The 5 Biggest Offseason Trades, Signings, & News of 2016
The 2016 NHL offseason has been full of headlines, ranging from huge free agent signings to blockbuster superstar trades. Here are five of our favorite moves made.
5. Alexander Radulov returns to the NHL to join the Montreal Canadiens
Radulov left the KHL to rejoin the Nashville Predators late in the 2011-12 season after having his team suspension lifted. In only nine regular season games, Radulov tallied seven points (3G, 4A) for the Predators. Radulov continued to produce in the playoffs by scoring six points (1G, 5A) in eight games before Nashville was eliminated by the Phoenix Coyotes in the second round.
Despite his on-ice performance, Radulov's return to Nashville was not welcomed by all. During the second round of the playoffs, Alexander Radulov and teammate Andrei Kostitsyn were spotted at a Scottsdale, Arizona bar at 5:00am the morning of Game 3 against the Coyotes. This resulted in Radulov being suspended by the Predators for the second time in his career and, ultimately, not receiving a contract extension.
After returning to Russia to play in the KHL for CSKA Moscow for four years, Radulov is now on his way back to North America to play for the Montreal Canadiens. It will be exciting to see how playing under new management will affect Radulov's performance, both on and off the ice.
4. Taylor Hall traded to New Jersey for Adam Larsson
Edmonton made a lot of waves this off season with multiple blockbuster moves. On June 29th, the Oilers announced they had sent the 2010 1st overall draft pick in Taylor Hall to the New Jersey Devils in exchange for defenseman Adam Larsson.
This is a good move for Edmonton. Acquiring a young, promising defenseman for one of their several superstar forwards appears to be the first step to working their way out of the bottom of the standings.
3. Milan Lucic signs long-term with Edmonton
The Los Angeles Kings acquired Milan Lucic in the 2015 offseason in a trade with Boston in exchange for goaltender Martin Jones. Lucic only had one year remaining on his contract, so the Kings did not have much time to re-sign him long-term.
Lucic had a solid regular season with the Kings, tallying 55 points (20G, 35A) in 81 games but had a disappointing playoff performance with only 3 assists in 5 games. While the Kings wanted to have Lucic back, he would have had to have taken a big pay cut to keep them under the salary cap.
Milan Lucic signed a seven-year contract with the Edmonton Oilers on July 1st.
2. Steven Stamkos re-signs long term with Tampa Bay
Steven Stamkos had been in the NHL trade and free agency spotlight for the entire 2015-16 season, the last season on his contract. Seemingly every hockey analyst, fan, and news source thought he might sign as a free agent with his hometown Toronto Maple Leafs or be traded to the Detroit Red Wings in some sort of Steve Yzerman conspiracy.
As the July 1st free agency market opening day was fast approaching with no contract offered to Stamkos, the speculations kept growing. But, with less than 48 hours remaining, the Tampa Bay Lightning announced that they had signed Stamkos to an 8-year, $68 million contract.
1. P.K. Subban traded to Nashville for Shea Weber
P.K. Subban has been in the Montreal media spotlight for his entire career, for both good and bad reasons. Subban is known for his big goals, bigger hits, charitable donations while, at the same time, being known for his risky plays and rifts with his coaches and management.
In his relatively short career, the 26-year-old Subban hadn't been in many trade discussions, as he seemed to be Montreal's future. When he was traded to the Nashville Predators on June 26th for their captain, Shea Weber, the hockey world was caught by surprise. Was trading a young superstar for an aging veteran a good move for Montreal, a team that struggled for the majority of last season?
Was there any trade or signing that you feel should have made our list? Let us know in the comments below. Thanks for reading and we'll see you on the ice!