High hopes in Columbus and Ottawa

Many free agents have found takers by signing lucrative contracts in recent days in the National Hockey League.

Several contracts, however, have added depth to formations that did not necessarily have the means to play the big game of financial seduction due to a tight salary cap. Other good players still remain orphans and they could sign a new contract at any time.

the RDS.ca offers you an unassuming look at the significant additions and departures of Eastern Conference teams.

Boston Bruins

Significant additions: Pavel Zacha (C)

In Boston, it’s what hasn’t happened yet that gets the attention. The announcement of the return of Patrice Bergeron is still delayed. The five-time Selke Trophy winner still hasn’t signed an agreement with the only team he’s played for since joining the NHL. We believed that this signing was a formality from the moment we understood that the athlete from L’Ancienne-Lorette had decided to continue his career.

With the addition of Pavel Zacha, Boston is entitled to expect a production of fifteen goals as it did last season in New Jersey.

Buffalo Saber

Significant additions: Kale Clague (R), Eric Comrie (L), Ilya Lyubushkin (R)

Carolina Hurricanes

Significant additions: Ondrej Kase (AD), Max Pacioretty (AG), Brent Burns (D),
Significant departures: Tony DeAngelo (D), Vincent Trocheck (C), Nino Niederreiter (AD)

The Hurricanes have added experience to the roster with the addition of forward Max Pacioretty and veteran defenseman Brent Burns.

The former captain of the Canadian could find his wings in the same formation as Sebastian Aho and Andrei Svechnikov, who reached the plateau of 30 goals for the first time in his career.

Burns, 37, will bring experience to this team. It will be a third team after starting his career in Minnesota and continuing in San Jose for eleven seasons.

Columbus Blue Jackets

Significant additions: Johnny Gaudreau (LW), Erik Gudbranson (R),

The Blue Jackets have managed to lure one of the most coveted players on the market this summer. Columbus believes Johnny Hockey will take the club to another level. Gaudreau had his career-best season with the Flames with 115 points, including 40 goals. He will have to put his talent to use to help the Blue Jackets get back into the playoff picture.

Detroit Red Wings

Significant additions: Mark Pysyk (D), David Perron (AG), Dominik Kubalik (AG), Ben Chiarot (D), Olli Maatta (D), Andrew Copp (C)

General manager Steve Yzerman was ready for the annual free agent market. He added several elements that should have a quick impact on the fate of the team, which won only 32 games last year.

The arrival of Andrew Copp adds a new dimension to the formation. Author of 21 goals and 32 assists in 72 games last year, he will allow the Wings to move on to the next stage of reconstruction or even dream of the playoffs.

But Copp isn’t the only one who will lift the Red Wings up the rankings. Quebecer David Perron brings with him a vast experience. Last year in St. Louis, he scored 27 goals and 30 assists in 67 games. Since the beginning of his career, he has scored 269 goals and 396 assists in 973 games.

Adding Ben Chiarot to the blue line will help add stability in defensive territory.

By bringing Dominik Kubalik into his fold, Detroit hopes he will regain his touch from his first season in Chicago when he had hit the target 30 times in 68 games.

Florida Panthers

Significant additions: Chris Tierney (L), Michael Del Zotto (D), Colin White (C), Eric Staal (C), Marc Staal (D), Alex Lyon (G),
Significant departures: Ben Chiarot (D), Claude Giroux (C)

After betting big for their most recent playoff run, the Panthers have taken a comeback with the departure of forward Claude Giroux for Ottawa. The Florida team reunited the Staal brothers with a professional trial for Eric, who will attempt a return to the NHL after playing in the playoffs with the Montreal Canadiens at the end of the 2020-2021 campaign.

New York Islanders
Significant additions: Alexander Romanov (D)

After two seasons with the Habs, defenseman Alexander Romanov will continue his career with the Islanders following a trade that occurred during the first round of the draft.

Recognized for his physical game, Romanov played a total of 79 games last season. The Canadiens’ second-round pick in 2018 has four goals and 15 assists in 133 games on the Bettman circuit.

Montreal Canadiens

Significant additions: Mike Matheson (D), Kirby Dach (C), Evgenii Dadonov (AD)
Significant departures: Jeff Petry (D), Ryan Poelhing (C), Alexander Romanov (D), Shea Weber (D)

Reconstruction continues in Montreal. General manager Kent Hughes is betting big on his last draft pick Juraj Slafkovsky, but before he’s ready to make a difference, he’s hoping center Kirby Dach will fill a need and find him the promising touch he had before sustaining a wrist injury.

On the blue line, Quebecer Mike Matheson will have great skates to put on in a young defensive squad.

Evgeny Dadonov, secured from Vegas for Weber’s contract, is a gamble Hughes is willing to take. Author of 20 goals last year, he has already had two seasons of 28 goals and one of 25 since the start of his career in 2009-2010 in Florida.

