Winners And Losers Of 2022 NHL Offseason

Photo: Silver Seven Sens

With most of the major NHL moves in the books for the offseason, teams improved, made their rosters worse, or stayed the same. NoVa Caps looks at the teams that won and lost the offseason.

WINNERS

Detroit Red Wings

After naming former Tampa Bay Lightning assistant Derek Lalonde to be their next head coach, the Red Wings added defensemen Mark Pysyk (three goals, 12 points, a -4 rating, 46.05% five-on-five Corsi-for percentage, 44.35% five-on-five expected goals-for percentage, and a 45.86% five-on-five scoring chances-for percentage in 68 games with the Buffalo Sabres last season), Ben Chiarot (nine goals, 26 goals, a -14 rating, 49.19% five-on-five Corsi-for percentage, 48.14% five-on-five expected goals-for percentage, and 49.24% five-on-five scoring chances-for percentage in 74 regular-season games with the Canadiens and Panthers in the regular season in addition to one assist in 10 postseason games), Olli Maatta (a goal, eight points, +17 rating, 52.81% five-on-five Corsi-for percentage, 52.77% five-on-five expected goals-for percentage, and 52.5% five-on-five scoring chances-for percentage in 76 regular-season games but did not get on the scoresheet in seven postseason games with the Los Angeles Kings). Though, Pysyk will be out until sometime between late November and January with a torn Achilles tendon.

Up front, they brought in right-wings Austin Czarnik (two goals and seven points in 17 games with the New York Islanders and Seattle Kraken) and Dominik Kubalik (15 goals and 32 points in 78 games with the Blackhawks but signed for just $2.5 million over two seasons), left-wing David Perron (27 goals, 57 points in 67 games with the St. Louis Blues), and center Andrew Copp (set NHL career-highs in goals with 21, assists with 32, and points with 53 in 72 games with the Winnipeg Jets and New York Rangers before earning six goals and 14 points in 20 Stanley Cup Playoff games).

They also signed goaltender Villie Husso (though overpaid for him at three years and $4.75 million per) after he went 25-7-6 (19th in the NHL in wins) with a .919 save percentage (tied for sixth), 2.56 goals-against average (12th), and two shutouts in his second NHL campaign with the Blues. He also went 2-5 with an .890 save percentage and a 3.67 goals-against average in seven Stanley Cup Playoff outings.

While the Red Wings added a lot of pieces, they lost just back-up goaltender Thomas Greiss, head coach Jeff Blashill, the 73rd overall pick in 2022 NHL Draft, and defenseman Marc Staal.

Ottawa Senators

The Senators signed right-wing Claude Giroux to a three-year contract after the 34-year-old tallied 21 goals and 65 points in 75 games with the Philadelphia Flyers and Florida Panthers, including three goals and 23 points in 18 games after being dealt to Florida on March 20. Giroux added three goals and eight points in 10 postseason appearances. In addition, they acquired right-wing Alex DeBrincat, who tallied 41 goals (for the second time in his five-season career) and 78 points in 82 games with the Blackhawks, without giving up any roster players and re-signed center Josh Norris (35 goals and 55 points in 66 games).

They also traded goaltender Filip Gustavsson to the Minnesota Wild for starter Cam Talbot, who went 32-12-4 with a .911 save percentage, 2.77 goals-against average, and three shutouts in 2021-22.

The team is still in the market for a defenseman and could be the favorite to land Jacob Chychrun from the Arizona Coyotes before training camp. They lost center Chris Tierney, defenseman Victor Mete, right-wing Connor Brown, center Colin White, center Adam Gaudette, defenseman Michael Del Zotto, and goaltender Matt Murray in addition to Gustavsson.

Calgary Flames

Have we ever seen anything like what the Flames have done this offseason? After losing left-wing Johnny Gaudreau, who was tied for second in the NHL in scoring last season with 115 points (40 goals), in free agency and restricted free agent right-wing Matthew Tkachuk, who was second on the team with 104 points (42 goals), informed the team he would not re-sign in Calgary long-term, they acquired left-wing Jonathan Huberdeau (who tied Gaudreau for second in points and led the league with 85 assists in 80 regular-season games before adding one goal and five points in 10 postseason games with the Florida Panthers last season). Huberdeau signed an eight-year contract extension that carries a $10.5 million cap hit. They were also able to sign center Nazem Kadri, who set career-highs in assists (59) and points (87) in 71 regular-season games with the Avalanche, without overpaying significantly for him. He also earned seven goals and 15 points in 16 Stanley Cup Playoff games.

