2022 NHL Offseason Grades: Atlantic Division

Photo: Tampa Bay Times

With the 2022 NHL Draft in the books and most of the key unrestricted free agents under contract for the 2022-23 camapign, teams have changed their teams for the better, worse, or maybe not much. NoVa Caps continues their annual offseason grades and today, we examine what the Atlantic Division teams have done.

Montreal Canadiens

Acquired: LW Juraj Slafkovsky, D Mike Matheson, 2023 fourth-round pick, C Kirby Dach

Re-signed: C Rem Pitlick (two-year contract, $1.1 million cap hit)

Lost: D Jeff Petry, C Ryan Poehling, D Kale Clague, D Alexander Romanov, 98th overall pick in 2022, 66th overall pick in the 2022 NHL Draft

The Canadiens did not make a ton of changes but made a couple of big ones when they sent Petry to the Pittsburgh Penguins to acquire Matheson and a pick in addition to grabbing Dach from the Chicago Blackhawks. The biggest addition in Montreal was Slafkovsky, the No. 1 overall pick in the NHL Draft.

They integrated some youth into their forward group with the additions of Slafkovsky and Dach.

The loss of Petry was big but the Canadiens are in rebuild and he is 34-years-old.

Grade: B

Trending: Up

Ottawa Senators

Acquired: D Jacob Larsson, 2024 second-round pick, RW Claude Giroux (three-year contract, $6.5 million cap hit), G Cam Talbot, LW Alex DeBrincat

Re-signed: C Josh Norris (eight-year contract, $7.95 million cap hit)

Lost: C Chris Tierney, D Victor Mete, RW Connor Brown, C Colin White, C Adam Gaudette, G Jonas Gustavsson, D Michael Del Zotto, G Matt Murray, 2023 third-round pick, 2024 seventh-round pick, 2022 seventh overall pick, 2022 39th overall pick, 2024 third-round pick

The Senators may have put themselves into contention for a wild-card spot this season as they have made some major upgrades, including acquiring DeBrincat in a trade with the Chicago Blackhawks (without giving up anything on their NHL roster) and signing Giroux.

They also shook up their goaltending, trading two netminders and acquiring Talbot from the Minnesota Wild. They are still in the market for a blueliner.

Grade: A

Trending: Up

Detroit Red Wings

Acquired: D Mark Pysyk (one-year, $850,000 contract), RW Austin Czarnik (two-year contract, $762,500 cap hit), RW Dominik Kubalik (two-year contract, $2.5 million cap hit), D Ben Chiarot (four-year contract, $4.75 million cap hit), LW David Perron (two-year contract, $4.75 million cap hit), D Olli Maatta (one-year, $2.25 million contract), C Andrew Copp (five-year contract, $5.625 million cap hit), Head Coach Derek Lalonde, G Villie Husso (three years, $4.75 million cap hit)

Re-signed: N/A

Lost: G Thomas Greiss, Head Coach Jeff Blashill, 73rd overall pick in 2022 NHL Draft, D Marc Staal

The Red Wings may have won the NHL offseason after loading up on offense by grabbing Copp, Perron, and Kubalik. Chiarot and Maatta will give them some much needed help on the blueline after the unit fell apart down the stretch last season.

Husso was a nice grab but they overpaid for a goaltender who just broke out and gave up not a low asset, but the 73rd overall pick just to sign him earlier. Had they waited until Wednesday, they could have gotten him for free.

The Red Wings also named Lalonde head coach after he was an assistant on the Lightning’s staff during the franchise’s run to three straight Stanley Cup Final appearances.

If they did not give up as high of an asset to acquire Husso’s rights, this grade would be an A+.

Grade: A

Trending: Up

Buffalo Sabres

Acquired: Clague (one-year, two-way deal), D Lawrence Pilut (one-year, $750,000 contract), G Eric Comrie (two-year contract, $1.8 million cap hit), D Ilya Lybushkin (two-year contract, $2.75 million cap hit)

Re-signed: RW Vitktor Olofsson (two-year contract, $4.75 million cap hit), RW Vinnie Hinostroza (one-year, $1.7 million deal), D Jacob Bryson (two-year contract, $1.85 million cap hit), G Craig Anderson (one-year, $1.5 million contract)

Lost: Pysyk, C Mark Jankowski, C John Hayden, C Drake Caggiula, D Colin Miller, G Dustin Tokarski

The Sabres signed a couple depth defensemen in addition to a back-up goaltender and did not lose anyone significant. In an 11-season postseason drought, more action was needed in Buffalo.

