NHL offseason grades: Pacific Division

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Divisions: Central | Metropolitan | Atlantic

With the NHL offseason all but wrapped up, we're handing out comprehensive grades for all 32 teams. The four-part series continues with an in-depth look at each Pacific Division club.

Some contract figures are reported. Most players on two-way deals have been omitted.

Anaheim Ducks

Sean M. Haffey / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Key arrivals

Player Position Contract Length AAV
Ryan Strome F 5 years $5M
Frank Vatrano F 3 years $3.65M
John Klingberg D 1 year $7M
Dmitry Kulikov D 1 year $2.25M

Key departures

Player Position Transaction
Ryan Getzlaf F Retired
Sonny Milano F Signed PTO with CGY
Sam Steel F Signed with MIN

Re-signed

Player Position New Contract Length AAV
Isac Lundestrom F 2 years $1.8M
Urho Vaakanainen D 2 years $850K

Unsigned

Player Position Status
Dominik Simon F UFA

Rookies who could crack the lineup

Player Position Drafted
Mason McTavish F 1st Round (2021)

Getzlaf's presence off the ice will be irreplaceable, but on the ice, the Ducks will look to Strome to fill his spot at center. How that deal ages over time remains to be seen, but in the short term, Strome should provide some offense and help ease the burden on youngsters McTavish and Trevor Zegras.

Vatrano has proven to be a streaky goal-scorer, but with a potentially expanded role, he could take off for a career year.

Klingberg may not be exactly the type of defenseman the Ducks could use on the right side, as Jamie Drysdale and Kevin Shattenkirk are also offensively gifted blue-liners who struggle defensively at times. But Klingberg's one-year commitment is a no-brainer move for the rebuilding squad. He'll be motivated after not getting the long-term contract he was seeking this past offseason. At worst, Anaheim can flip him for assets at the deadline.

The Ducks are still a long shot to reach the playoffs despite a strong start in 2021-22, but they're undoubtedly on the right track.

Grade: B

Calgary Flames

Eliot J. Schechter / National Hockey League / Getty

Key arrivals

Player Position Contract Length AAV
Jonathan Huberdeau F 1 year $5.9M
Nazem Kadri F 7 years $7M
Kevin Rooney F 2 years $1.3M
MacKenzie Weegar D 1 year $3.25M

Key departures

Player Position Transaction
Johnny Gaudreau F Signed with CBJ
Matthew Tkachuk F Traded to FLA
Sean Monahan F Traded to MTL

Re-signed

Player Position New Contract Length AAV
Jonathan Huberdeau F 8 years $10.5M (starting in 2023-24)
Andrew Mangiapane F 3 years $5.8M
Trevor Lewis F 1 year $800K
Nikita Zadorov D 2 years $3.75M
Oliver Kylington D 2 years $2.5M

Unsigned

Player Position Status
Adam Ruzicka F Restricted free agent

Rookies who could crack the lineup

Player Position Drafted
Jakob Pelletier F 1st Round (2019)

How can you not be impressed by the job Brad Treliving did this offseason? The Flames general manager was dealt an incredibly tough hand after Gaudreau bolted for Columbus in free agency and Tkachuk requested a trade.

Not only did Treliving get a great return for Tkachuk (Huberdeau, Weegar, prospect Cole Schwindt, and a 2025 first-rounder) but he was also able to lock up the centerpiece of the trade in Huberdeau. There may not be room for Weegar long term, but he could be an excellent one-year addition for a team in win-now mode.

Treliving wasn't done there, though, as he then landed Kadri. He had to swap out Monahan in the process, which cost him a first-round pick, but that's a worthy price to pay for the sizable upgrade at center.

Calgary got older and added some long-term deals that could age poorly, but Treliving is clearly going for it. He's built one of the NHL's deepest rosters and one that's capable of winning a Stanley Cup over the next couple of years. Considering how ugly it could've gotten, you have to respect the work he's done.

Grade: A

Edmonton Oilers

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Key arrivals

Player Position Contract Length AAV
Mattias Janmark F 1 year $1.25M
Ryan Murray D 1 year $750K
Jack Campbell G 5 years $5M

Key departures

Player Position Transaction
Zack Kassian F Traded to ARI
Colton Sceviour F Signed overseas
Kyle Turris F Retired
Duncan Keith D Retired
William Lagesson D Signed with CAR
Mikko Koskinen G Signed overseas

Re-signed

Player Position New Contract Length AAV
Evander Kane F 4 years $5.125M
Kailer Yamamoto F 2 years $3.1M
Jesse Puljujarvi F 1 year $3M
Brett Kulak D 4 years $2.75M

Unsigned

Player Position Status
Ryan McLeod F RFA
Brendan Perlini F UFA

Rookies who could crack the lineup

Player Position Drafted
Philip Broberg D 1st Round (2019)

After getting outclassed by the eventual Cup champion Colorado Avalanche in the Western Conference Final, Oilers general manager Ken Holland entered the offseason with a clear goal in mind: Upgrade the goaltending.

