a one-year, $3.2-million AAV deal 

THN's Take: A big return for a guy two years removed from his last NHL career but the Coyotes definitely feel confident in what they have. He had a career-high 18 points in 2014-15 but with two 60-point runs in the KHL, his return to the NHL comes at a big time.

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Arizona Coyotes: LW Ryan Dzingel signs a one-year, $1.1-million AAV deal 

THN's Take: A one-time 50-point guy, Dzingel's value has dropped drastically since joining Carolina in 2019-20. He was shipped off to Ottawa and didn't do much to help out, either. Will another new home change things?

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Vancouver Canucks: D Devante Stephens signs a one-year, $750,000 AAV deal 

THN's Take: Getting used to seeing depth defenders on this list? Stephens is another, but it's unlikely Stephens will see any NHL action.

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Vancouver Canucks: C Sheldon Dries signs a one-year, $750,000 AAV deal

THN's Take: If he sees any NHL action next year, it'll be a few games max. He's an AHLer.

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Tampa Bay Lightning: G Brian Elliott signs a one-year, $900,000 AAV deal

THN's Take: In 30 games with the Flyers last season, Elliott recorded a mark of 15-9-2 with a goals-against-average of 3.06 and a .889 save percentage. Elliott may no longer be a No. 1 netminder in the NHL, but he's someone who can help take a bit of the workload off of Vasilevskiy – something that will be important as the league reverts to its 82-game schedule.

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Pittsburgh Penguins: G Filip Lindberg signs a two-year, $925,000 AAV deal 

THN's Take: Coming off of a tremendous three-year run in the NCAA, Lindberg figures to be a key member of Pittsburgh's crease situation in the long run. It might not be that long until that's the case after what we saw in Pittsburgh's crease this year.

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Buffalo Sabres: RW Vinnie Hinostroza signs a one-year, $1.05-million AAV deal

THN's Take: This will likely be an underrated signing. In Chicago and Arizona, he found some scoring success but had nothing to show for in Florida. Don't expect high numbers in Buffalo, but not a bad pickup.

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Detroit Red Wings: D Jordan Oesterle signs a two-year deal

THN's Take: At 29, the Red Wings know exactly what they're getting out of Oesterle – some offensive abilities from the point, best when he's quiet. Good pickup for the Red Wings.

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Calgary Flames: C Trevor Lewis signs a one-year, $800,000 AAV deal

THN's Take: In a full year, Lewis is good enough for around 20 points in a limited capacity. Lewis is a big body that can play down the middle and the wing and battles for every opportunity he gets. 

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Tampa Bay Lightning: C Pierre-Edouard Bellemare signs a two-year, $1-million AAV deal

THN's Take: The Lightning needed cheap forwards to fill the bottom-six as the cap-crunched team continues to make moves. The 36-year-old brings veteran leadership and good defensive zone play.

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Toronto Maple Leafs: RW Kurtis Gabriel signs a one-year, $750,000 AAV deal

THN's Take: Leafs' fans have been asking for toughness and they get it. One of the few enforcers left in the game today, Gabriel is coming off of an 11-game NHL season with San Jose where he had zero points and 55 penalty minutes.

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Toronto Maple Leafs: LW David Kämpf signs a two-year, $1.5-million AAV deal

THN's Take: He's a two-way forward that has good size and can be used in just about any situation the Leafs need. Don't expect a lot of offense, but he can fill some needs in the bottom six.

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Arizona Coyotes: G Carter Hutton signs a one-year, $750,000 AAV deal

THN's Take: Under normal circumstances, a league-minimum contract would not be notable news on a day as busy as this. But Hutton might be an exception. Because as things stand right now, there is a real chance that Hutton begins the 2021-22 season as the Coyotes' starter. You read that right. With Antti Raanta having signed in Carolina and Darcy Kuemper likely landing on the trade block in the near future, Hutton would be the last man standing in Arizona's net if everything unfolds as it's been predicted, making Hutton his team's unquestioned starter for the first time in his career. 

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Florida Panthers: C Juho Lammikko signs a one-year, $750,000 AAV deal

THN's Take: Hard-working, energetic forward who returned to the NHL last year after two years in Europe. Staple him to the fourth line.

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Minnesota Wild: D Jon Lizotte signs a one-year, $750,000 AAV deal

THN's Take: The big 26-year-old defender has spent the past two seasons in the AHL and will likely do so again.

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San Jose Sharks: C Lane Pederson signs a two-year, $750,000 AAV deal 

THN's Take: Pederson had a string of great years in the AHL but now he might finally get an extended look in San Jose. Good shooter, good speed, but just needs more game-to-game consistency when not in a goal-scoring role in the NHL.

