We're still in the midst of the NHL free agency period, with plenty more names around the league looking for new deals this offseason. However, there have been some clear winners up to this point. Most of the success stories feature teams that were able to lock up the biggest and most talented names available. Here are your five free agency winners up to this point.
5. Dallas Stars
Most are writing off the Dallas Stars' major acquisitions due to their age and fading abilities. The two biggest names they've signed so far are, without a doubt, Joe Pavelski and Corey Perry. Although Perry is on the back end of an injury-riddled career, Pavelski is a great pickup for Dallas. As one of the premier leaders and net-front presences in the league, Pavelski will only improve the Stars offense heading into next season.
4. Toronto Maple Leafs
You're probably thinking, "what have the Toronto Maple Leafs really done during free agency?" Although the Mitch Marner situation still hangs in the balance, the Leafs have actually had a great offseason. Toronto has acquired Tyson Barrie, Alexander Kerfoot and Cody Ceci along with a few lower-level players and draft picks. Their decision to sign Kerfoot and Ceci was insanely smart. If they can lock up Marner to a long-term deal, the Leafs will be dangerous next year.
3. Nashville Predators
The Predators biggest move has obviously been the long-term deal they signed forward Matt Duchene to. The former Avalanche and Blue Jackets star is going to be a great fit in Nashville's offense. General manager David Poile has proven that he's not afraid to throw the franchise's money around to land big names. The Preds look to be in good shape to make their sixth consecutive trip to the postseason next year.
2. Florida Panthers
Why are the Panthers a winner of free agency? The short and simple answer is Sergei Bobrovsky. Florida and general manager Dale Tallon went out and locked up one of the top-five best goaltenders in the entire league. Along with signing Bobrovsky to a seven-year deal, the Panthers also added Anton Stralman, Brett Connolly, and Noel Acciari to their already stacked lineup. Expect to see the Panthers dominate next season and return to the playoffs for the first time in three years.
1. New York Rangers
The Rangers were in a state of disarray at the end of last season. They needed to do something big in the offseason and they did exactly that. Locking up Artemi Panarin for the next seven seasons was a brilliant move by GM Jeff Gorton. Don't forget, either, that they added one of the best available defensemen in Jacob Trouba via a trade with the Winnipeg Jets. With all their offseason moves, including drafting Finnish phenom Kaapo Kakko, the Rangers could find themselves at the top of the Metropolitan Division next season.