Tha Sports Junkies 101

NHL Free Agency Day 1 Recap

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119 Players Signed on First Day of Free Agency


Friday, July 1 marked the beginning of the free agency period in the NHL. And boy was it a crazy busy one. 119 players were signed on Friday, totaling more than $630 million spent on them.

With the day coming to an end, we’ll give you a recap of the signings of each team, focusing on the marquee names that changed places or stayed where they were on this day.


The Ducks have yet to make an official signing at the time of this article. However, their two biggest signings may come in the form of re-signing restricted free agents Hampus Lindholm and Rickard Rakell. Nothing has been made known on that front, but general manager Bob Murray has stated that is one of his priorities this offseason.


The Coyotes made eight signings on Friday, their biggest being signing forward Jamie McGinn to a three-year deal. McGinn had a career year in 2015-16, amassing career highs in goals (22) and points (39) with Anaheim and Buffalo.


The Bruins, like Arizona, were busy on the first day of free agency. Boston signed seven players, highlighted by the signing of former St. Louis captain David Backes. Backes signed a five-year, $30 million contract with the Bruins, changing teams for the first time since entering the NHL in 2006.


The Sabres weren’t as busy as the previous two teams, but did make a big splash. Buffalo was able to sign forward Kyle Okposo to a whopping seven-year, $42 million deal. Okposo, who was not re-signed by the New York Islanders, was second in scoring on the Islanders with 64 points last season.


The Flames only made two signings today, but they were pretty significant. Calgary signed forward Troy Brouwer to a reported four-year contract worth $18 million. Brouwer was a key part in helping St. Louis reach the Conference Final for the first time in 15 years.

They also signed backup goalie Chad Johnson to solidify their net after acquiring Brian Elliott last week.


The Hurricanes signed veterans Lee Stempniak and Viktor Stalberg to two and one-year deals, respectively, on Friday. Carolina more than likely won’t make the playoffs in 2016-17 since they are a pretty young team, but these signings bring in character guys that have experience and can mentor the younger players.


The Blackhawks had a pretty quiet July 1, with their biggest signing being, as we posted earlier in the day, bringing back defenseman Brian Campbell.


The Avalanche, on the other hand, had a busy day. Colorado signed 11 players Friday. Their biggest signings came in the form of a two-year deal for center Joe Colborne and a one-year deal for defenseman Fedor Tyutin.


Like the Ducks, the Blue Jackets also did not make any official signings on Friday, at the time of this article.


The Stars grabbed one of the more sought-out defenseman this offseason, signing blue liner Dan Hamhuis to a two-year deal. Hamhuis should offset the loss of Alex Goligoski, who signed with Arizona last week. Dallas also brought back forward Patrick Eaves, signing him to a one-year contract.


The Red Wings one of the more top heavy signing days. Their day started, as we reported, by re-signing forward Darren Helm.  They would go on to sign forward Frans Nielsen to a six-year deal. That would be followed by signing veterans Steve Ott and Thomas Vanek to one-year contracts.


While Detroit may have had a top heavy signing day, the Oilers got the biggest fish in the sea. Edmonton signed forward Milan Lucic to a monster seven-year, $42 million contract on Friday. With Steven Stamkos choosing to remain in Tampa, Lucic was seen as the biggest name on the market and the Oilers didn’t waste time signing him as his was one of the first signings that was made official.


The Panthers made three signings Friday, all to add depth to their lineup. Their most significant one was signing goalie James Reimer to a five-year deal. With starter Roberto Luongo on the mend from offseason surgery and getting up there in age, Reimer will provide good relief in net when his name is called.


The Kings, like Florida, made signings to add depth to their roster. Los Angeles signed d-men Tom Gilbert and Michael Latta to bolster their blue line. They also signed net minder Jeff Zatkoff to backup starter Jonathan Quick.


The Wild made one of the more significant signings, name wise. Minnesota signed center Eric Staal to a three-year deal to add some depth down the middle. They also brought back forward Chris Stewart with a two-year deal. Stewart played with the Wild in the 2014-15 season. Like the Kings, Minnesota also brought some backup in net with the signing of goalie Alex Stalock.