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Vancouver Canucks: LW Phillip Di Giuseppe signs a one-year, $750,000 AAV deal 

THN's Take: If it hasn't been clear yet, the Canucks like adding depth. Di Giuseppe is certainly that, with a career-high 17 points as a rookie in 2015-16.

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Carolina Hurricanes: D Tony DeAngelo signs a one-year, $1-million AAV deal

THN's Take: DeAngelo was waived by the Rangers and went unclaimed by the rest of the league. DeAngelo had been at the center of attention after sharing his political views ahead of the 2020 presidential election and has a rough past with former teammates. On the ice, DeAngelo is a season removed from a 53-point campaign as one of the better offensive defenders in the league, but many argued that his past makes him a challenging fit in the NHL. Now, we'll see how he fits in with the Hurricanes.

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Philadelphia Flyers: D Nick Seeler signs a one-year, $750,000 AAV deal

THN's Take: A big-bodied defender with a physical edge, Seeler, 28, won't bring offense to the team, but he'll likely earn some time in a bottom-pairing role.

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Nashville Predators: RW Matt Luff signs a one-year, $750,000 AAV deal

THN's Take: Early on in his career, Luff had a four-goal streak that saw him earn middle-six ice time and help force Ilya Kovalchuk out. Luff never really found that same form again, but he can definitely shoot.

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Nashville Predators: G David Rittich signs a one-year $1.25-million AAV deal

THN's Take: Two seasons removed from an NHL all-star game appearance, Rittich's lack of consistency dropped his value drastically and he was later moved from Calgary to Toronto last year. With Jusse Saros set to be the starter again, Rittich will be used in spot duty in Nashville.

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Nashville Predators: C Anthony Richard signs a one-year, $750,000 AAV deal

THN's Take: Nashville is the only franchise Richard has ever suited up for, albeit in just two contests. He'll spend the year back in the AHL.

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Carolina Hurricanes: RW Josh Leivo signs a one-year, $750,000 AAV deal

THN's Take: Leivo finally leaves Canada after playing with Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary. He scored six goals and nine points in 38 games with the Flames last year but his possession numbers were solid for his role.

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San Jose Sharks: C Nick Bonino signs a two-year, $2.05-million AAV deal

THN's Take: There was a point when Bonino was one of the top UFAs on the market for his two-way play. The 33-year-old is still a hard worker but his skating has always kept him from achieving more. But for San Jose, it's a good deal.

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Pittsburgh Penguins: RW Dominik Simon signs a one-year, $750,000 AAV deal

THN's Take: Welcome home/ Simon signed in Calgary last year and failed to record a point in 11 NHL games and one AHL bout. He had a career-high 28 points with Pittsburgh back in 2018-19 and will once again assume a bottom-six role.

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Boston Bruins: C Erik Haula signs a two-year, $2.375-million AAV deal

THN's Take: Haula is on the move again after playing with four teams over the past three years. Haula isn't the 55-point guy anymore that he was in 2017-18 but this is another good scoring depth option for Boston. In the team's system, look for Haula to get over 30 points.

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Minnesota Wild: D Joe Hicketts signs a two-year, $750,000 AAV deal 

THN's Take: At one point, there was a lot of hype for Hicketts, an undersized but mobile defenseman. Hicketts never really found his footing with the Red Wings and only got into 22 games since 2017-18. A fresh start could be helpful for the 25-year-old.

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Boston Bruins: C Tomas Nosek signs a two-year, $1.75-million AAV deal 

THN's Take: A depth forward that's good for just under 20 points a year and can play down the middle and on the wing. Won't move the needle but he's got value.

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Los Angeles Kings: D Alex Edler signs a one-year, $3.5million AAV deal

THN's Take: It's going to be weird not seeing Edler in a Canucks uniform after spending all 972 games of his NHL career with the team. His ice time continues to drop season-by-season, but the 15-year NHLer still played 20:54 a night as a 34-year-old and his veteran presence will be a bonus for a young team.

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Toronto Maple Leafs: RW Michael Amadio signs a one-year, $750,000 AAV deal 

THN's Take: Coming off of a three-point season in 25 games with Ottawa and Los Angeles. He's the new Nic Petan for Toronto.

