The NHL has seen its share of noteworthy trades and signings in this offseason. Some helped teams level up. Some knocked teams down a peg. A few could have a transformative effect on franchises for next season and beyond.
With the 2023-24 season drawing closer each day, there are some teams whose stock has clearly improved thanks to successful offseasons — and there are other teams whose stock arrow is pointed to the floor thanks to salary cap crunches and ill-advised transactions.
Here is the stock report for all 32 NHL teams. Find out who’s up and who’s down:
The Bruins have had “end of an era” moments before, like Tim Thomas and Tuukka Rask vacating the crease or Zdeno Chara leaving their blue line. Patrice Bergeron was the constant through all of them, a steadying presence in the face of adversity. And now his era has ended, with the center retiring after the Bruins’ still-stupefying first-round playoff loss to the Panthers.
Boston is still a very good hockey team: a Jack Adams-winning coach in Jim Montgomery, a Hart Trophy runner-up in David Pastrnak, and the return of a goaltending tandem in Linus Ullmark and Jeremy Swayman that was the best in the NHL last season. But the Bruins are a doughnut right now. Losing Bergeron and David Krejci leaves a hole in the middle that they have yet to fill, with Pavel Zacha and Charlie Coyle at the top of their depth chart. Their offense also lost wingers Taylor Hall, a cap casualty, and Tyler Bertuzzi, a great trade deadline addition who slipped away in free agency to the rival Maple Leafs. Defenseman Dmitry Orlov, another deadline prize, also bolted from their blue line.
Boston slapped some veteran Band-Aids on some of its lineup problems, and it had one of the offseason’s best nostalgia plays in bringing back Milan Lucic to pop the fans. But the Bruins have the undeniable vibe of a team that went all-in for a Stanley Cup last season, lost the pot and now must deal with the aftermath — which is the end of an era.
The Sabres have a plan, and they’re sticking to it. Buffalo added some veteran help to its blue line in defensemen Connor Clifton and Erik Johnson in free agency, but that was about it. This team is all about internal competition and letting its collection of young players grow alongside an impressive core that includes Tage Thompson and Rasmus Dahlin.
But there was a slight nudge toward the Sabres’ stock being down for two reasons. The loss of Jack Quinn for six months with a ruptured Achilles tendon deprives Buffalo of a good young player for a bit.
The other is the decision to roll in net with promising Devon Levi, second-year goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen and veteran Eric Comrie, who had a horror show season after signing as a free agent last summer. With Craig Anderson retiring, a little more veteran help wouldn’t have hurt — but that might have come at the expense of Levi’s development.
Detroit needed more scoring, having finished 24th in goals per game last season. Well, it found it: The Red Wings acquired Ottawa star winger Alex DeBrincat without surrendering any blue-chip prospects, signing the goal-scoring 25-year-old to a four-year contract extension.
They also acquired Klim Kostin, a young forward with some upside, from the Oilers. (And it’s only appropriate that “Klim Shady” now plays in Detroit.) GM Steve Yzerman also added versatile forward J.T. Compher, veteran scoring defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere and goaltender James Reimer.
It’s the second straight offseason in which Yzerman has aggressively sought to augment his roster with veteran players. DeBrincat is the biggest difference-maker Detroit has acquired on Yzerman’s watch — theoretically.
So much for the afterglow for the Stanley Cup runners-up. The Panthers will be without key defensemen Aaron Ekblad and Brandon Montour to start the season after both had offseason surgery. They also lost defensemen Radko Gudas and Marc Staal to free agency. To help hold the fort, Florida signed two defensemen who were flush with buyout money in Oliver Ekman-Larsson (Vancouver) and Mike Reilly (Boston).
So it’s stock down for the moment. But the Matthew Tkachuk-led squad should be in contention again next season, and one assumes GM Bill Zito won’t be shy about bolstering this roster in-season too.
Within the Erik Karlsson trade, GM Kent Hughes found a way to offload Mike Hoffman‘s contract without having to retain any salary, which is rather notable when one considers they couldn’t give him away at the last trade deadline. That’s a win. Reuniting with Jeff Petry as part of the Karlsson deal — for 75% of his salary — is a more subdued victory, but he’s signed for only two more seasons and fills a need on the right side of the blue line.
Meanwhile, the Canadiens gave up a low first-rounder from Florida and a high second-rounder to the Avalanche for 22-year-old Alex Newhook, who struggled to fill Colorado’s void at second-line center. It’s from their Kirby Dach playbook, acquiring a promising young forward who was drafted in the first round and hadn’t hit his stride yet. If Newhook produces like Dach did this season, they’ll have done well here.
