Wow that went fast. While some signings were expected others were not. When the clock struck Noon eastern time the floodgates opened. My recap of the BIG MOVES on Day 1 of NHL FREE AGENCY.

NHL Free agency
(Getty Images)

Milan Lucic (Edmonton Oilers)

Lucic heads to Edmonton on a 7-year $42 million dollar deal. When asked why he signed with Edmonton, Lucic simply texted “97” the jersey number of phenom Connor McDavid. This gives McDavid a guy that can protect him and provide Edmonton with offense. Lucic can do it all, playing aggressively on defense and offense. Being that this is a seven-year deal, the question will be if Lucic is able to play as aggressively as he does today, three-to-five years from now. Only time will tell, but this is a good move for Edmonton a team looking to get tougher and more physical while adding depth on offense– this signing does that.

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Kyle Okposo (Buffalo Sabres)

One Buffalo rejoice! Okposo heads to Buffalo for seven years $42 million. Okposo is a physically gifted winger that plays with a big chip on his shoulder. Okposo helps Buffalo get bigger and stronger up front. This is another move that helps bolster the lineup, something that Tim Murray seems equipped to make. The Sabres add a veteran player to their young nucleus. A seven-year deal is a longtime but for a guy that is 28 and entering his prime. This was a perfect fit for the Sabres.

(AP Photo)
(AP Photo)

Andrew Ladd (Islanders)

Okposo out. Ladd in. That’s literally what just went down at 7-years $38.5 million and the trade-off isn’t a bad one for the Islanders. Ladd has consistently been a 20 or more goal scorer throughout his career playing on multiple teams. The Islanders are getting an experienced player that will provide them with offense and leadership. While Okposo was a huge contributor to the Islanders over the last few years and losing him hurts, at least the Islanders had the smarts to bring in the right guy to replace him.

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Eric Staal (Minnesota Wild)

Staal heads to St.Paul on a 3-year $10.5 million dollar deal. Most thought he could go to another team for more money, but Staal wants to win and in Minnesota he can do just that. I like this signing for Staal at this point in his career, he has a lot of success and heading to the Wild gives him the chance to contend. Staal has already made his money this move wasn’t about the money– it was about finding a contending team and I think Staal will get back to respectability in Minnesota.

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Jamie McGinn (Arizona Coyotes)

McGinn has been well-traveled. McGinn has gone from Colorado to Buffalo to Anaheim to now Arizona on a 3-year $10.5 million contract. Arizona has a lot of cap room to shore up their roster, mixed in with young talent in Max Domi and Dylan Strome. Only problem is Arizona hasn’t made the playoffs in four years and the fan base is unruly and impatient. If Arizona tunes out the fans and builds the team the right way I expect the Coyotes to be a very good team in the coming years.

Will these five moves help each team get closer to a Stanley Cup Championship only time will tell! Let me know what you think in the¬†comments¬†below…

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