NHL offseason grades: Pacific Division
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Divisions: Central | Metropolitan | Pacific | Atlantic

While there's still time for unforeseen signings and trades to alter the grades awarded below, theScore continues its offseason divisional breakdown with a deep dive into the Pacific.

It's worth noting the Pacific Division projects to be drastically altered for the 2020-21 season, as three of its eight clubs are likely to join a potential seven-team all-Canadian division amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Some contract figures are reported. Most players on two-way deals have been omitted.

Anaheim Ducks

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Key arrivals

Player Position Contract length AAV
Kevin Shattenkirk D 3 years $3.9M
Derek Grant C 3 years $1.5M

Key departures

Player Position Transaction
Michael Del Zotto D Became UFA
Erik Gudbranson D Traded to OTT
Matt Irwin D Signed with BUF
Ryan Miller G Became UFA

Re-signed

Player Position New contract length AAV
Jacob Larsson D 2 years $1.2M
Sonny Milano LW 2 years $1.7M
Troy Terry C 3 years $1.45M

Rookies who could crack the lineup

Player Position Drafted
Trevor Zegras C 1st round (2019)
Jamie Drysdale D 1st round (2020)

The Ducks weren't big players in free agency, though they did land Shattenkirk on a nice deal to strengthen their blue line. The move won't put them over the top, but it was the club's only notable offseason transaction.

Anaheim is caught between a fringe playoff spot and a full-scale rebuild, and the coming season will be crucial in determining the franchise's future. Captain Ryan Getzlaf is in the final year of his contract, and he's one of several valuable players the Ducks could potentially move to give themselves financial flexibility and assets for roster reconstruction.

A core built around Zegras, Drysdale, and superstar netminder John Gibson doesn't seem so bad, but it's tough to accurately assess the Ducks until they fully commit one way or another.

Grade: C

Arizona Coyotes

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Key arrivals

Player Position Contract length AAV
Johan Larsson C 2 years $1.4M
Tyler Pitlick RW 2 years $1.75M
John Hayden C 1 year $750K

Key departures

Player Position Transaction
Taylor Hall LW Signed with BUF
Vinnie Hinostroza RW Signed with FLA
Brad Richardson C Signed with NSH
Carl Soderberg C Became UFA
Michael Grabner LW Became UFA

Re-signed

Player Position New contract length AAV
Christian Fischer RW 2 years $1M
Ilya Lyubushkin D 1 year $1M
Adin Hill G 1 year $800K

Rookies who could crack the lineup

Player Position Drafted
Barrett Hayton C 1st round (2018)
Victor Soderstrom D 1st round (2019)

Most of the headlines the Coyotes made this offseason concerned off-ice affairs. Arizona hired Bill Armstrong to replace John Chayka as general manager after the latter stunningly left the organization, but Armstrong was unable to make an impact as the league stripped the club of several draft picks as punishment for combine testing violations.

When the Coyotes did make a pick, they selected Mitchell Miller despite knowing he went to court for bullying a Black classmate with a developmental disability in 2016. The organization initially said it wouldn't renounce its rights to Mitchell, only to backtrack days later.

As for on-ice operations, the Coyotes failed to add any impact players due to salary-cap constraints, while Hall left in free agency. Captain Oliver Ekman-Larsson was also the subject of rampant trade rumors during an ugly offseason in the desert.

Grade: D

Calgary Flames

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Key arrivals

Player Position Contract length AAV
Jacob Markstrom G 6 years $6M
Chris Tanev D 4 years $4.5M
Josh Leivo LW 1 year $875K
Joakim Nordstrom LW 1 year $700K
Alex Petrovic D 1 year $700K
Dominik Simon RW/LW 1 year $700K
Nikita Nesterov D 1 year $700K

Key departures

Player Position Transaction
TJ Brodie D Signed with TOR
Austin Czarnik C Signed with NYI
Erik Gustafsson D Signed with PHI
Travis Hamonic D Became UFA
Mark Jankowski LW Signed with PIT
Tobias Rieder RW/LW Signed with BUF
Cam Talbot G Signed with MIN

Re-signed

Player Position New contract length AAV
Andrew Mangiapane LW/RW 2 years $2.425M

Unsigned RFAs

Player Position
Oliver Kylington D

Rookies who could crack the lineup

Player Position Drafted
Adam Ruzicka C 4th round (2017)
Glenn Gawdin C 4th round (2015 by STL)
Matthew Phillips C 6th round (2016)

The Flames were one of the NHL's busiest teams this offseason, undergoing more roster turnover than any other club in the division. General manager Brad Treliving made a pair of big-ticket acquisitions in Markstrom and Tanev, two moves that strengthen positions of need - at least on paper - but could prove cumbersome in the future. That said, Calgary is in win-now mode, so it's difficult to fault Trelving for going for it.