If the Staal signing with Minnesota was a bit surprising, then what the Canadiens did may have come from left field. Montreal signed forward Alexander Radulov to a one-year deal. Radulov has spent the last four seasons in Russia after last playing in the NHL with Nashville in 2012. His tenure with the Predators didn’t end well as he was suspended for violating curfew during the playoffs.

The Russian forward claims he is a “changed man” so we will see how this signing works out for the Canadiens.


Speaking of the Predators, Nashville had two signings on Friday. They signed depth defensemen Matt Irwin and Yannick Weber to one-year contracts on Friday. The Predators’ biggest move came Wednesday when they acquired blue liner P.K. Subban from Montreal in exchange for former captain Shea Weber.


The Devils also had one of the busier days on the first day of NHL free agency, signing eight players. New Jersey’s biggest signings were signing defenseman Ben Lovejoy to a three-year deal, as well as bringing in veteran center Vernon Fiddler with a one-year contract.


Despite losing Okposo and Nielsen, the Islanders landed one of the top free agents this summer. New York signed two-time Stanley Cup winner Andrew Ladd to a seven-year contract worth $38.5 million. They also added some speed to their roster by signing speedy veteran Jason Chimera to a two-year deal.


The Rangers, like some of the other teams, added some depth with their signings today. New York signed speedy wingers Michael Grabner and Nathan Gerbe on Friday. They also added defenseman Adam Clendening.


The Senators didn’t make any major signings on Friday. Their biggest was probably bringing back blue liner Michael Kostka on a one-year contract.


The Flyers added some depth to their roster with their two biggest signings on Friday. Philadelphia brought in veterans Dale Weise and Boyd Gordon to help solidify their group of forwards.


The defending Stanley Cup champion Penguins were also pretty quiet on Friday, making only four signings. Their biggest was bringing back blue liner David Warsofsky with a one-year deal.


The Sharks made two pretty significant signings on Friday. San Jose added depth to their defensive corps by bringing in defenseman David Schlemko with a four-year contract. They would then add some speed to their forwards when they signed forward Mikkel Boedker to a four-year deal, as well.


The Blues lost significant players in Elliott, Backes, and Brouwer, but did find some potential replacements. St. Louis brought back forward David Perron, a Blues draft pick in 2007, signing the winger to a two-year deal. They also brought in goaltender Carter Hutton to back up now starter Jake Allen.

The Blues made sure Allen doesn’t go anywhere anytime soon as they signed their starting net minder to a four-year extension on Friday.


It looked like the Lightning had made their biggest signing earlier this week when they signed Stamkos to an eight-year deal to keep their captain. However, on Friday they made another signing that was just as important.

Tampa signed No. 1 defenseman Victor Hedman to an eight-year extension, keeping the big Swedish blue liner from hitting the open market next summer.


The Maple Leafs made a single signing, but it was one of the more sought out players. Toronto signed bruising forward Matt Martin to a four-year deal on Friday. Even though Martin has been used a fourth-liner the last few seasons, he brings energy and physicality, which were reasons he drew interest from various teams.


The Canucks brought in one of the top free agents this year when they signed forward Loui Eriksson to a six-year, $36 million contract. A 30-goal scorer last season with Boston, Eriksson is expected to join the Sedin twins on Vancouver’s top line. And if they click, that will be one tough line to control.


The Capitals were pretty quiet on day 1 of NHL free agency. They signed four players on Friday, with the most significant one being signing former Lightning forward Brett Connolly to a one-year deal. Reports came out a few days ago that the Washington front office was not looking to blow up the team after failing to reach the Conference Final.


The Jets only had three signings on Friday. Their most significant one was bringing in forward Shawn Matthias from Colorado on a two-year deal. Matthias is a big center who is an excellent penalty killer and can provide offensive support.

The summer is still long so there is sure to be more signings and moves as the summer moves on. We will do our best here at Tha Sports Junkies 101 to keep you up to date on the latest NHL news. In the meantime, get some rest. It’s been a crazy day.