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It’s time to put some ink to paper. NHL free agency is set to begin at noon today, where free agents are free to sign with any team of their choosing.

This year’s class is a bit on the weaker side and a lot of the big names are already off the table. Filip Forsberg re-signed with the Predators on an eight-year deal; Ville Husso was traded to the Red Wings and inked a three-year deal; Bryan Rust and Kris Letang both received new deals with the Penguins.

However, there are still some elite players that have yet to sign a new deal. Will Johnny Gaudreau stay in Calgary, or leave money on the table to go to the northeast? Will Evgeni Malkin really sign with another team and not return to Pittsburgh? Who will land Claude Giroux, John Klingberg and Nazem Kadri?

NHL free agency 2022: Ranking top 50 free agents, best players by position

The Sporting News will be tracking all of the free agent signings and grading the biggest deals of the day.

NHL free agency grades

Claude Giroux signs with the Senators on a three-year, $19.5 million contract

Grade: A-

As expected, Giroux ends up signing with the Senators. The three years is a bit of a surprise considering he is 34 years old, but $6.5 million a year is a great deal. That gives the Senators an extremely talented top-six forward group as GM Pierre Dorion continues to be aggressive this offseason. The Senators are winning this summer so far.

Jack Campbell signs with the Oilers on a five-year, $25 million contract

Grade: C+

Campbell had a roller coaster of a 2021-22 season. He was sensational early on, but his play greatly decreased by the new year. It gives the Oilers their goalie in net with Mike Smith’s future in question. It’s definitely a risk paying a guy that has very little experience as a No. 1 goalie his kind of money and term.

Josh Manson re-signs with the Avalanche on a four-year, $18 million contract

Grade: C

Manson was great coming over from the Ducks at the deadline to the Avs and certainly played a part in the team winning the Cup. However, he was mostly a third-pairing guy with Colorado. With Cale Makar, Devon Toews and Bowen Byram making up most of the top-four, there’s a chance once Eric Johnson retires that Manson can slide up, but paying a third-pair defenseman $4.5 million a year is an overpay.

Evander Kane re-signs with the Oilers on a four-year, $20.4 million contract

Grade: A

Kane immediately found success with Edmonton after he signed midseason with the Oilers. Playing alongside Connor McDavid, he gave the speedy center an excellent goal-scoring option on the wing who is pain in the butt for opponents to play against. Kane finished the playoffs tied with Nathan MacKinnon for the most goals. The fit makes too much sense for Kane and it doesn’t come at a huge cost for Edmonton.

Evgeni Malkin re-signs with the Penguins on a four-year, $24.4 million contract

Grade: A

Was Malkin really ever going to leave? Roughly 24 hours after it was reported Malkin would test free agency, the two sides agreed on a contract extension. It has the four years and no-move clause that Malkin wanted, and $6.1 AAV is a very good deal for the Penguins. Pittsburgh fans can thank Sidney Crosby, who reportedly helped the two sides come to an agreement.

Rickard Rakell re-signs with the Penguins on a six-year, $30 million contract

Grade: B-

At first, I had this at a C- because the Penguins looked like they were going to lose Malkin. However, with the re-signing of the center, it gives Rakell a playmaker center, which he desperately needs in order to succeed. I still don’t love the length and AAV for a player who’s numbers have declined the last few years, but with Malkin playing as his center, Rakell certainly should see better offensive numbers. He played pretty well after coming over at the deadline.

Valeri Nichushkin re-signs with the Avalanche on an eight-year, $49 million contract

Grade: B

Eight years is a lot for a guy who hadn’t hit 30 points in a season until this year, but offense isn’t Nichushkin’s specialty. He’s a dominant forechecking/defensive forward who is a pain in the butt to play against. The Avs certainly had to overpay a bit to keep Nichushkin, but as long as he is playing with stars like Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen or Gabriel Landeskog, he should continue to produce.

Filip Forsberg re-signs with the Predators on an eight-year, $68 million contract

Grade: A

The Predators are already lacking in top-six skaters and losing their best goal scorer would’ve hurt them over more. Securing Forsberg long-term in Nashville ensures that they have one of the game’s best offensive weapons. The 27-year-old is coming off a career year with 84 points.