GM Pierre Dorion had to move winger Alex DeBrincat, who decided he wasn’t going to be a Senator long term. Pulling Dominik Kubalik from the Red Wings for DeBrincat is pretty good, save for the fact that he’s a pending UFA just like DeBrincat was when Dorion acquired him last summer.
Ottawa’s biggest swings came in the UFA market. Vladimir Tarasenko didn’t find the contract he wanted, switched agents and then ended up inking a one-year deal with the Senators with a no-trade clause. He gives them some much-needed goal-scoring pop on the right wing.
Then there was Joonas Korpisalo, the former Kings goalie whom the Senators signed to a five-year term. If he plays like he did in 2022-23, Korpisalo and Anton Forsberg could be one of the better tandems in the Eastern Conference. But there’s also a chance his .914 save percentage was a contract-year bump.
The Lightning are counted out at one’s own peril, but this summer felt like one salary cap correction too many for the recent back-to-back Stanley Cup champions. Tampa Bay bid farewell to Ross Colton and Alex Killorn, two productive forwards, as well as Pat Maroon and Corey Perry, two character guys.
It was in service of giving defenseman Mikhail Sergachev and center Anthony Cirelli new contracts, which they deserved. But the Lightning won their championships with a combination of a superstar core and a supporting cast of role players who stepped up when the pressure was on. They obviously still have the former, although the years have crept up on those core players, but the latter is now lacking.
You’d think winning a playoff round for the first time since Green Day released “American Idiot” would have led to some semblance of confidence and serenity in Toronto. Instead, the Leafs had a dramatic split with general manager Kyle Dubas, resulting in former Flames GM Brad Treliving taking over — and, in a twist, keeping coach Sheldon Keefe around even though he was very much Kyle’s guy.
Treliving’s task was to increase the tenacity of this team, which manifested in one great move in signing Tyler Bertuzzi to a one-year deal, replacing Michael Bunting on Auston Matthews‘ line; one promising move, as Max Domi signed on in a depth role; and one of the most bizarre moves of the offseason, as Ryan Reaves arrived on a three-year contract. They also signed defenseman John Klingberg, the human embodiment of “stock down.”
The turbulent offseason stuff will eventually calm down, and there’s still good news to come with an expected extension for Matthews. But at a time when the Leafs should be riding the momentum from their playoff round win, it feels as if they hit a rut in the road and blew a tire. Let’s see how handy Treliving is with a jack.
If you want to know why the Hurricanes’ front office garners the respect it does, look no further than the Dmitry Orlov signing. Carolina was already stacked on its blue line and then added the best free agent available to bolster its left side — on a sensible two-year contract. (And then re-added Tony DeAngelo to further boost the back-end scoring.)
Will Michael Bunting give Carolina the goal-scoring boost it needed in the postseason? His finishing over the past two seasons is encouraging, but he has to stay out of the penalty box. If nothing else, the guy plays a style that Rod Brind’Amour should appreciate.
Meanwhile, from the Dept. of “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” the Hurricanes brought back Frederik Andersen and Antti Raanta in goal, with Pyotr Kochetkov still waiting in the wings. The Hurricanes will once again enter the season as a Stanley Cup favorite on paper. Now they just have to live up to that potential with an even more stacked roster — and, most importantly, a healthy Andrei Svechnikov.
Putting aside whether Mike Babcock should be an NHL coach again for a moment, the fact is that his teams have made the Stanley Cup playoffs in 14 of his 17 seasons behind the bench. The Blue Jackets, having made the playoffs just six times since 2000-01, will obviously take that. Babcock is undeniably an upgrade over Brad Larsen, at the least.
With Babcock on the way, GM Jarmo Kekalainen turned his attention to the Blue Jackets’ defense, adding veterans Damon Severson from the Devils and Ivan Provorov from the Flyers to a corps that will get a healthy Zach Werenski back this season. But Jarmo’s biggest coup was finally getting that franchise center he has wanted in the NHL draft: Although it wasn’t Connor Bedard, Adam Fantilli should be an outstanding pro and perhaps the most charismatic “homegrown” star the franchise has ever had.
While the Eastern Conference is filled with teams dripping flop sweat about their window to win, the Devils are looking at a years-long length of runway ahead of them. Jack Hughes is 22. Nico Hischier is 24 and Jesper Bratt is 25. Luke Hughes and Simon Nemec, two of the best defensive prospects in the world, haven’t even gotten going on their NHL journeys yet.
