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Is your team among the winners or losers for NHL offseason moves?

July 31, 2021, 8:23 AM ET [6 Comments]
Kevin Allen
Blogger •HHOF Writer's column on the NHL • RSSArchiveCONTACT
New York Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello still has a few announcements he hasn’t made. Zach Parise and Kyle Palmieri are still in the marketplace. Jack Eichel and Vladimir Tarsenko haven’t been traded.

The offseason feeding frenzy for available talent still isn’t over.

But we’ve seen enough to cook up a fresh batch of winners and losers for offseason happenings:

Winner: Detroit Red Wings: GM Steve Yzerman added a No. 2 center in Pius Suter, a starting goalie in Alex Nedeljkovic, a veteran puck-moving defenseman in Nick Leddy, plus a respected role player in Mitchell Stephens. And he will end up with more than $14 million in salary cap space to make deals during the season.

LLoser: Eichel: His agent put out a statement Friday to the Athletic saying he wants to get the trade completed so he can have surgery and move on. The Buffalo Sabres are slow playing this hand because they must receive a quality return. They can’t have another Ryan O’Reilly situation where they receive a weak return for a quality player. Teams are saying the Sabres are asking for too much. Right now, there are no winners in this situation

Winner: Philadelphia Flyers:
They have added Ryan Ellis, Rasmus Ristolainen and Keith Yandle who have all been top pairing defensemen at various times in their career. They also picked up Cam Atkinson and moved out Jakub Voracek. GM Cliff Fletcher showed an aggressive side we didn’t know he had.

LLoser: Edmonton Oilers: Thumbs up on the Zach Hyman deal. Looking forward to watching him work with Connor McDavid. Edmonton won an important recruiting battle. But still no goalie change. And four years for Codi Ceci at $3.25 million? He was dependable for Pittsburgh, but has been inconsistent in previous stops. One step forward, a step and a half backward.

Winner: Columbus Blue Jackets:
Did a good job of recovering from Seth Jones deciding he wanted to leave Columbus. They secured a good return from Chicago for Jones and then managed to persuade Zach Werenski to accept a six-year extension.

Loser: Flyers: Yep. You can be both a winner and loser if you decide that Martin Jones is your best option for backing up Carter Hart. He struggled in San Jose for three seasons. He deserves a chance to turn his game around. But he should be doing that with Buffalo or Arizona or another team that isn’t close to contention. If Hart isn’t sharp, the Flyers need a veteran who can step in and carry the load. Jones doesn’t seem like that guy right now.

Winner: St. Louis Blues:The Blues are restocking and the addition of Brandon Saad and Pavel Buchnevich more than make up for the loss of Jaden Schwartz to free agency. Acquiring Buchnevich for Sammy Blais and a second-round pick is larceny. Buchnevich scored 20 goals in 56 games last season. More importantly, he developed into a complete player. The New York Post called this trade “painful” in a headline. In fairness to the Rangers, they knew this trade (Sammy Blais and a second for Buchnevich) would look bad. But they are committed to being harder to play against. Blais will help. Plus Buchnevich deserved to be bumped up to $6 million per season. They were trying to get ahead of a future salary cap problem.

Loser: Pittsburgh Penguins: The Flyers, New York Islanders, New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils took steps to improve their hockey team. The Penguins made a couple of minor changes. Do we have more to come?

Winner: Alexander Edler.
He has played 15 seasons in the beautiful city of Vancouver. At 35, he’s in the twilight of his career. The Canucks were willing to let him move on. But there’s no need to feel sorry for Edler. He ended up signing with Los Angeles for $3.5 million and plenty of sunshine. The NHL is a great business if you can get into it.
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