10 Biggest Winners Of 2015 NHL Free Agency

By Darrell Samuels

10 Biggest Winners of 2015 NHL Free Agency

Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins
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As NHL fans are analyzing how their team did in the early part of the summer, they are either elated or disgusted. There is a lot of pressure on the 30 NHL General Managers and coaches to get their roster perfect prior to the start of training camp in September.

These following ten teams should be applauded for the work they did between the NHL Draft in Sunrise, Florida and the middle of July.

10. Chicago Blackhawks

Chicago Blackhawks
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10. Chicago Blackhawks

Chicago Blackhawks
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The salary cap is really affecting the roster at the United Centre. The team has had to trade Brandon Saad and Patrick Sharp in separate deals to Columbus and Dallas. These players have been replaced by Artem Anisimov, Viktor Tikhonov and Trevor Daley to boost an already deep roster. They have made the best of a bad situation.

9. Washington Capitals

Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals
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9. Washington Capitals

Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals
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The Washington Capitals made small moves via free agency bringing in goaltender Dan Ellis from Florida along with forwards Justin Williams and Drew Stafford from Los Angeles and Winnipeg respectively. The biggest move was acquiring T.J. Oshie from the St. Louis Blues for forward Troy Brouwer, a goalie prospect and a draft pick.

8. Edmonton Oilers

Taylor Hall, Edmonton Oilers
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8. Edmonton Oilers

Taylor Hall, Edmonton Oilers
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Connor McDavid-mania is about to commence. They are winners just with that move. They also went out and made some great trades. They brought in Eric Gryba, Cam Talbot, Griffin Reinhart and Lauri Korpikoski, along with Mark Letestu and Andrej Sekera via free agency. The Oilers still need some help on defense and between the pipes in net but definitely made huge strides.

7. Detroit Red Wings

Brad RIchards, Detroit Red Wings
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7. Detroit Red Wings

Brad Richards, Detroit Red Wings
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It might be a small roster move but they were able to acquire Mike Green from the Washington Capitals, and Brad Richards from the Chicago Blackhawks. The Atlantic Division is always tough and the team has gone to acquire more veteran experience on the blue line and up front. These moves might help push the team into consideration for their 25th consecutive playoff appearance.

6. Columbus Blue Jackets

Ryan Johansen, Columbus Blue Jackets
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6. Columbus Blue Jackets

Ryan Johansen, Columbus Blue Jackets
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The Columbus Blue Jackets’ big acquisition via trade was adding Brandon Saad of the Chicago Blackhawks in a six player blockbuster trade. They were not very active signing free agents. However, they were able to add Saad to top Blue Jackets’ forward Ryan Johansen. That is nothing to sneeze at in embarrassment considering their young roster could stay together for the start of the fall.

4. Buffalo Sabres

Jack Eichel, Buffalo Sabres
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4. Buffalo Sabres

Jack Eichel, Buffalo Sabres
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The Buffalo Sabres are probably not a threat for the Stanley Cup this fall. However, they have made huge strides in their move from the basement. Hiring incoming head coach Dan Bylsma, prospect Jack Eichel, Ryan O'Reilly (via trade from Colorado) to play along with Evander Kane are all smart moves. Add them with Tyler Myers and Zach Bogosian and it is evident Buffalo will be feared soon.

3. Dallas Stars

Antti Niemi, Dallas Stars
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3. Dallas Stars

Antti Niemi, Dallas Stars
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The Dallas Stars brought Antti Niemi to Dallas to compete with Kari Lehtonen for the starting role in net. They also acquired Patrick Sharp from Chicago to go with Jamie Benn, Jason Spezza and Tyler Seguin. They would like to improve their defense and there have been rumors of interest in the Toronto Maple Leafs’ Dion Phaneuf.

2. Calgary Flames

Dougie Hamilton, Calgary Flames
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2. Calgary Flames

Dougie Hamilton, Calgary Flames
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The Calgary Flames took everyone by surprise last season. They defeated the Vancouver Canucks and weren't pushovers in a loss against the Anaheim Ducks in the playoffs. Recently, they were able to trade and sign defenseman Dougie Hamilton from the Boston Bruins. Adding Hamilton to their young team can only be considered a plus. Another great move was luring forward Michael Frolik away from the Winnipeg Jets.

1. Pittsburgh Penguins

Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins
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1. Pittsburgh Penguins

Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins
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The Penguins did not get a lot via free agency but they improved themselves by bringing in Phil Kessel from the Toronto Maple Leafs, to play with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. The Pittsburgh Penguins are a team to be reckoned with this fall in the quest for the Stanley Cup.

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