This past NHL offseason truly had it all - a successful offer sheet, an expansion draft, several blockbuster trades, and hundreds of millions of dollars in cash doled out in shiny new contracts for players across the league.
Keeping up with the wide variety of storylines was an exhausting and chaotic task at times. As we wait to see how it all pans out this coming year, let's reflect on some moves that still have us scratching our heads.
5. Oilers splurge for Keith
The Edmonton Oilers entered the offseason with a solid chunk of cap space but immediately handcuffed themselves by acquiring Duncan Keith. The Oilers brought in the 38-year-old future Hall of Fame defenseman in exchange for Caleb Jones and a conditional pick in 2022. While the cost wasn't outrageous, it made little sense for Edmonton to take on Keith's entire $5.538-million cap hit and full no-movement clause for the next two seasons.
Keith's legacy is undeniable. Three Stanley Cups, two Olympic gold medals, two Norris trophies, and a Conn Smythe make him one of the greats of his generation. But he's been an ineffective defender for years now. Keith hasn't posted a positive expected goals rate at five-on-five since 2015-16 and has been below 50% in shot share in each of the last three seasons.
There's no question the Oilers needed to add a blue-liner this summer. However, targeting Keith doesn't solve any of their defensive problems, especially considering Adam Larsson joined Seattle and Cody Ceci and Tyson Barrie - the club's only other signings on the back end - are prone to surrendering a ton of chances.
4. Flyers add Ristolainen
The Philadelphia Flyers were one of the league's busiest teams this offseason, setting out to make significant changes after a disappointing 2020-21 campaign in which they missed the playoffs. Some of the club's moves should genuinely help the cause, while others, like trading a first-round pick for Rasmus Ristolainen, are less likely to do so.