The Central Division has already gone through some seismic changes in recent days, with P.K. Subban coming into the division and Brian Elliott and Shea Weber heading out, and things continued in that direction as NHL free agency got underway on Friday.
The St. Louis Blues were especially hard hit, as they lost David Backes and Troy Brouwer to other teams. Backes, the team’s long-time captain, signed a five-year deal worth $30 million to join the Boston Bruins, and Brouwer, who scored the goal that knocked the Chicago Blackhawks out of the 2016 playoffs, inked a four-year pact with the Calgary Flames.
After Elliott was traded at the NHL Entry Draft a week ago, the Blues did address their goaltending position. They have re-signed Jake Allen to a new four-year contract, and they also agreed to terms with Carter Hutton (a former Blackhawks farmhand) on a two-year deal to be their back-up goaltender.
To cap off a busy day, the Blues also signed forward David Perron to a two-year deal that will pay him $3.5 million per season.
The Minnesota Wild also got active on the first day of free agency, adding two veteran forwards to the mix. They signed free agent center Eric Staal to a three-year deal, with the contract set to pay the veteran $3.5 million per season. They also agreed to terms on a two-year deal with bottom six forward Chris Stewart as the free agent period opened.
Division-champion Dallas also worked on shoring up their blue line, as they signed Dan Hamhuis to a two-year contract worth $7.5 million. The Stars also reportedly agreed to a one-year contract extension for veteran forward Patrick Eaves.
Not to feel left out, the Colorado Avalanche and Winnipeg Jets also made some moves, as the Avs signed Joe Colborne to a two-year, $10 million deal, and the Jets inked Shawn Matthias to a two-year deal worth $4.25 million.