Treliving also made a slew of cheap depth signings to bolster Calgary's bottom-six forward group and blue line. They're all low-risk, high-reward projects, and a player like Leivo could help provide the secondary scoring the club has lacked for several seasons.

Calgary appears to be in a better spot than it was last season. Combining its new additions with a bounce-back campaign from Johnny Gaudreau and Co. should have the Flames in prime position to compete in a potential all-Canadian division.

Grade: B+

Edmonton Oilers

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Key arrivals

Player Position Contract length AAV
Tyson Barrie D 1 year $3.75M
Kyle Turris C 2 years $1.650M
Dominik Kahun W/C 1 year $975K
Alan Quine C 1 year $750K
Jesse Puljujarvi RW 2 years $1.175M

Key departures

Player Position Transaction
Andreas Athanasiou LW/RW Became UFA
Matthew Benning D Signed with NSH
Mike Green D Retired
Riley Sheahan C Became UFA

Re-signed

Player Position New contract length AAV
Mike Smith G 1 year $2M
Tyler Ennis RW/LW 1 year $1M
Kris Russell D 1 year $1.25M

Unsigned RFAs

Player Position
Ethan Bear D

Rookies who could crack the lineup

Player Position Drafted
Philip Broberg D 1st round (2019)
Evan Bouchard D 1st round (2018)

The Oilers' offseason was a bit of a mixed bag. Circling back to Smith despite an unusually deep goalie market was a questionable move at best, and letting Athanasiou walk for nothing after sending the Red Wings two second-round picks for him at the trade deadline marked a waste of assets.

That said, capitalizing on Turris' buyout from the Predators and adding Barrie for cheap to replace the injured Oscar Klefbom on the top power-play unit were tidy pieces of business by GM Ken Holland. Retaining Ennis and signing Kahun for a combined $1.975 million were financially savvy moves, too.

The most intriguing aspect of Edmonton's offseason has to be Puljujarvi's return from Finland. The 2016 fourth overall pick posted strong numbers overseas this season and last, and if he can carry that over in his NHL revival, the Oilers' offense is looking as deep as it's ever been in the Connor McDavid era.

Grade: B

Los Angeles Kings

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Key arrivals

Player Position Contract length AAV
Olli Maatta D 2 years $4.083M (trade with CHI)
Lias Andersson C 1 year $894K (trade with NYR)

Key departures

Player Position Transaction
Trevor Lewis W/C Became UFA
Joakim Ryan D Signed with CAR

Re-signed

Player Position New contract length AAV
Sean Walker D 4 years $2.65M
Austin Wagner LW/RW 3 years $1.133M

Rookies who could crack the lineup

Player Position Drafted
Quinton Byfield C 1st round (2020)
Samuel Fagemo RW 2nd round (2019)
Arthur Kaliyev RW 2nd round (2019)
Alex Turcotte C 1st round (2019)
Gabriel Vilardi C 1st round (2017)
Tobias Bjornfot D 1st round (2019)
Rasmus Kupari C 1st round (2018)

It's clear the Kings are steadily building toward a bright future, and the club stayed the course this offseason. Acquiring Maatta doesn't hurt L.A. in any way, and fetching Andersson from the Rangers could pay off in spades if a change of scenery benefits 2017's seventh overall pick.

Los Angeles' biggest offseason move was drafting Byfield second overall. He projects to be a franchise center and moves to the top of the best prospect pool in the NHL.

