Grading Every NHL Team’s Offseason So Far: Atlantic Division

Photo: The Athletic

With the 2023 NHL Draft done and most of the marquee players on the trade block and in free agency off of the board, NoVa Caps grades each team’s offseason by division so far. We will also look at what may be remaining on each team’s to-do list for this offseason. With many big names still on the trade market, these grades could be updated prior to the start of training camp. We will continue with the Atlantic Division.

Montreal Canadiens

Added: C Lias Andersson (one-year, two-way contract — $775,000), D Brady Keeper (one-year, two-way contract — $775,000), Minnesota Wild’s 2024 third-round pick, Washington Capitals’ 2024 seventh-round pick, C Alex Newhook

Lost: C Chris Tierney, LW Denis Gurianov, C Anthony Richard, D Corey Schueneman, D William Lagesson, C Jonathan Drouin, LW Alex Belzile, D Joel Edmundson, Florida Panthers’ 2023 first-round pick (31st overall), 2023 second-round pick (37th overall), D Gianni Fairbrother

Re-signed: Newhook (four-year contract, $2.9 million cap hit), C Lucas Condotta (one-year, two-way contract — $775,000), D Nicolas Beaudin (one-year, two-way contract — $775,000), LW Rafael Harvey-Pinard (two-year contract, $1.1 million cap hit), C Sean Monahan (one-year contract, $1.985 million cap hit)

Unsigned RFAs: RW Jesse Ylönen

First-Round Pick: D David Reinbacher (fifth overall)

Montreal gave a shot to a former seventh overall pick in Andersson, who has only topped 23 games in one season just once in his six-year pro career, paid a heavy price for a 23-year-old in Newhook who has just 27 goals and 66 points in 159 career NHL games, and traded Edmundson to the Washington Capitals for a fair return. Although, has Newhook done enough to warrant a four-year contract?

Grade: C-

Detroit Red Wings

Added: D Brogan Rafferty (two-year contract, $775,000 cap hit), RW Daniel Sprong (one-year, $2 million contract), D Justin Holl (three-year contract, $3.4 million cap hit), G Alex Lyon (two-year contract, $900,000 cap hit), G James Reimer (one-year, $1.5 million contract), LW Alex DeBrincat, C Nolan Stevens (one-year, two-way contract — $775,000), RW Christian Fischer (one-year, $1.125 million contract), D Shayne Gostisbehere (one-year, $4.125 million contract), C J.T. Compher (five-year contract, $5.1 million cap hit)

Lost: G Alex Nedeljkovic, D Kyle Criscuolo, LW Dominik Kubalik, D Donovan Sebrango, 2024 conditional first-round pick (option of sending their own or Boston Bruins’ selection), 2024 fourth-round pick, D Robert Hagg, D Joe Hicketts, LW Filip Zadina, D Jordan Oesterle, G Magnus Hellberg

Re-signed: Kostin (two-year contract, $2 million cap hit), DeBrincat (four-year contract, $7.875 million cap hit), D Jared McIsaac (one-year, two-way contract — $787,500), D Gustav Lindstrom (one-year, $950,000 contract), RW Matt Luff (one-year, two-way contract — $775,000), D Wyatt Newpower (one-year, two-way contract — $787,500), G Jon Lethemon (one-year, two-way contract — $775,000)

Unsigned RFAs: C Joe Veleno

First-Round Picks: C Nate Danielson (ninth overall), D Axel Sandin-Pellika (17th overall)

The contracts given out to Holl and Compher, who is coming off of his first 50-point (let alone 35) season in his six full-season career, appeared excessive but the trade and contract for DeBrincat were very reasonable. Detroit signed Sprong, who has 48 goals over the last three seasons and shattered his career-high with 48 points in 66 games with the Seattle Kraken during the 2022-23 campaign, to a bargain of a contract.

The team also switched up their goaltending behind Ville Husso as they let Nedeljkovic go and signed Lyon and Reimer. Detroit may have cut Zadina too soon, especially since he counted just $1.825 against the NHL salary cap for two more seasons, but signed Gostisbehere, an asset that they could flip at the trade deadline, to a reasonable contract.

