NHL offseason grades: Pacific Division
Lachlan Cunningham / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Divisions:
Metropolitan | Central
Pacific | Atlantic

While there wasn't a ton of impact player movement out west this summer, one team in the desert made a big addition that should help it become even more competitive, while a certain general manager in Northern California worked his magic once again.

Here's how the eight Pacific Division clubs fared in their respective offseasons:

Some contract figures are reported. Most players on two-way deals have been omitted. Total contract value does not include bonuses.

Anaheim Ducks

Jeff Vinnick / National Hockey League / Getty

Key arrivals

Player Position Contract Length Total Value
Michael Del Zotto D 1 year $750K
Anthony Stolarz G 2 years $1.5M

Key departures

Player Position Transaction
Corey Perry RW Bought out and signed with DAL

Re-signed

Player Position New Contract Length Total Value
Korbinian Holzer D 1 year $850K
Ryan Miller G 1 year $1.125M

Rookies who could crack the lineup

Player Position Drafted
Maxime Comtois C/LW 2nd round (2017)
Sam Steel C 1st round (2016)

The Ducks could be on the verge of acquiring Justin Faulk from the Carolina Hurricanes, but the deal would reportedly be contingent upon the blue-liner signing an extension with Anaheim. It would also require him to waive his no-trade clause, as the Ducks are one of the teams on his no-trade list, so it's far from a certainty that this swap gets done.

More importantly, even if Faulk is amenable to the move, his acquisition alone won't single-handedly solve Anaheim's problems.

The fact remains that until and unless the rearguard gives his approval, Anaheim has to this point failed to make any significant offseason additions this summer. Its most buzz-worthy transaction - at least for the time being - was the buyout of Perry, the longtime franchise fixture and 2011 Hart Trophy winner.

Putting their one possible defensive upgrade aside, the Ducks should have done more with their cap space to bail out stellar goaltender John Gibson by improving what was the league's worst offense in 2018-19.

Grade: D

Arizona Coyotes

Norm Hall / National Hockey League / Getty

Key arrivals

Player Position Contract Length Total Value
Phil Kessel RW 3 years $20.4M (Trade with PIT)
Carl Soderberg C/LW 1 year $4.75M (Trade with COL)

Key departures

Player Position Transaction
Kevin Connauton D Traded to COL
Alex Galchenyuk C/LW/RW Traded to PIT

Re-signed

Player Position New Contract Length Total Value
Lawson Crouse LW 3 years $4.6M
Clayton Keller C/LW/RW 8 years $57.2M
Ilya Lyubushkin D 1 year $874K

Rookies who could crack the lineup

Player Position Drafted
Barrett Hayton C 1st round (2018)

The Coyotes were the clear winners of the Kessel-Galchenyuk trade, and the deal signals that they're going all-in after coming up just short of a playoff berth in 2018-19. Kessel, a game-breaking goal-scorer and elite playmaker, is exactly what Arizona needed, and general manager John Chayka further cushioned his forward group when he added Soderberg.

Locking up franchise cornerstone Keller long term was another win for a franchise perpetually in search of stability. Yes, the 2016 seventh overall pick took a step backward from a production standpoint last season, but he's only 21 years old. If he can return to the 65-point form he displayed in his rookie campaign and build on that in the coming years, his next contract will be more than justified.

Beyond taking some mild, perhaps unfair criticism for the Keller deal, It's been a very good summer for Chayka. If starting goaltender Antti Raanta can stay healthy this season, the Coyotes should make an even stronger postseason push, thanks in no small part to the GM's moves.

Grade: B+

Calgary Flames

Andy Devlin / National Hockey League / Getty

Key arrivals

Player Position Contract Length Total Value
Milan Lucic LW 4 years $21M (Trade with EDM)
Cam Talbot G 1 year $2.75M

Key departures

Player Position Transaction
James Neal LW/RW Traded to EDM
Mike Smith G Signed with EDM

Re-signed

Player Position New Contract Length Total Value
Sam Bennett C/LW/RW 2 years $5.1M
David Rittich G 2 years $5.5M
Michael Stone D 1 year $700K (Bought out and re-signed)
Alan Quine C 1 year $735K

Unsigned RFAs

Player Position
Andrew Mangiapane C/LW
Matthew Tkachuk LW

Rookies who could crack the lineup

Player Position Drafted
Juuso Valimaki D 1st round (2017)*

*Tore ACL in August, no timetable for return

Calgary came out as the loser of the Lucic-Neal trade, and that was really the only headline-grabbing move general manager Brad Treliving made this offseason.

He did cross a couple of items off his summer to-do list by getting Rittich and Bennett back under contract, but Tkachuk is among the slew of NHL restricted free agents who remain without new deals, and the Flames can ill afford to begin the campaign without the 21-year-old forward who broke out with 34 goals and 77 points in 2018-19.

Allowing Smith to walk and replacing him with Talbot will give Rittich another chance to secure Calgary's No. 1 goaltending job, but overall, it's hard to say Calgary is in a much better position than it was at the end of 2018-19.

