After the Taylor Hall sweepstakes ended with Hall signing a one-year contract with the Buffalo Sabres for $8 million on Sunday night, the Alex Pietrangelo sweepstakes concluded on Monday night. In order for that signing to occur, the signing team had to make a salary cap space-clearing move as well. The New York Islanders were quite busy on Monday and the Colorado Avalanche replaced the recently traded Nikita Zadorov on their blue line.
The Boston Bruins are poking around for a defenseman but once again they watched their arch-rival improve. That and more in the latest Boston Hockey Now Puck Links:
Alex Pietrangelo Has Been Knighted
The biggest rumor of the free agent season came to fruition Monday night as the Vegas Golden Knights signed the most coveted unrestricted free agent on the market, Alex Pietrangelo. The former St. Louis Blues captain and 2019 Stanley Cup champion signed a $61.6 million, seven-year contract with the Knights that carries an $8.8 million annual salary cap hit through 2027. It’s the fifth-biggest cap hit for a defenceman in the NHL.
In order to facilitate that signing, the Knights traded defenseman Nate Schmidt to the Vancouver Canucks for a 2021 third round draft pick. Our friends at Puckpedia have all the cap implications for the Knights from the two transactions.
Bruins Almost Helped Alex Pietrangelo
As reported here on Monday, the Bruins are interested in acquiring Florida Panthers defenseman MacKenzie Weegar and they almost did so by being a third team involved in the Schmidt trade. The Bruins and Jets were both involved in talks with the Knights and Panthers as Schmidt was almost dealt to Florida before going to Vancouver. The Bruins interest remains but there was no word late Monday night on whether new Panthers General Manager Bill Zito and Bruins GM Don Sweeney were trying to work out a new deal.
Habs Keep Getting Better
After acquiring and then signing a Bruins trade target in forward Josh Anderson Friday and Saturday, the Montreal Canadiens scooped up another player the Bruins have tried to trade for in the past and were interested in signing this offseason. The Habs signed two-time Stanley Cup champion Tyler Toffoli to a four-year, $17 million contract that carries a $4.2 million salary cap hit.
Another Bruins UFA Target Off The Board
Another player the Bruins had an interest in heading into this offseason was defenseman Erik Gustafsson. Well, erase another of the target chalkboard because the Philadelphia Flyers signed the defenseman to a one-year contract worth $3 million on Monday. The puck-moving, left-shot defenseman had 23 assists and 29 points in 66 games this past season that was split between the Calgary Flames (seven games) and the Chicago Blackhawks (59 games).
Islanders Trade Toews, Sign Schneider
The Islanders traded defenseman Devon Toews to the Avalanche for second round picks in 2021 and 2022. Christian Arnold of NYI Hockey Now has the Islanders side covered and Adrian Dater of Colorado Hockey Now looks at the Avalanche side.
The Islanders also signed recently bought out goalie Corey Schneider.
Av’s Welcome Saad, Sign RFA Graves
The Avalanche officially welcomed in two-time Stanley Cup champion Brandon Saad after acquiring him on Sunday. The Av’s also re-sgned top RFA defenseman and 2019-20 plus/minus leader Ryan Graves.