Signings, analysis, grades and buzz


Typically, NHL free agency begins on July 1 each offseason: a cherished tradition on Canada Day up north, and a pre-Independence Day festival of commerce for those of us in the United States.

On July 1, 2021, the Stanley Cup had yet to be awarded. But 27 days later, we are ready for the frenzy to begin.

While the key dates have shifted, the goal of free agency has not: GMs around the NHL hope to land the game-changing veteran who can boost their contention status or bolster their core with the glue that builds championships.

Here’s our continuously updated tracker, featuring a list of every player signed, along with analysis on the biggest deals and buzz on what could happen next. Note that the newest deals are at the top.

More: Team previews | Free-agency buzz
Draft recap: Every pick | Takeaways

July 27

Avalanche and captain Gabriel Landeskog come to terms on an eight-year, $56 million contract extension.

After coming over at the trade deadline last season, Brandon Montour will continue his employment with the Panthers, signing for three years, $10.5 million.

Restricted free agent goaltender Eric Comrie signs on for one more year at $850,000 with the Jets.

Defenseman Mike Reilly was a popular name for many teams looking for blue-line help, but the Bruins took him off the market with a three-year, $9 million deal.

Restricted free agent forward Drake Caggiula will be back with the Sabres, thanks to a one-year, $750,000 pact.

The Stanley Cup runner-up Canadiens have elected to bring back forward Joel Armia on a four-year, $13.6 million deal.

Forward Taro Hirose will be a Detroit Red Wing for the 2021-22 season, courtesy of a one-year contract.

The suspense is over: Alex Ovechkin will be returning to the Capitals via a five-year, $47.5 million contract extension.

Following being traded to the Blues, RFA forward Pavel Buchnevich signs a four-year, $23.2 million contract.

After being dealt to the Canucks last week, forward Conor Garland inks a five-year, $24.75 million contract with Vancouver.

Unrestricted free agent forward Kyle Rau inks a deal with the Wild, for one year and $750,000.

Red Wings come to an agreement with forward Kyle Criscuolo, for two years and an undisclosed salary.


July 26

Paul Stastny will continue on with the Winnipeg Jets for at least one more season, inking a one-year, $3.75 million extension.

The Flyers have been busy re-working their blue line, but will continue their business relationship with Sam Morin via a one-year, $750,000 pact.

Center Sam Bennett was quite effective for the Panthers following his trade there at the 2021 deadline, and he’ll stick around for four more years and $17.6 million.

Restricted free agent forward Nathan Walker sticks with the Blues by way of a two-year, $1.5 million deal.

Restricted free agent defenseman Frederic Allard returns to the Predators via a one-year, $750,000 pact.

Florida elects to re-up with two restricted free-agent defensemen: Lucas Carlsson and Noah Juulsen. Both received one-year contracts.


July 25

Veteran blueliner Marc Staal will continue his stead with the Red Wings, inking a one-year, $2 million deal.

Kings will continue to work with restricted free-agent forward Trevor Moore, signing him to a two-year, $3.75 million contract.


July 24

One of the NHL’s best young defenders will not be changing sweaters for a while. Cale Makar and the Avalanche agree on a six-year, $54 million contract.


July 23

Following his trade from the Blue Jackets, defenseman Seth Jones signs an eight-year, $76 million deal with the Blackhawks.

Taylor Hall’s plan worked. After coming over via trade from the Sabres at the deadline — and impressing during the regular season and playoffs — he re-ups with the Bruins for four years, $24 million.


July 22

Barclay Goodrow was a key part of the Lightning’s repeat Cup championships, and after his trade to the Rangers, he signs a six-year, $21.85 million deal.

Former first-round pick Michael Rasmussen inks a three-year, $4.38 million deal to continue his development with the Red Wings.

After his trade from the Hurricanes, 2021 Calder Trophy finalist Alex Nedeljkovic signs a two-year, $6 million deal with the Red Wings.

Veteran netminder Mike Smith, who had a bit of a renaissance in 2021, signs on for two more years with the Oilers, and will earn $4.4 million for that tenure.


July 21

The Kraken begin their tenure as a franchise with a trio of veteran free-agent deals: Goaltender Chris Driedger (three years, $10.5 million), defenseman Jamie Oleksiak (five years, $23 million) and defenseman Adam Larsson (four years, $16 million).



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