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Seattle Kraken: LW Jaden Schwartz signs a $5.5-million AAV deal

THN's Take: Schwartz, a five-time 50-point winger with a career-best of 63 back in 2014-15, is coming off of a disappointing campaign that saw him score just eight goals and 21 points in 40 games, with nothing to show for in four playoff games. Still, when healthy and playing well, Schwartz has a proven track record when it comes to putting up points. For a team that doesn't have a lot of offensive firepower right now, the Kraken are getting a good top-six option that should be motivated to prove he can be a big-time performer again.

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Los Angeles Kings: C Phillip Danault signs a six-year, $5.5-million AAV deal

THN's Take: One of the top forwards is off the board. That's a big addition for a team that already has youngsters Gabriel Vilardi, Quinton Byfield and Rasmus Kupari in the system. A good penalty killer that can play a shutdown role with good versatility. Needs to find his scoring consistency, though.

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Chicago Blackhawks: D Jake McCabe signs a four-year, $4-million AAV deal

THN's Take: An analytical darling when healthy, McCabe is coming off of major knee surgery with Buffalo, so the deal definitely looks a little expensive as it stands. When he's healthy, he's a nice piece to have, so we'll see how he performs out of the gate.

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Seattle Kraken: G Philipp Grubauer signs a six-year, $5.9-million AAV deal

THN's Take: The Kraken now have their No. 1 goalie. The cap hit could hurt near the end of his deal, but a 1-2 pairing of Grubauer and Chris Driedger has potential. Big loss for the Avalanche, but Seattle gains a good piece here.

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Nashville Predators: RW Michael McCarron signs a two-year, $750,000 AAV deal

THN's Take: Only played six games last year, but the huge forward is a depth guy that fits well in the bottom-six when they need him, which isn't often.

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Ottawa Senators: LW Andrew Agozzino signs a one-year, $750,000 AAV deal

THN's Take: With 46 games played since his NHL debut in 2014-15, Agozzino is solely a depth signing for Ottawa.

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Pittsburgh Penguins: C Brock McGinn signs a four-year, $2.75-million AAV deal

THN's Take: A one-time 30-point scorer, McGinn will add scoring depth to Pittsburgh's bottom six and his overall versatility will be nice for the Pens. Real rugged forward who can be a boost to the penalty kill.

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New Jersey Devils: C Chase De Leo signs a one-year, $750,000 AAV deal

THN's Take: De Leo was nearly a point-per-game forward in the AHL last year with San Diego so expect the same in New Jersey's farm system.

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Philadelphia Flyers: D Adam Clendening signs a one-year, $750,000 AAV deal

THN's Take: Clendening joins the Flyers after spending the past three years in the Columbus Blue Jackets system. This is his eighth NHL franchise at 28 but he had a solid World Championship with USA to end the season.

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Vancouver Canucks: C Nic Petan signs a one-year, $750,000 AAV deal

THN's Take: Vancouver's expedition to really build a good depth core continues. Petan has the talent to contribute in spurts, but he never did translate his WHL numbers into NHL success. At the worst, he'll be one of the better AHLers in Abbotsford.

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Chicago Blackhawks: C Jujhar Khaira signs a two-year, $975,000 AAV deal

THN's Take: Many Oilers fans were disappointed the team elected to not bring back Khaira, a bottom-six forward that can play well in his own zone and has great size at 6-foot-4 and 212 pounds. Some much-needed toughness deeper in the Hawks lineup.

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Carolina Hurricanes: D Ian Cole signs a one-year, $2.9-million AAV

THN's Take: Cole was a solid piece of Colorado's blueline for a few years before joining Minnesota this past year. Not a ton of offensive firepower, but, man, he can be a pain in the butt to play against at points and will really get in your face.

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New York Rangers: C Greg McKegg signs a one-year, $750,000 AAV deal

THN's Take: McKegg returns to the Rangers after a one-year run in 2019-20. Depth guy at best with minimal offensive abilities but a good defensive forward.

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Ottawa Senators: D Michael Del Zotto signs a two-year, $2-million AAV deal

THN's Take: The Del Zotto world tour continues. Ottawa becomes the eighth home for the 31-year-old defenseman that continues to find value as an offensive defender in a third-pairing role.

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Colorado Avalanche: D Roland McKeown signs a one-year, $750,000 AAV deal

THN's Take: McKeown gets a second shot at the NHL after spending a year in Sweden. This is solely a depth deal, so expect him in the AHL again.

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Vancouver Canucks: D Luke Schenn signs a two-year, $850,000 AAV deal

THN's Take: His second tour of duty in Vancouver, Schenn has made a career out of being a serviceable depth defenseman and that's what the Canucks are getting here. Lots of depth deals on the blueline by Jim Benning today.

