Everyone, NHL free agency is upon us! When the clock strikes 11 a.m. Central today, Twitter will be flooded with news of countless free agent signings, most of which you’ve probably already heard of by now.
Looks like Joe Pavelski will sign a three-year contract with Dallas tomorrow. Sounds like the AAV will be in the neighborhood of $7M.— David Pagnotta (@TheFourthPeriod) July 1, 2019
But wait, it gets better. Corey Perry is also expected to sign with Dallas, a dream come true for every Stars fan out there:
Make sure to keep one tab open on Defending Big D today, as we’ll keep you up-to-date on all of the latest Stars news.
ICYMI, the Stars’ bought out Valeri Nichushkin’s contract this weekend, clearing more than $2 million in cap space:
Here's what I wrote on Nichushkin's buyout yesterday https://t.co/GHHGClwvNL— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) June 30, 2019
Meanwhile, Mats Zuccarello, the Stars’ popular acquisition at the trade deadline, is expected to sign with the Minnesota Wild alongside Ryan Hartman:
In addition to Mats Zuccarello coming to the #mnwild on a five-year deal at a shade north of $6 million annually, #mnwild looking to add Ryan Hartman on a two-year deal at a shade under $2 million annually— Michael Russo (@RussoHockey) July 1, 2019
Free agency opens at 11 a.m. CT Monday
Let’s take a brief pause from UFA mania and give some attention to the Stars’ younger players, such as new prospect Tye Felhaber:
Around the League
The Central Division arms race is merciless this offseason. Matt Duchene will be joining the Nashville Predators, and for a relatively cheap cost too:
It sounds like Matt Duchene will join the #preds. Expect his contract to come in with an $8M AAV.— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) July 1, 2019
The Chicago Blackhawks meanwhile get, uhh, Andrew Shaw?
The Canadiens have acquired Chicago’s 2nd round pick and 7th round pick in 2020, and the Blackhawks’ 3rd round pick in 2021, in return for forward Andrew Shaw and the Canadiens’ 7th round pick in 2021.— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) June 30, 2019
DETAILS ➡️ https://t.co/4BhpDBFbNX#GoHabsGo
Some ideas on what to expect tomorrow: https://t.co/AkMdumWOqI— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) July 1, 2019
There’s no official word on Artemi Panarin, but the expectation at this point is the New York Islanders:
12 hours until free agency and Panarin declined to sign with CBJ. If he chooses the #Isles, it's expected to be a 7-year deal worth $12-12.5 million per. We'll see what the morning brings. Also expect that Anders Lee and Robin Lehner will be moving on.— Arthur Staple (@StapeAthletic) July 1, 2019
That loss will sting the worst for the Columbus Blue Jackets, but you can’t blame them for not trying:
Blue Jackets still don’t want to let Artemi Panarin go, offering a massive deal that could be as high as $100 million for eight years, or $12.5 million per season. From @aportzline: https://t.co/Ifjyutehqw— The Athletic NHL (@TheAthleticNHL) July 1, 2019
Finally, remember to take a step back every now and then and just bask in the craziness that is NHL free agency:
An NHL GM on what he’s trying to accomplish today: “I’m trying to move out bad contracts so I can give out some more tomorrow.”— Gord Miller (@GMillerTSN) June 30, 2019
“Teams can’t discuss contract specifics with free agents until July 1” is the “I have read and agree to the terms and conditions” of NHL rules.— Down Goes Brown (@DownGoesBrown) July 1, 2019