The motto for the 2021 Olympics is “Faster, Higher, Stronger, Together.” It could probably be the motto for the 2021 NHL offseason too.
All 32 franchises are assuredly wanting to get faster, make their lineup stronger and go higher in the standings. A few are even doing it together. Already a few “I’ll scratch your back, if you scratch my back” deals have gone down. Basically, a “Hey, pal, you take this bad, cap-heavy contract and we’ll give you a bunch of guys and picks. Thanks, buddy.”
As the floodgates officially open and pen is finally put to paper (or e-signatures are acquired), Sporting News will have complete coverage of the latest NHL trades, signing rumors and news.
NHL free agency tracker
(All times Eastern)
Wednesday, July 28
6:18 p.m. — Finally, OFFICIAL: Dougie Hamilton is a Devils defenseman. Signs a seven-year, $63 million contract.
6:15 p.m. — OFFICIAL: After 925 games, Alex Edler is heading out of Vancouver. The defenseman signs with the Kings for one year.
5:56 p.m. — Flames acquire their backup goalie in Dan Vlader from the Bruins.
5:55 p.m. — OFFICIAL: Ryan Getzlaf staying in Anaheim for one year.
5:52 p.m. — Bruins announce a slew of signings. Here are the more notable ones.
- G Linus Ullmark for four years, $5 million AAV
- F Nick Foligno for two years, $3.8 million AAV
- F Erik Haula for two years, $2.375 million AAV
- F Tomas Nosek for two years, $1.75 million AAV
- D Mike Reilly resigns for three years, $3 million AAV
- D Derek Forbort for three years, $3 million AAV
5:51 p.m. — Hurricanes GM Don Waddell spoke to the media and addressed the signing of Tony DeAngelo.
More Waddell on DeAngelo: “Did we think that there was going to be some people not happy about this, 100%. Did we make sure that we checked all our boxes…where we felt comfortable moving forward 100%…Time will tell but we really feel that this is heading in a good direction.” https://t.co/fSmLjEF5mq
— Jackie Spiegel (@jackiespiegel93) July 28, 2021
5:12 p.m. — OFFICIAL: Pius Suter has signed with the Red Wings for two years.
5:01 p.m. — Canadiens have added Mike Hoffman.
5 p.m. — Flames sign Trevor Lewis, a Sutter guy from his LA Kings days.
4:57 p.m. — Bruins get their new backup, er, No. 1? Rask is still (technically) unsigned.
Linus Ullmark to BOS
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) July 28, 2021
3:54 p.m. — Leafs gave up a lot for a rental player.
3:46 p.m. — Well, it’s been a while since we’ve had some Jack Eichel chitchat.
3:35 p.m. — Not a UFA or RFA signing but Brayden Point signs an extension with the Lightning. A good chunk of change but, fair to say, worth every penny.
— 𝙼𝚊𝚛𝚒 𝙵𝚊𝚒𝚎𝚕𝚕𝚘 (@faiello_mari) July 28, 2021
3:35 p.m. — OFFICIAL: Jaroslav Halak is going to the Canucks for one year.
SN’s analysis: He’ll be a nice complement to Thatcher Demko between the pipes. The move should give Michael DiPietro a chance to grow in Abbotsford (AHL) too.
3:35 p.m. — OFFICIAL: Zach Hyman is heading to Edmonton for seven years, $5.5 million AAV.
SN’s analysis: Fantastic signing for the Oilers. They get a guy who will create space for the likes of McDavid and Draisaitl, be a net-front presence, kill penalties, is one of the hardest-working guys in the game and one of the best too. This is the player Connor has been needing for a long time. Great addition.
3:11 p.m. — OFFICIAL: Canucks keep Travis Hamonic and Brandon Sutter in the mix while former Canuck, and now former Flames, forward Josh Leivo heads to the Hurricanes.
3:09 p.m. — Leafs add some sandpaper and an all-around good dude in Gabriel.
Leafs bringing in 6-4 winger Kurtis Gabriel from San Jose. Former third rounder of the Wild, via the Owen Sound Attack. $750,000.
— Lance Hornby (@sunhornby) July 28, 2021
2:50 p.m. — OFFICIAL: Hurricanes have signed Tony DeAngelo to a one-year deal for $1 million.
“Tony is a smooth-skating, puck-moving defenseman,” said GM Don Waddell in the team’s press release. “We’ve done a lot of background work on this player and we are confident that he can be a positive addition to our group.”
2:48 p.m. — OFFICIAL: Blue Jackets add local kid Sean Kuraly on a four-year deal.
