Hey guys! As usual, free agency has created quite the buzz throughout the hockey community with player movement at its utmost peak. We've seen a lot of familiar faces signing deals in new places... but what separates a good signing from a bad one? Or a bad signing from one that is just plain ugly? Context.
In this article, I will be using basic analytics and player/team information to break down "The Good, Bad and Ugly" of NHL Free Agency thus far. Make sure to let me know your thoughts in the comment section below!
GOOD: PIUS SUTER TO DETROIT ($3.25M x 2 years)
Detroit General Manager Steve Yzerman probably wasn't expecting Suter to be available for the Red Wings during free agency (Chicago owned his rights as a restricted free agent) however, when Stan Bowman failed to make him a qualifying offer, everything changed. Mr. Yzerman knows a steal when he sees one... and Pius Suter at $3.25-million AAV for the next two years is a steal! In his rookie season as a Blackhawk, Suter registered 14 goals and 27 points during his 55 games played. He has proven himself to be a solid third-line center option and maybe even a capable 2C if all things go right. Therefore, I believe Pius Suter is a good, tactful signing for Detroit because the contract is a very low-risk, high-reward one. If things pan out, the Red Wings are getting an impactful middle-six contributor. If not, the deal is only for two years.
Lastly, I also think it is worth noting Pius Suter played top-line minutes for the Guelph Storm in the OHL alongside current Red Wings, Robby Fabbri and Tyler Bertuzzi, back in the day. One night, against Mitch Marner and the London Knights, the trio even combined for 18 points together as a line 🔥🔥🔥!!!
BAD: FREDDIE ANDERSON TO CAROLINA ($4.5M x 2 years)
Where do I even begin with the Frederik Anderson deal?! Freddie was injured for half the season this year. Freddie hasn't played an NHL game since March 19th. Why is Freddie getting a two-year deal?! It is not even like his numbers have been overly great when he has been healthy 💀! I love Anderson, don't get me wrong, but I can't wrap my head around why Carolina would trade a younger, better Alex Nedeljkovic to sign him. Hopefully he can prove me wrong!
UGLY: MARC-ANDRE FLEURY TRADED TO CHICAGO FOR NOTHING
This trade is a really tough pill for me to swallow as a Golden Knights fan. And it goes so far beyond a hockey perspective. Not only is Flower the NHL's Vezina winning goaltender this year, he is also one of the highest character guys in the entire league. From day one, Fleury gave everything he had to the Golden Knights franchise and the city of Las Vegas. He is a major beauty and has a huge heart! Unfortunately, VGK management didn't have the common courtesy to call him and inform him of his being traded. Marc-Andre Fleury, a future first-ballot Hall of Famer found out he was traded via Twitter. Shameful. This trade is ugly not only because Vegas could not get an asset back for their Vezina trophy winner, but more so because of the dishonourable way it was handled. People have even gone as far as to say it is a taint on the Vegas Golden Knights organization as a whole. Ouch.
JACK EICHEL UPDATES
Since I want to end this article on a more positive note, I figured I'd add in the latest Jack Eichel updates:
Saturday, July 31st- Eichel's agents clap back at Sabres General Manager Kevyn Adams, saying "the process is not working".
Sunday August 1st- Rumour surfaces that the Sabres may be willing to retain part of Jack Eichel's $10M cap hit to make a trade happen.
Rangers, Ducks, Golden Knights, Flames, Bruins and Blue Jackets are the main teams interested in acquiring Jack (as per David Pagnotta of The Athletic)
I am hopeful we will see a Jack Eichel trade in the coming weeks 🤞
I hope you all enjoyed this article! Are there any more signings that fall into these "Good, Bad and Ugly" categories? Don't forget to let me know in the comment section below 🏒💖!