On defense, they acquired MacKenzie Weegar, who earned eight goals, 44 points, a +40 rating (ninth), 57.61% five-on-five Corsi-for percentage, 57.27% five-on-five expected goals-for percentage, and 58.44% five-on-five scoring chances-for percentage in 80 regular-season games, in the trade that sent Tkachuk to Florida. The addition gives the Flames arguably the deepest blueline in the NHL and one of the top shutdown pairs as he is expected to slide next to Chris Tanev.

The Flames were also able to re-sign left-wing Andrew Mangiapane to a three-year contract that carries a reasonable $5.8 million cap hit after the 26-year-old put up 35 goals and 55 points in 82 regular-season games before recording three goals and six points in 12 postseason outings; defenseman Oliver Kylington, who earned nine goals, 31 points, a +34 rating, 54.03% five-on-five Corsi-for percentage, 54.93% five-on-five expected goals-for percentage, and  56.38% five-on-five scoring chances-for percentage in 73 regular-season games before putting up tallied a goal, three points, and +5 rating in 12 postseason tilts, to a two-year contract that contains a $2.5 million cap hit; and defenseman Nikita Zadorov, who earned four goals, 22 points, a +22 rating, 59.24% five-on-five Corsi-for percentage (third on his team), 55.42% five-on-five expected goals-for percentage, and 57.26% five-on-five scoring chances-for percentage in 74 regular-season games, to a two-year contract that has a $3.75 million cap hit.

To accommodate Kadri, the team also dumped center Sean Monahan’s contract (one year, $6.35 million) to the Montreal Canadiens, though it cost them a first-round pick to offload. The Flames retained Trevor Lewis, who notched notched six goals and 16 points in 80 regular-season games and two goals and five points in 12 postseason games, and added center Kevin Rooney, who scored six goals and 12 points in 61 regular-season games and two assists in 15 postseason outings with the Rangers, to their fourth-line.

On top of Gaudreau and Monahan, the Flames lost left-wing Calle Jarnkrok and right-wing Ryan Carpenter.

Honorable Mentions: Washington Capitals, Seattle Kraken

LOSERS

Florida Panthers

Due to limited NHL salary cap space, the Panthers lost Chiarot, Giroux, center Noel Acciari, and right-wing Mason Marchment. In addition, they took very risky gambles in naming Paul Maurice head coach and parting with Andrew Brunette, who led them to the Presidents’ Trophy after finishing 51-18-6 since taking over for Joel Quenneville (who resigned on October 28 after meeting with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman regarding his role in the Blackhawks’ 2010 sexual assault scandal). The other gamble was trading Huberdeau, Weegar, center prospect Cole Schwindt, and a 2025 lottery-protected first-round pick to the Flames for Tkachuk and a 2025 fourth-round pick after Huberdeau was one of the league’s top scorers last season.

The Flames signed Tkachuk to an eight-year contract ($9.5 million cap hit) before dealing him to the Sunshine state. While the trade could end up benefitting the Panthers more in the long run as Tkachuk is just 24, it probably does not make them a better team for this season as they also lost a top-pairing defenseman in the deal.

With the cap crunch, the Panthers brought in White (three goals and 10 points in 24 games) on a one-year, $1.2 million contract; Tierney (six goals and 18 points in 70 games) on a one-year, $750,000 contract; center Nick Cousins (nine goals and 22 points in 68 regular-season games with the Nashville Predators) on a two-year contract, $1.1 million cap hit; and left-wing Rudolfs Balcers (11 goals and 23 points in 61 games with the San Jose Sharks) on a one-year, $750,000 contract to help out on offense.

On the blueline, the Panthers acquired Del Zotto (three goals, 13 points, -3 rating, 47.62% five-on-five Corsi-for percentage, 47.02% five-on-five expected goals-for percentage, and 47.12% five-on-five scoring chances-for percentage in 26 games) and Staal (three goals, 13 points, a -3 rating, a 47.62% five-on-five Corsi-for percentage, 47.02% five-on-five expected goals-for percentage, and 47.12% five-on-five scoring chances-for percentage in 26 games) to one-year, $750,000 contracts.

Defenseman Lucas Carlsson and Anthony Bitetto in addition to goaltender Alex Lyon were all brought in on one-year, two-way contracts.

The Panthers turned arguably the deepest roster in the NHL into a very top-heavy one at all positions.

