Quick-hit analysis of important NHL signings and trades completed Friday, Oct. 9, updating live as each transaction rolls in.
Signing: Maple Leafs sign defenseman TJ Brodie to a four-year contract
Analysis: This deal, which reportedly carries a $5-million average annual value, checks basically every box for Toronto. Although he's left-handed, Brodie plays the right side and will presumably line up beside star lefty Morgan Rielly. He's a responsible player in his own end and is generally less risk-averse than most of the Maple Leafs' blue-liners. The money is fair, if not a bargain. The only nitpicking from the fan base might be the fact that GM Kyle Dubas now has even more future money tied up: The deal keeps Brodie, 30, on the books through the 2023-24 season. Still, combine this signing with the earlier acquisition of Wayne Simmonds and Toronto is bigger, tougher, and more experienced than it was before the opening day of free agency. Check, check, and check.
Signing: Flames sign goalie Jacob Markstrom to a six-year contract
Analysis: Bravo, Flames GM Brad Treliving, you have won the first day of free agency. OK, the term is bordering on uncomfortably long for a 30-year-old netminder, but the money - an average annual value of $6 million - is certainly nothing to get upset about if you're a Calgary fan. Especially considering Matt Murray received an AAV of $6.25 million earlier Friday, and the fact that a massive bidding war ensued for Markstrom's services when the clock struck 12 p.m. ET. This deal also sends a not-so-subtle message to Calgary's core, with the likes of Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan getting a much-needed jolt from Treliving's willingness to land a big offseason fish. Markstrom was marvelous in 2019-20, posting a .941 five-on-five save percentage for Vancouver, but the rise of Thatcher Demko led him to free agency and a giant payday.
Signing: Capitals sign defenseman Justin Schultz to a two-year contract
Analysis: The run on blue-liners continues as the late afternoon hits. Schultz for two years and an average annual value of $4 million is probably over market price. Then again, Washington had the available cap space and the Capitals clearly felt they needed to secure their blue line in a major way this offseason after inking Brenden Dillon to a four-year extension earlier this week. It's no secret the Caps are in a win-now window as Alex Ovechkin moves closer to retirement. This deal reeks of making sure every part of the roster is accounted for.
Signing: Ducks sign defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk to a three-year contract
Analysis: First a Cup, now a contract. That's how Shattenkirk - who was not the least bit pleased with being bought out by the New York Rangers last offseason - is rolling in 2020. This deal comes with a $3.9-million cap hit, which is a healthy upgrade on Shattenkirk's $1.75-million show-me contract with Tampa. The 31-year-old right-hander will likely skate on Anaheim's second pair and garner some power-play time, too. This signing also sets the market for Tyson Barrie, another offensively focused righty D. It'll be interesting to see where he lands, along with the contract's term and dollar amount.
Signing: Predators sign defensemen Mark Borowiecki and Matt Benning to two-year contracts
Analysis: Borowiecki seemed like one of the UFA blue-liners who could pick his next destination. The career-long Senator is beloved by teammates and fans as a heart and soul guy, he's a physical presence on the third pairing, and he's apparently fairly cheap at $2 million a season. Benning, who's coming over from Edmonton, has a higher ceiling but is less established, hence the $1 million price tag. Some tidy business by the Preds.
Signing: Panthers sign forward Alex Wennberg to a one-year contract
Analysis: The Panthers get their hands on yet another former Blue Jacket. GM Bill Zito, the former assistant GM in Columbus for years, scooped up Wennberg in the ultimate buy-low scenario. The 26-year-old center - who put up 59 points in 2016-17 but has failed to produce much offense since - had the final three years of his contract bought out by the Blue Jackets and is in dire need of new beginnings. He'll make a solid $2.25 million in 2020-21. Another Blue Jacket, defenseman Markus Nutivaara, came over via trade on Thursday, too.
Signing: Stars re-sign goalie Anton Khudobin to a three-year contract
Analysis: The feel-good story of the playoffs has extended to the offseason. Khudobin had a real coming-out party during Dallas' run, both as a netminder and a personality. There was a chance he would find a better deal elsewhere in free agency, but Stars GM Jim Nill forked over enough term and money - at $3.33 million per season - to convince Khudobin to stay put. The question is, how many starts will the postseason sensation get in 2020-21 when No. 1 goalie Ben Bishop presumably returns from injury? Is it a 50-50 split, or will Bishop continue to lead the charge with a split closer to 70-30? Either way, it's not difficult to be happy for a 34-year-old career backup who's finally cashing in.
Signing: Senators re-sign goalie Matt Murray to a four-year contract
Analysis: At first glance, Murray's rich extension - four years with an average annual value of $6.25 million - appears to be a massive overpay. Context is king here, though: Ottawa needs to get to the salary floor and this helps in a huge way. Murray, whom GM Pierre Dorion acquired just the other day for only a second-round pick, is a bit of a reclamation project, as his greatest seasons came early in his career. The Senators aren't flush with strong defenders so there may be some growing pains in the relationship, but four years is a long time. Maybe this all works out.
Signing: Canucks sign goalie Braden Holtby to a two-year contract
Analysis: Bye-bye, Jacob Markstrom. Moving forward, the Canucks' goaltending tandem will be youngster Thatcher Demko and Holtby, who'll earn $4.3 million a season on his new contract. This was pretty much GM Jim Benning's best-case scenario with Markstrom on his way out of town. And the price is justifiable given Holtby's resume. He's probably the only UFA goalie with starter potential, even at his age. Holtby, 31, can split the workload with Demko, who's still a little green. The veteran also brings stability, experience, and pedigree. Plus, according to TSN's Bob McKenzie, Holtby's deal doesn't include a no-movement clause, which means he's eligible for the Seattle expansion draft.
