NHL Free Agent Signing Period: Open Your Checkbooks

Good Afternoon Hockey Fans! Happy Canada Day to our Canadian friends. Today is the first day of the NHL’s free-agent signing period. This is where the NHL owners open their checkbooks. So far, there’s been quite a few moves. Unless you’ve been sleeping or not logged onto the internet there’s a lot happening today. I will try to get you up to date.

From the big trade department: The Pittsburg Penguins acquired Toronto Maple Leafs sniper Phil Kessel in  a trade with the Toronto Maples Leafs. My first look at this trade leads me to believe that the Penguins got the better end of the deal. That being said, the deal could be pretty costly to the Penguins, too.

Per Greg Wyshynski of Puck Daddy:

If Pittsburgh qualifies for the 2016 postseason, Toronto will receive the Penguins’ 2016 first-round draft pick; and the Penguins will receive Toronto’s 2016 second-round selection. The second-round pick would be the one Toronto originally acquired from Pittsburgh for Daniel Winnik earlier this year.

Of course fans are having fun with the Kessel trade on Twitter today.

Per TSN.CA: The Penguins Get: RW Phil Kessel, D Tim Erixon and RW Tyler Biggs. The Leafs get: The Maple Leafs Get: LW Nick Spaling, RW Kasperi Kapanen, D Scott Harrington, a lottery-protected first-round pick and a third-round pick.

Jack Eichel Era begins in Buffalo

Another big story that played out today, BU All-American Hobey Baker winner Jack Eichel will forgo three years of college eligibility and has signed an entry-level contract with the Buffalo Sabres.

Sabres draftee Jack Eichel arrives in Buffalo, could sign professional contract (The Canadian Press)

Jack Eichel leaves BU, signs entry-level deal with Sabre (Puck Daddy)

Sabres sign top pick Jack Eichel (CBS Sports)

Decision made: Eichel signs entry-level deal with Sabres (Pro Hockey Talk)

Jack Eichel Signs With Sabres (The Hockey Writers)

Links to the Free Agent Signing Period

Official 2015 list of available free agents (NHL.COM)

For all of your moves during the Free Agent Signing period, check out (the Hockey Writers)

TSN’s Free Agent Tracker (TSN.CA)

2015 NHL UFA Tracker: Free agents on the move (Yahoo.com)

Penguins add premier sniper with Kessel deal (TSN.CA)

Phil Kessel Traded To Pittsburgh (Dead Spin)

Maple Leafs trade Phil Kessel to Penguins (Sportsnet.CA)

Phil Kessel trade: Penguins put disaster insurance on pick sent to Leafs (Puck Daddy)

Wild signs Mikael Granlund, Ryan Carter, Nate Prosser (Russo’s Rants)

Paul Martin signs 4-year, $19.4 million contract with Sharks (CBS Sports)

Sweeney: Rinaldo adds ‘energy’ and ‘courage’ to Bruins (CSNNE.COM)

Canucks pick up Bartkowski (Pro Hockey Talk)

Predators sign Cody Hodgson to 1-year deal worth $1.05 million (the Score)