2:41 p.m. — OFFICIAL: Petr Mrázek is a Maple Leaf. Signs a three-year deal with an AAV of $3.8 million.
2:39 p.m — OFFICIAL: After a one-year show-me deal, Tyson Barrie is sticking around Edmonton for three years, $4.5 million AAV.
SN’s analysis: Barrie had a solid year in Edmonton and finished the 2021 season as the league’s points leader among defensemen with 48 in 56 games.
2:35 p.m. — Reports are swirling that longtime Canucks blueliner Alex Edler is heading to sunny California and the Kings.
2:29 p.m. — OFFICIAL: Kraken add Jaden Schwartz, Alexander Wennberg and 2021 Vezina Trophy finalist Philipp Grubauer.
SN’s analysis: Kraken needed some help down the middle and get that in Wennberg. They also got the top goalie on the open market (with the expectation that Rask is staying in Boston) in Grubauer. It’s a great move as Driedger has never carried the load full time; however, it’s also an interesting one because they just threw a lot of money at Driedger too.
2:19 p.m. — OFFICIAL: Nick Bonino is headed to Sharks for two years, as is goaltender James Reimer.
2:13 p.m. — OFFICIAL: Lightning upgrade their goaltending and sign Brian Elliott for one year to back up Andrei Vasilevskiy.
2:11 p.m. — Jaden Schwartz is about to get Kraken in Seattle.
2:03 p.m. — OFFICIAL: One of the biggest UFAs heads to the West Coast. Kings sign Phillip Danault to a six-year deal with an AAV of $5.5 million.
SN’s analysis: The Kings were looking for some help down the middle and got one of the best two-way defensive centers in the game.
1:58 p.m. — Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reporting six years, $5.9 million per. Also notes that the Capitals may have interest in reacquiring Vitek Vanecek.
1:53 p.m. — OFFICIAL: Michael Del Zotto heading to the Senators.
The #Sens have agreed to terms with defenceman Michael Del Zotto on a two-year contract.
The contract carries a $2 million AAV ($1.75 million in 2021-22, $2.25 million in 2022-23). pic.twitter.com/bFD7PMEdBl
— Sens Communications (@Media_Sens) July 28, 2021
1:49 p.m. — OFFICIAL: Blackhawks add Jujhar Khaira for two years ($975,000 salary cap hit).
SN’s analysis: Quality bottom-six guy. He’ll bring some bite to the lineup.
1:46 p.m. — Interesting considering they just threw a ton of money at Chris Driedger.
1:20 p.m. — Yeah, the money being thrown around today is pretty wild.
Wow. Frederick Gaudreau gets a nice little pay raise and some job security.
He was on a one-year, two-way contract for a league minimum $700,000 last season. https://t.co/E34nmfVHdd
— Seth Rorabaugh (@SethRorabaugh) July 28, 2021
1:11 p.m. — OFFICIAL: Devils sign goaltender Jonathan Bernier to a two-year deal with an AAV of $4.65 million.
1:05 p.m. — Vegas sends Nick Holden and a 2022 third-rounder to the Senators for Evgenii Dadonov.
1:03 p.m. — OFFICIAL: David Savard to Montreal for four years.
1:01 p.m. — Not a bad backup for Mackenzie Blackwood
Jonathan Bernier’s two-year deal with the Devils worth $4.125M AAV
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) July 28, 2021
12:58 p.m. — Keith Yandle is officially a Flyer for one year, $900,000. Looks like he’ll break Doug Jarvis’ all-time iron-man record in the City of Brotherly Love. He needs just 43 games.
12:56 p.m. — Wild sign Alex Goligoski for one year, $5 million.
SN’s analysis: Quite a haul for the defenseman.
12:54 p.m. — Stars also add Luke Glendening, Alex Petrovic and Andreas Borgman.
12:31 p.m. — OFFICIAL: Braden Holtby to the Stars for one year, $2 million and Patrick Nemeth to the Rangers for three years.
SN’s analysis: Makes you wonder what is going on with Ben Bishop.
12:29 p.m. — Reports circulating that Cedric Paquette is heading to Montreal and Martin Jones to the Flyers.
12:27 p.m. — A little bit of a surprise, as the thought was Forbort was headed to Seattle to play under his North Dakota coach Dave Hakstol. He’ll replace Lauzon, who did head to the Kraken, on the blue line.
Confirming Derek Forbort signs with the Bruins for three years/$9 million. Averaged 2:43 SH ice time per game last year.