In steps Campbell to serve as the undisputed No. 1, replacing the tandem of Mike Smith - who's expected to land on LTIR for the final year of his contract - and Koskinen. Youngster Stuart Skinner will serve as the backup.

Durability is a question mark for Campbell. The 30-year-old played a career-high 49 games last season (his previous high was 31). He started off red-hot last year, getting early Vezina Trophy recognition with a .939 save percentage in his first 25 games. His save percentage in the final 24 games was a paltry .888, but that's at least in part due to playing through injuries.

Whether Campbell can hold up for a full season - or the duration of a risky five-year deal - remains to be seen, but he's an instant upgrade on a fair cap hit. And as his moments of brilliance have shown, the 2010 11th overall pick brings ample upside.

Most of Edmonton's roster remains the same. An upgrade on defense would've been ideal, and moving out Tyson Barrie's contract would've helped the cap crunch, but bringing back Kulak was an under-the-radar, savvy move.

Grade: B-

Los Angeles Kings

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Key arrivals

Player Position Contract Length AAV
Kevin Fiala F 7 years $7.875M

Key departures

Player Position Transaction
Dustin Brown F Retired
Andreas Athanasiou F Signed with CHI
Olli Maatta D Signed with DET

Re-signed

Player Position New Contract Length AAV
Adrian Kempe F 4 years $5.5M
Carl Grundstrom F 2 years $1.3M
Brendan Lemieux F 1 year $1.35M
Gabe Vilardi F 1 year $825K
Lias Andersson F 1 year $750K
Sean Durzi D 2 years $1.7M
Mikey Anderson D 1 year $1M
Alex Edler D 1 year $750K

Rookies who could crack the lineup

Player Position Drafted
Alex Turcotte F 1st Round (2019)

The Kings had two primary needs entering the offseason: a game-breaking talent up front and a proven top-four defenseman. They accomplished one of the two, which isn't bad.

Fiala is exactly what the doctor ordered. He's an electrifying talent who can beat defenders one-on-one with his speed and skill, but he can also finish and distribute. At just 26 years old and coming off a career-high 85-point season, he'll represent the best winger Anze Kopitar has ever played with. Yes, even better than a past-his-prime Marian Gaborik.

And while Fiala should bring out the best in Kopitar, the Kings captain should do the same for the Swiss winger. Fiala has never played with a center even remotely close to Kopitar's caliber and was often tasked with driving a line of lesser players in Minnesota while Kirill Kaprizov gobbled up top-line minutes. In L.A., Fiala should excel in a featured role.

While the Kings have a stable of quality blue-liners behind Drew Doughty, landing another bona fide top-four defenseman to take part of the workload from the 2016 Norris winner would've been ideal. They have the prospect capital to do so, and Jakob Chychrun is still out there on the trade market, so maybe such a move could still happen.

Regardless, if the Kings can add another proven blue-liner for the left side, receive quality goaltending, and get a breakout from one of their youngsters - such as Quinton Byfield - they could be a sneaky Cup contender.

Grade: A-

San Jose Sharks

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Key arrivals

Player Position Contract Length AAV
Luke Kunin F 2 years $2.75M
Oskar Lindblom F 2 years $2.5M
Nico Sturm F 3 years $2M
Steven Lorentz F 2 years $1.05M
Evgeny Svechnikov F 1 year $750K
Matt Benning D 4 years $1.25M
Markus Nutivaara D 1 year $1.5M

Key departures

Player Position Transaction
Lane Pederson F Traded to CAR
Rudolfs Balcers F Signed with FLA
John Leonard F Traded to NSH
Brent Burns D Traded to CAR
Adin Hill G Traded to VGK

Re-signed

Player Position New Contract Length AAV
Alexander Barabanov F 2 years $2.5M
Noah Gregor F 1 year $950K
Jonah Gadjovich F 1 year $750K
Mario Ferraro D 4 years $3.25M
Kaapo Kahkonen G 2 years $2.75M

Unsigned

Player Position Status
Jonathan Dahlen F UFA

Rookies who could crack the lineup

Player Position Drafted
William Eklund F 1st Round (2021)

It was a somber summer in the Bay Area, as the Sharks said goodbye to a franchise icon in Burns and received very little in return.

New GM Mike Grier made plenty of moves, but outside of offloading Burns, none of them were significant enough to help the Sharks escape mediocrity. Nor will these moves help them bottom out and contend for the first overall pick. They seem to be stuck in no man's land right now.

