The 2020-21 NHL season officially begins today with the opening of free agency at 12:00 p.m. ET.
If Carolina Hurricanes general manager Don Waddell plans to be an active participant, he’s keeping those cards close to the vest. In his most recent media availability, Waddell reiterated the team doesn’t have a lot of cap space, he has two arbitration-eligible RFAs he’d like to sign sooner versus later, keeping room for the upcoming Andrei Svechnikov and Dougie Hamilton extensions is a top priority, and with the cap remaining flat over the next few years, term will be a major limiting factor.
The flat cap has created a difficult situation for several teams. Many good restricted free agents weren’t tendered qualifying offers, and other players had their contracts bought out, granting them freedom to sign with a new team today.
The top stories on the first day of free agency always center around the final destinations for the big fish in the UFA pond, and this year there is no shortage of star power. Taylor Hall is the biggest UFA name among the forward ranks, Alex Pietrangelo headlines UFA defenseman, and there are two Vezina winners, Henrik Lundqvist and Braden Holtby, among the plethora of available goaltenders.
The available goalie market right now is pretty insane.— Jesse Granger (@JesseGranger_) October 8, 2020
• Henrik Lundqvist
• Braden Holtby
• Corey Crawford
• Anton Khudobin
• Jacob Markstrom
• Thomas Greiss
• Cam Talbot
• Jimmy Howard
Certainly isn’t making the Golden Knights job of shopping Fleury any easier. https://t.co/lPtgpv2N5f
We’re keeping a running tab of today’s transactions, with separate articles to follow regarding any Hurricanes-related transactions and interviews.
Multiple broadcasters will provide all-day live coverage including NHL Network, TSN and Sirius XM NHL and we’ll pass along any live streams or simulcasts.
Update 11:15 am: Here’s the link to the live stream:
CapFriendly’s UFA browser is a handy resource; check it out [here].
And of course there are always teams who will be making trades to shed contracts, free up cap space, or take advantage of another team’s cap constraints, so check out TSN’s Trade Bait List to see who might be on the move.
As a friendly reminder, and we can’t say this enough so we’re putting it in gigantic letters:
LOOK FOR THE BLUE CHECK MARK
Seriously. Don’t get hoodwinked by a con artist. Double and triple check your sources (my best practice is to create a twitter list of all the relevant NHL pundits so I know if the tweet is in the list it should be valid). Today is not the day to proliferate fake news.
A few news nuggets to read, watch and listen to this morning as we’re waiting for things to kick off.
- So you’ve been drafted. What happens next? There was no stage to walk or GM handshakes, but the NHL Draft was still a special moment for Hurricanes prospect Seth Jarvis. Follow along on his virtual draft day. [The Athletic $]
- The draft is over so the next logical step is to rank it for all 31 teams and pick winners and losers. [ESPN] [ESPN Insider $] [NBC Sports] [SI/THN Video] [Sportsnet] [CBS Sports] [The Athletic $ - Pronman] [The Athletic $ - Wheeler]
- Well, that escalated quickly. The NHL and the Hockey Diversity Alliance are apparently heading to the divorce courts. [HDA Statement] [ESPN] [Sportsnet]
- The Jeff Skinner trade tree is growing a new branch. The Columbus Blue Jackets traded Markus Nutivaara to the Florida Panthers in exchange for Cliff Pu. [Blue Jackets]
- Tuukka Rask goes on record about why he left the bubble. [CBS Boston]
- Last, but never least, sharing all the love for Justin Williams. [Canes Country] [N&O] [NSJ] [The Athletic $] [ESPN] [SI/THN Video] [RMNB] [TSN Bardown]
I’ll miss you, Justin.— The Stanley Cup (@StanleyCup) October 8, 2020
A Hurricanes legend pic.twitter.com/kuFxWvw6vA— Carolina Hurricanes (@Canes) October 8, 2020
Signings and Trades - Hurricanes
(Player/Term/Contract Value; CONFIRMED means terms confirmed by team or CapFriendly; UNCONFIRMED means a trusted source has confirmed the transaction but terms have not been confirmed)
Update 3:30 pm on a quiet day at 1400 Edwards Mill Rd.
