Winners and Losers of Free Agency Day 1

Colorado Avalanche: The Avalanche signed Matt Calvert to a 3 year 2.8 mil and Ian Cole 3 years 4.25 mil. They lost Blake Comeau, Nail Yaukupov and Jonathan Brenier at the moment. The Avalanche added a lot more than they lost. Calvert may not be a superstar but at 28 years old with the ability to produce around 30 plus points a season is a solid addition. He also helps a ton with depth and brings a solid physical and gritty presence. Ian Cole being added to the blue line is big, a Stanley Cup champ and a player that helps mold and mentor some of those young defenseman on Colorado is big. Cole is a solid number five defenseman, played major minutes in Pittsburgh when they dealt with their blue line injuries, he’s proven to be durable and a guy you know what you are going to get.

St. Louis Blues: Tyler Bozak 3 years 5 mil AAV, David Perron 4 years 4 mil AAV and Ryan O’Reilly in a recent trade. The Blues did in fact let go of one of their best prospects in Tage Thompson, a hopeful top six forward in Vladimir Sobotka and a solid forward Patrick Berglund plus a 1st and 2nd round pick. The Blues did give in a lot but they are clearly going all in. With the addition of O’Reilly, Perron and Bozak the Blues top six(if everyone is healthy) is now… Vladimir Tarasenko, Jaden Schwartz, Brayden Schenn, Bozak, O’Reilly, Perron. I mean that is solid in itself plus the fact you still have Robby Fabbri and Alexander Steen in the mix to make that forward group of 8 that deep is very, very good. A bit much on the Bozak contract a bit much on the O’Reilly trade but still the Blues improved significantly.

Arizona Coyotes: Coyotes lock up Oliver Ekman Larsson to an 8 year, 8 mil contract add depth and speed in Michael Grabner for 3 years 3.5 mil AAV. The Coyotes now have Alex Galchenyuk, Derek Stepan,  Clayton Keller, Christian Dvorak, Richard Panik, Dylan Strome and Grabner. Nothing crazy but hell of a lot better than what they had in the past. They made the right moves, and locked in their two top defenseman in Hjarmlsson and OEL, which is big while also adding Grabner is a very solid first day.

Chicago Blackhawks: Adding Cam Ward for when Corey Crawford is out or needs a break is huge. Brandon Manning may not be the best defenseman but anything on the back end is better than what the Blackhawks had last year. Chris Kunitz may be a fourth line addition but with the aging core, and younger players coming in the league, Kunitz is a very solid veteran to have on the team.

Philadelphia Flyers: Adding James Van Reimsydk the New Jersey native back to their roster is big. JVR spent his early days of his career in Philly, and now he is reunited with Cladue Giroux. JVR spent 3 seasons in Philadelphia totaling 99 points in 196 games. JVR was a 1st round, 2nd overall pick by the Flyers in 2007, now the Middletown, New Jersey native gets to head back home to win back Flyer fans once again.


New York Islanders have to be clear losers after day one, with losing John Tavares and adding Vlatteri Filppula and Leo Komarov as well as signing back Tomas Hickey, the Islanders faced their low point this free agency. But look at the positive, Matt Barzal is a stud, you got rid of Jaroslav Halak, Garth Snow is gone and you have Bary Trotz and Lou Lamiorello doing the business now. Plus your first round picks in 2018 are going to(hopefully) be great. Oliver Wahlstrom and Noah Dobson now have a ton of pressure on them even more without John Tavares there. Islanders grade with two small additions, losing Halak, adding Hickey back, I’d say a solid B-.

New Jersey Devils clear losers after losing John Moore and only adding Eric Gryba is a very bad move. John Moore their captain, and veteran defenseman and only Gryba who may not even make the team is a terrible decision on the Devils part. A big blow on the Devils management, it is not a HUGE loss but when you lose a veteran defenseman like that in the locker room to help the Devils young guys is the biggest lose. Solid F by the Devils.



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