Grade: B

Ottawa Senators

Added: Kubalik, Sebrango, 2024 conditional first-round pick, 2024 fourth-round pick, G Joonas Korpisalo (five-year contract, $4 million cap hit), RW Zack MacEwen (three-year contract, $775,000 cap hit), LW Boko Imama (one-year, two-way contract — $775,000), LW Matthew Highmore (one-year, $775,000 contract), C Garrett Pilon (one-year, two-way contract — $775,000)

Lost: DeBrincat, RW Patrick Brown, G Cam Talbot, C Dylan Gambrell

Re-signed: G Kevin Manolese (one-year, two-way contract — $775,000), D Jacob Bernard-Docker (two-year contract, $805,000 cap hit), D Erik Brannstrom (one-year, $2 million contract), D Jacob Larsson (one-year, two-way contract — $775,000), D Travis Hamonic (two-year contract, $1.1 million cap hit), RW Rourke Chartier (one-year, two-way contract — $775,000)

Unsigned RFAs: C Shane Pinto, LW Egor Sokolov

First-Round Pick: N/A

Ottawa’s return for DeBrincat was underwhelming, especially since they dealt him to a division rival, while they replaced an aging Talbot with a goaltender coming off of a strong season in Korpisalo. However, Korpisalo did not hit a .900 save percentage in four of the previous five seasons, making contract appear excessive right now.

Grade: D-

Buffalo Sabres

Added: D Connor Clifton (three-year contract, $3.3 million cap hit), D Erik Johnson (one-year, $3.25 million contract)

Lost: RW Vinnie Hinostroza, G Malcolm Subban

Re-signed: D Joseph Cecconi (one-year, two-way contract — $775,000), RW Lukas Rousek (two-year contract, $775,000 cap hit), LW Zemgus Girgensons (one-year, $2.5 million contract), LW Brett Murray (one-year, two-way contract — $775,000), D Kale Clague (one-year, two-way contract — $775,000), G Dustin Tokarski (one-year, two-way contract — $775,000), C Tyson Jost (one-year, $2 million contract), LW Linus Weissbach (one-year, two-way contract — $775,000)

Unsigned RFAs: N/A

First-Round Picks: LW Zach Benson (13th overall)

Buffalo added two veteran right-handed defenseman, including Clifton who is coming off of an impressive season in Boston, and Johnson. They also got a steal in the draft when Benson fell to them at 13th.

Grade: C+

Florida Panthers

Added: C Kevin Stenlund (one-year, $1 million contract), D Oliver Ekman-Larsson (one-year, $2.25 million contract), C Rasmus Asplund (one-year, two-way contract — $775,000), C Evan Rodrigues (four-year contract, $3 million cap hit), C Alexander True (one-year, two-way contract — $775,000), RW William Lockwood (two-year contract, $775,000 cap hit), 2025 fifth-round pick, C Steven Lorentz, D Dmitry Kulikov (one-year, $1 million contract), D Niko Mikkola (three-year contract, $2.5 million cap hit), D Mike Reilly (one-year, $1 million contract), G Anthony Stolarz (one-year, $1.1 million contract)

Lost: Lyon, D Chase Priskie, D Marc Staal, RW Anthony Duclair, RW Givani Smith, D Radko Gudas

Re-signed: D Lucas Carlsson (one-year, $775,000 contract), RW Gregorio Denisenko (two-year contract, $775,000 cap hit), D Casey Fitzgerald (one-year, two-way contract — $775,000), D John Ludvig (one-year, two-way contract — $775,000)

Unsigned RFAs: LW Aleksi Heponiemi

First-Round Picks: N/A

Bracing to start the season without defensemen Brandon Montour and Aaron Ekblad in addition to losing Gudas, Florida beefed up their depth at the position as they added Ekman-Larsson, Kulikov, Mikkola, and Reilly, which should help keep them afloat in the Eastern Conference race early.

They did not get very much for Duclair but got Rodrigues, who has 35 goals and 82 points in 151 games over the last two seasons, at a nice contract.