New Jersey Devils

Significant additions: Ondrej Palat (AG), Vitek Vanecek (G), Brendan Smith (D), Erik Haula (C),
Significant departures: Pavel Zacha (C)

Ondrej Palat is the consolation prize for the Devils who were targeting Johnny Gaudreau. Palat wants to be a good replacement choice with his experience and his two Stanley Cup conquests in Tampa Bay. Over the years, he’s proven to be a key player for Tampa with 48 playoff goals, 12 of which were game-winning goals.

Palat should complement his eventual center player, whether Jack Hughes or Nico Hischier.

Ottawa Senators

Significant additions: Claude Giroux (AG), Cam Talbot (G), Alex DeBrincat (AG)
Significant departures: Matt Murray (G), Filip Gustavsson (G)

The Senators are one of the most improved teams on paper in light of the acquisitions made over the past month. Already well endowed with talented young players such as Thomas Chabot, Drake Batherson, Tim Stützle and Brady Tkachuk in particular, general manager Pierre Dorion has managed to add veteran Claude Giroux and Alex DeBrincat to this armada, in addition to re-contracting the author of 35 goals, Josh Norris. He was also looking for veteran goaltender Cam Talbot.

The squad wasn’t used to making such big turns in the offseason. This time, fans can finally look forward to a thrilling season where a playoff berth could be within reach for the team.

With 65 points last year in Philadelphia and Florida, Giroux proved that at 34, he still had gas in the tank. His experience will be very useful within this young brigade which is just waiting to be guided to the top. His presence should help the development of Stützle, who collected 58 points in his second season in the federal capital.

Well armed on offense, the Senators should be even more spirited thanks to the offensive punch of DeBrincat, who scored 41 goals in his last season in Chicago. He also scored 41 times in his second season on the Bettman circuit.

Philadelphia Flyers

Significant additions: Tony DeAngelo (D), Nicolas Deslauriers (AG),

New coach John Tortorella likes the tough game. So it’s no wonder the Flyers signed forward Nicolas Deslauriers, who doesn’t hate this side of the game, to a four-year contract.

Tony DeAngelo’s passing skills should help the Flyers, who had just 61 points last season.

Pittsburgh Penguins

Significant additions: Jan Rutta (D), Jeff Petry (D)
Significant departures: Mike Matheson (D)

The announced returns of Evgeni Malkin and Kristopher Letang are arguably the two best news so far for the Penguins, who have added defenseman Jeff Petry to the blue line. The former unfortunate back of the Habs could find his liveliness in a role that undoubtedly suits him better.

New York Rangers

Significant additions: Vincent Trocheck (C)
Significant departures: Ryan Strome (C), Andrew Copp (C), Patrik Nemeth (R), Alexandar Georgiev (G)

The arrival of Vincent Trocheck could help Rangers get what they lacked in the Eastern Final against Tampa Bay. Trocheck will allow the Rangers to improve their success in battles for the puck and even physically. Despite his 5’10” and 183 pounds, he still distributed 185 hits with the Hurricanes last year. Among the Rangers, Ryan Reaves dominated in this column with 279 while Dryden Hunt followed him in this chapter with 153 hits.

Trocheck could make some noise in the company of Artemi Panarin.

The Rangers reached the Stanley Cup semi-finals this year and they think they are not far from a championship. They feel that adding Trocheck gets them one step closer to their goal.

Tampa Bay Lightning

Significant additions: Ian Cole (D), Vladislav Namestnikov (C), Philippe Myers (D)
Significant departures: Ondrej Palat (AG), Ryan McDonagh (D)

Stanley Cup finalists for the past three seasons, the Lightning have been stuck with the intricacies of the salary cap, which has forced general manager Julien BriseBois to let go of key players. At least he managed to retain and for a long time, the young Eric Cernak, Anthony Cirelli and Mikhail Sergachev, who signed long-term contracts.

Toronto Maple Leafs

Significant additions: Nicolas Aubé-Kubel (AD), Ilya Samsonov (G), Matt Murray (G), Jordie Benn (D), Calle Jarnkrok (C), Victor Mete (D)
Significant departures: Ilya Mikheyev (AD), Jack Campbell (G), Petr Mrazek (G)

In goal, the Maple Leafs will get a makeover with the additions of Samsonov and Murray. The club hopes that the two goaltenders will add to the 54 victories of the last season and especially finally experience a successful run in the playoffs.

Washington Capitals

Significant additions: Darcy Kuemper (L), Charlie Lindgren (L), Dylan Strome (C)
Significant departures: VItek Vanecek (G), Ilya Samsonov (G)

The Capitals lost patience in goal with Ilya Samsonov and Vitek Vanecek and decided to entrust their fortress to Darcy Kuemper, recent Stanley Cup winner with the Colorado Avalanche. The 32-year-old goaltender started 57 games last year, posting a 37-12-4 record. His save percentage was .922 and his goals-against-average was 2.54 with five shutouts.

Washington hopes that this coming will establish some stability between the posts as in 2018 when Braden Holtby helped the Capitals lift the only Stanley Cup in their history.

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