NHL: Top-5 Off-Season Signings


Dom Lunardo | Aug 14th, 2019

With the start of NHL training camp just a few short weeks away, here’s a comprehensive look at the top-5 off-season, free-agent signings from around the National Hockey League. 

1.)  Artemi Panarin (Age 27)

Position: Right-Wing

Contract: $81.5M/7 years ($11.6M AAV) 

Breakdown: “It’s up to you, New York…New York!” The Blueshirts are putting their team rebuild into fifth gear by grabbing the biggest fish during the 2019 free-agency period, with the signing of talented Russian winger, Artemi Panarin. The Rangers will be a much-improved team in 19/20 with the likes of new additions Jacob Trouba, Kaapo Kakko, and Artemi Panarin firing on all cylinders on Broadway. Panarin provides the elite superstar status on the wing that the Rangers have desperately missed over the past few seasons. 


Overall Grade: A

2.) Sergei Bobrovsky (Age 30)

Position: Goaltender

Contract: $70M/7 years ($10M AAV)

Breakdown: Times are changing down south, and it’s been an interesting summer for the Florida Panthers, the perennial kid brother to the Tampa Bay Lightning over the past decade. GM Dale Tallon went out and signed the one and only “Coach Q”, Joel Quenneville as Head Coach, and now has the stability in net with the signing of former Vezina Trophy winner, Sergei Bobrovsky, following the retirement of Roberto Luongo. With the likes of Barkov, Huberdeau, Trochek, Ekblad, and now “Bob” in goal, look for the Panthers to be in contention of a WC Berth in 2019/20. Great signing down in Sunrise. 


Overall Grade: A

3.) Matt Duchene (Age 28)

Position: Left-Wing

Contract: $56M/7 years ($8M AAV)

Breakdown: After bouncing around since being drafted third overall in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft by the Colorado Avalanche, Duchene finds himself in the Music City. An extremely talented player coming off a strong postseason will be a welcome addition to a highly skilled Predators lineup. Look for some strong offensive numbers from the Haliburton, Ontario native this season. 

Overall Grade: B+

4.) Joe Pavelski (Age 35) 

Position: Center

Contract: $21M/3 years ($7M AAV)

Breakdown: “The Swiss Army Knife”/”Little Engine that Could” who’s spent his entire career in San Jose becomes the newest member of the Dallas Stars, after signing a 3-year deal deep in the heart of Texas. For a Stars team that made tremendous strides last season, the addition of Joe Pavelski is one of the most underrated moves this off-season. Pavelski’s leadership, tenacity on the puck, and 200-foot game will provide the Stars with a different dimension to complement their high-tempo style of play. The Stars are a legitimate force in the West. 


Overall Grade: B+

5.) Tyler Myers (Age 29)

Position: Defenceman 

Contract: $30M/5 years ($6M AAV) 

Breakdown: “I’m coming home, I’m coming home. Tell the world I’m coming home”. Such is the case for British Columbia native Tyler Myers. The Vancouver Canucks are arguably one of the most exciting young teams in the NHL and have now added a stable, puck-moving defenseman in Tyler Myers to the fold. Myers will seamlessly transition into Vancouver’s top-4, and provide experience, leadership, and a big-body presence on the Canucks blue-line in 19/20. Really good signing for General Manager Jim Benning

Overall Grade: B+

Honourable Mentions: Robin Lehner (CHI), Gustav Nyquist (CLB), Mats Zuccarello (MIN), Ryan Dzingel, (CAR) Brett Connolly (FLA), Wayne Simmonds (NJD), Semyon Varlamov (NYI), Brandon Tanev (PIT), Corey Perry (DAL), Micheal Ferland (VAN), Marcus Johansson (BUF).

 Aug 15th, 2019 

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