Brace yourselves. NHL Free Agency is coming. At noon, the market officially opens, but there are already several names going off the market. The Washington Capitals already locked down their biggest outstanding UFA, but they could still be on the hunt for a 1B option in net.
Before we dive in, stick taps to our sister site, Vancouver Hockey Now, on their launch, and congrats and shoutout to the amazing Rob Simpson for leading the charge. Check them out, find out more about Rob and his ties to the Canucks and enjoy the ride.
Here’s the latest news and notes as free agency begins.
- Alex Ovechkin is staying with Washington likely through the remainder of his career after signing a five-year, $47.5 million extension. We break down the deal, explain why it’s a slam dunk and take a closer look at the Great 8. (Washington Hockey Now)
- In free agency news, Henrik Lundqvist is reportedly working hard toward an NHL return, but the UFA has to wait for medical clearance to sign a contract. Ian Oland has more. (Russian Machine Never Breaks)
- Beyond free agents, the Capitals were active at the 2021 NHL Draft, picking up a handful of strong prospects. Luke Adomanis dives deeper into each pick, from Vincent Iorio to Dru Krebs. (Japers’ Rink)
- The Vegas Golden Knights dealt 2021 Vezina winner Marc-Andre Fleury to the Chicago Blackhawks for a minor-league forward, and Fleury found out about the deal via Twitter. Rob Rossi, Scott Powers and Mark Lazerus detail the trade, Fleury’s thoughts and where he goes from here. (The Athletic)
- Meanwhile in Colorado, the Gabriel Landeskog saga came to an end, as he signed an eight-year extension with the Avs and put speculation to rest late on Tuesday. Adrian Dater takes you inside the deal and how the two parties came together. (Colorado Hockey Now)
- With free agency looming, there’s still a lot of action on the trade market — and several questions in regards to Jack Eichel‘s future. Sean Leahy, James O’Brien, Adam Gretz and Michael Finewax share their takes on landing spots for the Sabres captain. (Pro Hockey Talk)
Sammi’s Top Shelf Takes
- I wouldn’t mind a Braden Holtby return to Washington if the price is right. He’s still a capable NHL backup, familiar with the locker room and no stranger to working with Samsonov. There are plenty of options, but this one makes a lot of sense to me.
- Shoutout to Robin Lehner, who took to Twitter to not only thank the Flower but also opened up about his struggles with bipolar 1 and PTSD. He has encouraged many others to speak up about their mental health and continues to inspire society with his resilience and activism.
Hi. My name is robin lehner and I’m bipolar 1 and have ptsd.I take medicine and I have a psychiatrist that I talk to once a week.I’m in the nhl program and on top of that I’ve fought trough hell to be here. And I’m pretty good at stopping pucks.Not perfect. Bless you all 🙏🐼❤️🤫
— Robin Lehner (@RobinLehner) July 27, 2021
- We’ll be keeping tabs on NHL free agency throughout the day, but expect it to be a wild ride, especially as former Capitals like Holtby and Philipp Grubauer ponder their next moves. On the same topic, Zdeno Chara is still pondering his future, and Brian MacLellan said the team would touch base to see if he was “serious” about coming back and go from there.