As the Washington Capitals and the rest of the NHL closed out Week 2 of NHL Free Agency, two teams were still at work in the late hours of Friday. And aa subsequent move they would make would shake the hockey world and drastically alter the NHL landscape.
In a blockbuster move, Calgary sent RFA Matthew Tkachuk and a conditional 2025 fourth-rounder to the Florida Panthers in exchange for Jonathan Huberdeau, MacKenzie Weegar, Cole Schwindt and a 2024 lottery-protected first-round selection. It was a wild trade that swapped 100-point scorers and also led to a hefty eight-year extension for Tkachuk with the Panthers (eight years, $9.5 million AAV).
All the while, the rest of the leagues watched the action unfold, and saw key players change divisions and conferences.
Here are the latest news and notes from D.C. and across the NHL:
- The Capitals believe that they can get more out of Henrik Borgstrom, who will be a “big project” for general manager Brian MacLellan and the club. (WHN)
- In the WHN Mailbag, we discuss if Peter Laviolette will get an extension, the reasoning behind some of Washington’s decisions in NHL free agency and more. (WHN)
- Dylan Strome is back on the ice and putting in work for the upcoming season — and sporting some new Capitals gear, too. (WHN)
- Go behind the scenes in Washington and check out some of the top moments and snapshots from Capitals Development Camp. (WHN)
- Here’s everything to know about the Tkachuk trade to Florida. (WHN)
- Meanwhile, a new era begins for the Florida Panthers as Tkachuk comes to Sunrise — and the deal will pay off. (FHN)
- After re-signing Kris Letang and Evgeni Malkin, there’s one less thing to worry about for the Pittsburgh Penguins. (PHN)
- As the investigation into Canada’s 2018 World Juniors team continues, Team Canada‘s 2002-03 WJC team is now facing sexual assault allegations. (VHN)
Sammi’s Top Shelf Takes
- I think the Flames won big with the Tkachuk trade. Not that Florida didn’t win too, but Calgary managed to hold onto a 100-point scorer and consistent playmaker — one who finished fifth in Hart Trophy voting in 2021-22, and didn’t have to say goodbye to two in Tkachuk and Johnny Gaudreau. Not only that, but they also get Weegar on the backend, who had a career year in point production, though he needs to get his game back on track after a rough go-of-it to end the season. Overall, the Flames ensured a good return. And for the Panthers, they get a much-needed change in core as they look to take the next step forward.
- When it comes to how Borgstrom will stack up, I can see him being a reliable depth center, but he may benefit from top-6 minutes down in Hershey.
- Speaking of who cracks the roster, don’t count out Joe Snively. The DMV native’s impressive run was interrupted by wrist surgery during the 2021-22 season. He will look to pick up where he left off and do what he can to get a full-time stay with the big club.
- Dmitry Orlov turns 31 today. He is coming off a career year and surely has much more to show going forward. Orlov will also require an extension as he is a UFA at the end of next year.