— Fluto Shinzawa (@FlutoShinzawa) July 28, 2021
12:22 p.m. — Stanley Cup champ David Savard reportedly heading to Montreal for four years, $3.4 million AAV.
Never underestimate the value of having a Savard on the Montreal Canadiens hockey team.
— Szymon Szemberg (@Sz1909_Szemberg) July 28, 2021
12:19 p.m. — Zach Bogosian reportedly heading back to the Lightning, per Darren Dreger.
12:14 p.m. — The Fourth Period’s David Pagnotta reporting on NHL Network that the Stars have also added Braden Holtby.
12:09 p.m. — Quick rumor roundup
- Friedman reporting Martin Jones to the Flyers.
- The Athletic’s Michael Russo reporting Alex Goligoski to the Wild for one year, $5 million with a full no-trade clause.
- Seravalli reporting Tucker Poolman is heading west to the Canucks.
12:07 p.m. — OFFICIAL: Ryan Suter four-year, $14.6 million contract (AAV $3.65M) with the Stars.
12:01 p.m. — Per Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston: Coleman getting 6x$4.9M.
SN’s analysis: Good veteran defenseman to add to the mix after losing Oleksiak to the Kraken. Suter unites with USA Hockey teammate Joe Pavelski
Noon — It has begun.
11:53 a.m. — LeBrun reporting Blake Coleman is heading to Calgary. Big splash by GM Brad Treliving.
11:36 a.m. — The Devils are no longer a basement-dwelling team.
11:23 a.m. — Ethan Bear is reportedly on the move to the Hurricanes for Warren Foegele. Bear is a really solid, young defenseman.
11:02 a.m. — Flames acquired defenseman Nikita Zadorov from the Blackhawks for a third-rounder in 2022. He is an RFA.
SN analysis: Good addition but doesn’t fill the large hole left by Mark Giordano’s departure for the Pacific Northwest. Plus, Flames need a lot more pieces to be a competitive club.
10:56 a.m. — Sam Gagner re-signs with the Red Wings.
10:46 a.m. — Bottom-six guys getting paid. What a world.
There’s a strong market for veteran ‘D’ in free agency: Word is that both Ian Cole and Cody Ceci will get north of $3M annually on their new contracts.
Ceci is leaning towards Edmonton, as @FriedgeHNIC and others have reported, on what’s believed to be a four-year term.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) July 28, 2021
10:42 a.m. — Maple Leafs moving on from Frederik Andersen, who LeBrun is reporting is heading to the Hurricanes.
10:09 a.m. — As expected, Zach Hyman is headed to the Oilers.
Hyman signing in Edmonton will be 7 years, $5.5 mil aav. Some bonus structure included. No move clause for first 5 years and modified no move in last two years.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) July 28, 2021
10 a.m. — Two hours before free agency opens. Here’s a look at the morning’s latest rumors:
Tuesday, July 27
11:51 p.m. — It was touch-and-go there for a bit but the Avalanche’s captain is returning to Denver.
Source confirms Landeskog signs 8 year extension with Colorado. $7 million aav
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) July 28, 2021
10:30 p.m. — Brent Seabrook is basically retired. The defenseman’s contract now heads to Tampa Bay and will likely be placed on LTIR.
NEWS: Tyler Johnson is headed to the Chicago Blackhawks.
Tampa Bay traded Johnson and their 2023 second round pick to the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for Brent Seabrook, sources told ESPN.
— Emily Kaplan (@emilymkaplan) July 28, 2021
SN’s analysis: Tampa Bay GM Julien BriseBois once again works magic. Don’t hate the player, hate the game.
8:15 p.m. — Earlier in the day, the Canadiens re-upped Joel Armia for four years and an AAV of $3.4 million.
8:07 p.m. — Nate Schmidt heads to the ‘Peg. The Jets’ defense, which needed a huge upgrade, now has Schmidt. DeMelo, Dillon, Stanley, Pionk, Morrissey and Heinola. Not too shabby.
7:04 p.m. — Suter heading south?
Plenty out there linking Ryan Suter to the Dallas Stars. They are pursuing hard. Suter’s camp wants 4 years and the AAV will likely have to be in the mid to high 3 million range to get it done.
— Dan Murphy (@sportsnetmurph) July 27, 2021
7 p.m. — Sounds like the Jets have landed their guy.
6:48 p.m. — Reilly sticking around Beantown.
5:07 p.m. — Patrik Laine re-signs with Columbus.
As expected, CBJ F Patrik Laine accepts his qualifying offer. So, his salary for the season is $7.5M.
