NHL free agency tracker 2021: Live updates, analysis on news, rumors, signings and trades

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The motto for the 2021 Olympics is, ”Faster, Higher, Stronger, Together.” It could probably be tagged as the motto for the 2021 NHL offseason too.

All 32 franchises are assuredly wanting to get faster, make their lineup stronger and go higher in the standings. A few are even doing it together. Already a few ”I’ll scratch your back, if you scratch my back” deals have gone down. Basically, a hey, pal, you take this bad, cap-heavy contract and we’ll give you a bunch of guys and picks. Thanks, buddy.

MORE:  All 31 teams’ UFA, RFA players  | News, trade grades from 2021 draft

As the floodgates officially open, and pen is finally put to paper (or e-signatures are acquired), Sporting News has complete coverage of all the latest NHL trades, signing rumors and news. 

NHL free agency tracker

(All times Eastern)

Tuesday, July 27

11:51 p.m. — It was touch-and-go there for a bit but the Avalanche’s captain is returning to Denver.

10:30 p.m. — Brent Seabrook is basically retired. The defenseman’s contract now heads to Tampa Bay and will likely be placed on LTIR. 

SN’s analysis: Tampa Bay’s GM Julien BriseBois one again works magic. Don’t hate the player, hate the game.

8:15 p.m. — Earlier in the day, the Canadiens re-upped Joel Armia for four years and an AAV of $3.4 million.

8:07 p.m. — Nate Schmidt heads to the ‘Peg. Jets defense, which needed a huge upgrade, now has Schmidt. DeMelo, Dillon, Stanley, Pionk, Morrissey and Heinola. Not too shabby.

7:04 p.m. — Suter heading south?

7 p.m. — Sounds like the Jets have landed their guy.

6:48 p.m. — Reilly sticking around Beantown.

5:07 p.m. — Patrik Laine re-signs with Columbus.

4:55 p.m. — TSN’s Pierre LeBrun also reporting Montreal, Dallas and Boston as possible destinations for the long-time Ducks captain.

4:43 p.m. — The king is (almost) ready to reclaim his throne.

3:18 p.m. —  Gabriel Landeskog may be heading elsewhere.

2:27 p.m. —  DeAngelo was recently bought out by the Rangers. 

SN’s analysis: Why? Between this and the reports that they are interested in Virtanen — what are the Hurricanes doing?

MORE: ‘He has played his last game’ with Rangers

2:24 p.m. — Are Phil Kessel’s days in the desert coming to a close?

2:21 p.m. — Darnell Nurse had a monster year with the Oilers in 2021 and established himself as a top defenseman in the NHL.

SN’S analysis: Nurse deserves a big payday after a solid 2021 campaign where he skated an average of 25:38 a night (fourth highest in the league).

2:13 p.m. — Halak would be a good backup or 1A/1B for Thatcher Demko.

1:17 p.m. — Keith Yandle became a UFA after he was bought out by the Panthers.

SN’s analysis: The defenseman played 103 games with Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault as a member of the Rangers from 2014 to 2016. It’s a deal that makes sense for both parties as the Flyers continue to revamp their defense.

1:15 p.m. —  The Marc-Andre Fleury tenure is officially over in Vegas. 

FLEURY TRADE GRADES: Blackhawks get reigning Vezina Trophy winner, Golden Knights get cap space

1:07 p.m. — As expected “The Great 8” is sticking around the DMV.

SN’s analysis: Never in doubt. He should break the NHL’s all-time goals record under this contract.

1:06 p.m. — Chaos is going to reign supreme.

1 p.m. — Pavel Buchnevich, acquired by the Blues from the Rangers, signs a four-year, $23.2 million extension. 

SN’s analysis: Buchnevich is coming off a breakout year in which he scored 48 points in 54 games. He deserved to get paid.

12:23 p.m. —  Canucks have signed Conor Garland, recently acquired from Arizona, for five years at a cap hit of $4.95 million.

SN’s analysis: Garland locked up for a couple of years helps solidify the Canucks top-6.

12:14 p.m. —  Canucks bought out Virtanen after he was placed on leave May 1. He has been accused of sexually assaulting a woman four years ago.

12:01 p.m. — A couple of big names have been placed on waivers for the purpose of a buyout: Oilers’ James Neal, Sharks’ Martin Jones and Canucks’ Braden Holtby.

11:31 a.m. —  Not even noon. Coffee not even acquired. Massive news drops.

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