Grade: C

Trending: Same

Boston Bruins

Acquired: D Connor Carrick (one-year, two-way contract), G Keith Kinkaid (one-year, two-way contract), C Pavel Zacha

Re-signed: N/A

Lost: D Josh Brown, C Curtis Lazar, C Erik Haula

The Bruins have had a quiet offseason with the lone notable move being a center swap with the New Jersey Devils that sent Haula to the Garden State for Zacha, which was not a bad move for them and helped them get younger.

Grade: B-

Trending: Down

Tampa Bay Lightning

Acquired: Blashill, D Philippe Myers, LW Grant Mismash, D Hadyn Fleury (one-year, $762,500 contract), RW Vladislav Namestnikov (one-year, $2.5 million contract), D Ian Cole (one-year, $3 million contract)

Re-signed: C Nick Paul (seven-year contract, $3.15 million cap hit), D Erik Cernak (eight-year extension, $5.2 million cap hit), C Anthony Cirelli (eight-year extension, $6.25 million cap hit), D Mikhail Sergachev (eight-year contract extension, $8.5 million cap hit)

Lost: Lalonde, D Ryan McDonagh, LW Ondrej Palat, D Andrej Sustr

With limited cap space to work with, the Lightning signed four major contracts but were forced to part with McDonagh and Palat.

They also shook up their defense a bit with the additions of Fleury, Cole, and Myers.

This grade could be a lot worse but the Lightning are cap-strapped and after three straight appearances in the Stanley Cup Final (including two victories), they get the benefit of the doubt.

Grade: B-

Trending: Down

Toronto Maple Leafs

Acquired: Murray, Gaudette (one-year, $750,000 contract), LW Calle Jarnkrok (four-year contract, $2.1 million cap hit), D Jordie Benn (one-year, $750,000 contract), D Victor Mete (one-year, $750,000 contract), C Denis Malgin (one-year, two-way contract), LW Nicolas Aube-Kubel (one-year, $1 million deal), G Ilya Samsonov (one-year, $1.8 million contract), 38th overall pick in 2022, 2023 third-round pick, 2024 seventh-round pick

Re-signed: LW Pierre Engvall (one-year, $2.25 million contract)

Lost: Lybushkin, RW Ondrej Kase, RW Ilya Mikheyev, G Jack Campbell, G Petr Mrazek, 25th overall pick in 2022

The Maple Leafs added some forward depth, including Jarnkrok at a very reasonable cap hit, and signed a few depth defensemen.

Though, they shook up their goaltending tandem and not for the better. Getting assets to take on Murray with the Senators eating $1,562,500 was not bad but putting their Stanley Cup hopes on him and Samsonov is a huge risk for a team looking to break out in the postseason.

Grade: C-

Trending: Down

Florida Panthers

Acquired: White (one-year, $1.2 million contract), Del Zotto (one-year, $750,000 contract), Tierney (one-year, $750,000 contract), LW Rudolfs Balcers (one-year, $750,000 contract), D Anthony Bitetto (one-year, two-way contract), G Alex Lyon (one-year, two-way contract), D Marc Staal (one-year, $750,000 contract), C Nick Cousins (two-year contract, $1.1 million cap hit), D Lucas Carlson (one-year, two-way contract), Head Coach Paul Maurice

Re-signed: C Eetu Luostarinen (two-year contract, $1.5 million contract)

Lost: Chiarot, Giroux, C Noel Acciari, RW Mason Marchment, Head Coach Andrew Brunette

The Panthers signed a lot of players but none of them are upgrades over who they lost. Losing Giroux (especially to a division rival) and Marchment was tough after both forwards were huge producers in Florida last season.

Pursuing Maurice and letting Brunette go was a move that carries some risk but not an awful one. We’ll see if that one works out for the better.

Grade: D-

Trending: Down

Metropolitan Division Offseason Grades

By Harrison Brown

About Harrison Brown

Harrison is a diehard Caps fan and a hockey fanatic with a passion for sports writing. He attended his first game at age 8 and has been a season ticket holder since the 2010-2011 season. His fondest Caps memory was watching the Capitals hoist the Stanley Cup in Las Vegas. In his spare time, he enjoys travel, photography, and hanging out with his two dogs. Follow Harrison on Twitter @HarrisonB927077
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1 Response to 2022 NHL Offseason Grades: Atlantic Division

  1. Pak You says:

    who cares about your rating to A+ for Detroit if they didn’t give up a pick to get a goalie on a slim goal free agent market. There’s a reason you are not an NHL General Manager 😉

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