With free agency set to open at noon today, let’s take a moment to catch up on the solid rumours of signings and news of trades from yesterday.
The Montréal Canadiens made a smart trade, leveraging their cap space to get two picks and a useful player in Joel Armia:
The Canadiens then turned around and bought out Steve Mason:
As noted, we can all assume Paul Stastny is off the market.
Also off the market is centre Derek Ryan, who is going exactly where everyone should have expected, to Calgary to play for the coach who gave him his NHL career.
Also off the table is Ryan Reaves:
Word is there were teams willing to go three years on a deal with Ryan Reaves. Vegas matched the money -- a hair below $5.6M -- but did it on a shorter two-year term.— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) July 1, 2018
So, I’m supposed to chortle and say snide things about Vegas and how stoopid they are and lol, truculence. However, what I find interesting is what this deal says about where George McPhee sees his team, and how he feels about the chances of replicating that cup run.
He wanted this “good in the room” guy, obviously, and everyone gets to feel about that how they like, but it sure doesn’t seem like he thinks he’s got a cap crunch coming at all. Add to that the players he’s not re-signing: David Perron, James Neal, Luca Sbisa, etc., and you see a team planning to get back on track to a slow build with all those hot young prospects coming up to fill out around that super-hot top line.
Vegas isn’t shy on cap space, so if this is an overpay, what are they suffering for it? It’s easy to think of cap space as money, and spending it on players who don’t produce as a waste. It is for some teams, some of the time, but the Golden Knights are more like the New York Rangers than they are the Washington Capitals. Just because they made it to the final last season doesn’t mean they aren’t in a building-up phase.
Which brings me to the rumours, a little less solid, that Leo Komarov may sign with the Rangers. He’d be perfect for them, and would help them with all those young prospects the way he did the Leafs.
ICYMI: James van Riemsdyk is landing in a familiar location.
There are a host of goalies on the market now:
Which should temper any dreams Leafs fans have of their surplus fetching big returns in the trade market. It won’t, but it should. The most recent NHL experience of both of those AHL stars is not pretty. You can’t expect a GM to go for them and not Anton Khudobin, or any of the rest of that list.
Edited to add:
Anton Khudobin will sign with the Dallas Stars. Excellent pick up for the Stars.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) July 1, 2018
Speaking of goalies, Eddie Lack re-signed in New Jersey, proving anyone’s career can be rehabilitated.
Aside from Drew Doughty’s market setting extension news which will become official today, there was this extension:
Hjalmarsson extension in ARIZ (starting in 2019-20) is two years, $10M— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) June 30, 2018
That’s the state of things so far today. All is quiet on the Toronto front, of course. The competition to keep secrets between Lou Lamoriello and Kyle Dubas is a draw as of now.