Grade: A-

San Jose Sharks

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Key arrivals

Player Position Contract length AAV
Devan Dubnyk G 1 year $4.33M*
Ryan Donato LW 1 year $1.9M
Patrick Marleau LW 1 year $700K
Matt Nieto LW/RW 1 year $700K

Key departures

Player Position Transaction
Joe Thornton C Signed with TOR
Aaron Dell G Signed with TOR
Melker Karlsson C Became UFA

Re-signed

Player Position New contract length AAV
Kevin Labanc RW 4 years $4.725M
Stefan Noesen RW/LW 1 year $925K

Rookies who could crack the lineup

Player Position Drafted
Ryan Merkley D 1st round (2018)
Alexander Chmelevski C 6th round (2017)

After their worst season in years, the Sharks made some small tweaks and signaled they're sticking with their veteran core for the coming campaign. A lack of cap space may have been the primary reason for that, but general manager Doug Wilson deserves some credit for acquiring a new starting goalie at a discounted rate; the Wild retained a portion of Dubynk's salary in that deal.

The problem is Dubynk is coming off the worst season of his career after posting an .890 save percentage across 30 starts. If his struggles persist, the damage is somewhat limited as he's only on San Jose's books for one year. That said, a failure to bounce back means another wasted season as the aging Sharks stare a franchise-altering rebuild in the face.

Donato is a nice pickup, but San Jose's offense doesn't appear all that deep and lost a big piece of its identity after Thornton signed with the Maple Leafs. On the other end of the ice, there were no reinforcements for a defensive unit that allowed 162 goals at five-on-five last season - the second-worst total in the NHL.

The Sharks are hoping last season was an anomaly, but they didn't do much to ensure better results in 2020-21.

Grade: C-

Vancouver Canucks

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Key arrivals

Player Position Contract length AAV
Nate Schmidt D 5 years $5.95M (trade with VGK)
Braden Holtby G 2 years $4.3M

Key departures

Player Position Transaction
Jacob Markstrom G Signed with CGY
Chris Tanev D Signed with CGY
Josh Leivo LW Signed with CGY
Troy Stecher D Signed with DET
Tyler Toffoli RW Signed with MTL

Re-signed

Player Position New contract length AAV
Jake Virtanen RW 2 years $2.25M
Adam Gaudette C 1 year $950K
Tyler Motte LW 2 years $1.225M

Rookies who could crack the lineup

Player Position Drafted
Vasili Podkolzin RW 1st round (2019)
Nils Hoglander LW 2nd round (2019)
Jett Woo D 2nd round (2018)
Zack MacEwen C Undrafted

The Canucks lost a lot of talent this offseason. They may have dodged a bullet in letting Markstrom walk, but Vancouver could really struggle if Holtby doesn't find his old form and Thatcher Demko isn't in playoff mode.

Previous overpayments for bottom-six forwards continue to cost the Canucks dearly: Their lack of cap space lost them Toffoli, who was an excellent fit after coming over at the deadline and had publicly said he wanted to stay with the club. The departures of Tanev and Leivo also hurt Vancouver's depth, and the optics of losing so many key players to Canadian rivals - who will be regular opponents in a division north of the border - doesn't help the situation.

Schmidt is an impact defenseman and should fit nicely with the Canucks' dynamic offense, but his addition isn't enough to mitigate several offseason missteps.

Grade: C

Vegas Golden Knights

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Key arrivals

Player Position Contract length AAV
Alex Pietrangelo D 7 years $8.8M
Tomas Jurco RW 1 year $700K

Key departures

Player Position Transaction
Nick Cousins C Signed with NSH
Deryk Engelland D Became UFA
Paul Stastny C Signed with WPG
Nate Schmidt D Traded to VAN

Re-signed

Player Position New contract length AAV
Tomas Nosek C 1 year $1.25M
Chandler Stephenson C 4 years $2.75M
Robin Lehner G 5 years $5M

Rookies who could crack the lineup

Player Position Drafted
Jack Dugan LW Undrafted
Peyton Krebs C 1st round (2019)
Ivan Morozov LW 2nd round (2018)

The Golden Knights orchestrated the biggest signing of the offseason, landing Pietrangelo on a mammoth seven-year deal. Pairing the former Blues captain with Shea Theodore arguably gives Vegas the best defensive duo in the league and further cements the club's place among the NHL's elite.

Vegas also retained Lehner for less than market value, and while Marc-Andre Fleury's contract may not be pretty, that's as good a goaltending duo as one can find.

The one thing standing between the Golden Knights and complete Western Conference domination may be depth down the middle of the ice, and a dire cap situation will make it difficult to change that. If GM Kelly McCrimmon had managed to unload a significant chunk of salary, it could have been a perfect offseason in Sin City.

Grade: B+

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NHL offseason grades: Pacific Division
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