This isn't to say we're condemning Grier after one offseason. None of the contracts he handed out have the potential to age poorly, which is a big plus for a team in transition. All of his moves were of the low-risk variety.

Grade: C

Seattle Kraken

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Key arrivals

Player Position Contract Length AAV
Andre Burakovsky F 5 years $5.5M
Oliver Bjorkstrand F 4 years $5.4M
Justin Schultz D 2 years $3M
Michal Kempny D 1 year $750K
Martin Jones G 1 year $2M

Key departures

Player Position Transaction
Riley Sheahan F Signed with BUF
Haydn Fleury D Signed with TB

Re-signed

Player Position New Contract Length AAV
Morgan Geekie F 1 year $1.4M
Ryan Donato F 1 year $1.2M
Karson Kuhlman F 1 year $825K

Rookies who could crack the lineup

Player Position Drafted
Matty Beniers F 1st Round (2021)
Shane Wright F 1st Round (2022)

The Kraken flexed their cap-space muscles once again this summer, but GM Ron Francis spent far less recklessly than he did in his first offseason. Bringing in Bjorkstrand, an underrated offensive talent and analytics darling, was his best move. At 27 years old, Bjorkstrand is signed through his prime years on a team-friendly deal. Pouncing on the Blue Jackets' cap crunch and surrendering just a third- and fourth-rounder for him was a robbery.

Burakovsky, who's also just 27, was an astute free-agent signing. He was excellent in a secondary role in Colorado and could thrive with more ice time in Seattle.

If Philipp Grubauer can rebound between the pipes after a horrendous year, the Kraken should be much improved in their second season.

Grade: B+

Vancouver Canucks

Jeff Vinnick / National Hockey League / Getty

Key arrivals

Player Position Contract Length AAV
Ilya Mikheyev F 4 years $4.75M
Curtis Lazar F 3 years $1M
Andrei Kuzmenko F 1 year $950K
Collin Delia G 1 year $750K

Key departures

Player Position Transaction
Juho Lammikko F Signed overseas
Matthew Highmore F Signed with STL
Alex Chiasson F Signed PTO with ARI
Brad Hunt D Signed with COL
Jaroslav Halak G Signed with NYR

Re-signed

Player Position New Contract Length AAV
J.T. Miller F 7 years $8M (starting in 2023-24)
Brock Boeser F 3 years $6.65M
Jack Rathbone D 2 years $850K

Unsigned

Player Position Status
Brad Richardson F UFA

Rookies who could crack the lineup

Player Position Drafted
Andrei Kuzmenko F Undrafted

The Canucks were rather quiet in the first offseason under president of hockey operations Jim Rutherford and GM Patrik Allvin. Mikheyev, a hard-working, middle-six winger, flashed some goal-scoring upside in his contract year with the Maple Leafs. Lazar is a stellar role player for the fourth line. And Kuzmenko, the prized signing out of the KHL, brings tantalizing potential.

However, Allvin failed to address his club's key weakness: the blue line. Trading one of his top forwards such as Miller or Boeser to get a defenseman would've made sense, but it's possible such a deal never presented itself. Still, it's hard to imagine the Canucks posing a serious threat in the Pacific next season with its current blue line despite the promise the club showed once Bruce Boudreau was hired as head coach 25 games into last season.

Grade: C-

Vegas Golden Knights

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Key arrivals

Player Position Contract Length AAV
Phil Kessel F 1 year $1.5M
Adin Hill G 1 year $2.175M

Key departures

Player Position Transaction
Max Pacioretty F Traded to CAR
Evgenii Dadonov F Traded to MTL
Mattias Janmark F Signed with EDM
Dylan Coghlan D Traded to CAR

Re-signed

Player Position New Contract Length AAV
Reilly Smith F 3 years $5M
Nic Roy F 5 years $3M
Keegan Kolesar F 3 years $1.4M
Brett Howden F 1 year $1.5M

Unsigned

Player Position Status
Nic Hague D RFA

Rookies who could crack the lineup

Player Position Drafted
Logan Thompson G Undrafted

The Golden Knights' frivolous spending may be catching up to them. The club, quite frankly, received nothing in return for Pacioretty, Coghlan, and Dadonov - except cap space.

Vegas' goaltending will also be a question mark with Robin Lehner out for the year. Between the trio of Hill, Thompson, and Laurent Brossoit, will anybody be able to grab the reins?

Kessel is a solid addition if used correctly in a sheltered scoring line, but he's on the decline and has always been a defensive liability.

The Golden Knights' biggest addition, though, was head coach Bruce Cassidy. Coming off a stellar six-year run with the Boston Bruins, he could be an excellent fit for Vegas' win-now aspirations.

Health will play a key role in a turnaround for the Knights, but they undoubtedly lost more key pieces than they added.

Grade: D+

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NHL offseason grades: Pacific Division
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