The latest from #Canes President and GM Don Waddell, as we're a couple hours deep into free agency pic.twitter.com/tj8iLkDbec— Michael Smith (@MSmithCanes) October 9, 2020
Signing and Trades - Other NHL Teams
(Player/Team/Term/Contract Value; CONFIRMED means terms confirmed by team or CapFriendly; UNCONFIRMED means a trusted source has confirmed the transaction but terms have not been confirmed)
- CONFIRMED Paul Stastny, WPG, trade from VGK
- CONFIRMED Carl Dahlstrom (+ 2022 4th), VGK, trade from WPG
- CONFIRMED Dominik Kubalik, CHI, 2 yrs, $3.7m AAV, extension
- CONFIRMED Malcolm Subban, CHI, 2 yrs, $850k AAV, extension
- CONFIRMED Wayne Simmonds, TML, one year, $1.5m, full NMC
- CONFIRMED Bobby Ryan, DET, 1 yr, $1m
- CONFIRMED Pat Maroon, TBL, 2 yrs, $900k AAV
- CONFIRMED Luke Schenn, TBL, 1 yr, $800k AAV
- CONFIRMED Tyler Motte , VAN, 2 yrs, $1.225m AAV
- CONFIRMED Radko Gudas, FLA, 3 yrs, $2.5m AAV
- CONFIRMED Carter Verhaeghe, FLA, 2 yrs, $1m AAV
- CONFIRMED Jon Merrill, DET, 1 yr, $925k
- CONFIRMED Henrik Lundqvist, WSH, 1 yr, $1.5m
- CONFIRMED Kyle Turris, EDM, 2 yrs, $1.65m AAV
- CONFIRMED Cam Talbot, MIN, 3 yrs, $3.67m AAV
- CONFIRMED Nathan Beaulieu, WPG, 2 yrs, $1.25m AAV, extension
- CONFIRMED Kevin Rooney, NYR, 2 yrs, $750k AAV
- CONFIRMED Braden Holtby, VAN, 2 yrs, $4.3M AAV, NTC (4 teams)
- CONFIRMED Anton Forsberg, EDM, 1 yr, undisclosed AAV
- CONFIRMED Anton Khudobin, DAL, 3 yrs, $3.33m AAV, re-signed
- CONFIRMED Matt Murray, OTT, 4 yrs, $6.25m AAV, extension, NTC (10 teams)
- CONFIRMED Alexander Wennberg, FLA, 1 yr, $2.25m
- CONFIRMED Tyler Pitlick, ARI, 2 yrs, $1.75m AAV
- CONFIRMED Evan Rodrigues, PIT, 1 yr, $700k AAV
- CONFIRMED Mark Jankowski, PIT, 1 yr, $700k AAV
- CONFIRMED Keith Kinkaid, NYR, 2 yrs, $875k AAV
- CONFIRMED Tyler Ennis, EDM, 1 yr, $1m AAV
- CONFIRMED Kevin Shattenkirk, ANA, 3 yrs, $3.9m AAV
- CONFIRMED Mark Borowiecki, NSH, 2 yrs, $2m AAV
- CONFIRMED Jack Johnson, NYR, 1 yr, $1.15m AAV
- CONFIRMED Matt Benning, NSH, 2 yrs, $1m AAV
- CONFIRMED Justin Schultz, WSH, 2 yrs, $4m AAV
- CONFIRMED Jacob Markstrom, CGY, 6 yrs, $6m AAV, NMC
- CONFIRMED Luca Sbisa, WPG, 1 yr, $800k AAV
- CONFIRMED T.J. Brodie, TOR, 4 yrs, $5m AAV
- CONFIRMED Vinnie Hinostroza, FLA, 1 yr, $1m AAV
- CONFIRMED Torey Krug, STL, 7 yrs, $6.5m AAV
- CONFIRMED Christopher Tanev, CGY, 4 yrs, $4.5m AAV
- CONFIRMED Corey Crawford, NJD, 2 yrs, $3.9m AAV