Lightning among losers, Flames with winners in free agency

Lightning among losers, Flames with winners in free agency

Calgary beat out the competition for Jacob Markstrom with a $36 million, six-year deal

The Tampa Bay Lightning won the Stanley Cup and lost a lot on Day 1 of NHL free agency.

The Lightning simply could not afford to keep a trio of role players: defenceman Kevin Shattenkirk, centre Tyler Johnson and centre Carter Verhaeghe.

Johnson was put on waivers while Shattenkirk and Verhaeghe left the Lighting as free agents Friday.

As much as Tampa Bay may have wanted to keep each player, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced teams to make tough choices because they don’t know when fans will be in the stands to generate revenue needed to pay the bills with a flat salary cap.

Johnson, who had seven points in 25 playoff games, had three years remaining on a seven-year, $35 million contract that includes a no-trade clause. Shattenkirk agreed to a three-year deal with the Anaheim Ducks and a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press the contract will pay him $11.7 million. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the deal has not been announced. Carter, meanwhile, stayed in the state by agreeing to a two-year contract with the Florida Panthers.

Here’s a look at who appeared to win and lose on opening day of free agency:

HOT FLAMES

The Calgary Flames improved their chances of advancing in the playoffs for the first time since 2004 by adding perhaps the best goaltender on the market. The Flames beat out the competition for Jacob Markstrom with a $36 million, six-year deal. The 30-year-old Markstrom was an All-Star last season and finished fourth in voting for the Vezina Trophy.

WAITING GAME

Alex Pietrangelo and Taylor Hall would’ve likely agreed to lucrative deals in the opening hours of free agency if they hit the market in any other time. This year, though, both two-time All-Stars were still available late Friday night.

Pietrangelo has spent his entire 12-year career with the St. Louis Blues, who drafted him No. 4 overall in 2008. But it appears his time with the franchise ended when defenceman Torey Krug signed a $45.5 million, seven-year deal.

The 28-year-old Hall won the NHL MVP award just two years ago and has 218 goals over his 10-year career, making him an attractive option for a team that can afford to add him.

GOAL TO GO

While there were fewer deals done on the opening day of free agency, many teams made it a priority to add or retain a goaltender.

The Canucks tried to make up for losing Markstrom by adding Braden Holtby with an $8.6 million, two-year deal. Henrik Lundqvist signed a one-year contract with Washington, two weeks after having his contract bought out by the New York Rangers.

Minnesota signed Cam Talbot to a three-year, $11 million deal. Anton Khudobin, who helped the Dallas Stars reach the Stanley Cup Final, re-signed for $10 million over three years. The Ottawa Senators agreed to a $25 million, two-year contract with newly acquired Matt Murray.

Two-time Cup-winner Corey Crawford left Chicago to sign a two-year, $7.8 million deal with New Jersey.

SWING AND MISS

The Montreal Canadiens wanted to get bigger, tougher and harder to play against. They tried to sign winger Wayne Simmonds, but the Canadiens were forced to watch Simmonds take less money to sign with his hometown Toronto Maple Leafs.

BETTING ON HIMSELF

Bobby Ryan hopes to become a feel-good story by reviving his career after turning his life around. He agreed to a $1 million, one-year contract with the Detroit Red Wings after missing more than two months last season while addressing alcohol issues.

The 33-year-old winger is shooting to regain the form he had a decade ago as one of the NHL’s top scorers, aiming to turn a productive season into a bigger and longer contract.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said on Thursday that the province has seen its first case of the B.1.617 variant. (Photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Red Deer nears record number of active COVID-19 cases

Alberta reports 1,857 new cases of COVID-19, 1,326 new variants

People line up outside an immunization clinic to get their Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in Edmonton, Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta passes bill to give all workers paid leave to get COVID-19 vaccine shot

Labour Minister Jason Copping says Bill 71 will reduce barriers for Alberta workers to get vaccinated

Alberta completed 18,412 COVID-19 tests, as reported on Wednesday, for a test positivity rate of 9.5 per cent. (NIAID-RML via AP)
Highest daily count of 2021 so far: Alberta reports 1,699 COVID-19 cases

Variants now make up 59 per cent of Alberta’s active cases

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw and Premier Jason Kenney say the province would look at adding additional COVID-19 measures in the coming weeks if the virus continues to spread. (Photo by Government of Alberta)
Walk-in COVID-19 vaccination clinic to open in Red Deer

Alberta adds 1,345 new cases of the virus

Public health restrictions on non-essential travel and vacation bookings are being increased in B.C. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. announces signage along Alberta border to discourage non-essential travel

B.C. extends COVID-19 indoor dining, group fitness ban until May 25

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

A health care worker prepares to test a Coastal GasLink field worker for COVID-19. (Coastal GasLink photo)
Alberta bill would protect health workers, care homes from some COVID-19 lawsuits

The bill proposes exempting a range of workers, including doctors, pharmacists and care-home operators, from being sued over COVID-19 unless it was for gross negligence

Journal de Montreal is seen in Montreal, on Thursday, April 22, 2021. The daily newspaper uses a file picture of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dressed in traditional Indian clothing during his trip to India to illustrate a story on the Indian variant of the coronavirus. Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press
Montreal newspaper blasted for front-page photo of Trudeau in India

Trudeau is wearing traditional Indian clothes and holding his hands together in prayer beside a caption that reads, ‘The Indian variant has arrived’

Education Minister Adriana LaGrange was in Red Deer on Friday to provide an update on the province's COVID-19 response in schools.
Photo by PAUL COWLEY/Advocate staff
Alberta government aiming to boost financial literacy among students

Government providing grants to organizations who will help design financial literacy programming

President Joe Biden holds a virtual bilateral meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
U.S. to help Canada with more COVID-19 vaccine supply, Biden says

The U.S. has already provided Canada with about 1.5 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine

In this image from video, former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin, center, is taken into custody as his attorney, Eric Nelson, left, looks on, after the verdicts were read at Chauvin’s trial for the 2020 death of George Floyd, Tuesday, April 20, 2021, at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis, Minn. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Court TV via AP, Pool
George Floyd’s death was ‘wake-up call’ about systemic racism: Trudeau

Derek Chauvin was found guilty Tuesday on all three charges against him

sign
Alberta Biobord Corp. recently hosted a virtual open house from Stettler

The company plans to develop a fuel pellet and medium density fibre board (MDF) plant near the community

Most Read