The opening day of 2021 NHL Free Agency was a doozy!
When the dust finally settled, 137 unrestricted free agents were off the NHL free agent market and $785.1 million had been doled out in arguably the craziest opening to NHL free agency since the salary cap era began. The NHL trade market also stayed busy with eight trades on Wednesday.
The Boston Bruins entered 2021 NHL free agency with $28.8 million to spend and reshape their roster. They signed five new players and retained one of their own. When all was said and done, the Bruins finished the first day of NHL free agency with just $1.6 million to still spend in NHL free agency or on the NHL trade market.
— PuckPedia (@PuckPedia) July 28, 2021
Here’s more on that and all the madness that was the first day of 2021 NHL free agency in the latest BHN Puck Links:
Boston Hockey Now
Before we get into the Bruins first day of free agency, the David Krejci situation hasn’t changed much and the longtime Bruins center is a UFA for the first time in his career. (BHN)
The Bruins began the first day of NHL free agency by signing rugged defenseman Derek Forbort. (BHN)
After adding a 6-foot-4, 219-pound rearguard in Forbort, the Bruins added some bottom 6 forward depth by signing forwards Tomas Nosek and Erik Haula. (BHN)
The Bruins weren’t done though and late Wednesday afternoon/early evening the Bruins made two surprising signings, the bigger one being locking up goalie Linus Ullmark to a five-year, $20 million contract. (BHN)
As my Irish compadre, Joe Haggerty pointed out, while the Bruins definitely left the door open for longtime Bruins goalie and injured unrestricted free agent Tuukka Rask, they definitely turned the page to the next chapter between the pipes in Boston. (BHN)
The Bruins definitely added tons of depth in NHL free agency but are they done? (BHN)
Two now-former Bruins found new homes in NHL free agency. (BHN)
National Hockey Now
Our man in Pitt, Dan Kingerski takes a look at the remaining UFA defensemen that may fit into the Pittsburgh Penguins’ blue line. (Pittsburgh Hockey Now)
Dan takes a look at the NHL trade market after the first day of NHL Free Agency and also gives a nice shoutout to Haggs and me. Right back atcha Dan! (Pittsburgh Hockey Now)
Before Washington Capitals goalie Vitek Vanecek could even pack his bags for Seattle, he was traded back to the Capitals a week after the Kraken selected him in the NHL Expansion Draft. (Washington Hockey Now)
The Florida Panthers have stayed focused on their current roster rather than adding new players in NHL free agency. (Florida Panthers)
Could new Detroit Red Wings center Pius Suter slot into the No. 2 pivot slot for the Wings? (Detroit Hockey Now)
The Philadelphia Flyers are starting to resemble a summer pick-up league with NHLers in Boston. (Philly Hockey Now)
Did the Avalanche actually get better by losing Philipp Grubauer in NHL free agency and replacing him with Darcy Kuemper? (Colorado Hockey Now)
How did the San Jose Sharks fare Wednesday? (San Jose Hockey Now)
After trading reigning Vezina Trophy winner Marc-Andre Fleury on Tuesday, the Vegas Golden Knights found a backup for starter Robin Lehner Wednesday. (Vegas Hockey Now)
How did the Vancouver Canucks fare on the first day of free agency? Our new Vancouver guru, Rob Simpson takes a gander. (Vancouver Hockey Now)
Is this a shot at the Bruins from now-former Bruins and new Columbus Blue Jackets winger Sean Kuraly?
“I look back to 2019, and we came one win away from the Stanley Cup,” Kuraly said. “But that series against Columbus was the hardest series we played. No question. Top to bottom, from the oldest of vets to the youngest of guys … it was a six-game series, but it was the skin of our teeth.
I want to be on a team like that. I don’t want to play for a team that just falls apart or rolls over when it gets tough. I think the organization is ready to get back to where they were (in 2019).” (The Athletic)
The New York Rangers continue to waffle over who will be their top center going forward after the upcoming season? Jack Eichel or Mika Zibanejad? (NY Post)
Besides Krejci, there are still plenty of solid UFAs left. (TSN)