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Florida Panthers: Carter Verhaeghe signs a three-year, $4-million AAV deal

THN's Take: After becoming the best value UFA signing a year ago, the Panthers rewarded the forward with a nice extension once his deal ends next season. Verhaeghe had 18 goals and 36 points in 43 games this season.

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Philadelphia Flyers: C Nate Thompson signs a one-year, $800,000 AAV deal 

THN's Take: After a one-year stint in Winnipeg, Thompson returns to the Flyers after previously getting a seven-game run with the team in 2019-20. As far as veteran fourth-line forwards go, Thompson is a solid one that can bring physicality.

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Los Angeles Kings: C Andreas Athanasiou signs a one-year, $2.7-million AAV deal

THN's Take: He's not a 50-point forward anymore, but 35-40 points aren't out of the question for the speedy forward in a full season. Played fairly well for Los Angeles and the team is trending upwards for 2021-22.

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Tampa Bay Lightning: LW Charles Hudon signs a one-year, $750,000 AAV deal

THN's Take: At one take, there was significant belief that Hudon would have become something for Montreal. It never happened, but he has a nice AHL track record and is coming off a great year in the top Swiss league. 

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Vancouver Canucks: D Tucker Poolman signs a four-year, $2.5-million AAV deal

THN's Take: Don't expect offense out of Poolman – he had just one assist in 39 games last year – but he can be a good addition to Vancouver's penalty kill and relieve the top guys of minutes if needed.

 ------------------------------

Minnesota Wild: C Frederick Gaudreau signs a two-year, $1.2-million AAV deal

THN's Take: An interesting one, for sure. At best, Gaudreau is a bottom-line forward that can be responsible as a defenseman. He had a solid partial season in Pittsburgh, but can he find that same output in Minnesota? 

 ------------------------------

Vegas Golden Knights: LW Sven Baertschi signs a one-year, $750,000 AAV deal

THN's Take: Baertschi has shown competency in the NHL in the past but this is largely a depth deal to help bolster the team's AHL base. In small bursts, Baertschi can really impress, but consistency has always been a problem.

 ------------------------------

Vancouver Canucks: RW Brandon Sutter signs a one-year, $1.125-million AAV

THN's Take: At his previous AAV of $4.375 million, his deal looked terrible. At this price, it's fine, especially if the expectation is he'll record at least 20 points. Sutter hasn't played in 65 games or more since 2016-17 so staying healthy and consistent is going to be a key here.

 ------------------------------

Nashville Predators: LW Mikael Granlund signs a four-year, $5-million AAV deal

THN's Take: His numbers from this past season – 13 goals and 27 points in 51 games – don’t immediately jump off the page. But one should remember that paced him to a fourth-place finish on the Predators in scoring. In the Predators' first-round playoff loss to the Carolina Hurricanes, Granlund tied for the team-lead in scoring, with two goals and five points in six games. He averaged nearly 24 minutes a night in the post-season (though that series did feature a lot of overtime). That was clearly indicative of the trust he’d earned from coach John Hynes. Granlund was deployed in all situations throughout the entirety of the 2020-21 campaign.

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Boston Bruins: D Derek Forbort signs a three-year, $3-million AAV deal 

THN's Take: Forbort joins his fourth team since the start of 2019-20 and should add some stability on Boston's blueline. Don't expect a ton of offense, but he has his own-zone game figured out for the most part.

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New Jersey Devils: G Jonathan Bernier signs a two-year, $4.125-million AAV deal

THN's Take: Bernier is the rare player who has thrived in Detroit over the past few seasons, somehow putting up an impressive .914 save percentage in 2021 behind a truly dreadful Red Wings team. The 32-year-old finished with 4.7 goals-saved-above-average last season, clearly painting the picture of a goaltender who outperformed his situation. 

 ------------------------------

Toronto Maple Leafs: LW Michael Bunting signs a two-year, $950,000 AAV deal

THN's Take: Bunting scored 10 goals and added three assists in 21 games with the Arizona Coyotes last season. He falls into the rare Group VI category of free agents, players who have played at least three pro seasons, but have appeared in fewer than 80 NHL games prior to turning 25. Bunting will likely factor somewhere into Toronto's bottom-six forwards. His cap hit of $950,000 is palatable and easy to accommodate should he not win a roster spot out of training camp.

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Vancouver Canucks: RW Danila Klimovich signs a three-year, $886,667 entry-level contract

THN's Take: Vancouver's second-round pick on Saturday, Klimovich signs the deal after an impressive U-18 World Championship performance that saw him score six goals for a lowly Belarus team. Klimovich only had a goal in six Belarus men's league games but ripped apart the Belarus U-20 league with 52 points in 37 games – good for 16th in scoring. Klimovich can clearly shoot, and if you give him space, he really can cause damage.

