Lightning trade Johnson, pick to Blackhawks for Seabrook’s contract

The Tampa Bay Lightning traded forward Tyler Johnson and a 2023 second-round pick to the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for Brent Seabrook's contract, the team announced Tuesday.

Seabrook ended his playing career in March due to a hip injury. His contract, which has three years remaining with an average annual value of $6.875 million, can be placed on the long-term injured reserve where it won't count against the salary cap. The Lightning will be able to accumulate about $1.8 million in additional cap space with Seabrook on the LTIR, according to Sportsnet's Chris Johnston.

There are three years left on Johnson's deal, which carries an annual cap hit of $5 million. The Lightning have been trying to move his contract for some time, as he cleared waivers prior to the start of the 2020-21 campaign.

The 30-year-old forward is coming off the worst season of his career after registering eight goals and 14 assists over 55 games. He added seven points in 23 playoff contests while playing primarily on the fourth line during Tampa Bay's Stanley Cup repeat.

However, Johnson was highly productive during his prime. From 2013-14 to 2018-19 he averaged 25 goals and 30 assists per 82 games.

Even though the Lightning were eager to get rid of Johnson, his departure creates a hole down the middle of the team's lineup since the Seattle Kraken selected fellow center Yanni Gourde in the expansion draft.

Brayden Point and Anthony Cirelli are locks at center. Steven Stamkos is a natural center, though he's played almost exclusively on the wing over the last couple of seasons. Ross Colton, who played mostly as a winger throughout his rookie campaign, could be asked to shift back to the middle. Mitchell Stephens, Alex Barre-Boulet, and Gemel Smith are other internal options.

The Lightning project to hold about $5 million to $7 million in cap space. Colton and Cal Foote are the team's two most pressing restricted free agents.

The Blackhawks, meanwhile, will likely count on Johnson to center their third line behind Jonathan Toews and Kirby Dach. Dylan Strome is also still in the mix.

Chicago possesses less than $2.5 million in projected cap space and still needs to sign RFAs Alexander Nylander, Brandon Hagel, and Nikita Zadorov.

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Report: Canucks trading Schmidt to Jets

The Vancouver Canucks are sending blue-liner Nate Schmidt to the Winnipeg Jets in exchange for a 2022 third-round pick, reports TSN's Darren Dreger.

Schmidt needs to waive his no-trade clause to facilitate the deal, Dreger adds.

There are four seasons remaining on the 30-year-old's contract, which carries an annual cap hit of $5.95 million, according to CapFriendly.

The Canucks acquired Schmidt from the Vegas Golden Knights last offseason for a 2022 third-round pick, meaning Vancouver essentially rented him for one year.

His lone season with the Canucks didn't go as planned, as he recorded just 15 points over 54 games, and Schmidt's underlying numbers plummeted.

Prior to joining the Canucks, Schmidt enjoyed a stellar three-year run with the Golden Knights, averaging 41 points per 82 games.

If he can return to that form, Winnipeg's blue line should improve vastly next season, as the club also acquired Brenden Dillon from the Washington Capitals on Monday.

Here's the Jets' current blue-line depth chart:

LD RD
Josh Morrissey Neal Pionk*
Brenden Dillon Nate Schmidt
Logan Stanley* Dylan DeMelo
Ville Heinola Sami Niku
Dylan Samberg

*Restricted free agent

Winnipeg's defense has been a weak area since the 2019 offseason when the team lost Jacob Trouba, Dustin Byfuglien, Tyler Myers, and Ben Chiarot.

The Canucks, meanwhile, are likely looking to clear cap space to re-sign pending restricted free agents Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes. Hughes, Myers, and the newly acquired Oliver Ekman-Larsson are the only proven commodities currently under team control on Vancouver's blue line.

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Notable NHL Free-Agent Signings – July 27, 2021

Notable NHL Free-Agent Signings – July 27, 2021 With the NHL free-agent market opening at noon ET on July 28, there’s a flurry of last-minute contract signings taking place. Some involved unrestricted free agents while others are restricted free agents. Here’s the rundown of today’s notable signings. Washington Capitals signed left winger Alex Ovechkin to […]

Report: Golden Knights trading Fleury to Blackhawks

The Vegas Golden Knights are dealing Marc-Andre Fleury to the Chicago Blackhawks, reports ESPN's Emily Kaplan.

Vegas isn't retaining any of the reigning Vezina Trophy winner's salary, and the only player Chicago is trading for him is AHL forward Mikael Hakkarainen, Kaplan adds.

Fleury's agent, Allan Walsh, confirmed the Golden Knights didn't inform the goaltender of the move, and he said Fleury will need to consider his next step.

Fleury found out about the trade on Twitter, reports The Athletic's Jesse Granger.

The 36-year-old is under contract through next season at a $7-million cap hit, according to CapFriendly.

Fleury had one of his best seasons in 2021, posting a career-high .928 save percentage while going 26-10-0 with six shutouts over 36 games. He led all NHL netminders with 19.2 goals saved above expected at all strengths in 2021, and ranked fourth with an 11.74 GSAx at five-on-five, according to Evolving Hockey.

