Winners and losers aren’t just related to the teams that have done the best (or worst) at adding new players or addressing demand. Sometimes individual hockey players, positions, fans, and even entire hockey nations fall into both categories. In this edition of the NHL season winners and losers, we take a look at all that and more.
Gaelen Morse-USA Sports TODAY
After seeing so many stars leave town and this team becoming a latecomer in the NHL, the Columbus Blue Jackets have retained a star (Patrick Laine) and don’t know from where to add the biggest star in the freelance market by adding Johnny Gaudreau are from The Calgary Flame. It wasn’t the season everyone was expecting from Columbus, but it’s not the first time we’ve seen them run out (2019 trade deadline). It’s good to see a front office really trying to get better instead of just working seasonally. Good for them. Good for their fans.
2 out of 15
Loser: Toronto’s goal
Marc DesRosiers-USA Sports TODAY
What are Maple Leafs doing here? This has been their big question mark in recent years and to solve that problem, they signed Ilya Samsonov and in exchange for Matt Murray and his contract. They are relying heavily on two disappointing players to recover in a big way. This team is under tremendous pressure to win (not even the Stanley Cup, but just a single round) and have a capable squad to get there. But they are pushing it up with a big risk in goal. It’s one of those positions where you don’t want to be vilified.
Candice Ward-USA Sports TODAY
Matthew Tkachuk does not want to re-sign in Calgary. Not only does he get to trade with a top football team in Florida, but he also earns cash with an 8-year contract extension that will pay him an average annual salary of $9.5 million per season. He has everything he wants and can now play with Alexander Barkov for a potential Stanley Cup contender.
Jerome Miron-USA Sports TODAY
This is very difficult to find. In what has been a fragile crop for defenders, John Klingberg enters the season as the top available defender on the free agent market. He changed agents after not signing a contract for a few weeks and then had to settle for a year-long deal with Anaheim Ducks. He didn’t get a big multi-year contract and came to a team that would have had a pretty significant uphill climb just to reach the knockout stages. Not a great summer for him.
5 out of 15
Winner: Second and Third Class Guardians
Jasen Vinlove-USA Sports TODAY
While the season may not have been great for Klingberg, it was sensational for lower-level defenders. Ben Chiarot and Erik Gudbranson have reached long-term deals with salaries averaging more than $4 million per season. Even Jan Rutta landed a three-year contract worth nearly $3 million per season in Pittsburgh.
6 of 15
The loser: The front office of the flyer
Eric Hartline-USA Sports TODAY
What a brutal excuse for Philadelphia Flyers. Not only did the entire team look terrible, but they showed little interest in getting better. They talked a big game about having a blank check to turn things around but didn’t want to do the actual work to make it happen. They didn’t even try to sign Gaudreau because, in Fletcher’s words, it was too hard to come up with a salary to offer. When compared to the pointless moves the Flyers have made over the past year (paying draft picks to kick Shayne Gostisbehre, buying Rasmus Ristolainen for the first pick and then re-signing him, etc.) and just makes them look really bad as a team. It’s almost as if they have no plan or direction.
Geoff Burke-USA Sports TODAY
Just three years ago, Dallas Stars bought out his remaining five contracts, making him an unrestricted free agent and the best he could do was a one-year bargain deal with the Colorado Avalanche. He made the most of that opportunity, becoming one of the best two-way wingers in the league, playing a key role on the Stanley Cup winning team, and then turning it all on. into an eight-year, $49 million contract with Avalanche.
Matt Blewett-USA Sports TODAY
Acquisitions for Zach Parise and Ryan Suter created a massive salary cap crisis here and resulted in the trades of Kevin Fiala and Cam Talbot this season, while they were unable to add anyone else due to extremely small budgets. that they have to work for the next three years many years. It’s still got to be a good team with talent still coming back and on the roster, but it’s not as good as it was a year ago. In a tough group, it’s not easy.
9 of 15
Winner: Top Goalkeepers
Michael Madrid-USA Sports TODAY
This is referring to Darcy Kuemper, Jack Campbell and Ville Husso. All three have relatively strong long-term trades despite some possible flaws and questions surrounding them. Kuemper had a tough playoff and perhaps a weak link in Colorado, but still managed to land a five-year contract to play for a really good Washington team. Campbell’s inconsistencies and occasional struggles didn’t stop him from reaching a long-term deal to play after Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl in Edmonton. Husso, despite not having a significant track record at the start, received a three-year contract worth more than $4 million a year to become the top goalkeeper in Detroit. Let us also not forget about Alexander Georgiev who, despite a rough year in New York, gets a three-year contract and more than $3 million a year to play behind the league’s best defensive team in Colorado.
Brad Penner-USA Sports TODAY
This is subject to change at any time the general manager Lou Lamoriello around to tell everyone who will be playing for the New York Islanders this season. But so far, this has been a dismal season. They fired head coach Barry Trotz, missed Kevin Fiala and Alex DeBrincat in trades, didn’t really add anything to a bad offense. Their only major move so far has been to trade overall pick number 13 in the draft for total wild cards/projects in Alexander Romanov. Maybe Nazem Kadri makes everything look better? Right now, it’s hard to see improvement here. E
Marc DesRosiers-USA Sports TODAY
Josh Norris has only played 125 games in the NHL, but his breakthrough, the season, scored 35 goals for Senator of Ottawa There couldn’t be a more perfect time in 2021-22. It netted him an absolutely massive, 8-year, $63.6 million contract, making him a key part of their long-term core. If his early shot percentage is legal and sustainable, this could be a really good deal for Senators. But there’s a bit of a gamble there. Either way, it’s a great deal for Norris both now and in the future.
12 of 15
Loser: Calgary Flame Fans
Candice Ward-USA Sports TODAY
Flames had the best top laner in the league last season, with Tkachuk and Gaudreau at the top of the roster, and that was the cornerstone of a championship season. Now both are gone for a season. To be fair, they made excellent commercial profits in Jonathan Huberdeau and MacKenzie Weegar in exchange for Tkachuk. However, they paid Huberdeau a particularly risky contract based on his age, while Weegar qualifies for unrestricted freelancing. Must be quite disappointing.
13 of 15
Winner: Slovak hockey
Eric Bolte-USA Sports TODAY
This goes back to the NHL draft, where for the first time Slovakia made the number 1 overall pick in the draft when Montreal Canada Juraj Slavkovsky chose with top picks. As if that wasn’t exciting enough for Slovakia, then they had the 2nd overall pick when New Jersey Devil pick defender Simon Nemec. It was the first time they had two top picks in the draft. As an added bonus, Slovakia had a third player to advance in the first round as Montreal picked Filip Mesar with an overall pick of 26.
James Guillory-USA Sports TODAY
On the one hand, the Bruins are receiving Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci back to cheap deals. That’s good. They will also sign a long-term contract with Hampus Lindholm after acquiring (and re-signing him) on the term of the NHL transaction. But this is already a wild side that is showing signs of slowing down, hasn’t really added much and will have several key players, including Charlie McAvoy and Brad Marchand, sidelined to start the season. They also still have an unclear David Pastrnak contract situation to resolve, as he has only a year left on his current contract. They also have uncertainty about a new coach after Bruce Cassidy was fired and replaced with Jim Montgomery. Not a bad season, but it could be better.
Eric Bolte-USA Sports TODAY
It’s been a rough start for the Seattle Kraken so far, especially after some unfortunate decisions and misses in the expansion draft, but it’s been a reasonably strong season, and it starts with Shane Wright, considered the top prospect in the draft for the previous month, dropped with them with a 4th overall pick. They then signed. Andre Burakovsky in free agency with a strong deal and added Oliver Bjorkstrand from Columbus for just a few draft picks mid-round in a salary cap move for the Blue Jackets.