NHL free agency tracker: Latest news on all signings

The Sporting News will have all the updates on free agent signings, including grades for the biggest deals.

Wednesday, July 12

12:33 p.m. — The Red Wings and Andrew Copp have agreed to a five-year, $28.125 million deal.

5 years $5.625 for Copp in Detroit.

— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger)

July 13, 2022

12:29 p.m. — The Rangers and Vincent Trocheck have agreed to a seven-year, $39.375 million deal.

Trocheck is seven years at $5.625-million AAV with the #NYR, according to a league source

— Arthur Staple (@StapeAthletic)

July 13, 2022

12:28 p.m. — The Maple Leafs are signing Nicolas Aube-Kubel to a one-year deal. He was not tendered a qualifying offer by the Avalanche, making him a UFA.

TOR signs Nic Aube-Kubel 1x$1M

— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC)

July 13, 2022

12:20 p.m. — The Flames and Kevin Rooney have agreed to a two-years, $2.6 million contract.

12:18 p.m. — The Canucks are signing Curtis Lazar to a three-year, $3 million deal.

VAN signs Curtis Lazar for 3 years

— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC)

July 13, 2022

12:13 p.m. — Nick Leddy is going to return on a four-year deal to the Blues. He was acquired by St. Louis at the deadline.

Hearing #stlblues have a 4-year deal in place to keep D Nick Leddy. Working on AAV.@DailyFaceoff

— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli)

July 13, 2022

12:10 p.m. — Justin Schutlz is reportedly heading to the Kraken on a two-year deal, with the total around $3 million.

Sounds like Justin Schultz to SEA, 2x$3M-ish

— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC)

July 13, 2022

12:08 p.m. — The Devils are signing defenseman Brendan Smith on a two-year deal.

Hearing #njdevils and D Brendan Smith have agreed to terms on a 2-year deal with $1.1 million AAV.@DailyFaceoff

— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli)

July 13, 2022

12:05 p.m. — The deal for Samsonov with the Maple Leafs is reportedly going to be a one-year, $1.8 million deal.

Hearing #Leafs have agreed to terms with G Ilya Samsonov on a 1-year, $1.8 million deal.

Toronto has their guy to play alongside Matt Murray in tandem next season.@DailyFaceoff

— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli)

July 13, 2022

12:05 p.m. — Ian Cole and the Lightning have reportedly agreed to a one-year deal.

Hearing #tblightning and D Ian Cole have agreed to terms on a 1-year, $3 million deal.@DailyFaceoff

— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli)

July 13, 2022

12 p.m. — Claude Giroux and his hometown Senators have agreed to a deal, three-years at $6.5 million AAV.

Claude Giroux of Hearst, Ontario, agrees to a three-year deal with the Ottawa Senators. $6.5 M AAV per season.@TSNHockey @TheAthletic

— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun)

July 13, 2022

12 p.m. — The Oilers and Jack Campbell have agreed to a five-year, $25 million deal.

The Edmonton Oilers have agreed to terms with Free Agent goaltender, Jack Campbell. 5 years. $5 million AAV.

— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger)

July 13, 2022

11:45 a.m. — The Sabres and Victor Olofsson have agreed to a two-year, $9.5 million deal. Olofsson was an RFA this summer and gets a bridge deal before he becomes a UFA in 2024.

GOALOFSSON is BACK!

We’ve re-signed the forward to a 2-year contract with an AAV of $4.75 million.https://t.co/ICNB9vIV2n | #LetsGoBuffalo pic.twitter.com/pfwBmbezPP

— Buffalo Sabres (@BuffaloSabres)

July 13, 2022

11:10 a.m. — The Avalanche are re-signing Josh Manson on a four-year, $18 million deal. He was acquired at the deadline from the Ducks and had been rumored to potentially be returning to Anaheim, but he stays in Denver.

