The 10 largest UFA signings up to now 10 years


It’s a July 1 not like any in latest reminiscence. No free-agency frenzy, no bidding wars, no outlandish contracts, no dramatic signings…no signings in any respect, in reality.
Such is the plight of the NHL urgent pause on the 2019-20 season throughout COVID-19, with the hope of returning to motion at. Some. Level. Quickly. Perhaps.
Within the meantime, every little thing else has been pushed again. The playoffs. The Stanley Cup. The draft. (Who received the lottery anyway?) The awards.
And, in fact, free company. So, with no avalanche of franchise-altering signings to report on, let’s have a look again on the 10 largest UFA offers consummated on July 1 up to now 10 years.
2019: Artemi Panarin, New York Rangers (seven years, $81.5 million)‘The Bread Man’ was a smash hit on Broadway within the first yr of his deal, driving the Rangers’ offense and setting a profession excessive in factors (95) in simply 69 video games. Panarin tied for third in NHL scoring and ranked within the prime 15 in objectives (32), regardless of the dearth of a high-end supporting solid. At 28, he nonetheless has loads of productive years forward of him. Splashy UFA signings don’t at all times work out, however the Rangers landed one of the crucial harmful wingers within the sport. Cash nicely spent.
2018: John Tavares, Toronto Maple Leafs (seven years, $77 million)Two years of management by instance, to not point out a 40-goal, point-per-game tempo. Everybody knew what the Leafs have been getting in Tavares, and he’s delivered in his typical stoic, scoring method. The large problem, in fact, is making some headway within the playoffs. Keep tuned.
2017: Alexander Radulov, Dallas Stars (5 years, $31.25 million)It wasn’t the flashiest years for UFAs in 2017, with Radulov’s $6-million-plus-per-season deal coming in as the largest contract. About midway via the pact, Radulov has scored at a 25-goal tempo, and he had back-to-back 72-point seasons earlier than slowing down with 34 factors in 60 video games this yr. He’ll be 34 years previous at any time when the puck drops subsequent, so 20-25 objectives and 50-60 factors might be his ceiling going ahead. However he’s nonetheless a harmful sniper, particularly when he’s driving shotgun with Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn.
2016: (tie) Milan Lucic, Edmonton Oilers (seven years, $42 million) / Kyle Okposo, Buffalo Sabres (seven years, $42 million)Two groups determined to show round their respective franchise fortunes paid an excessive amount of for 2 energy forwards who have been beginning to decelerate simply as the sport was beginning to velocity up. Lucic and Okposo are avid gamers, for positive, however at this level they’re depth forwards who’re being paid like first-liners.
2015: Ryan O’Reilly, Buffalo Sabres (seven years, $52.5 million)Give the Sabres credit score, they noticed an excellent one in O’Reilly and signed him to a long-term deal. Sadly, Buffalo struggled so badly that O’Reilly began to lose his love of the sport and in the end left city. Issues turned out OK for him in St. Louis, whereas the Sabres are nonetheless looking for their manner out of hockey purgatory.
2014: Matt Niskanen, Washington Capitals (seven years, $40.95 million)Management, in-your-face protection and a few offense, too. Niskanen left Pittsburgh simply because the Penguins have been about to win consecutive Cups, however the top-pairing defender acquired his likelihood to hoist Stanley with Washington in 2018. Maybe it’s no coincidence that Philadelphia was rising up in Niskanen’s first yr with the Flyers.
2013: Nathan Horton, Columbus Blue Jackets (seven years, $37.1 million)A debilitating again harm restricted Horton to 5 objectives in 35 video games in 2013-14, and that was the final we noticed of him within the NHL. A troublesome capsule to swallow for each the participant and the workforce. Mockingly, the second-biggest UFA deal in 2013 was David Clarkson’s seven-year, $36.75-million pact with Toronto. Like Horton, Clarkson was ultimately compelled out of the sport because of accidents, though not earlier than he endured two tough seasons with the Leafs – after which elements of two seasons with Columbus after he was traded for, you guessed it, Horton in a wage cap-inspired transfer.
2012: Jason Garrison, Florida Panthers (six years, $27.6 million)The hard-shooting defenseman picked an excellent time to attain a career-high 16 objectives with Florida in 2011-12, because it set him up for a UFA payday. He bounced from Vancouver to Tampa Bay to Vegas to Edmonton over the following seven seasons, by no means coming near his ’11-12 objective output. A minimum of he went to the Cup closing with the Lightning in 2015.
2011: James Wisniewski, Columbus Blue Jackets (six years, $33 million)Like Garrison, Wisniewski had the very best offensive season of his profession simply as he was getting into free company, and the Blue Jackets paid the value. He spent 4 seasons in Columbus however between accidents and the franchise’s struggles, it was hardly a excessive level.
2010: Dan Hamhuis, Vancouver Canucks (six years, $27 million)The large fish in 2010 was Ilya Kovalchuk, however he waited almost three weeks after July 1 earlier than signing a 17-year, $102-million cope with the Devils. He lasted three years in New Jersey – together with a berth within the 2011 Stanley Cup closing – earlier than heading again to Russia and enjoying 5 seasons within the KHL. In the meantime, Hamhuis delivered high-end protection and low-profile management for the Canucks.
Tags: free company, nhlConnect: Concerning the AuthorSam McCaigCopy editor Sam McCaig rejoined The Hockey Information in 2017 after beforehand working at THN from 1999 to 2010. His profession excessive for objectives in a season is one.

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