What GM Tom Fitzgerald did this offseason was solidify the foundation for his team with new contracts for Bratt and trade deadline prize Timo Meier, who is only 26, while also seeking to improve New Jersey as an immediate contender. That improvement arrived in scoring winger Tyler Toffoli from Calgary, a playoff veteran tasked with finding that extra bit of offense that inexplicably escaped the Devils in their second-round loss last spring.
At the moment, they’re entrusting the team’s goaltending to Vitek Vanecek and young Akira Schmid. But there’s still time for an upgrade there if necessary. Because time is very much on the Devils’ side.
The Islanders weren’t going to do much this summer after acquiring center Bo Horvat during last season, but you’d figure they’d do something beyond just taking care of their own. Yet that’s all the business GM Lou Lamoriello has done to this point: handing long-term extensions to Pierre Engvall (seven years), Scott Mayfield (seven years) and Semyon Varlamov (four years), all of whom were pending unrestricted free agents. The biggest bet here is Engvall, in whom Lamoriello sees room for growth.
But while their stock is down year-over-year due to this roster stasis — the departed Josh Bailey excepted — their stock is only slightly down thanks to the eight-year extension they secured with star goalie Ilya Sorokin. As long as he’s thriving between the pipes, the Islanders will have a chance to contend for a playoff spot, no matter what’s in front of him.
When the Rangers were eliminated by the Devils in the first round, there was a swirl of speculation about the state of coach Gerard Gallant’s employment. The consensus from the New York hockey punditry: If he was going to pay for the highly hyped team’s early exit to an upstart rival, it would have to be for a clear upgrade behind the bench. The name of Joel Quenneville was uttered more than once, although judging from this offseason, perhaps that wasn’t an option at all.
GM Chris Drury ended up firing Gallant and replaced him with Peter Laviolette, a Stanley Cup winner in 2006 who has been steadily employed by five different teams since 2001. He hasn’t made it out of the first round since 2018 with the Predators. He might end up being an upgrade when we get a better sense of his impact on the Rangers’ play. But on paper, it’s not the kind of coaching change that has electrified the fan base — or one that even justifies the decision to make a coaching change to begin with.
The Rangers made more noise at last year’s trade deadline in adding Patrick Kane and Vladimir Tarasenko than they did this summer. Drury did have one of the offseason’s better additions in snagging Blake Wheeler for just $800,000, thanks to his buyout from Winnipeg. How much Jonathan Quick can offer as a spot starter, at this stage of his career, in back of Igor Shesterkin remains to be seen. But after getting skated out of the arena by the Devils, and having Rangers players cite a lack of quickness as a concern after the season, the team did more standing pat than increasing its speed.
John Tortorella remains a very interesting coach for a rebuild, which is what the Flyers will be mired in for the foreseeable future. On the one hand, he showed a willingness last season to give young players room to grow and not just have veterans taking away their ice time. On the other hand, competitiveness is baked into his DNA, which means the Flyers are going to win games and collect points at a time when, logically, they should be pointed toward the bottom of the standings with purpose.
To that end, GM Danny Briere has crafted a roster that should be more bad than good, jettisoning veterans like Kevin Hayes, Ivan Provorov and Tony DeAngelo, holdovers from the Chuck Fletcher days. Drafting Matvei Michkov gives the team a glimmer of hope for the future.
But this is going to be a write-off of a season for the Flyers and they know it. Sometimes, you can get a sense of a team’s fortunes by how aggressively it sloganeers in the offseason to fans. And the Flyers have been selling like Don Draper in a pitch meeting.
GM Kyle Dubas managed to land Norris Trophy winner Erik Karlsson from the Sharks while offloading three contracts from the Ron Hextall regime. He had to give up only a conditional first-rounder and a 2025 second-rounder. In the cases of defenseman Jeff Petry and forward Mikael Granlund, they were two players who might have cost that draft capital just to be removed from the Pittsburgh roster on their own — and, instead, it was for Erik Karlsson coming back the other way!
Pittsburgh is still trying to pry open its window as a contender in the remaining years for Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Having Kris Letang and Karlsson eating up 50 minutes of ice time per game — and both contributing to their power play — gives the Penguins a better shot at another run than nearly anything else Dubas could do in the short term.
