3 Is The Magic Number In NHL Free Agency

As the second day of NHL Free Agency begins, numerous household names remain on the market and quieter teams of Day 1 could start to put some ink to paper in the coming days.

FloHockey offers a recap of July 1, presenting a series of threes, beginning with the three heaviest contracts signed yesterday.

3 Heaviest Contracts

Artemi Panarin | New York Rangers

Contract: seven years, $84.5 million ($11.642 million AAV)

Not many would argue with the statement that Panarin was the top name on the market and his addition is enough for some to say the rebuild in New York is over. He’s a game-changing, play-driving winger that scores with the best in the league.

Sergei Bobrovsky | Florida Panthers

Contract: seven years, $70 million ($10 million AAV)

Bobrovsky is set to be the future in the crease for a rising Panthers team ready to take the NHL by storm. A consistent netminder with two Vezina Trophies under his belt, Bobrovsky’s second-highest cap hit among goalies suits his resume.

Matt Duchene | Nashville Predators

Contract: seven years, $56 million ($8 million AAV)

A dynamic center, Duchene will slot in behind Ryan Johansen as the Predators steady their center depth and hope to jump back into the status of contender. Duchene left money on the table to play for the Predators and have a shot at a Stanley Cup.

3 Most Active Teams

Dallas Stars

The addition of Pavelski, winger Corey Perry, and defenseman Andrej Sekera have bolstered the Stars up front and on the blue line with veterans who want to show they still have a lot to offer. Dallas is among the immediate winners of free agency after Day 1.

They’ll join Tyler Seguin, Jamie Benn, Alexander Radulov, Ben Bishop, John Klingberg, and Miro Heiskanen in 2019-20.

Florida Panthers

Adding Sergei Bobrovsky and Anton Stralman to a team that already boasts Aleksander Barkov, Jonathan Huberdeau, Vincent Trocheck, Mike Hoffman, Evgeni Dadonov, Aaron Ekblad, and Keith Yandle is huge.

The team also added Brett Connolly and Noel Acciari on Day 1; the Panthers will make noise in 2019-20. 

Colorado Avalanche

Colorado’s top line is among the best in the NHL and adding the potential of Joonas Donskoi, the familiar face of Colin Wilson, and the veteran depth of Pierre-Eduard Bellemare will help the young team forward after a surprising playoff performance.

That doesn’t include the addition of No. 4 overall pick Bowen Byram or the upcoming full rookie season of 2017’s No. 4 pick Cale Makar.

3 Surprises

Nazem Kadri for Tyson Barrie

Barrie entering his final year, combined with Colorado’s young defense made him a target. Packaged with Alexander Kerfoot and a sixth-round pick in 2020 for Kadri, Calle Rosen, and a third-round pick from Toronto, it was easily the biggest trade of Day 1.

An Offer Sheet

Carolina Hurricanes star Sebastian Aho signed a five-year, $42.27 million offer-sheet with the Montreal Canadiens, leaving his next contract clarified, but not the sweater colors. It’s the first offer sheet since Ryan O’Reilly in 2013.

All Quiet In Winnipeg

The Winnipeg Jets have the pieces in place to be a contending team for a while, but with cap space reserved for notable restricted free agents in Patrik Laine, Kyle Connor, Andrew Copp, and Neal Pionk, they largely watched the action on Day 1.

3 Biggest Players Left

Jake Gardiner

2018-19: 62 GP, 3 G, 27 A, 30 pts., plus-19

Gardiner took a step back offensively after a 52-point campaign in 2017-18, and he could be a key piece for a new team after shedding the media scrutiny in Toronto.

Justin Williams

2018-19: 82 GP, 23 G, 30 A, 53 pts., minus-4

A veteran with three Stanley Cups to his name, the 37-year-old’s leadership abilities and Mr. Game 7 label should make him a coveted depth piece for a contender.

Ryan Dzingel

2018-19: 78 GP, 26 G, 30 A, 56 pts., minus-9

Dzingel has been a consistent 20-goal scorer over the past three seasons, and at the age of 27 he has a lot of years to offer his next team as a reliable second-line winger.

While most of the largest names found homes on Day 1 and teams began building for the 2019-20 season, Day 2 still has the chance to be just as interesting as quiet teams and depth players continue to work toward next season.

Have a question or a comment for Jacob Messing? You can find him on Twitter @Jacob_Messing.

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