We continue the NHL’s free agency guides by looking at the central division:
Chicago Blackhawks: The Blackhawks look like they are trying to go back to what was working. Before the year 2016, the Blackhawks were one of the best teams in hockey because they won cups in the years 2010, 2013, and 2015. But in the two past seasons, they lost in the first round. They need a change and what they are thinking is “hey if we won cups with this roster we should try and get it back”. So that’s what they are doing as they traded Artemi Panarin for the return of Brandon Saad. They also brought back Patrick Sharp, as they have signed him to a one-year contract. Other players the Blackhawks have signed include Tommy Wingles on a one-year deal and J.F Berube, Jordan Oesterle, and Lance Bouma to two-year contracts.
Colorado Avalanche: Well it’s no surprise that the Avalanche need a huge shakeup as they just had one of the worst seasons in the NHL’s salary cap era going 22-56-4. So that’s what they are trying to do as they signed Goalie Jonathan Bernier, Forward Nail Yakupov, and Goalie Joe Cannata to one-year deals. Along with Forward Andrew Agozzino and Defenseman David Warsofsky to two-year deals.
Dallas Stars: The Stars have done an amazing job this offseason as many say they are now huge contenders. The biggest issue with the Stars the last few seasons has been goaltending but now that the have all-star goalie Ben Bishop in their net for the next six-years the Stars become a serious threat. On top of that, the Stars have made a bunch of other great deals. The Stars signed Martin Hanzal, Alexander Radulov, Tyler Pitlick, Brett Ritchie, and Radek Faska all to multi-year deals. Dallas also signed Brent Regner, Brian Flynn, Mike McKenna, and Gemel Smith to single year deals.
Minnesota Wild: The Wild have signed a lot of players and all to one or two-year deals. The guys they have signed are Niklas Svedberg, Kyle Quincey, Kyle Rau, Landan Ferraro, Cal O’Reilly. Mike Reilly, Steve Michalek, Zach Palmquist, Kurtis, Gabriel, and Zack Mitchell
Nashville Predators: Coming off of the best season in franchise history, the Preds made a few good moves signing Nick Bonino who just won the cup against the Preds to a four-year contract. They also signed Scott Hartnell, Anders Lindback, Matt O’Connor, and Pierre-Cedric Labrie.
St. Louis Blues: The Blues sang the Blues once again as they got knocked out in the second round. The Blues signed three players: Forward Doug Armstrong, Forward Beau Bennett, and Forward Oskar Sundqvist.
Winnipeg Jets: The Jets desperately needed goaltender help so they signed Steve Mason. The Jets have also signed Forward Michael Sgarbossa, Defenseman Dmitry Kulikov, Forward Buddy Robinson, Defenseman Cameron Schiling, and Forward Brandon Tanev.