The rest of the Penguins’ offseason has seen some welcome additions (Reilly Smith, Ryan Graves) and justifiable departures (Brian Dumoulin). But stop me if you’ve heard this before: The best-laid plans of the Penguins could be undone by their goaltending, as Pittsburgh runs it back with Tristan Jarry and adds former Red Wings goalie Alex Nedeljkovic to the tandem.
The most exceptional thing the Capitals did in the offseason was hire Toronto assistant coach Spencer Carbery as their new bench boss, giving the highly regarded 41-year-old his first NHL head-coaching gig. Beyond that, however, it was more of the same.
Evgeny Kuznetsov? Still there. Anthony Mantha? Still there. Tom Wilson? Still there, and with a seven-year contract extension that starts in 2024-25. At one point it appeared the Capitals would be flush with salary cap room this summer, given how many free agents they had on the roster. But GM Brian MacLellan re-signed a number of them, leaving this Washington roster looking strikingly like the one that missed the playoffs last season. The only significant addition was defenseman Joel Edmundson from the Canadiens, who retained 50% of his salary.
There was nowhere to go but up for this franchise after the one-two punch of having the voters in Tempe spike the Coyotes’ arena project and then losing the draft lottery (again). Law of averages aside, Arizona had a pretty strong offseason, thanks in no small part to Logan Cooley changing his mind.
The third overall pick in the 2022 draft, Cooley had decided to return for his sophomore season at the University of Minnesota. But then he had a change of heart and signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Coyotes. “I have realized that deep down, I feel ready for the challenge of playing at the highest level in the world and I want to fulfill my lifelong dream of being an NHL player,” he wrote on his Instagram account.
Cooley is a dynamic offensive player who joins a Coyotes team that’s added a bit more pop this summer in forward Jason Zucker. Arizona’s other additions like forward Alexander Kerfoot and defensemen Matt Dumba, Sean Durzi and Travis Dermott will help the young core that’s already in place. The Coyotes could be close to turning the corner. Now, to find an arena to call home at the end of that journey.
The easiest call to make here. The Blackhawks stripped the roster down to the foundations in the hopes of increasing their draft lottery odds while turning the page on the past — saying goodbye to franchise icons Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews in the process. The balls bounced Chicago’s way. The Blackhawks are now in the Connor Bedard era, much to the hateration of the other 31 franchises.
Whatever Bedard ends up becoming as a rookie this season, he joins a roster that should be better than the ghost ship that sailed to a .360 points percentage last season. The biggest addition was Taylor Hall, a cap casualty with the Bruins who could be Bedard’s winger. Nick Foligno and Corey Perry are there for truculence and veteran leadership.
Being better doesn’t mean being good, because the Blackhawks won’t be for a while. But Bedard should make them watchable.
With all their moves this summer, the most notable player news for the Avalanche happened with someone already on the roster: captain Gabriel Landeskog, who is expected to miss the 2023-24 regular season after knee surgery. Whether his rehabilitation process will allow Colorado to “Kucherov” him for the playoffs remains to be seen, but in the short term the Avalanche won’t have one of their most trusted veterans in the lineup.
Secondary scoring and depth at forward were the aims this offseason for Colorado. What the Avalanche hauled into the boat is a group of veterans who offer more questions than answers at the forefront. Did Ryan Johansen just need a change in scenery to become the second-line center the Avs so desperately need? Can Jonathan Drouin recapture the junior hockey magic with Nathan MacKinnon, who personally endorsed Colorado signing the former Canadien? Is giving Miles Wood a six-year contract more 4D chess from the Avs’ front office — or is giving term to a 27-year-old, bottom-six winger just never a good idea?
(Less mysterious: the acquisition of Ross Colton from the Lightning, a solid left wing who should get back over the 20-goal mark this season.)
The Avs are still the Avs, powered a core of MacKinnon, Cale Makar, Mikko Rantanen and Devon Toews. They’re still a prohibitive Stanley Cup favorite in the eyes of the sportsbooks. We could look back at summer 2023 a year from now and see the foundations of another Stanley Cup victory having been laid. But the loss of Landeskog, coupled with some “if, then” acquisitions, has their stock slightly down now.
One team’s trash is another team’s treasure. The Predators bought out the contract of center Matt Duchene. Their division rivals, the Stars, pounced on him for a one-year, $3 million contract that impressively fleshes out the team’s center depth. They also added veteran forward Craig Smith and center Sam Steel, a restricted free agent whom the Wild did not qualify.
Otherwise, this is very much the same Dallas team that lost in the Western Conference finals. Despite some speculation to the contrary, Ryan Suter and Jamie Benn remain on the roster. The Stars remain deep, talented and with a franchise goalie in Jake Oettinger. With Duchene in the mix, they might be even better.