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Dallas Stars: D Ryan Suter signs a four-year, $3.5-million AAV deal

THN's Take: Suter becomes a veteran replacement for Sami Vatanen, who had a nine-game stint with Dallas after getting picked off waivers from New Jersey. Suter is still an asset worth taking a chance on: despite getting bought out by Minnesota, it was mainly due to his big salary and the length of the term still needed for a team looking to blow things up. The Stars already have a strong top four in the way of Miro Heiskanen, Esa Lindell, John Klingberg and Andrej Sekera, as well as prospect Thomas Harley in the system. 

 ------------------------------

Florida Panthers: LW Maxim Mamin signs a one-year, $975,000 AAV deal 

THN's Take: Mamin remained Panthers' property when he left for the KHL in 2019 and now they're giving him a second chance. He proved to be a solid scoring piece with CSKA and will fill a depth scoring role Florida needed.

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Columbus Blue Jackets: C Boone Jenner signs a four-year, $3.75-million AAV deal

THN's Take: There's no chance Jenner is going anywhere. He's a fan favorite on a team in a rebuild, and this is just an extension to his current deal that pays him the same AAV a year. In a full season, expect close to 30 points a year.

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Columbus Blue Jackets: LW Eric Robinson signs a two-year, $1.6-million AAV extension

THN's Take: He's already under contract for next season, so this is for 2022-23. Robinson is a good bottom-six forward that can hop in higher if needed and this shows commitment to keeping him around. That's a nice bonus for Robinson. 

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Philadelphia Flyers: D Keith Yandle signs a one-year, $900,000 AAV deal

THN's Take: Yandle spent the past five seasons with the Panthers, recording a career-high 62 points in 2018-19. Yandle's offensive numbers were always solid, posting at least 40 points in his first four years with the team, but would often struggle in his own zone. Yandle holds the longest active ironman streak in the NHL at 922 consecutive regular-season games played. Yandle is 42 games short of Doug Jarvis' record for the most consecutive games played, an honor he can beat on Jan 20, 2022 against Columbus.

 ------------------------------

Vancouver Canucks: D Brady Keeper signs a two-year, $762,500 AAV deal

THN's Take: Someone has to play in the AHL, right? Keeper has two games played with the Florida Panthers over three years and will likely spend next season in the minors again.

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Vegas Golden Knights: G Laurent Brossoit signs a two-year, $2.325-million AAV deal 

THN's Take: The Golden Knights needed a backup to Robin Lehner and Brossoit is a solid pickup after a couple of seasons in Winnipeg. Vegas won't want to ride with him for too long, but in stretches, Brossoit can be a solid netminder and he'll get a boost in defensive quality in front of him, too.

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New York Rangers: D Jarred Tinordi signs a two-year, $900,000 AAV deal 

THN's Take: A big body that'll likely play spot duty for the Rangers. Expect him to spend most of his time in the AHL, but it's a decent depth add.

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Columbus Blue Jackets: LW Sean Kuraly signs a four-year, $2.5-million AAV deal 

THN's Take: A long-term deal for a versatile forward. He should get a boost in ice time with the Bruins, but with a career-high of 23 points on a playoff contender, don't expect a huge increase in the goals department.

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New York Rangers: D Patrik Nemeth signs a three-year, $2.5-million AAV

THN's Take: Solid deal for a stay-at-home defender that continues to bring value to blueliners everywhere. He won't provide a ton of offense, but you can at least rely on him in your own zone and the Rangers needed a bit of that.

 ------------------------------

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. 

 ------------------------------

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.

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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.

 ------------------------------

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

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.

 ------------------------------

Montreal Canadiens: D Chris Wideman signs a one-year, $750,000 AAV deal

THN's Take: After a nice stint in the KHL, Wideman is a capable depth guy with NHL experience already. Don't expect him in anything more than a sixth or seventh defense spot, but at the price, it's solid.

 ------------------------------

Montreal Canadiens: C Jean-Sebastien Dea signs a one-year, $750,000 AAV deal

THN's Take: Dea joins his fifth NHL team with just 33 games of experience to show for. Expect him to spend the entire year in Laval.

 ------------------------------

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.

 ------------------------------

Montreal Canadiens: D Louis Belpedio signs a one-year, $750,000 AAV deal

THN's Take: Simply a depth addition for Montreal as the team continues to bring in bodies to fill spots.

 ------------------------------

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.

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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: D 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.

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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.

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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. 

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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