Daily Camera (Boulder)

Goalies shuf­fled as sign­ings be­gin

Krug leaves Bos­ton for St. Louis; Lundqvist to Washington

- Sports · NHL Hockey · Ice Hockey · Tampa Bay Lightning · Tampa · Kevin Shattenkirk · National Hockey League · Alex Pietrangelo · Taylor Hall · Minnesota · St. Louis Blues · Boston Bruins · Boston · Toronto Maple Leafs · Toronto · Vegas Golden Knights · Vancouver · Calgary · Braden Holtby · Washington · Henrik Lundqvist · New York County, NY · Rangers · San Jose · Florida · Steven Stamkos · Nikita Kucherov · Andrei Vasilevski · Winnipeg · New York Jets · New York City · Alexander Ovechkin · Bill Guerin · Canada men's national soccer team · Devan Dubnyk · Victor Hedman · Paul Stastny · Winnipeg Jets · Ilya Samsonov

It didn’t take long for the bub­ble to be­gin burst­ing on the Tampa Bay Light­ning’s Stanley Cup party.

The ef­fects of a flat salary cap took its toll on the Light­ning less than two weeks af­ter win­ning their sec­ond Stanley Cup. Tampa Bay bid farewell to de­fense­man Kevin Shat­tenkirk, who signed with Ana­heim, and the team was forced to place cen­ter Tyler John­son on waivers as the NHL’S free agency pe­riod opened Fri­day.

In the mean­time, the league’s higher pro­file free agents such as de­fense­men Alex Pi­etrangelo and winger Tay­lor Hall, re­mained on the mar­ket with a $81.5 mil­lion cap — un­changed from last year — adding a layer of un­cer­tainty to a coro­n­avirus pan­demic-al­tered econ­omy.

“It’s a bit of a new world right now with the flat cap and the rev­enue sit­u­a­tion,” Min­nesota Wild gen­eral man­ager Bill Guerin said. “You don’t want to risk any­thing too long on ei­ther side be­cause it just might not make sense.”

It seemed to make sense for the St. Louis Blues to ef­fec­tively end the Alex Pi­etrangelo era by sign­ing de­fense­men Torey Krug to a $45.5 mil­lion, seven-year deal Fri­day night. Krug will count $6.5 mil­lion against the salary cap through the 2026-27 sea­son.

That was money po­ten­tially ear­marked for Pi­etrangelo, a homegrown Blues prod­uct, who was cap­tain when they won the Stanley Cup in 2019. Krug fa­mously de­liv­ered a hel­met­less hit dur­ing that final while play­ing for Bos­ton.

Suit­ors for Pi­etrangelo have been cut down by St. Louis sign­ing Krug and the Toronto Maple Leafs ink­ing T.J. Brodie to a $20 mil­lion, four-year deal. Ve­gas cleared cap space to take a swing, though Golden Knights GM Kelly Mccrim­mon on Fri­day night re­fused to an­swer a ques­tion about Pi­etrangelo be­cause he’s not on the ros­ter.

While the mar­ket was soft for skaters, it was very ac­tive for goal­tenders as a long-an­tic­i­pated shuf­fle ma­te­ri­al­ized in the first hours of free agency.

Ja­cob Mark­strom left Vancouver to sign a six-year, $36 mil­lion con­tract with the Cal­gary Flames. The Canucks re­placed Mark­strom by sign­ing Braden Holtby to a two-year, $8.6 mil­lion con­tract. The 2016 Vez­ina Tro­phy win­ner spent his first 10 sea­sons in Washington, where he helped the Cap­i­tals win the Cup in 2018.

Hen­rik Lundqvist signed a one-year con­tract with Washington, two weeks af­ter hav­ing his con­tract bought out by the New York Rangers.

The Wild quickly ad­dressed their goal­tend­ing needs af­ter trad­ing De­van Dub­nyk to San Jose, by sign­ing Cam Tal­bot sign­ing a three-year, $11 mil­lion deal. An­ton Khu­dobin, who back­stopped the Dal­las Stars run to the Stanley Cup Final, is stay­ing put in Dal­las af­ter sign­ing a three­year, $10 mil­lion con­tract.

Among skaters, Shat­tenkirk agreed to a three-year deal that a per­son fa­mil­iar with the sit­u­a­tion told The As­so­ci­ated Press was worth $11.7 mil­lion. The per­son spoke on the con­di­tion of anonymity be­cause the mon­e­tary terms weren’t dis­closed.

The Light­ning en­tered the off­sea­son pro­jected to have about $4.5 mil­lion of room un­der the cap, also lost for­ward Carter Ver­haeghe, who signed with Florida. As for John­son, who had four goals and seven points in 25 play­off games, he was placed on waivers with three years re­main­ing on a seven-year, $35 mil­lion con­tract that in­cludes a no-trade clause.

Much of the Light­ning’s core re­mains in place with cap­tain Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov, Bray­den Point, de­fense­man Vic­tor Hed­man and goalie An­drei

Vasilevski­y all un­der con­tract.

The flat cap led to a flood of play­ers hit­ting the mar­ket. They in­cluded a large num­ber of re­stricted free agents, whose rights were not re­tained be­cause teams feared what con­tracts those play­ers could be awarded in ar­bi­tra­tion.

Cap­i­tals gen­eral man­ager Brian Maclel­lan said the salary crunch was rea­son be­hind why some of the higher pro­file play­ers were still avail­able.

“You saw some teams clear some cap space, so I’m as­sum­ing it’s pretty com­pet­i­tive on those big names right now,” Maclel­lan said. “I think once the big­ger names go down, I think it’ll loosen up or might slow down af­ter that. I think it’s still go­ing pretty hard right now.”

The Ve­gas Golden Knights were one of those teams in kick­ing off the day by trad­ing Paul Stastny to the Win­nipeg Jets. In free­ing the final year of Stastny’s con­tract and $5.5 mil­lion cap hit, Ve­gas ac­quired de­fense­man Carl Dahlstrom and a con­di­tional 2022 fourthroun­d draft pick.

The trade was a re­ver­sal from two years ago, when the Jets had lit­tle room to ma­neu­ver un­der the salary cap, and were un­able to re­sign Stastny af­ter be­ing out­bid by the Golden Knights.

“It’s 2020. that’s how you sum it up, right?” Stastny said of his un­ex­pected re­turn to Win­nipeg. “You al­ways have to ex­pected the un­ex­pected. And when stuff like this hap­pens, you al­ways have to be ready to move on and brace for the next chal­lenge that comes ahead.”

Holtby was re­lieved to find a land­ing spot.

“Every­thing’s dif­fer­ent this year,” he said. “It’s not an ex­pe­ri­ence that I think is fun, not know­ing and all that. I’m ex­cited to have it over now.”

In Washington, Lundqvist is chang­ing uni­forms af­ter 15 sea­sons in New York, where he won the Vez­ina Tro­phy in 2011.

Af­ter years of tor­ment­ing Alex Ovechkin and the Cap­i­tals in the play­offs, he will try to help them win it again at the tail end of his il­lus­tri­ous time in the NHL while shar­ing the du­ties with Ilya Sam­sonov.

“It’s kind of crazy,” Lundqvist said of be­ing team­mates with Ovechkin. “It was funny to call him the other day. He’s been so fun to play against be­cause of how good he is, but he’s also a char­ac­ter on the ice, so I look for­ward to now be on the same team.”

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