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Rival Report: What did the rest of the Atlantic Division do in free agency this week?

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Tracking the new arrivals to the Panthers division

NHL: MAR 25 Panthers at Maple Leafs Photo by Julian Avram/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It was a busy week around the Atlantic Division, as most of the division’s teams tried to gain ground on the President’s Trophy-winning Tampa Bay Lightning and the Boston Bruins, who came up one win short of claiming the Stanley Cup.

Let’s take a look back at the new additions the Florida Panthers division rivals have made since free agency opened on July 1. This article does not include players that were retained by these organizations, just new additions via free agency and by trade.

Boston Bruins

  • Signed forward Brendan Gaunce to a one-year contract
  • Signed forward Par Lindholm to a one-year contract
  • Signed forward Brett Ritchie to a one-year contract
  • Signed Maxim Lagace to a one-year contract

As mentioned above the Bruins came a whisker away from claiming the championship, so they didn’t need to do much, and didn’t.

Buffalo Sabres

  • Acquired forward Jimmy Vesey from the New York Rangers for a third-round pick in 2021
  • Acquired defenseman Colin Miller from the Vegas Golden Knights in exchange for a second-round draft pick in 2021 and a fifth-round pick in 2022
  • Signed defenseman John Gilmour to a one-year contract
  • Signed forward Jean-Sebastien Dea to a one-year contract
  • Signed forward Curtis Lazar to a one-year contract
  • Signed goalie Andrew Hammond to a one-year contract
  • Signed forward Marcus Johansson to a two-year contract

Getting pending UFA Jeff Skinner signed long-term earlier in the offseason was the big move. Vesey, Miller and Johansson should help the club improve after it went off the rails after a good start last year.

Detroit Red Wings

  • Signed goalie Calvin Pickard to a two-year contract
  • Signed forward Valtteri Filppula to a two-year contract
  • Signed defenseman Patrik Nemeth to a two-year contract

The rebuilding Red Wings, who finished with 7 wins its final ten games, didn’t add much to last season’s 74-point team. They will looking within for further improvement.

Montreal Canadiens

  • Signed Carolina forward Sebastian Aho to a five-year offer sheet that Carolina plans to match
  • Acquired a second-round and seventh-round pick in 2020 and 2021 third-round pick from Chicago in exchange for Andrew Shaw
  • Signed defenseman Mike Reilly to a two-year contract
  • Signed forward Riley Barber to a one-year contract
  • Signed goalie Keith Kinkaid to a one-year contract
  • Signed defenseman Ben Chiarot to a three-year contract
  • Signed forward Nick Cousins to a one-year contract

Kudos to the Canadiens for trying to pry Aho away from the the Hurricanes. Former Jet Chiarot will help on the back end, but they still need more up front. Could they take a swing at Patrik Laine next?

Ottawa Senators

  • Acquired defenseman Nikita Zaitsev and forward Connor Brown in exchange for defensemen Cody Ceci, Ben Harpur and forward Aaron Luchuk
  • Signed forward Tyler Ennis to a one-year contract
  • Signed defenseman Ron Hainsey to a one-year contract
  • Signed forward Jordan Szwarz to a one-year contract
  • Signed defenseman Cody Goloubef to a one-year contract

Former Toronto assistant D.J. Smith has a lot of former Maple Leafs to insert into the rebuilding Senators lineup.

Tampa Bay Lightning

  • Signed goalie Curtis McElhinney to a two-year contract
  • Signed defenseman Luke Schenn to a one-year contract
  • Signed forward Chris Mueller to a one-year contract
  • Signed goalie Spencer Martin to a one-year contract
  • Signed defenseman Luke Witkowski to a two-year contract
  • Signed goalie Scott Wedgewood to a one-year contract

Mostly depth moves for the NHL’s best regular season club. The Bolts still need to get RFA Brayden Point to put pen to paper.

Toronto Maple Leafs

  • Acquired defensemen Cody Ceci (and signed him to a one-year deal), Ben Harpur and forward Aaron Luchuk from Ottawa in exchange for defenseman Nikita Zaitsev and forward Connor Brown
  • Signed forward Nick Shore to a one-year contract
  • Signed forward Kenny Agostino to a two-year contract
  • Signed defenseman Kevin Gravel to a one-year contract
  • Signed forward Jason Spezza to a one-year contract
  • Acquired defenseman Tyson Barrie, forward Alexander Kerfoot (and signed him to a four-year deal) and a 6th-round pick from the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for forward Nazem Kadri, defenseman Calle Rosen and a 3rd-round pick

Along with the Panthers, the Maple Leafs were the busiest team in the division and are better for it. The Buds still have one piece of major work to do and that’s signing RFA Mitch Marner to a new contract.