How the NHL’s Eastern Conference stacks up a week into free agency
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In: RW Josh Anderson, RW Tyler Toffoli, G Jake Allen, D Joel Edmundson
Out: C Max Domi, G Keith Kinkaid
BUFFALO (Missed post-season, sixth)
The Sabres, a team in turmoil off the ice after missing the post-season, surprised by acquiring veteran centre Eric Staal and went one step further when they signed Taylor Hall to a one-year contract. Hall will make Jack Eichel happy. The addition of Cody Eakin as depth piece works. Restricted free agents Sam Reinhart and Victor Olofsson need contracts, and while the Sabres will be improved, they need to make an upgrade in goal to ensure moving up.
In: LW Taylor Hall, C Eric Staal, RW Tobias Rieder, D Brandon Davidson, C Cody Eakin
Out: F Marcus Johansson, RW Wayne Simmonds, C Johan Larsson, F Jimmy Vesey
OTTAWA (Missed post-season, seventh)
It’s nice, we suppose, that Senators owner Eugene Melnyk sees a Cup champion in his team not too far down the road. But this is a club that will get by on patchwork for a few seasons yet. There are some solid prospects on the way, but for the time being, the group of forwards is thin — even with Evgenii Dadonov — and goalie Matt Murray will be tested by a defence corps that has Thomas Chabot and not much else.
In: G Matt Murray, LW Evgenii Dadonov, RW Austin Watson, D Erik Gudbranson, D Josh Brown, F Tim Stutzle
Out: D Mark Borowiecki, RW Bobby Ryan, LW Anthony Duclair, G Craig Anderson, D Ron Hainsey
DETROIT (Missed post-season, eighth)
GM Steve Yzerman had one way to go after the Wings finished last overall in 2019-20, winning 17 of 71 games. Bobby Ryan and Troy Stecher get a chance to redeem themselves after being bought out and not qualified respectively. The Wings should win more games, but not enough to make a big dent.