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Free agent day 2: several big names still on the market

Yesterday’s opening of the independent player market in the National Hockey League did not disappoint.

There was plenty of action all day long, from signings to trades, including that of Joel Edmundson to Washington.

My hat’s off to the excellent work of the entire DLC team, and especially to my colleagues Félix Forget and Marc-Olivier Cook, who did a simply outstanding job of covering all the news yesterday.

After just one day, here are the NHL figures:

  • Total number of signings/contracts: 166
  • Total years under contract: 291
  • Total cap hit: $263,530,000
  • Total value of contracts: $646,417,499

Thanks to for these statistics. If there’s one site to check out for the independent player market (and more), it’s CapFriendly.

In short, that’s a lot of contracts, and a lot of money.

Some contracts look better than others, that’s for sure.

Several teams are winners on this first day, while others are rather losers, like the Toronto Maple Leafs, to give just one example.

Despite all this NHL contract turmoil, a number of independent players remain uncontracted.

In fact, several big names are still looking for a new contract.

At goaltender level, it’s rather limited considering that the best options on the market have already signed their new contracts.

Whether it’s Joonas Korpisalo’s huge contract in Ottawa, or Tristan Jarry’s new deal with the Pittsburgh Penguins, the big names in goaltending have found buyers.

Here are the three best options still available, including former CH goaltender Jaroslav Halak.

Yesterday was a carousel of events for the defensemen, as many of them changed address by signing very large contracts.

Indeed, the first thing to come out of this opening of the free-agent market is just how expensive defensemen are in today’s NHL.

Big contracts and large annual sums of money have been awarded to fairly average defensemen.

I really invite you to read the text above where my colleague Marc-Olivier Cook lists among others several of yesterday’s big signings among defensemen.

In short, this first day now leaves far fewer options for teams still looking for one or more defensemen.

Here are the best options still available.

Finally, when it comes to forwards, well, that’s where the biggest names remain.

Indeed, even though several of the best free agents on the attack signed their new contracts yesterday (be it Ryan O’Reilly, Matt Duchene or Alex Killorn), there are still some very interesting names on the board.

Here’s the list.

Of course, CH alumni Max Domi and Tomas Tatar are also present.

Both forwards certainly got offers yesterday, especially Domi.

This could be concluded today in his case.

We also note the top-3 forwards still available, which clearly has many NHL teams salivating.

Tarasenko and Kane are veterans still very well able to produce, while Tyler Bertuzzi is a rare commodity in the NHL for his Brad Marchand style of play.

In my opinion, Bertuzzi is the best player on the market. The team that gets hold of him will have made an excellent acquisition.

Finally, Maxime Comtois is not on the list, but he’s also a name to keep an eye on.

The 24-year-old Quebec forward still has great potential, and it’s clear that several teams will want to take a chance on him.

In short, it’s going to be another busy day for this second free agent day.

Don’t stay too far away from your computer/phone.

En Rafale

– A real shame.

– Another disappointing result for Canada at the Gold Cup.

– John Herdman’s troupe is really in hot water.

– Read on.

– One to watch.

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