Who stole the show in this opening of the free agent market?
Posted at 7:45 am
The salary cap! General managers who had savings robbed the shelves, like attendees at crazy supermarket. The others ? They tried to free up some margin by selling their big contracts. Unsuccessfully.
The Vegas Golden Knights literally gave Max Pacioretty to the Carolina Hurricanes for nothing. Pacioretty who, I emphasize, has averaged almost one point per game for three years. He gives you an insight into the Canadian’s overpaid player market, and Kent Hughes’ bids to divest him of contracts.
Who were the winners and losers of the day?
The envelope, please.
The proliferation of advanced statistics in baseball has created a market for players who excel on defense. The same phenomenon is happening in hockey. Clubs value players who, like Phillip Danault, manage to keep the puck against the best opponents. The Evolving Hockey site has quantified this defensive work by assigning a percentile rank to each NHL player. The higher the number, the better the player. See how they were rewarded.
- Anthony Cirelli, Lightning (98): 50 million / 8 years
- Mason Marchment, Stars (98): 18 million/4 years
- Valeri Nichushkin, Avalanche (96): 49 million/8 years
- Artturi Lehkonen, Avalanche (88): 22.5 million/5 years
- Andrew Copp, Red Wings (83): 28 million/5 years
- Vincent Trocheck, Rangers (68): 39.3 million/7 years
Most Improved Club
The Capitals acquired two goaltenders, Darcy Kuemper and Charlie Lindgren. These signings could be the difference between making the playoffs or missing out. According to Evolving Hockey, Kuemper and Lindgren saved 20 goals last season. Quite a contrast with the goalkeepers of the Capitals, who allowed 15 the rest they should have This 35-goal differential should be enough for the Capitalinos to remain among the best teams in the Metropolitan Division. Special mention to the Columbus Blue Jackets for the unexpected acquisition of Johnny Gaudreau.
The most transformed club
Detroit Red Wings
In rebuilding for six years, the Red Wings want to get back to the playoffs. They signaled their intentions Wednesday by signing five veterans. These new employees will be particularly useful on special teams, one of the great weaknesses of the Wings. Last season, David Perron excelled on the power play. At what point? Judge for yourselves.
Points for 60 minutes of excess *
- Artemi Panarin, Rangers 9.90
- Nikita Kucherov, Lightning 9.85
- Connor McDavid, Oilers 8.86
- Chris Kreider, Rangers 8.74
- David Perron, Blues 8.66
* At least 100 minutes of gameplay
Andrew Copp and Ben Chiarot will stabilize the worst-staffed unit in the NHL. Will that be enough to qualify for the playoffs? I do not think so. But the Wings will be better, no doubt.
the weakest club
The Flames finished the season with a better goal differential (+85) than Stanley Cup finalists the Colorado Avalanche (+78) and Tampa Bay Lightning (+54). His window of opportunity was wide open. The blinds have just fallen, with the departure of Johnny Gaudreau, author of 115 points. No contingency plan has yet been deployed. Given the circumstances, will Matthew Tkachuk and Andrew Mangiapane want to stay long term?
the best contract
Ilya Mikheyev, Vancouver Canucks
The Russian forward was not spoiled with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He evolved mainly in the third line, with David Kampf and Pierre Engvall. Most of the time he was on the ice during the matchups in the defensive zone. Even so, he still scored 21 goals. Only Cole Caufield, in the Canadian, did better. The Canucks gave him just under $20 million over four years. If Mikheyev finds himself in a line of attack, his production could explode and make his new bosses look like geniuses.
the worst contract
Erik Gudbranson, Columbus Blue Jackets
In 11 years in the NHL, how many 40-point seasons has defenseman Erik Gudbranson had?
How many 30-point seasons?
How many 20-point seasons?
His record: 17 points, last winter. The Blue Jackets awarded him an incredible four-year, $16 million contract. I’m looking for a stat to justify this staggering expense, but I can’t find one.
The losers of the day.
Chicago Blackhawks fans
Finally, the Blackhawks weren’t lying. They really do a clean sweep. Your reinforcements? Max Domi, Andreas Athanasiou, and Colin Blackwell. All the players who have made it to their fourth team in three years. That promises. Oh, they also found a backup goalie. It will be Alex Stalock, 34, who has played just one NHL game since the pandemic. He allowed… 6 goals… in 46 minutes.
Winter will be long in Chicago.