MONTREAL — The goalie carousel continued spinning Friday even before the second day of the 2022 NHL Draft began, with two more on the move amid a flurry of trades and signings.
The St. Louis Blues traded the free agent rights to Ville Husso to the Detroit Red Wings, who immediately signed him to a three-year contract, and the New Jersey Devils acquired Vitek Vanecek from the Washington Capitals.
The domino effect started Thursday when the Stanley Cup-winning Colorado Avalanche got Alexandar Georgiev from the New York Rangers. That move ensured playoff starter Darcy Kuemper would hit the open market.
There’s no shortage of teams interested in Kuemper and other goaltenders available by trade or in free agency.
Husso was set to be one of those options before Detroit sent the 73rd pick to St. Louis for the 27-year-old Finn. He got a $14.25 million deal with a $4.75 million annual cap hit over the next three seasons.
The Red Wings will now pair Husso with Alex Nedeljkovic, whom they acquired last offseason, as they move from rebuilding into contending.
New Jersey is still a couple of years away from that, but the Devils needed a goalie and got one in Vanecek along with the 46th pick after sending Nos. 37 and 70 to Washington. The Capitals are in the market for a veteran netminder to play in tandem with Ilya Samsonov, unless they also move on from him.
“We’ll explore trade opportunities there, we’ll look at the free agent market and then we’ll analyze the (restricted free agent) contracts that are coming,” general manager Brian MacLellan said earlier in the week.
The Philadelphia Flyers, who have uncertainty surrounding injured defenseman Ryan Ellis and a hole on their blue line even if he returns, acquired Tony DeAngelo from the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday for multiple draft picks. They then signed him to a $10 million, two-year contract.
And the Florida Panthers re-signed forward Eetu Luostarinen to a $3 million, two-year deal.
“Eetu is a selfless, dependable and cerebral player who plays with consistency each and every night,” GM Bill Zito said. “We are excited to have him back in our lineup.”