Josh Manson contract in Colorado: 4 years x $4.5 M AAV@TSNHockey @TheAthletic

— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun)

July 13, 2022

10:30 a.m. — The Avs are bringing another veteran forward back as Darren Helm is re-signing on a one-year deal.

one year, $1.25 M for Helm staying in Colorado https://t.co/IP7bNlFpjQ

— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun)

July 13, 2022

1:45 a.m. — The Oilers keep Evander Kane in Alberta on a four-year deal worth $5.25 per season, Kane announces.

I’m back. pic.twitter.com/aBAw0dQlNL

— Evander Kane (@evanderkane_9)

July 13, 2022

Tuesday, July 11

11 p.m. — The Penguins are keeping star center Evgeni Malkin in Pittsburgh through the 2025-26 season, as the team announced he agreed to a four-year, $24.4 million extension.

5 p.m. — The Kings hand out a one-year extension to Alex Edler. He gets the veteran minimum as he enters next season at 36 years old.

$750,000 base salary + $750,000 in games played bonuses https://t.co/Ssdio3jyCm

— David Pagnotta (@TheFourthPeriod)

July 12, 2022

3:30 p.m — The Sabres are bringing back Vinnie Hinostroza on a one-year extension.

Vinnie’s back!!

We’ve signed Vinnie Hinostroza to a one-year contract worth $1.7 million.#LetsGoBuffalo

— Buffalo Sabres (@BuffaloSabres)

July 12, 2022

Monday, July 10

10 p.m. — Rickard Rakell and the Penguins agree to a six-year, $30 million deal.

Rickard Rakell gets 6/$30M from Penguins, who have had themselves a newsy few days of late. He clicked well in spell with Sidney Crosby last season.Cap space drying up fast.

— Rob Rossi (@Real_RobRossi)

July 12, 2022

8 p.m. — The Maple Leafs have acquired goalie Matt Murray from the Ottawa Senators along with two draft picks for future considerations.

TRADE: We have acquired goaltender Matt Murray & two draft picks from Ottawa in exchange for future considerations. #LeafsForever

— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs)

July 12, 2022

6 p.m. — Valeri Nichushkin and the Avalanche have agreed to an eight-year, $49 million extension, keeping the big winger in Colorado.

It’s 8 years, $49 million; AAV of $6.125 million per season https://t.co/BKMlhpyGob

— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun)

July 11, 2022

2022 NHL free agents: Tracking top players by position

Here is a look at each position and who the top free agents are that could be available to fill that role.

Center

1. Claude Giroux, UFA2. Nazem Kadri, UFA3. Patrice Bergeron, UFA4. Vincent Trocheck, UFA5. Evgeni Malkin, UFA6. Pierre-Luc Dubois, RFA7. Andrew Copp, UFA8. Ryan Strome, UFA9. Josh Norris, RFA10. Dylan Strome, UFA

Left Wing

1. Johnny Gaudreau, UFA2. Jason Robertson, RFA3. Ondrej Palat, UFA4. Jesper Bratt, RFA5. Andre Burakovsky, UFA6. Evander Kane, UFA7. Max Domi, UFA8. David Perron, UFA9. Andrew Mangiapane, RFA10. Artturi Lehkonen, RFA

Right Wing

1. Matthew Tkachuk, RFA2. Patrik Laine, RFA3. Valeri Nichushkin, UFA4. Rickard Rakell, UFA5. Reilly Smith, UFA6. Ilya Mikheyev, UFA7. Victor Olofsson, RFA8. Phil Kessel, UFA9. Jesse Puljujarvi, RFA10. Kailer Yamamoto, RFA

Defenseman

1. John Klingberg, UFA2. Noah Dobson, RFA3. Josh Manson, UFA4. Ben Chiarot, UFA5. Nick Leddy, UFA6. P.K. Subban, UFA7. Colin Miller, UFA8. Brett Kulak, UFA9. Calvin de Haan, UFA10. Olli Maatta, UFA

Goalie

1. Jake Oettinger, RFA2. Darcy Kuemper, UFA3. Jack Campbell, UFA4. Braden Holtby, UFA5. Kevin Lankinen, UFA

Originally found on Sporting News Read More

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