With the official opening of the NHL’s unrestricted free agent period at 12pm ET today, word of some early signings started to trickle in, but there was one free agent prized above all others: superstar John Tavares.
Well, unless you've been living under a rock today you've surely heard that Tavares elected to leave the New York Islanders, signing a seven year, $77 million deal with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
However, there was still plenty of other action from around the NHL this morning, so let’s get right into it.
First up, the Boston Bruins have reportedly inked free agent goaltender Jaroslav Halak to a two year contract. This courtesy of Sportsnet reporter and NHL insider Elliotte Friedman:
Jaroslav Halak two years to BOS
Up next, the Detroit Red Wings snapped up a pair of veteran free agents in goaltender Jonathan Bernier and forward Thomas Vanek:
Red Wings poised to sign UFAs G Jonathan Bernier (3 yrs at around $3M cap hit) and F Thomas Vanek (1 yr, $3M). They almost had Cam Ward on 1 yr but he chose CHI. Rest of $$ goes to re-sign RFAs Dylan Larkin, Anthony Mantha, Andreas Athanasiou.
The St. Louis Blues have gotten into the action by inking former Blues sniper David Perron to a HUGE four year, $16 million deal:
David Perron 4x4 in STL
After losing Perron, Vegas Golden Knights general manager George McPhee wasted no time in filling his cap space with center Paul Stastny:
Working on the aav for Paul Statsny in Vegas, but I believe he’s agreed to a 3 year term.
This signing is, arguably, the biggest signing on the opening day of free agency, Tavares aside. Stastny was rumored to be in negotiations with the Winnipeg Jets to remain with the team and there had been rumblings that the Montreal Canadiens had also negotiated with the 32 year old veteran. In the end however, it was Vegas who managed to get Stastny to sign on the dotted line.
The Vancouver Canucks made a splash this morning signing a pair of fourth liners to big money deals:
Hearing Ryan deal is approx 3x3.125 and Czarnik 2x1.25 in CAL; word out of VAN is Beagle is 4x3 and Roussel 4x3.25
Ouch… that’s $6.25 million against the cap for four years for two fourth liners… good deal, Canucks fans?