Signing: Oilers sign forward Kyle Turris to a two-year contract
Analysis: This is a tough one to project. On the one hand, good for Turris, who was recently bought out by the Nashville Predators. He gets a fresh start, a spot down the middle on Connor McDavid's team, and a solid paycheck at $1.65 million a year. On the other hand, from the Oilers' perspective, the term and money are fine, yet you wonder if they really need to be taking a gamble on a guy whose game has fallen off a cliff over the past few years. Edmonton needs to win now, and although this deal doesn't carry a ton of risk, it's far from a guaranteed success. Perhaps the change of scenery will help?
Signing: Wild sign goalie Cam Talbot to a three-year contract
Analysis: After sending Devan Dubnyk to the San Jose Sharks earlier this week, the Wild have found a replacement in Talbot. The price tag is $3.67 million a year, or $11 million in total. This is Talbot's third team in three years following largely unsuccessful stints in Calgary and Edmonton. At the end of the day, there are more than a dozen goalies on the UFA market and GM Bill Guerin had to pounce on one of them sooner rather than later in order to have someone competing alongside Alex Stalock. Minnesota is in transition - as evidenced by Guerin's moves over the past few weeks - so shoring up the goalie position over the short term with a decent tandem is a smart bet.
Signing: Red Wings sign forward Bobby Ryan to a one-year contract
Analysis: Ryan, whose dedication to the game earned him the 2019-20 Bill Masterton Trophy, has found a soft landing spot after the Ottawa Senators surprisingly bought him out. The former 30-goal scorer is hoping to rebuild his career following multiple injuries and down years offensively. The woeful Wings could use some veterans in their lineup and at $1 million, this is a no-lose situation. The fit works on both ends. A+ signing on all fronts.
Signing: Panthers sign defenseman Radko Gudas to a three-year contract
Analysis: There's no denying Bill Zito, Florida's new GM, is looking to rock the boat this offseason. And here's one example: The addition of Gudas brings in a layer of physicality to the back end and a right-handed option to potentially replace MacKenzie Weeger, who is apparently on the trade block. Gudas, the former Tampa Bay Lightning and Philadelphia Flyers blue-liner, will make $2.5 million a season. He'll also make life difficult on opposing forwards.
Signing: Maple Leafs sign forward Wayne Simmonds to a one-year deal
Analysis: GM Kyle Dubas said the Leafs would do what they could in the offseason to get harder to play against and their first transaction of the day is a step in the right direction. Simmonds, a 32-year-old who's no doubt past his prime after more than 900 NHL games, has signed for $1.5 million. The deal includes a no-movement clause, according to TSN's Pierre LeBrun. Simmonds had been linked to the Montreal Canadiens and Calgary Flames in the lead-up to free agency but the Toronto native ultimately chose to come home. It's not quite a John Tavares-esque signing, but the Leafs add a 6-foot-2 right-winger to their middle-six forward group. Low-risk, high-reward.
Signing: Blackhawks re-sign goalie Malcolm Subban and forward Dominik Kubalik
Analysis: After bidding farewell to longtime starting goalie and UFA Corey Crawford, Chicago re-signed Subban for two years at $850,000 per season. It remains to be seen if the Hawks' netminding tandem will indeed be Subban and Collin Delia moving forward, but that's what GM Stan Bowman has at his disposal right now. Meanwhile, Kubalik is coming off a 30-goal NHL debut that earned him Calder Trophy consideration. The Czech sniper's two-year extension comes in at a completely reasonable $3.7-million cap hit.
Signing: Capitals sign goalie Henrik Lundqvist to a one-year deal
Analysis: Lundqvist is headed to Washington a week after the Rangers bought out the final year of his contract in New York. At $1.5 million, the future Hall of Famer will slide in behind the promising Ilya Samsonov on the Capitals' goalie depth chart. At 38 years old and coming off a season in which he posted a .905 save percentage, Lundqvist is firmly in the Stanley Cup-chasing stage and could be an ideal backup/mentor to Samsonov, aged 23. The signing also signals the end of the Braden Holtby era. Holtby, a 31-year-old UFA, has spent his entire career in D.C., but there was never much of a chance of him signing another extension.
Trade: Jets acquire forward Paul Stastny from Golden Knights for defenseman Carl Dahlstrom and a conditional fourth-round pick in 2022
Analysis: Winnipeg has picked up Stastny for the second time in three-plus years as GM Kevin Cheveldayoff looks to plug a hole at second-line center. Stastny, a 34-year-old cerebral and battle-tested pivot, carries a $6.5-million salary cap hit for the 2020-21 season. If it doesn't work out between player and team, no big deal; Stastny is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next offseason. This swap between the Jets and Golden Knights, which involves a fringe NHL defenseman and a mid-round pick going to Vegas, makes you wonder if the rampant Patrik Laine trade rumors will fizzle out. Stastny, Laine, and Nikolaj Ehlers were fantastic together during Winnipeg's 2018 playoff run. Stastny recorded 15 points in 17 postseason games before inking a three-year deal with Vegas as a UFA.
John Matisz is theScore's national hockey writer.