GM Bill Guerin shouted his salary cap headaches from the rooftops as the offseason opened, created in great part by the $14,743,588 in dead cap space from the Ryan Suter and Zach Parise buyouts. That’s the cap space equivalent of Joel Eriksson Ek, Mats Zuccarello and Jacob Middleton, basically.
Thus, the Wild said goodbye to more players than they greeted this summer. Most notable to leave were defenseman Matt Dumba, who played 10 seasons in Minnesota; and forward Sam Steel, who wasn’t qualified by the Wild because of his potential arbitration case. On the flip side, the Wild signed forward Pat Maroon from the Lightning, ensuring that the loss of free agent forward Ryan Reaves did not leave a gaping hole for locker room whimsy for too long in Minnesota.
What the Wild did accomplish was retaining talent. Frederick Gaudreau and Marcus Johansson signed cap-friendly deals. They inked breakout goalie Filip Gustavsson to a three-year extension. But these fiscally smart contracts and others weren’t enough to get the Wild the space they needed for bigger things, like additional help at center. As in last season, Minnesota will hope its younger players — Marco Rossi and Brock Faber in particular — step up into key roles.
The beginning of the Barry Trotz era as general manager didn’t lack for surprises. Like when the team finally offloaded the contracts of Ryan Johansen (in a trade to Colorado) and Matt Duchene (with a buyout). Helping to fill that newly created hole at center was another surprise: high-profile free agent Ryan O’Reilly, signing a four-year contract.
O’Reilly personified the interesting place in which the Predators find themselves: Stubbornly refusing to dramatically rebuild in lieu of bring in veteran help for their experienced core and its younger supporting cast. Forward Gustav Nyquist and defenseman Luke Schenn were also inked as free agents.
Perhaps the biggest surprise for Trotz? How the Predators are expected to play stylistically. Trotz replaced head coach John Hynes with Andrew Brunette, a Jack Adams finalist with the Panthers in 2021-22 who was an associate coach with the Devils last season. Anyone expecting a team constructed by Trotz to play like a team coached by Trotz was mistaken: Nashville is expected to crank up the speed and offense under Brunette.
Make no mistake: Getting Kevin Hayes for a sixth-round pick, and having the Flyers pick up 50% of his contract, is just a phenomenal bit of business from GM Doug Armstrong. He’s younger and has a cheaper contract than Ryan O’Reilly, ostensibly the player he replaces in the Blues’ lineup.
But the fact is that this Blues team finished with a .494 points percentage last season. St. Louis has a lot more work to do in reshaping its roster back into a serious contender — especially on the blue line, where the Blues have a slew of long-term contracts and players with trade protection.
It was expected that the Jets would be in “everything must go!” mode this summer. But while they bought out Blake Wheeler and traded Pierre-Luc Dubois to the Kings, that’s where the fire sale ended for now. Center Mark Scheifele and goaltender Connor Hellebuyck are still in Winnipeg, entering their walk years.
The Jets landed three NHL players in the Dubois trade. Alex Iafallo can still be a productive left wing. Center Gabriel Vilardi is coming off his best NHL season, while winger Rasmus Kupari could have more to offer. They brought back center Vladislav Namestnikov and reunited with goalie Laurent Brossoit, who left the Golden Knights.
It’s entirely possible that Scheifele and Hellebuyck are both moved in-season. But they’re Jets now, and will probably be Jets to start the season: Given that and the pieces the Jets have added, their stock is slightly up.
GM Pat Verbeek made the first two critical decisions of his tenure in Anaheim this offseason, hiring coach Greg Cronin from Colorado’s AHL affiliate and then forgoing Adam Fantilli with the second overall pick in the draft to select big Swedish center Leo Carlsson. Time will tell whether those were the correct ones. Carlsson might have some growing up to do immediately, as the Ducks will be without center Isac Lundestrom until midway through the season due to an Achilles tendon injury.
Verbeek also made some surer bets. Signing Troy Terry to a seven-year, $49 million contract extension was a solid deal for the team and the player. He also added a couple of cool uncles to his roster of young stars: two-time Stanley Cup winner and jet-ski aficionado Alex Killorn from the Lightning and bruising defenseman Radko Gudas from the Panthers. But the Ducks still have the lingering issue of goalie John Gibson‘s future.
Anaheim is probably still a season or two away from real contention, but the pieces are starting to come together for the Ducks.
