With NHL free agency practically wrapped up, I went through all the signings and picked out my five favorites. By the way, these are in no particular order.
Dale Weise, four years, $9.4 million with Flyers
Dale Weise’s trade to the Blackhawks was the best thing that could have happened to him. He went from being an unproductive wing in Montreal to making things happen in Chicago. His +/- with the Blackhawks went up to 4, and he raised his Corsi percentage 4%. The change in scenery was huge.
This is a great signing by the Flyers. Weise isn’t only an underrated player, but gives them much needed experience and leadership. And at a bargain too!
Kyle Okposo, seven years, $42 million with Sabres
Okay, its a huge contract Kyle Okposo got in Buffalo. But the Islanders were never gonna give him that, and it was pretty much a given that New York wasn’t gonna resign him.
Plus, this Sabres team is really good all the sudden! This is a huge signing. Its another scorer for an already speedy Buffalo team.
Buffalo’s giving him this money because they know what he’s capable of. Sure, last year was a down year. But Okposo’s done much better before. There’s no reason for him to already be heading downward.
Alexey Marchenko, two years, $2.9 million with Red Wings
Alexey Marchenko is one of my favorite young players in league. The guy is a great passer and racks up assists. Its a cheap contract that may turn into a bargain the second year. Marchenko’s got a ways to go, but is promising and exciting.
Andrew Shaw, six years, $23.4 million with Canadiens
I loved the trade that gave Montreal Shaw’s rights. Now it looks genius.
It’s AAV is just under $4 million, which is well below what numbers I expected Montreal to offer him. I couldn’t believe that other teams didn’t match.
Shaw is a huge addition to a team that had a rough year and traded their best player. His signing makes the P.K. Subban trade look a little better.
The loss for Chicago is massive. Shaw’s a fan favorite and has been one of their best players the past four years. Its another young player Chicago has lost. Man, the cost of winning is huge.
Mikkel Boedker, four years, $16 million with Sharks
A lot of people crapped on this signing by San Jose.
It was a smart move by Colorado to get him at the deadline, but the Wild turned it around and made the playoffs instead. Ever since then, no one’s been a fan of Boedker.
If you’re San Jose, you’re signing a guy who’s produced in the past to a flyer contract. You’ve been so close to the Cup. Why not? This is a risk worth taking by the Sharks. The only way it turns out poorly is if Boedker falls off the cliff of productivity.