NHL Free Agency Day 1: Who Were The Biggest Winners?

The first day of the NHL free agency was today. There were not too many big signings. However, there was one big splash. The Toronto Maple Leafs managed to sign coveted free agent John Tavares, formerly of the New York Islanders. Once said to be interested in six teams, it would seem Tavares made a decision rather quickly.

Early in the day, John Tavares would sign with his hometown Toronto Maple Leafs. The Maple Leafs were said to be a team that Tavares grew up watching.  According to an interview, the decision to come back home was easy and a dream come true.  While there are still a few names left unsigned, the biggest free agent target is now under contract. With that, and with Tavares being the most coveted forward on the market, the Maple Leafs may very well be the biggest winners of day one’s free agent frenzy.

Not to be outdone, the New York Islanders were quick to go after a player they also coveted.  Leo Komarov, once a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs, has joined the New York Islanders. While Toronto signed Tavares for 7 years and $77 million, the New York Islanders would sign Komarov for four years and $12 million.

Finally, the third biggest “winner” of day one’s NHL free agent frenzy is the Vegas Golden Knights. Nabbing another top free agent in Paul Stastny automatically makes this team the third highest winner of day one. Coming off a season where Stastny was sent from the St. Louis Blues to a  playoff-bound Winnipeg Jets team it is fairly obvious that Stastny should make an immediate impact.  After finding great Chemistry with Winnipeg Jets stud Patrik Laine, the pair would gel with each other so well that the Jets would have a fairly lengthy playoff run.  However, the Knights would eventually end Winnipeg’s season.  With his experience playing alongside Patrik Laine, it may be safe to assume that Stastny could be a monumental part in helping develop young player Alex Tuch.

JJ Nealy

Dallas, Texas

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