The 17-year veteran was one of the faces of the Golden Knights franchise, helping Vegas make an improbable run to the Stanley Cup Final in the club's inaugural season of 2017-18. He spent the last four campaigns with the Golden Knights after playing the previous 13 with the Pittsburgh Penguins, with whom he won three championships.

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Report: Canucks, Schmidt’s agent working on trade

Nate Schmidt and the Vancouver Canucks are trying to arrange his departure.

Canucks general manager Jim Benning and Schmidt's agent, Matt Keator, have been collaborating to facilitate a trade for the defenseman, reports TSN's Pierre LeBrun.

The team and the player's camp are hoping to find a deal for him before the NHL's free-agency period begins Wednesday, LeBrun adds.

Schmidt, who reportedly has a 10-team no-trade list, is under contract through 2024-25 at a $5.95-million cap hit, according to CapFriendly.

The Winnipeg Jets have tried to land the 30-year-old multiple times this offseason, but he's unwilling to waive his no-trade clause for the club, reports the Winnipeg Sun's Scott Billeck. Schmidt also apparently declined to be dealt to the Jets in 2020 when he was with the Vegas Golden Knights.

Vegas traded Schmidt to Vancouver for a third-round pick in October.

The Canucks have about $21 million in cap space, but franchise players Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes both need new contracts, as does recent trade acquisition Conor Garland, among many others on Vancouver's roster. The team absorbed $7.26 million of Oliver Ekman-Larsson's $8.25-million cap hit upon acquiring him from the Arizona Coyotes on Friday.

Schmidt collected five goals and 10 assists while averaging just over 20 minutes of ice time in 54 games for the Canucks this past season.

He played three seasons with the Golden Knights after they selected him in their expansion draft. Schmidt played his first four campaigns with the Washington Capitals, who signed him as an undrafted free agent in 2013.

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Capitals trade Dillon to Jets for pair of 2nd-rounders

The Washington Capitals traded blue-liner Brenden Dillon to the Winnipeg Jets for a second-round pick in 2022 and 2023, the teams announced Monday.

Dillon, 30, has three years left on his contract, which carries a $3.9-million annual cap hit. He registered two goals and 17 assists in 56 games this past season while averaging 18:57 of ice time, but the 6-foot-4, 225-pound rearguard is known more for his defensive abilities.

The British Columbia native isn't afraid to throw his weight around, racking up 143 hits last season, but he's also posted strong underlying numbers over the past three campaigns.

Evolving-Hockey.com

Dillon will also arrive in Winnipeg with some familiarity. Prior to joining the Capitals at the 2019 trade deadline, Dillon spent parts of six seasons with the San Jose Sharks, where he was often paired with current Jets defenseman Dylan DeMelo.

Winnipeg has been trying to rebuild it's blue line since it lost Dustin Byfuglien, Jacob Trouba, Tyler Myers, and Ben Chiarot in the 2019 offseason.

With Dillon entering the fold, here's the Jets' current blue-line depth chart:

LD RD
Josh Morrissey Neal Pionk*
Brenden Dillon Dylan DeMelo
Logan Stanley*
Ville Heinola
Dylan Samberg

*RFA

The Jets could still add one more right-handed defenseman if they aren't comfortable putting one of their young left-handed blue-liners on their off side. The club projects to have nearly $20 million in cap space, but in addition to Pionk and Stanley, Andrew Copp is also an RFA.

Meanwhile, the Capitals were likely looking to create some cap flexibility. The team has $13.6 million in projected cap space now but still needs to re-sign Alex Ovechkin and could add a netminder to pair with RFA Ilya Samsonov. Michal Kempny, who missed the entire 2020-21 campaign recovering from an Achilles tear, could step in and fill Dillon's shoes.

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Nick Ritchie, Pius Suter among players who didn’t receive qualifying offers

A number of notable players did not receive qualifying offers prior to Monday's 5 p.m. ET deadline and are now unrestricted free agents.

The Boston Bruins announced they did not make a qualifying offer to forward Nick Ritchie, which would have been $2 million, per CapFriendly. Boston also did not extend a qualifying offer to forward Ondrej Kase.

Ritchie, 25, had an impressive year with the Bruins in his first full campaign with the club. He scored 15 goals and added 11 assists in 56 games. Kase, 25, only appeared in nine regular-season games with Boston over the past two seasons due to injury.

The Chicago Blackhawks announced they didn't extend qualifying offers to Pius Suter, Adam Gaudette, David Kampf, and Josh Dickinson. Shortly after the deadline, the team inked Gaudette to a one-year contract worth $997.5K, according to The Athletic's Mark Lazerus.

Suter, 25, finished his first year in the NHL after coming from Switzerland. He had 14 goals and 13 assists in 55 games.

Other notable names who did not receive qualifying offers include Edmonton Oilers forwards Dominik Kahun and Jujhar Khaira, San Jose Sharks forward Ryan Donato, New York Islanders forward Michael Dal Colle, and Anaheim Ducks forward Danton Heinen.

All players who did not receive qualifying offers will hit the open market on Wednesday, but a deal can still come to fruition with their respective clubs beforehand.

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