July 1st sprung a little early this year as many contracts have been reported on and announced by insiders on Twitter. We know where a lot of the players are going, we’re just waiting on official numbers as soon as these UFAs become untethered from their old team.
Who They Missed On
The Colorado struck out on pretty much every big fish they could get their hands on. Despite the initial embarrassment, Joe Sakic should be given some credit for sticking to his guns and refusing to pay too much money or term to players who would’ve become major headaches in the future when this team wants to be a true contender.
Joe Pavelski is taking a three-year contract worth $7 million per season to play with the Dallas Stars (a team in the Central Division). The money would’ve been okay here, but having a 38-year-old Pavelski on the roster when Gabriel Landeskog and Cale Makar need contracts might not have been something the Avalanche could stomach.
Looks like Joe Pavelski will sign a three-year contract with Dallas tomorrow. Sounds like the AAV will be in the neighborhood of $7M.— David Pagnotta (@TheFourthPeriod) July 1, 2019
Next up, Mats Zuccarello. The Minnesota Wild (a Central Division team) took him for five years and $6 million per season. For one, the Wild are in steep decline and will be awful. Second, paying Zuccarello for his age-32 to age-37 declining years is scary to just think about, let alone what it would look like when the player inevitably drops off.
All signs pointing to Zuccarello signing with the Wild. Hearing five years and $6 M aav or around there https://t.co/icVUkU6wI5— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) July 1, 2019
Third on the list, Public Enemy #1 Matt Duchene. He’s going to the Nashville Predators on a seven-year, $8 million AAV contract. Sadly, that looks like a good deal for the Preds.
It sounds like Matt Duchene will join the #preds. Expect his contract to come in with an $8M AAV.— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) July 1, 2019
And finally, Artemi Panarin. The Avalanche were serious contenders here until the very end, offering the Russian winger an extraordinary AAV in exchange for a shorter term. Instead, Panarin appears to be heading somewhere East on a max-term deal at a lower AAV. The Columbus apparently offered Panarin $100 million dollars to re-sign, but he turned them down. Harsh. The insiders are still not sure, but the Islanders appear to be the front-runner here.
If Panarin was willing to do 4-5 years, it would have been $12.5M. But, he's getting to get the term and the $$$$. Good attempt, though https://t.co/SqI5ovTiUJ— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) July 1, 2019
Here's the thing about a $96M+ offer to Artemi Panarin from #CBJ: Another team would have to go to a ~$13.7M AAV to match the total compensation.— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) July 1, 2019
However, the contract needs to be done by midnight ET to include the eighth year.
Panarin didn’t take the offer from Columbus before the end of June so that means the 8th year is now off the table.
Who They Got
Joonas Donskoi is not a flashy name by any means, but he’s a fast, skilled winger on the younger side of the UFA class and is coming to the Avalanche on a very reasonable term and cap hit. We’ll have lots more on Donskoi when the signing becomes official and we get the numbers exactly, but he played well on the San Jose Sharks for several years and is going to be a very good second liner for the team. Offensive depth! Awesome.
Three years? Three years sounds about right https://t.co/s0HdzCqCk0— Mile High Byram (@MileHighHockey) July 1, 2019
The Avalanche are betting on their analytics department finding players who can grow into something more than what their boxcars say, and it’s a very smart tactic to choose following the massive inflation to the free agent market. Go cheap, watch them grow, build something sustainable.
How much you want to bet Donskoi doesn't even get half as much $$ tomorrow as Lee pic.twitter.com/INKYrbmExt— Mile High Byram (@MileHighHockey) June 30, 2019
There are also reports that they are in on Ryan Dzingel but that a bidding war is going on. This contract could be really bad so maybe it’s a good thing if they miss out on him.
The Other Teams Signings
Below is a list with all the reported signings that we know of and where they’re going. I’ll loosely sort by division.
Joe Pavelski - 3 x $7 million
Corey Perry - 1 x $1.5 million
Mats Zuccarello - 5 x $6 million
Ryan Hartman - 2 x $1.9 million
Matt Duchene - 7 x $8 million
Mike Smith - 1 x $2 million plus $2 million performance bonuses
Cam Talbot - 1 x $2.5 million
Tyler Myers - 5 x $6 million
Sergei Bobrovsky - 7 $9.5 million
Brett Connolly - 4 x $3.5 million
Detroit Red Wings
Calvin Pickard - 2 x something
Toronto Maple Leafs
Kenny Agostino - 2 x $700,000
Nick Shore - 1 x $700,000
Tampa Bay Lightning
Luke Schenn - 1 x $700,000
Curtis Lazar - 1 x something
New York Islanders
Semyon Varlamov - unknown
Richard Panik - 4 x $2.5 million
Toronto Maple Leafs:
Jason Spezza - 1 year
And then there’s this:
This would take away any interest the Canucks had in a Tyson Barrie trade.
There are a few trades too
Very early this morning the tow Ontario based teams came together for a pretty big trade:
Deal is expected to be announced soon. It's Zaitsev, Brown and Carconne for Ceci, Harpur, Luchuk and a pick. #Sens— Bruce Garrioch (@SunGarrioch) July 1, 2019
The picks will be a 2020 3rd originally owned by Columbus.
The two teams are swapping bad right-handed defenders while the Maple Leafs got out from a really bad contract in. Ceci has received a $4.3m qualifying offer and is eligible for arbitration later this summer. It is believed that if he chooses to go this route, Toronto will walk away from any ruling and the trade will be viewed as a straight dump of Zaitsev’s contract. This deal clears about $6.6m off of Toronto’s cap if they choose not to sign Ceci.
In other trade news, the Montreal Canadiens have cleared a bunch of cap space by moving Nicolas Deslauriers to Anaheim and Andrew Shaw to Chicago in exchange for draft picks.
The Canadiens have acquired Chicago’s 2nd round pick and 7th round pick in 2020, and the Blackhawks’ 3rd round pick in 2021, in return for forward Andrew Shaw and the Canadiens’ 7th round pick in 2021.— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) June 30, 2019
DETAILS ➡️ https://t.co/4BhpDBFbNX#GoHabsGo
Montreal went hard at Matt Duchene but have now reportedly shifted their sights to Anders Lee who is rumored to be looking for a contract in the $7m range. There has also been a lot of talk that if anyone is seriously considering an offer sheet it would be the Habs. Sebastian Aho and Kyle Connor sound like the most likely targets.