The bell rings on NHL Free Agency tomorrow at 12 PM ET. Yesterday, we had a handful of signings, and a key RFA was not qualified. Teams also continue to make cap shaving moves in order to either re-sign key players or make a splash with a UFA.
Let’s dive in quickly to all the happenings around the league.
NHL Roundup: Activity before free agency
Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez is expected to sign a three-year contract worth approximately $15 million, multiple media outlets report. He turned 34 on Monday, and led the NHL in blocked shots (168) last season.
The Florida Panthers signed Sam Bennett to a four-year contract on Monday. Financial terms were not disclosed by the team, however multiple media outlets reported the deal is worth $17.6 million. ($4.4M AAV)
Larry Brooks reports that the New York Rangers are expected to sign UFA defenseman, Patrik Nemeth on Wednesday. The 28 year-old comes in at 6-3 and 228 lbs and is a physical presence that could certainly play quality third pair minutes. His deal is expected to come in at 3 years with an AAV of $2.5M.
In a bit of a surprising move, the Bruins did not qualify forward Nick Ritchie. He is now a 25 year-old UFA and will garner a lot of interest on Wednesday. This past season was a good one for him as he notched 26 points in 56 games for the B’s. Ritchie is considered a quality 3rd line guy that should be snatched up pretty quick.
Capitals trade Brenden Dillion; Panthers move Anton Stralman
The Winnipeg Jets have been trying to bolster their defense ever since they traded Jacob Trouba to the New York Rangers in 2019. They were able to do so as the Washington Capitals needed to clear some cap space.
Defenseman Brenden Dillon was traded to the Jets late in the evening on Monday, acquiring a pair of second-round picks. In exchange for the 10-year veteran, the Jets sent the Capitals a second-rounder in both the 2022 and 2023 drafts.
The Florida Panthers traded defenseman Anton Stralman, prospect Vladislav Kolyachonok and a 2024 fourth-round pick to the Arizona Coyotes for a 2023 seventh-round pick Monday.
Florida recently acquired Sam Reinhart from the Sabres. He is an RFA due a new contract. They also signed Sam Bennett earlier in the day. The move, officially announced by the Coyotes, frees up approximately $5.5 million in cap space for Florida.
Ryan Strome trade rumors continue
The Ryan Strome rumors are only growing with Elliotte Friedman predicting he will be traded to either the Kraken, Knights, or Senators.
Here’s the one kicker that needs to be thrown in. If the Rangers are going to trade their second line center, they must confidently have another deal (via trade of free agency) to take his place.
The Rangers have been in on Eichel but the apparently the two sides are way off on a trade package. Is there a deal for another center out there? Evgeny Kuznetsov? Sean Monahan? Who knows.
Updated NHL Free Agent List
The Daily Goal Horn has updated their list and added an Off the Board section. Here’s a look by tiers at the top UFA’s available and some possible destinations. Read More.
–Field Level Media contributed to this article