MONTREAL (AP) — The goalie carousel continued to spin Friday before the second day of the NHL Draft even began, with two more on the move amid a wave of trades and signings.
The St. Louis Blues traded Ville Husso’s free agent rights to the Detroit Red Wings, who immediately signed him to a three-year deal, and the New Jersey Devils acquired Vitek Vanecek from the Washington Capitals. .
The domino effect began Thursday when the Stanley Cup-winning Colorado Avalanche acquired Alexandar Georgiev from the New York Rangers. The move ensured playoff starter Darcy Kuemper would reach the open market.
There’s no shortage of teams interested in Kuemper and other goalkeepers available by trade or free agency.
Husso was expected to be one of those options before Detroit sent the 73rd pick to St. Louis for the 27-year-old Finn. He was awarded a $14.25 million contract with an annual cap of $4.75 million over the next three seasons.
The Red Wings will now pair Husso with Alex Nedeljkovic, whom they acquired last offseason, as they transition from rebuilding to competing.
New Jersey is still a few years away from that, but the Devils needed a goaltender and got one in Vanecek with the 46th pick after sending numbers 37 and 70 to Washington. The Capitals are looking for a veteran goaltender to play in tandem with Ilya Samsonov, unless they leave him as well.
“We’ll explore the business opportunities there, we’ll look at the free agent market, and then we’ll analyze the (restricted free agent) contracts that are coming up,” general manager Brian MacLellan said earlier in the week.
The Philadelphia Flyers, who have uncertainty over injured defenseman Ryan Ellis and a hole on their blue line even if he returns, acquired Tony DeAngelo from the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday for multiple draft picks. They then signed him to a two-year, $10 million contract.
And the Florida Panthers re-signed forward Eetu Luostarinen to a two-year, $3 million deal.
“Eetu is a selfless, reliable, cerebral player who plays consistently every night,” said general manager Bill Zito. “We are delighted to have him back in our line-up.”
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