Follow Live: Artemi Panarin lands with Rangers in free agency

It seems to be starting earlier and earlier every summer, but the NHL free agent period has now officially arrived. And it leaves just one thing to do now, as one NHL GM told TSN’s Gord Miller:

It’s time to give out some bad contracts.

Here are the important agreements brokered on July 1:

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Islanders lock up Lee

The Isles will keep their captain in Long Island after signing Aners Lee to a 7-year deal with an AAV of $7 million.

Panthers pay premium on Stralman

Florida has made its second major splash, landing defenseman Anton Stralman in free agency. Stralman will earn $5.5. million annually on a three-year term after a successful run with the Lightning.

Simmonds lands in Jersey

The New Jersey Devils continued to add to their roster in free agency, inking Wayne Simmonds to a one-year deal worth $5 million.

Stars officially sign Pavelski

Joe Pavelski has officially picked up and left San Jose. Dallas has confirmed its three-year agreement with the former Sharks captain. It’s believed that Pavelski will earn $21 million over the life of the deal.

Bellemare heads to Denver

Colorado had added another useful piece, luring Pierre-Edouard Bellemare from Vegas on a two-year agreement.

Panthers make it official with Bobrovsky

The NHL has a new $10 million netminder. Sergei Bobrovsky had agree to seven-year, $70 million contract with the Florida Panthers.

Oilers keep Chiasson

With Alex Chiasson signed to a two-year contract with an AAV just over $2 million, Edmonton has locked up a key contributor from last season on a team-friendly deal.

Blue Jackets nab Nyquist

After losing Artemi Panarin to the Rangers, Columbus has apparently signed Gustav Nyquist to a four-year contract worth $22 million. Nyquist had 22 goals and 60 points last season — or 27 fewer than Panarin — split between the Red Wings and Sharks. Not bad business considering.

Avs land Donskoi

Colorado will pay a premium to lure Joonas Donskoi from the Sharks. The depth forward will sign a four-year contract with an AAV approaching $4 million.

Canucks agree to terms with Myers

Myers will be introduced in Vancouver on a five-year deal worth $30 million. The Canucks will add Myers, Jordie Benn and Oscar Fantenberg to their defense corps, while Ben Hutton is expected to leave in free agency.

Rangers closing in on Artemi Panarin

It’s not official, but it seems as though Panarin has chosen to sign with the New York Rangers. The Breadman apparently left money on the table to join Kaapo Kakko on Broadway after competitive offers from the Blue Jackets and Islanders, but will break the bank anyway.

If Panarin does indeed sign with New York, he will serve as the key piece to an already impressive offseason haul.

Duchene will make it official in Nashville

The Predators will officially ink Matt Duchene to a seven-year contract with an AAV of $8 million on Tuesday.

Here’s a breakdown of the contract:

Perry chooses the Stars

Corey Perry will indeed land with the Dallas Stars on a one-year, heavily-incentivized contract.

Tanev secures the bag in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh has made a significant investment in a productive bottom-six forward, signing Brandon Tanev from Winnipeg for six seasons. Tanev will apparently earn $3.5 million annually throughout the life of the deal. Wow.

Acciari headed to Florida

Noel Acciari is expected to sign a three-year contract worth $5 million with the Florida Panthers. He had six goals and 14 points on the Bruins’ fourth line last season, which appears to be enough to double his salary.

Kinkaid to land in Montreal

Carey Price has his insulation. Keith Kinkaid is set to join the Canadiens on a one-year contract. After a career season, Kinkaid took a step back last year, failing to stop pucks at a .900 clip for the disappointing Devils. But he’s been pretty solid in a clear-cut backup role in his career.

Benn signs with Vancouver

It appears the Canucks will make a bigger splash with Tyler Myers, but for now they have added Jordie Benn to the blue line on a two-year deal worth $4 million.

McElhinney lands with Tampa Bay

After a historic regular season, the Bolts have found a way to improve. Now backing Vezina winner Andrei Vasilevskiy is Curtis McElhinney, who is coming off a brilliant season in Carolina.

Rangers deal Vesey to Sabres

Jimmy Vesey’s run in New York is through. The Rangers have dealt him to Buffalo for a future third-round draft pick.

Andrej Sekera signs with Stars

Fresh off being bought out by the Oilers, the veteran Sekera has landed with the Dallas Stars. He’ll join Jim Montgomery’s fleet on a $1.5 million deal including incentives.

Jackets lock up Korpisalo

With Sergei Bobrovsky expected to be on the move, the Blue Jackets have given Joonas Korpisalo the chance to establish his value on a one-year deal. Korpisalo is for the moment slated to be the No. 1 netminder in Columbus with entry-level addition Elvis Merzlikins also under contract.

Oilers to add Markus Granlund

Markus Granlund will complete the tour of Western Canada. After stints with Calgary and Vancouver, he will land in Edmonton on a one-year deal, where he can recoup some of the value he’s lost in his recent injury-impacted seasons.

Granlund is apparently slotted for the fourth-line centre role despite seeing more time on the wing in recent seasons.

Hainsey, Ennis set to sign in Ottawa

New coach D.J. Smith will have plenty of familiar faces with him in Ottawa. In addition to Zaitsev and Brown, veterans Ron Hainsey and Tyler Ennis will apparently also trade in their Leafs sweaters for Senators colours. Hainsey will apparently earn $3.5 million, while there’s no word yet on Ennis’s deal.

Jason Spezza to sign with the Leafs

Toronto has bought up some depth and versatility on the cheap, apparently signing veteran centre Jason Spezza to a league-minimum agreement, or close to it. Spezza figures to be an upgrade on Frederik Gauthier on the fourth line, but his presence and ability to move up lend management options down the middle, even if he’s lost much of his fastball.

Leafs trade Nikita Zaitsev, Connor Brown to Senators in package for Cody Ceci

After the Maple Leafs paid out Nikita Zaitsev’s signing bonus on Monday morning, they officially completed the long-rumoured six-player trade with the Senators. Toronto does create some cap space in the immediate term by including Connor Brown in the deal, but the cap flexibility achieved with the agreement is mainly reserved for the future. Zaitsev was owed $4.5 million for the next five seasons.

Ceci is a restricted free agent and arbitration eligible, and could probably command more, but it’s expected that he will sign for the same $4.5 million promised to Zaitsev. A right-shot defender with holes in his game and apparently matching salaries, Ceci slots perfectly into the right side on the second pair ... almost too perfectly. It’s not a guarantee that he improves the production offered from that position, but he will have the opportunity.

PuckPedia has a full breakdown:

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