Chicago Blackhawks

It is understandable that the Blackhawks wiped the slate clean after falling way short of expectations last season but aren’t even doing it right.

After naming former Montreal Canadiens assistant coach Luke Richardson the bench boss, the team traded DeBrincat in addition to center Kirby Dach for only future assets and lost Kubalik on top of center Dylan Strome, who scored 22 goals and 48 points in 69 games, for nothing as they didn’t qualify either pending restricted free agent.

They did not gain any significant pieces as they landed goaltender Alex Stalock (.872 save percentage and a 4.04 goals-against average in 12 AHL games) on a one-year, $750,000 contract; right-wing Andreas Athanasiou (11 goals and 17 points in 28 regular-season games before notching a goal in six postseason games with the Los Angeles Kings) on a one-year, $3 million contract; center  Max Domi (11 goals and 39 points in 72 regular-season games with the Columbus Blue Jackets and Carolina Hurricanes before tallying three goals and six points in 14 postseason outings) on a one-year, $3 million contract; Petr Mrazek (12-6-0 record, an .888 save percentage, and a 3.34 goals-against average in 20 NHL games) in a trade with the Toronto Maple Leafs; right-wing Buddy Robinson (one goal and six points in 32 games with the Anaheim Ducks) on a one-year, $750,000 contract; and defenseman Jack Johnson (a goal, nine points, +5 rating, 47.72% five-on-five Corsi-for percentage, 46.63% five-on-five expected goals-for percentage, and 48.95% five-on-five scoring chances-for percentage in 74 regular-season games before putting up a +1 rating in 13 postseason contests for the Stanley Cup Champion Colorado Avalanche) on a one-year, $950,000 pact.

On the bright side, the Blackhawks went from having no first-round picks in the NHL Draft due to the trade that lured in defenseman Seth Jones from the Blue Jackets last July to acquiring 7th, 16th, 25th, 39th, 66th overall picks this past July in addition to a 2024 third-round pick.

It appears as if center Jonathan Toews and left-wing Patrick Kane, who are both entering the final years of their respective contracts, could be dealt out of Chicago before the 2023 NHL Trade Deadline.

Vegas Golden Knights

Even after the news that right-wing Phil Kessel (who tallied eight goals and 52 points in 82 games with the Coyotes) signed in Vegas on a nice one-year, $1.5 million contract on Wednesday night, the Golden Knights lost two top-six forwards in left-wing Max Pacioretty (19 goals and 37 points in 39 games) and right-wing Evgenii Dadonov (20 goals and 43 points in 78 games) for nothing.

They also had to give up a 24-year-old defenseman in Dylan Coghlan (three goals, 13 points, a -5 rating, 53.15% five-on-five Corsi-for percentage, 52.37% five-on-five expected goals-for percentage, and a 50% five-on-five expected scoring chances-for percentage in 59 games) to get the Hurricanes to take Pacioretty.

Though re-signing right-wing Reilly Smith and replacing head coach Pete DeBoer with Bruce Cassidy were good moves, the loss of starting goaltender Robin Lehner for the season after he underwent hip surgery will sting as they lack a No. 1 goalie. It appears as if they will start the season with a rookie in Logan Thompson and back-up Laurent Brossoit as their tandem in net.

The Golden Knights also lost left-wing Mattias Janmark and signed goaltender Michael Hutchinson in free agency.

Honorable Mentions: Winnipeg Jets, Minnesota Wild

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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3 Responses to Winners And Losers Of 2022 NHL Offseason

  1. novafyre says:

    I’d have to add the Lightning to the losers list. They lost not just good players but also locker room leaders. They have really emphasized that they are a family, and I have to wonder if all these player losses will have an effect. They also lost Lalonde.

    • Harrison Brown says:

      They retained a lot of key players, which is why they aren’t listed.

      • novafyre says:

        And as a fan of theirs, I hope they aren’t losers. But to me the people they lost this year are different than in previous years and I’m not sure that the replacements can/will fill the gaps. So while I don’t want to call them losers, I certainly don’t feel that they improved, and am worried that they didn’t even stay the same.

        I guess I’m focusing more on your first paragraph (With most of the major NHL moves in the books for the offseason, teams improved, made their rosters worse, or stayed the same. NoVa Caps looks at the teams that won and lost the offseason.) and less on the headline (Winners And Losers Of 2022 NHL Offseason). I worry that they made their rosters worse.

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