July 1st. A day that means a lot of different things to people around the world, but in the hockey world, it’s only one thing and it’s a very big deal. It is the start of free agency in the National Hockey League and many unrestricted free agents will be making new homes and some will even return to their old stomping grounds for the upcoming season. While many teams still have some noise to make, let’s take a quick peek at where some big names have landed so far:
The Tampa Bay Lightning agreed to a two-year deal with defenseman Dan Girardi worth approximately $6 million. The 33-year-old Welland, Canada native’s contract was recently bought out by the New York Rangers. He will be joining former New York teammates Ryan Callahan and Anton Stralman in the sunshine state.
Free agent forward Brian Boyle signed a two-year deal with the New Jersey Devils worth a little over $5 million. He has played for the Los Angeles Kings, New York Rangers, Tampa Bay Lightning, and recently, the Toronto Maple Leafs in his career.
The Montreal Canadiens signed defenseman Karl Alzner to a five-year deal with an AAV of $4.45 million per season, which totals $23.2 million. The 28-year-old Burnaby, Canada native spent his entire career with the Washington Capitals prior to this move, being drafted by them as the fifth overall pick in 2007 NHL Draft.
This is just the start of a crazy day in the hockey world. Countless free agents, thirty-one teams, and plenty of discussions to be made. Some will be surprising, some will make sense, but in the end, it always comes down to who will propel their new, or repeated, team to hockey’s ultimate goal, bringing home Lord Stanley.