3 – Florida Panthers
The Florida Panthers didn’t escape the offseason unscathed, as they traded Anthony Duclair and let Radko Gudas walk. But they also compensated for their losses with Rasmus Asplund, Dmitriy Kulikov, Evan Rodrigues, Mike Reilly, and Oliver Ekman-Larsson. Meaning you shouldn’t expect them to miss a beat when the 2023-24 season is in full swing.
2 – Montreal Canadiens
Kudos to the Montreal Canadiens for avoiding rash decisions this year, and instead continued to build a young core through trades, signings, and re-signings. Notable players who either became or will remain part of the organization include Alex Newhook, David Reinbacher, Rafael Harvey-Pinard, and Michael Pezzetta.
1 – Buffalo Sabres
When you’re Kevyn Adams and your plan has so far worked, why would you make any unnecessary moves? Sure, the Buffalo Sabres were linked to several players via trade, and at the time of this writing, they are still linked.
But as I’ve mentioned in previous pieces: If the method to the genius approach isn’t broken, then why bother trying to fix it? Conventional wisdom says you shouldn’t, and Adams understands that more than just about everyone in NHL circles. Which is why he beefed up the blue line this season without overspending, and it will help the Blue and Gold snag an eventual playoff berth.
Source: NHL free-agency report card: Grades for each team’s early offseason moves by The Athletic NHL Staff, TheAthletic.com
(Transaction information provided by ESPN.com)