The NHL trade freeze lifted, and with that, maybe a few brains melted? At least, certain deals make it feel that way.
So far, the Flyers bribed the Coyotes to trade for (possibly still pretty good?) defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere. The Hurricanes seemingly balked at the price tag of Alex Nedeljkovic, thus sending him to the Red Wings. Beyond those trades, there were other interesting moves (swaps, and signings) around the NHL. Here’s a collection of some of the most noteworthy other NHL trades and signings.
Rangers bet big on Barclay Goodrow
After trading for Barclay Goodrow’s rights, the Rangers handed him big-time term in the form of a six-year contract. While the Rangers didn’t note it in the official release, word is that his cap hit is $3.642M.
At 28, Goodrow is a repeat Stanley Cup champion with the Lightning. He formed an impressive line with Yanni Gourde and Blake Coleman.
While some possibly exaggerated the impact of Goodrow and Coleman compared to, say, stars like Nikita Kucherov, that trio was quite good. That said, there’s evidence that Goodrow was the least effective of the three.
Goodrow is very good defensively at even-strength, but his overall impact is hurt by his offensive performance, special teams play, and knack for taking penalties/not drawing penalties. pic.twitter.com/n9sEgT8wYS
— Evolving-Hockey (@EvolvingHockey) July 22, 2021
There’s no shame in being less effective than Gourde and Coleman. Goodrow still brings nice things to the table for the Rangers.
But that term could be a real problem. It’s also worth noting that the Rangers aren’t far away from uncomfortable raises for rising stars. Reigning Norris Trophy winner Adam Fox is entering a contract year, and so is Kaapo Kakko. Older players like Ryan Strome and Mika Zibanejad also enter contract years. In two years, Alex Lafreniere’s rookie deal will expire. The Rangers might look at Goodrow as an excess luxury if those players break the bank.
Oilers bring back Smith with two-year contract
Well, the Oilers are sure … uh, having an offseason.
After the controversial Duncan Keith trade, the Oilers lost Adam Larsson to the Kraken. To twist the knife, Larsson reportedly chose to sign with the Kraken despite comparable (maybe even slightly better?) offers from the Oilers.
Signing Ryan Nugent-Hopkins to a relatively cheap, if lengthy, contract might feel like a mirage.
Thursday brought more of the same: Oilers moves that probably won’t please even vaguely analytics-interested fans. To start, it sounds like Ken Holland isn’t interested in bringing back some cheaper free-agent forwards:
Holland says he won’t qualify Khaira or Kahun. (I’ve been told it’s possible the Oilers might be willing bring them back on cheaper deals.)
— Daniel Nugent-Bowman (@DNBsports) July 22, 2021
That’s fair enough, but they’re not exactly signaling a youth movement, either. Rather than going younger in net, the Oilers are bringing back Mike Smith. On one hand, he was shockingly great in 2020-21. On the other hand, his other recent seasons provide pause, and … he’s 39.
The #LetsGoOilers re-signed 39 y/o G Mike Smith to 2 year $2.2M Cap Hit Deal:
Yr 1: $1.9M Base
Yr 2: $2.5M Base
.923 SV% in 32GP
Rep'd by Kurt Overhardt @KOSportsInc https://t.co/R6fWgBm7h6
— PuckPedia (@PuckPedia) July 22, 2021
Stay tuned for what could be more debatable Oilers free-agent/trade moves. There are plenty of rumblings about Zach Hyman heading to Edmonton for a lot of term.
Kraken actually make a trade, send Pitlick to Flames
Eventually, we may find out that Ron Francis left side-deal trades on the table heading into the Kraken’s expansion draft. Or maybe there just weren’t many deals to be had? Maybe we’ll never truly know. (If the Flyers offered up the assets the Coyotes received for Shayne Gostisbehere to Seattle, then that’s disappointing work from the Kraken.)
So far, the Kraken didn’t do much beyond making their 30 picks. They did make at least one small trade with one of their picks, though. The Kraken traded Tyler Pitlick to the Flames for a 2022 fourth-round pick.
Tyler Pitlick, reported to be the first ever former Kraken, is a low-event defensive winger who played big tough minutes for Arizona last season. #CofRed pic.twitter.com/2vC79jrh9Q
— JFresh (@JFreshHockey) July 22, 2021
Pitlick, 29, carries a $1.75M cap hit that expires after next season.
James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.