With the 2019 NHL free agency period winding down -- anyone going to sign Jake Gardiner? -- and plenty of trade shuffling putting big-name players in new cities, it's time to grade each team's offseason additions.
Grades for all 31 teams from Emily Kaplan and Greg Wyshynski evaluate each franchise's free-agent landings, with additional consideration to how each team navigated the trade market. The list starts with a savvy offseason for one Central Division contender and a pair of Metropolitan Division rivals looking to reenter the playoff picture.
Note: Teams listed from best to worst, and those with the same grade are in alphabetical order.
Dallas Stars: A
Jim Nill has been a big-game hunter over the past few seasons, including seeking but striking out on John Tavares, Erik Karlsson and others. He finally lured a big name in Joe Pavelski at three years, $7 million annual average value. Pavelski (four 37-plus-goal seasons over his past six) immediately adds a new dimension to Dallas' offense. But don't overlook the Corey Perry signing, either. Many around the league expect Perry, on a bonus-laden veteran deal, to rebound after a rough season following knee surgery, and there's no question he'll be motivated.
The Stars already have perhaps the best goalie tandem in the league and a stud blue line. Now their offense is catching up. -- Kaplan
In the tri-state area these days, it's all about keeping up with the Joneses. The Devils took a pause last season after their surprise 2017-18 success (they knew they would likely regress, so they didn't spend in free agency, then tumbled after Taylor Hall got injured). But once New Jersey won the draft lottery and selected Jack Hughes at No. 1, it accelerated its timeline and took a huge leap forward.
P.K. Subban adds star power to the blue line. Wayne Simmonds (only a one-year commitment) adds veteran leadership and grit. The biggest question mark in New Jersey? Goaltending. The Devils might eventually need an upgrade here, especially if Cory Schneider struggles again. -- Kaplan