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) July 27, 2021
4:55 p.m. — TSN’s Pierre LeBrun also reporting Montreal, Dallas and Boston as possible destinations for the longtime Ducks captain.
There is some smoke to Oilers interest in Getzlaf as 3C in free-agency but whether he would want to uproot his family and leave Calif where he’s been for 15 years for Edm winter is cloudy
— Jim Matheson (@jimmathesonnhl) July 27, 2021
4:43 p.m. — The king is (almost) ready to reclaim his throne.
👑 Henrik Lundqvist is, of course, UFA and most certainly wants to return to active NHL duty for 21-22 but, in the short term anyway, isn’t in a position to sign a contract because he’s still awaiting some medical clearances.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) July 27, 2021
3:18 p.m. — Gabriel Landeskog may be heading elsewhere.
Latest info is that Avalanche are pitching a three-year deal to Landeskog at basically MacKinnon $$$ (around $6.3M AAV)
— Larry Brooks (@NYP_Brooksie) July 27, 2021
2:27 p.m. — DeAngelo was recently bought out by the Rangers.
Hearing #Canes are closing in on an agreement with UFA D Tony DeAngelo.
Not done yet. But expecting a 1-year deal. There was lots of interest and the opportunity to play for Rod Brind’Amour was appealing. @DFOHockey
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) July 27, 2021
SN’s analysis: Why? Between this and the reports that they are interested in Virtanen — what are the Hurricanes doing?
2:24 p.m. — Are Phil Kessel’s days in the desert coming to a close?
Coyotes should be very active with trades/free agency. Phil Kessel has likely played his last game for Arizona – Vegas and Fla could be where he goes. Washington and Vancouver have some interest in backup goalie Antti Raanta. And Darcy Kuemper is a target of Edmonton and Colorado
— John Gambadoro (@Gambo987) July 27, 2021
2:21 p.m. — Darnell Nurse had a monster year with the Oilers in 2021 and established himself as a top defenseman in the NHL.
In addition to free agency, we’re also on the lookout for extensions. Hearing EDM and Darnell Nurse working on what is believed to be a four-year deal. The defenceman — who had a terrific season — has one year remaining before UFA eligibility.
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) July 27, 2021
SN’S analysis: Nurse deserves a big payday after a solid 2021 campaign where he skated an average of 25:38 a night (fourth highest in the league).
2:13 p.m. — Halak would be a good backup or 1A/1B for Thatcher Demko.
In former #Isles news, hearing Jaroslav Halak working on a deal with VAN
— Arthur Staple (@StapeAthletic) July 27, 2021
1:17 p.m. — Keith Yandle became a UFA after he was bought out by the Panthers.
Yandle to PHI — 1 year, $900K, NTC. Forgot he has played for Vigneault, so knows the coach.
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) July 27, 2021
SN’s analysis: The defenseman played 103 games with Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault as a member of the Rangers from 2014 to 2016. It’s a deal that makes sense for both parties as the Flyers continue to revamp their defense.
1:15 p.m. — The Marc-Andre Fleury tenure is officially over in Vegas.
FLEURY TRADE GRADES: Blackhawks get reigning Vezina Trophy winner, Golden Knights get cap space
1:07 p.m. — As expected “The Great 8” is sticking around the DMV.
SN’s analysis: Never in doubt. He should break the NHL’s all-time goals record under this contract.
1:06 p.m. — Chaos is going to reign supreme.
Dhaliwal: The Canucks are really concerned about an offer-sheet for Pettersson.
— Taj (@taj1944) July 27, 2021
1 p.m. — Pavel Buchnevich, acquired by the Blues from the Rangers, signs a four-year, $23.2 million extension.
SN’s analysis: Buchnevich is coming off a breakout year in which he scored 48 points in 54 games. He deserved to get paid.
12:23 p.m. — Canucks have signed Conor Garland, recently acquired from Arizona, for five years at a cap hit of $4.95 million.
SN’s analysis: Garland locked up for a couple of years helps solidify the Canucks top-6.
12:14 p.m. — Canucks bought out Virtanen after he was placed on leave May 1. He has been accused of sexually assaulting a woman four years ago.
Jake Virtanen has drawn interest from multiple teams, including Carolina. He’ll have options after being bought out by Vancouver.
— David Pagnotta (@TheFourthPeriod) July 27, 2021
12:01 p.m. — A couple of big names have been placed on waivers for the purpose of a buyout: Oilers’ James Neal, Sharks’ Martin Jones and Canucks’ Braden Holtby.
11:31 a.m. — Not even noon. Coffee not even acquired. Massive news drops.
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