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In a large, six-player deal, the Toronto Maple Leafs have sent defenseman Nikita Zaitsev, forward Connor Brown and prospect Michael Carcone to Ontario rivals, the Ottawa Senators, in return for defenseman Cody Ceci and Ben Harpur as well as prospect Aaron Luchuk and a third-round pick in 2020. The trade had been reportedly been agreed upon days earlier but would not be finalized until after the Leafs paid Zaitsev the $3-million signing bonus they had agreed to when he signed his contract. It was also reported that Ottawa was in the market for defensemen but it seems strange they would let go of two of their own for one in return.
In another blockbuster, the Pittsburgh Penguins traded superstar Phil Kessel, as well as defenseman Dane Birks and a 2021 fourth-round pick to the Arizona Coyotes. In return, the Penguins received forward Alex Galchenyuk and d-man Pierre-Oliver Joseph. It is reported that Pittsburgh will not retain any of Kessels salary and the Coyotes now have the second-highest cap hit in the NHL.
Andrew Shaw is on his way back to the Chicago Blackhawks as the Montreal Canadiens have traded him, as well as a 2021 seventh-round pick, for a second and seventh-round pick in 2021 and a 2021 third-round pick. Shaw had a career-high 47 points last year with the Canadiens.
More confusion surrounds the Florida Panthers goaltending squad moving forward as they have now traded back-up tender, James Reimer. This comes in the wake of the Panthers losing starting goaltender Roberto Luongo after he announced his retirement last week. The Panthers traded Reimer to the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for third-string goaltender Scott Darling and a sixth-round pick in 2020. It was then reported that Florida will buy out the remaining two years of Darlings contract. It was later made known that Florida landed a deal with Columbus unrestricted Sergei Bobrovsky.
The Washington Capitals have dealt forward Andre Burakovsky to the Colorado Avalanche for a second and third-round pick in next years draft as well as Scott Kosmachuk. It was suspected Burakovsky would be traded during last seasons trade deadline as his production with the team had dipped and it was rumored he had a falling out with the team. He has 25 points last season.
The Vegas Golden Knights have made another move as they sent defenseman Colin Miller to the Buffalo Sabres for a 2021 second-round pick and a 2022 fifth-round pick. Miller had 29 points in 65 games last season and has three years left on his current contract.
The New York Rangers have dealt former Hobey Baker winner Jimmy Vesey to the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for a third-round pick in 2021. Vesey has one year remaining on his contract with a cap hit of $2.275-million. He put up 35 points in 81 games in 2019 for the Rangers.
The first day of free agency saw the Maple Leafs pull off one more trade as they sent Nazem Kadri, Calle Rosen, and their 2020 third-round pick to the Colorado Avalanche for a 2020 sixth-round pick, Alex Kerfoot, and, the highlight of the deal, young defenseman Tyson Barrie. Barrie had a career-high 59 points last season with the Avalanche.
After losing assistant coach D.J. Smith this off-season after he signed to be the new head coach of the Ottawa Senators, the Leafs announced they had signed former head coach of the Philadelphia Flyers, Dave Hakstol, as a replacement. Hakstol will join Mike Babcock behind the bench. At the time of writing, financial details had not been made public.
The Maple Leafs have also signed both defenseman Martin Marincin and goaltender Michale Hutchinson to one-year, $700,000 deals. Marincin had four points in 24 games last season with the team while Hutchinson spent most of his time last season with the Marlies, posting a .910 save percentage.
Sticking with Toronto, it was reported that the team reached extensions with both Kasperi Kapanen and Andreas Johnsson. Kapanen received a three-year deal with an annual average hit of $3.2-million. He had 44 points in 78 games last season. Johnsson signed a four-year deal with an annual cap hit of $3.4-million. He had 43 points in 73 games in 2019.
Stanley Cup Champions the St. Louis Blues have agreed to a new deal with defenseman Carl Gunnarsson. Gunnarsson is set to earn $1.75-million annually over the next two years with the team. He only played 25 games last regular season but came back to play 19 playoff games and even score a game-winner in the finals. He was set to become an unrestricted free agent.
The Boston Bruins have agreed to a contract extension with defenseman Connor Clifton. The deal is worth $1-million per season over the next three years. Clifton still has one year remaining on his current deal which has a cap hit of $725,000 so the new deal will kick in for the 2020-21 season.
The Arizona Coyotes came to terms with restricted free agent Lawson Crouse. The Coyotes signed Crouse to a new deal said to be good for three years. Financial details have not yet been released.
The Edmonton Oilers have placed defenseman Andrej Sekera on waivers for the purpose of a buyout. Sekera had two-years left on his contract at $5.5-million per season. Injuries affect Sekeras time with the Oilers as he only suited up for 60 games over the past two seasons.
The Anaheim Ducks have added a mass of experience to their head office. The team announced this week that they have hired Stanley Cup winning coach Darryl Sutter as the advisor to the teams coaching staff. Sutter has 1,285 games of experience as an NHL coach and led the Los Angeles Kings to their first and second Stanley Cup championships in 2012 and 2014.
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