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NHL free agency day: Grading the biggest contracts signed on July 1

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NHL free agency day: Grading the biggest contracts signed on July 1


It’s July 1, a national holiday in Canada and one of the biggest days on the NHL calendar. At noon today, NHL free agents became eligible to sign contracts with teams and the action came fast and furious. Within the first hour, Chris Johnston’s free agency big board and already been picked over. There was lots of term and lots and lots of money being thrown around.

So to make sense of it all, here’s a list of the free-agent contracts we’ve graded throughout the day.


Florida Panthers sign right winger Sam Reinhart to an eight-year deal with an $8.625 million AAV.

Contract grade: A+
Fit grade: A+

Tampa Bay Lightning sign winger Jake Guentzel to a seven-year deal with a $9 million AAV.

Contract grade: A
Fit grade: A+

Steven Stamkos brings championship legacy to the Predators

Nashville Predators sign forward Steven Stamkos to a four-year contract with an $8 million AAV.

Contract grade: B-
Fit grade: A

Bruins shop wisely by adding Elias Lindholm and Nikita Zadorov

Boston Bruins sign forward Elias Lindholm to a seven-year deal with a $7.75 million AAV, and defenseman Nikita Zadorov to a six-year deal with a $5 million AAV

Contract grade for Lindholm: A
Contract grade for Zadorov: B plus
Fits grade: A-plus

Predators take more big swings on Jonathan Marchessault, Brady Skjei

Nashville Predators sign forward Jonathan Marchessault to a five-year deal with a $5.5 million AAV and defenseman Brady Skjei to a seven-year deal with a $7 million AAV.

Skjei contract grade: B
Marchessault contract grade: A-minus
Fits grade: B-plus

Brandon Montour gives Kraken what they need on the blue line

Seattle Kraken sign defenseman Brandon Montour to a seven-year deal with a $7.14 million AAV.

Contract grade: B-
Fit grade: A

Detroit Red Wings sign winger Patrick Kane to a one-year deal worth $4 million in salary plus $2.5 million in incentives.

Contract grade: A
Fit grade: A-

Teuvo Teravainen returns to Blackhawks on a 3-year deal

The Chicago Blackhawks sign 29-year-old right wing Teuvo Teravainen to a three-year deal with a $5.4 million annual cap hit.

Contract grade: A-
Fit grade: A-

Devils get size and experience in Brett Pesce, but at a high cost

The New Jersey Devils sign defenseman Brett Pesce to a six-year deal with a $5.5 million AAV.

Contract grade: B-
Fit grade: A

The San Jose Sharks sign Tyler Toffoli to a four-year deal worth $6 million a season.

Contract grade: B+
Fit grade: A-

Canucks add win-now wingers Jake DeBrusk and Danton Heinen

Vancouver Canucks sign wingers Jake DeBrusk to a seven-year deal with a $5.5 million AAV and Danton Heinen to a two-year deal with a $2.3 million AAV.

DeBrusk contract: B-
DeBrusk fit: A

Heinen contract: B+
Heinen fit: A

Capitals blue line gets another boost in Matt Roy

The Washington Capitals sign defenseman Matt Roy to a six-year deal with a $5.75 million AAV.

Contract grade: A-
Fit grade: A-

Blue Jackets take a chance by giving 5 years to Sean Monahan

Columbus Blue Jackets sign forward Sean Monahan to a five-year deal with a $5.5 million AAV

Contract grade: C-minus
Fit grade: C-plus

Blackhawks sign top free-agent goalie Laurent Brossoit to 2-year deal

Chicago Blackhawks sign goaltender Laurent Brossoit to a two-year contract with a $3.3-million cap hit.

Contract grade: A-
Fit grade: A-

Maple Leafs become more well-rounded with Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Anthony Stolarz

Toronto Maple Leafs sign defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson to a four-year deal with a $3.5-million cap hit and goaltender Anthony Stolarz to a two-year deal with a $2.5-million cap hit.

Ekman-Larsson contract grade: B+
Stolarz contract grade: A
Fit grade: A-

Tyler Bertuzzi a solid fit for Blackhawks, Connor Bedard

Chicago Blackhawks sign winger Tyler Bertuzzi to a four-year deal with a $5.5 million AAV.

Contract grade: A-
Fit grade: A

Chris Tanev is worth the risk for Maple Leafs on a long-term deal

Toronto Maple Leafs sign defenseman Chris Tanev to a six-year deal with a $4.5 million AAV.

Contract grade: B
Fit grade: A+

The Kraken take a pricey gamble on Chandler Stephenson

The Seattle Kraken sign center Chandler Stephenson to a seven-year deal worth $6.25 million AAV.

Contract grade: C
Fit grade: B-

(Photo of Sam Reinhart and Steven Stamkos: Eliot J. Schechter / 1NHLI via Getty Images)



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