Grade: B+

Tampa Bay Lightning

Added: LW Conor Sheary (three-year contract, $2 million cap hit), C Luke Glendening (two-year contract, $800,000 cap hit), Chicago Blackhawks’ 2024 seventh-round pick, 2023 37th overall pick, Minnesota Wild’s 2024 seventh-round pick, D Calvin de Haan (one-year, $775,000 contract), G Jonas Johansson (two-year contract, $775,000 cap hit), C Logan Brown (one-year, $775,000 contract), RW Josh Archibald (two-year contract, $800,000 cap hit)

Lost: D Ian Cole, RW Corey Perry, C Ross Colton, C Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, LW Pat Maroon, RW Max Cajkovic, LW Alex Killorn

Re-signed: RW Tanner Jeannot (two-year contract, $2.665 million cap hit), LW Gabriel Fortier (one-year, two-way contract — $775,000), LW Cole Koepke (one-year, $775,000 contract)

Unsigned RFAs: N/A

First-Round Picks: N/A

The slight salary cap rise hurt Tampa Bay as they were forced to part with many forwards who were critical to their depth. They signed a few less proven forwards to replace them but Sheary could be a very nice compliment to this team’s star players.

Tampa Bay also added de Haan to bolster their defensive depth.

Grade: C

Toronto Maple Leafs

Added: RW Ryan Reaves (three-year contract, $1.35 million cap hit), D Maxime Lajoie (one-year, two-way contract — $775,000), C Dylan Gambrell (one-year, $775,000 contract), C Max Domi (one-year, $3 million contract), LW Tyler Bertuzzi (one-year, $5.5 million contract), D John Klingberg (one-year, $4.15 million contract), D William Lagesson (one-year, two-way contract — $775,000 cap hit), GM Brad Treliving

Lost: D Luke Schenn, C Ryan O’Reilly, D Victor Mete, RW Marc Johnstone, C Radim Zohorna, C Alexander Kerfoot, D Erik Gustafsson, G Erik Kallgren, C Noel Acciari, RW Michael Bunting, D Justin Holl, GM Kyle Dubas

Re-signed: LW Pontus Holmberg (two-year contract, $800,000 cap hit), C David Kampf (four-year contract, $2.5 million cap hit)

Unsigned RFAs: C Nick Abruzzese, G Ilya Samsonov

First-Round Picks: RW Easton Cowan (28th overall)

Toronto, who made a front office change, once again saw a lot of roster turnover excluding the “core four” this offseason as they lost O’Reilly and Bunting but signed Domi and Bertuzzi to bring more sandpaper as well as production to their forward group.

They also signed Reaves for their fourth-line and Klingberg to add depth to their backend after Schenn, Holl, and Gustafsson left.

The focus now turns towards re-signing Samsonov.

Grade: B-

Boston Bruins

Added: Richard (one-year, two-way contract — $775,000), Brown (two-year contract, $800,000 cap hit), D Reilly Walsh (one-year, two-way contract — $775,000), G Michael DiPietro D Reilly Walsh (one-year, two-way contract — $775,000), C Jesper Boqvist (one-year, $775,000 contract), LW Luke Toporowski (two-year, two-way contract — $870,000), D Parker Wotherspoon (one-year, two-way contract — $775,000), D Kevin Shattenkirk (one-year, $1 million contract), C Morgan Geekie (two-year contract, $2 million cap hit), RW James Van Riemsdyk (one-year, $1 million contract), LW Milan Lucic (one-year, $1 million contract), D Ian Mitchell, D Alec Regula

Lost: Bertuzzi, RW Chris Wagner, C Patrice Bergeron (maybe?), C David Krejci (maybe?), D Connor Carrick, C Vinni Lettieri, D Dmitry Orlov, D Connor Clifton, D Mike Reilly, RW Garnet Hathaway, LW Taylor Hall, RW Nick Foligno

Re-signed: Regula (one-year, two-way contract — $775,000), Mitchell (one-year, $775,000 contract), C Marc McLaughlin (one-year, two-way contract — $775,000), G Kyle Keyser (one-year, two-way contract — $775,000), LW Jakob Lauko (one-year, two-way contract — $787,000)

Unsigned RFAs: LW Trent Frederic, G Jeremy Swayman

First-Round Picks: N/A

With Bergeron and Krejci considering retirement, Boston lost Orlov, Hathaway, and Bertuzzi in free agency and traded Hall for two defensemen who will most likely not be everyday NHLers this season.

The additions of Shattenkirk and Van Riemsdyk should help but they will likely be in depth roles. Lucic and Geekie are expected to play on Boston’s fourth-line.

Boston still has a couple of key restricted free agents to sign.

Grade: D+

Previous Offseason Report Cards

Pacific Division

Central Division

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
This entry was posted in News and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply