2017 NHL Free Agency Frenzy: Day 1 Recap

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At noon Eastern Time, NHL Free Agency began.  It is one of the most exciting days in hockey’s calendar year.

Many players are changing teams and some are re-signing new contracts with their current clubs.

Which clubs have been the most active in Day 1 of Free Agency?  Which clubs have improved dramatically?  Let’s dive into the biggest moves made at the beginning of NHL Free Agency.

SHARKS ARE BUSY

Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau’s returns to the Sharks have been up in the air.  However, it appears that Thornton is re-signing with the Sharks for 1 year.  Patrick Marleau is mulling 3-4 options and has not signed with any club yet.

In addition to the news surrounding Thornton and Marleau, the Sharks gave defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic and goaltender Martin Jones lengthy contract extensions.

CAPITALS LOSSES

The Washington Capitals have lost a handful of players in NHL Free Agency.  Defenseman Karl Alzner inked a 5-year deal with the Montreal Canadiens, defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk inked a 4-year deal with the New York Rangers, and forward Justin Williams inked a 2-year deal with the Carolina Hurricanes.

While the Capitals have had a handful of losses, they have re-signed defenseman Dmitry Orlov to a long-term deal and have also handed forward Brett Connolly a short extension.

The Capitals still need to hand out extensions to restricted free agents Andre Burakovsky, Evgeny Kuznetsov, and Philipp Grubauer.

PREDATORS RE-TOOLING

The Nashville Predators are re-tooling their roster with hopes of returning to the Stanley Cup Final next season.  The Predators signed former Penguin Nick Bonino to a 4-year deal and brought back veteran forward Scott Hartnell.  In the meantime, the Predators sent forward Craig Smith to Colorado in exchange for a 4th round pick.

The Predators have been linked to the Matt Duchene sweepstakes, but the price is steep with Avalanche GM Joe Sakic.  With the signing of Nick Bonino, it is likely the Predators are not going be the next home for the Avalanche star.

CANUCKS FILLING IN THE GAPS

The Canucks signed a handful of free agents to add competition within the organization.  While the Canucks are in the rebuild phase, they brought in forward Sam Gagner, defensemen Michael Del Zotto and Patrick Wiercioch, and goaltender Anders Nilsson.

These moves will give the Canucks additional depth and could provide some future trade pieces.  With the additions of Gagner and Del Zotto, the Canucks brass are hopeful that these players can help spark their powerplay which was one of the worst units in the league in 2016-17.

By: George Foussekis

About George Foussekis

I am a sports fanatic. I love hockey and football, and I enjoy writing about my two favorite sports. I am a proud Old Dominion University alum.
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