The Flames have a new general manager in Craig Conroy, a new head coach in Ryan Huska and a handful of players one season away from free agency who could be on the move — or want out now, if the speculation is true.
Conroy moved one of those players already, sending winger Tyler Toffoli to the Devils for forward Yegor Sharangovich. Forwards Mikael Backlund and Elias Lindholm, as well as defenseman Noah Hanifin, have been in the rumor mill all summer.
The coaching change is a positive one, as Darryl Sutter had run his course in Calgary. But the Flames’ roster still feels like a strong supporting cast in search of some stars, the ongoing aftermath from losing Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk last summer.
The Oilers jettisoned serviceable forwards in Klim Kostin and Kailer Yamamoto for cap savings, while they added Connor Brown on a cap-friendly deal. But overall, Edmonton is basically the same team it was last season thanks to the flat salary cap. The Oilers’ biggest bit of business took place at the last trade deadline, when they added Mattias Ekholm to the fold.
It’s a talented supporting cast up front, an improving group in the back led by 23-year-old Evan Bouchard, and goaltending that will once again rely on Stuart Skinner and whatever version of Jack Campbell that shows up.
GM Rob Blake has been adding to his core like kindling to a fire. Kevin Fiala, Phillip Danault, Viktor Arvidsson and Vladislav Gavrikov have all joined in recent summers for one last run at the Stanley Cup for Anze Kopitar and Drew Doughty.
But this offseason, Blake went from stoking the fire to throwing a gas can onto it, acquiring Jets center Pierre-Luc Dubois and signing him to an eight-year contract extension.
It came at a cost. The Kings sent Alex Iafallo, Rasmus Kupari and Gabriel Vilardi to the Jets for Dubois. Expendable, in the grand scheme? Yes, because the Kings still have their true blue-chip prospects. But those are also three rostered players who contributed, and in Vilardi’s case not insignificantly. But he’s not Dubois, who gives the Kings unparalleled center depth in the Western Conference.
All that established, the Kings’ stock isn’t to the moon. Not with Cam Talbot, Pheonix Copley and David Rittich as their goaltenders. The Golden Knights made the world safe for teams to throw a bunch of goalies at their problem with the hope that one of them pops at the right time behind a great team like Adin Hill did. But we’d feel a lot better about this admittedly impressive roster if the Kings made another in-season addition in goal like they did with Joonas Korpisalo last season.
If you go from having a Norris Trophy winner on your blue line to not having one, your stock drops. That’s pretty easy. But there’s also what the Erik Karlsson trade brought back to San Jose: Mike Hoffman, Jan Rutta and a declining Mikael Granlund. Not exactly needle movers.
As San Jose pivots to a rebuild, the Sharks still have Logan Couture (four more years), Marc-Edouard Vlasic (three years) and Tomas Hertl (seven years) on the roster. They’re going to get a lot worse before they get better.
The Kraken kicked the tires on an Erik Karlsson trade with the Sharks but ultimately stuck with their plan for incremental improvements to a team that won a playoff round last season.
Forwards Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and Kailer Yamamoto arrived via free agency, giving a deep group up front even more versatility. Former Penguins defenseman Brian Dumoulin arrives to essentially fill the “defensive defenseman” role vacated by Carson Soucy when he left via free agency. The Kraken also lost center Morgan Geekie, forward Daniel Sprong and goalie Martin Jones to free agency.
It makes sense for the Kraken to roll with what they already have for next season. After that, they can take a harder look at the roster, as Seattle has only 13 players under contract beyond this season.
The biggest news for the Canucks this offseason was the moves they didn’t make. J.T. Miller and Brock Boeser were rumored to be trade candidates, but both remain in Vancouver. Same with goalie Thatcher Demko, although his availability might have been overstated. Same with defenseman Tyler Myers as he enters the last year of his contract.
The cap-strapped Canucks gained a little more room by buying out defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson, whose dead cap space is just $146,667 this season. They signed Seattle defenseman Carson Soucy, veteran D-man Ian Cole and forward Teddy Blueger.
Next up: a contract extension for star forward Elias Pettersson.
The Stanley Cup champions once again put loyalty aside to make moves under a tight salary cap. Original “Golden Misfit” Reilly Smith was sent to the Penguins so the Knights could give forward Ivan Barbashev, a trade deadline addition, a five-year extension. Playoff hero goalie Adin Hill was signed for two seasons, as was restricted free agent Brett Howden.
The Knights rested on their laurels a bit this summer, but when you’re the reigning champions, sometimes that’s all you need to do.