The fireworks have gone off — or I guess, the cannon since we are talking about the Columbus Blue Jackets.
After it seemed like Johnny Gaudreau’s free agency decision seemed like it was down to the New York Islanders and the New Jersey Devils a third party decided to swoop in.
And no, it was not his childhood favorite Philadelphia Flyers either.
Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen swooped in and gave Gaudreau a sales pitch he could not refuse and he took it.
When it seemed like Gaudreau was looking to go to a team close to his hometown in South Jersey, he opted to land in Columbus — a six-and-a-half-hour drive away –and inked a seven-year deal with a $9.75 million cap hit.
The hockey world dogpiled on the city of Columbus after the decision, but from what GR told me, it’s a nice place…
The Devils ended up pivoting to signing Lightning forward Ondrej Palat while the Islanders have yet to make a move so far.
With names like Nazem Kadri and Phil Kessel still available, they still have more options to pursue.
With that being said, here is everything you need to know about the 2022 NHL Free Agency period.
After failing to create cap room, the Panthers were not left with much room to operate during free agency.
Andrew Brunette also left the Panthers organization to become an assistant coach for the New Jersey Devils
— Claude Giroux left Florida and signed a three-year deal with a $6.5 million cap hit with the Ottawa Senators.
— Panthers breakout star Mason Marchment signed a four-year deal worth $4.5 million annually with the Dallas Stars.
— Florida trade deadline pickup Ben Chiarot headed to Detroit on a four-year deal.
— Chase Priskie signed a one-year deal with the Buffalo Sabres.
Around The NHL
Before the Blue Jackets landed Gaudreau, the Carolina Hurricanes made the biggest splashes of the day.
Taking advantage of the cap situations of the San Jose Sharks and Vegas Golden Knights, they landed Brent Burns and Max Pacioretty via trade for the combined cost of two prospects and a third-round pick.
Here are some of the biggest free-agent signings around the NHL.
The signings listed were those made after the free-agency period opened on July 13, as of the publication of this article.
ANAHEIM DUCKS: Frank Vatrano, Ryan Strome
ARIZONA COYOTES: Nick Bjugstad, Bokondji Imama, Jon Gillies, Troy Stetcher, Laurent Dauphin, Josh Brown
BOSTON BRUINS: Daniel Renouf, Keith Kinkaid, AJ Greer, Connor Carrick, Vinni Lettieri
BUFFALO SABRES: Jeremy Davies, Ilya Lybushkin, Victor Olofsson, Chase Priskie, Eric Comrie, Kale Clague
CALGARY FLAMES: Ondrej Kase
CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS: Colin Blackwell, Alex Stalock, Brett Seney, Luke Philp, Andreas Athanasiou, Max Domi
COLORADO AVALANCHE: Spencer Smallman, Josh Jacobs, Darren Helm, Josh Manson, Jonas Johansson, Charles Hudon, Andreas Englund, Artturi Lehkonen
COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS: Johnny Gaudreau, Denton Mateychuk, David Jiricek, Erik Gudbransson
DALLAS STARS: Collin Miller, Mason Marchment
DETROIT RED WINGS: Mark Pysyk, Andrew Copp, Dominik Kubalik, David Perron, Marco Kasper, Ben Chiarot, Austin Czarnik, Matt Luff, Olli Maatta
EDMONTON OILERS: Brett Kulak, Jack Campbell, Calvin Pickard, Gregg McKegg, Evander Kane, Brad Malone
FLORIDA PANTHERS: Rudolfs Balcers, Anthony Bitetto, Nathan Staios, Nick Cousins, Alex Lyon, Colin White, Marc Staal, Eric Staal (PTO)
LOS ANGELES KINGS: Brendan Lemieux, Pheonix Copley, Tobie Paquette-Bisson
MINNESOTA WILD: Andrej Sustr, Nicolas Petan, Brandon Baddock, Steven Fogarty
MONTREAL CANADIENS: Juraj Slafkovsky, Anthony Richard, Joel Teasdale, Mitchell Stephens, Nathan Schnarr, Alex Belzile, Madison Bowey
NASHVILLE PREDATORS: N/A
NEW JERSEY DEVILS: Ondrej Palat, Jack Dugan, Tyler Wotherspoon, Brendan Smith, Brian Pinho
NEW YORK ISLANDERS: N/A
NEW YORK RANGERS: Ryan Carpenter, Vincent Trocheck, Jaroslav Halak, Andy Welinski, Louis Domingue
OTTAWA SENATORS: Claude Giroux, Kristians Rubins, Jacob Lucchini, Scott Sabourin
PHILADELPHIA FLYERS: Kevin Connauton, Cooper Marody, Troy Grosenick, Adam Brooks, Louis Belpedio, Justin Braun, Nicolas Deslauriers
PITTSBURGH PENGUINS: Josh Archibald, Jan Rutta, Dustin Tokarski, Xavier Ouellet, Drake Caggiula
SAN JOSE SHARKS: Oskar Lindblom, Nico Sturm
SEATTLE KRAKEN: Magnus Hellberg, Brogan Rafferty, Jacob Melanson, Ryan Winterton, Martin Jones, Justin Schultz, Jesper Froden, Shane Wright, Andre Burakovsky, Andrew Poturalski
ST. LOUIS BLUES: Thomas Greiss, Noel Acciari, Will Bitten, Nick Leddy
TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING: Ian Cole, Vladislav Namestnikov
TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS: Dennis Hildeby, Ilya Samsonov, Adam Gaudette, Denis Malgin, Nicolas Aube-Kubel
VANCOUVER CANUCKS: Andrei Kuzmenko, Curtis Lazar, Wyatt Kalynuk, Collin Delia, Philip Di Giuseppe, Dakota Joshua, Ilya Mikheyev
VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS: Jonas Rondbjerg, Reilly Smith, Brett Howden, Byron Froese, Sheldon Rempal, Micheal Hutchinson
WASHINGTON CAPITALS: Darcy Kuemper, Charlie Lindgren, Erik Gustafsson, Marcus Johansson
WINNIPEG JETS: Kevin Stenlund, David Rittich