NHL Sees Busy Day On Eve Of Free Agency

From trades to signings to players retiring, the National Hockey League saw it all the night before one of the biggest days of the offseason for the sport. Here are several of the most notable moments we saw on October 8th.

Columbus Blue Jackets Continue Busy Offseason

Just two days after the acquisition of forward Max Domi from the Canadiens, the Columbus Blue Jackets made two important announcements. In an effort to create cap space to sign key players such as Pierre-Luc Dubois, the team announced that they have placed forward Alexander Wennberg on unconditional waivers for the purpose of a buyout.

Having not lived up to the year that earned him this contract, the 26-year-old will be looking for a new team on Friday and they might just strike gold if Wennberg can find his old stride again.

The Blue Jackets then announced the re-signing of 24-year-old goaltender Matiss Kivlenieks. to a two-year, two-way contract. It includes an AAV of $725,000. Likely destined for the farm team, there still remains the chance Kivlenieks may see time with the Blue Jackets next season.

Justin Williams Calls It A Career

Justin Williams, at 39 years of age, has announced his retirement from the NHL. A career spanning 19 seasons, Williams earned the name Mr. Game 7 as a result of his playoff heroics in that span. A three-time Stanley Cup champion.

Williams played in 20 games with the Hurricanes last season. He recorded one goal in seven postseason games. The winger recorded 797 points, made up of 320 goals and 477 assists. This, he did in 1,264 career NHL games.

Ottawa Senators Add A Veteran Presence

Following the acquisition of Matt Murray from the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Ottawa Senators announced the acquisition of Erik Gudbranson from the Anaheim Ducks. They acquired him in exchange for 2021 fifth-round selection.

For a team with a cupboard full of young prospects, the Senators will be needing a veteran presence as they look to continue placing young players into the lineup.

Chicago Blackhawks Part Ways with Corey Crawford

The Chicago Blackhawks announced on Thursday that they would not be re-signing Stanley Cup champion Corey Crawford. This marks the bittersweet end of an era.

As the goaltending UFA market continues to grow, Crawford will be joining the likes of Braden Holtby, Thomas Greiss, Cory Schneider and more as teams look to improve in the crease.

The Montreal Canadiens Add To The Josh Anderson Gamble

The Montreal Canadiens, post-Anderson acquisition, announced a massive new contract for the Canadian forward.

Anderson, now 26, is coming off a tough year as he missed the majority of the season, needing reconstructive shoulder surgery. Had the Blue Jackets made it to the second round, Anderson said via conference that he would have been ready to play. While that was not the case, it is good to see the forward is healthy and training which should bode well for a Montreal Canadiens team making such a big commitment.

Ryan Murray Traded To New Jersey Devils

This could have been mentioned alongside the other Blue Jackets news, but given the significant player involved, it earned its own spot.

Late Thursday evening, the Columbus Blue Jackets announced that they traded defensemen Ryan Murray to the New Jersey Devils. They did so for a mere fifth round pick (What Ottawa traded for Gudbrandson, making this even weirder). Murray has been with the organization for eight years and has a history of injuries that appeared to stunt his development. As a result, he struggled to reach his ceiling. However, when he is not injured, Murray plays a rather strong game and may end up being a big get for the Devils, barring further injuries.

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