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

Ryen Williams, 11, with a lost miniature horse at JJ Collett Oct. 23. Photo by Don Williams
UPDATE: Owner found

Father and son found miniature horse while out for a walk at JJ Collett

Alberta has 3,651 active cases of COVID-19. (File photo)
432 new COVID cases sets another record Friday

Central zone holds steady at 126 active cases

Paula Law took the oath of office on Oct. 19 with Lacombe County Manager Tim Timmons. Photo courtesy Lacombe County.
Lacombe County re-elects Paula Law as Reeve

This will be Law’s eighth term as Reeve and tenth year on the county council

Rieley Kay owns both Moe’s Pizza and Cilantro and Chive which are businesses located in downtown Lacombe. (Alannah Page/Lacombe Express)
City of Lacombe announces updated plans for downtown redevelopment

The plan would see $1.7 million spent on the downtown over the next 10 years

"We are looking seriously at the spread and determining what our next steps should be," says Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, as the daily number of COVID-19 cases continues to climb.
427 new COVID cases is highest in Alberta ever

Central zone has 126 active cases of COVID-19

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson, B.C. NDP leader John Horgan and B.C. Greens leader Sonia Furstenau. (Black Press Media)
VIDEO: One day until B.C. voters go to the polls in snap election defined by pandemic

NDP Leader John Horgan’s decision to call an election comes more than a year ahead of schedule and during a pandemic

This photo provided by Air Force Reserve shows a sky view of Hurricane Epsilon taken by Air Force Reserve hurricane hunter team over the Atlantic Ocean taken Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020.   Epsilon’s maximum sustained winds have dropped slightly as it prepares to sideswipe Bermuda on a path over the Atlantic Ocean.  The National Hurricane Center says it should come close enough Thursday, Oct. 22, evening to merit a tropical storm warning for the island.  (Air Force Reserve via AP)
Hurricane Epsilon expected to remain offshore but will push waves at Atlantic Canada

Epsilon is not expected to have any real impact on land

A voter places her absentee ballot in the ballot box, Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020, at Merrill Auditorium in Portland, Maine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Robert F. Bukaty
American voters living in Canada increasingly being counted in presidential race

The largest number of Canadian-based American voters cast their ballots in New York and California

A composite image of three photographs shows BC NDP Leader John Horgan, left, in Coquitlam, B.C., on Sept. 25, 2020; BC Green Party Leader Sonia Furstenau, centre, in Victoria on Sept. 24, 2020; and BC Liberal Party Leader Andrew Wilkinson Pitt Meadows, B.C., on Sept. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck, Chad Hipolito
British Columbia votes in snap election called during COVID-19 pandemic

NDP Leader John Horgan called the snap election one year before the fixed voting date

Nunavut's provincial flag flies on a flag pole in Ottawa, on Tuesday June 30, 2020. The annual report from Nunavut's representative for children and youth says "complacency and a lack of accountability" in the territory's public service means basic information about young people needing services isn’t tracked. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Nunavut’s young people ‘should be expecting more’ from government services: advocate

‘The majority of information we requested is not tracked or was not provided by departments’

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

U.S. border officers at the Peace Arch crossing arrested two men on California warrants this week. (File photo)
Ottawa predicts system delays, backlogs unless court extends life of refugee pact

Canada and the United States recognize each other as safe places to seek protection

Conservative member of Parliament Michelle Rempel Garner, left to right, Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole and Conservative Deputy Leader Candice Bergen arrive to hold a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No-confidence showdown over sweeping Tory motion on government handling of pandemic

The Conservative motion is to be put to a vote Monday and has the support of both the Bloc Québécois and NDP

From l-r., first lady Melania Trump, President Donald Trump, moderator Kristen Welker of NBC News, Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden on stage at the conclusion of the second and final presidential debate Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020, at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Trump, Biden fight over the raging virus, climate and race

Republican president declared the virus, which killed more than 1,000 Americans on Thursday alone, will “go away.”

Most Read