Grade: C

Edmonton Oilers

Andy Devlin / National Hockey League / Getty

Key arrivals

Player Position Contract Length Total Value
Josh Archibald RW 1 year $1M
Markus Granlund C/LW/RW 1 year $1.3M
Tomas Jurco LW/RW 1 year $750K
James Neal LW/RW 4 years $23M (Trade with CGY)
Mike Smith G 1 year $2M
Riley Sheahan C 1 year $900K

Key departures

Player Position Transaction
Milan Lucic LW Traded to CGY
Jesse Puljujarvi RW Signed 1-year deal in Finland*
Andrej Sekera D Bought out and signed with DAL
Anthony Stolarz G Signed with ANA

*Contract includes opt-out clause, allowing him to cut ties before Dec. 1

Re-signed

Player Position New Contract Length Total Value
Alex Chiasson RW 2 years $4.3M
Jujhar Khaira C/LW 2 years $2.4M

Rookies who could crack the lineup

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

Aside from winning the Neal-Lucic trade, did the Oilers do anything to surround Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl with a playoff-caliber group?

Beyond the Puljujarvi saga, it was fairly quiet summer in Edmonton, this time with new GM Ken Holland at the helm. That isn't always a bad thing, and he didn't have a lot of cap space to work with, but the Oilers' two stars need a better supporting cast if they hope to return to the postseason.

The Puljujarvi mess consumed the headlines in Edmonton for most of the offseason, and while it may be far from over, the Oilers haven't yet been able to turn any value he may have into an asset that can help them either now or in the future.

After a tumultuous 2018-19 season, the club needed to make an impact move or two. While the new GM is likely waiting until contracts come off the books in 2020 to make more significant changes, this roster requires more speed and skill to complement its dynamic duo, and it needs it now.

Grade: C-

Los Angeles Kings

Icon Sportswire / Icon Sportswire / Getty

Key arrivals

Player Position Contract Length Total Value
Joakim Ryan D 1 year $725K

Key departures

Player Position Transaction
Dion Phaneuf D Bought out

Re-signed

Player Position New Contract Length Total Value
Michael Amadio C/RW 2 years $1.4M
Daniel Brickley D 2 years $1.4M
Jack Campbell G 2 years $3.3M
Alex Iafallo C/LW 2 years $4.85M
Adrian Kempe C/LW 3 years $6M
Cal Petersen G 3 years $2.57M
Matt Roy D 2 years $1.4M

Rookies who could crack the lineup

Player Position Drafted
Carl Grundstrom LW 2nd round (2016 - TOR)
Nikolai Prokhorkin LW 4th round (2012)

Unlike the summer of 2018 when the Kings jumped into the UFA pool with the blockbuster but regrettable Ilya Kovalchuk signing, they took a much different approach to this offseason.

Now firmly in rebuild mode, general manager Rob Blake instead locked up a slew of his secondary talent at team-friendly prices rather than opting for a big-ticket signing. Blake appears to have learned his lesson from a year ago, and in securing his depth pieces at affordable rates, he's set the Kings up better for the future.

Buying out Phaneuf was necessary, and it will only really burden Los Angeles' cap flexibility in 2020-21 when the club still likely won't be ready to truly compete.

That being said, just because you don't sign a Kovalchuk-priced UFA in 2019 doesn't mean you should all but avoid the UFA market entirely, and Los Angeles' refusal to dip further into the free-agent pool was a bit surprising for a team trying to turn things around.

Grade: C

San Jose Sharks

Brandon Magnus / National Hockey League / Getty

Key arrivals

N/A

Key departures

Player Position Transaction
Justin Braun D Traded to PHI
Joonas Donskoi RW Signed with COL
Gustav Nyquist LW/RW Signed with CBJ
Joe Pavelski C/RW Signed with DAL

Re-signed

Player Position New Contract Length Total Value
Dylan Gambrell C 2 years $1.4M
Erik Karlsson D 8 years $92M
Kevin Labanc LW/RW 1 year $1M
Timo Meier LW/RW 4 years $24M
Joe Thornton C 1 year $2M

Rookies who could crack the lineup

Player Position Drafted
Ivan Chekhovich C/LW 7th round (2017)
Sasha Chmelevski C 6th round (2017)
Jacob Middleton D 7th round (2014 - LAK)

Doug Wilson is a sorcerer.

Not so much for the Karlsson contract, which was basically inevitable once the Sharks GM and the superstar defenseman decided they were committed to each other long term. Karlsson's injury history is a bit concerning, but when he's healthy, the all-world rearguard is clearly worth every penny.

Where Wilson deserves the most credit is for two of the other contracts he negotiated, both of which - remarkably - came after the hefty Karlsson pact. Somehow, someway, he got Labanc to agree to a one-year, $1-million deal coming off a 56-point campaign, and the Meier money could turn out to be a steal if the 30-goal scorer continues to blossom.

Bidding farewell to Pavelski stings, but the veteran forward won't sustain last season's ridiculous shooting percentage of 20.2 at age 35.

Throw in the PR win of the team-friendly Thornton contract, and to say Wilson and the Sharks had a successful offseason would be an understatement.

Grade: A

Vancouver Canucks

Jeff Vinnick / National Hockey League / Getty

Key arrivals

Player Position Contract Length Total Value
Jordie Benn D 2 years $4M
Micheal Ferland LW/RW 4 years $14M
J.T. Miller C/LW/RW 4 years $21M (Trade with TB)
Tyler Myers D 5 years $30M

Key departures

Player Position Transaction
Markus Granlund C/LW/RW Signed with EDM
Ben Hutton D Unrestricted free agent
Ryan Spooner C Bought out

Re-signed

Player Position New Contract Length Total Value
Alexander Edler D 2 years $12M
Nikolay Goldobin LW 1 year $900K
Josh Leivo LW 1 year $1.5M
Tyler Motte C/LW/RW 1 year $975K

Unsigned RFAs

Player Position
Brock Boeser RW

Rookies who could crack the lineup

Player Position Drafted
Quinn Hughes D 1st round (2018)

Despite the term handed out in some of these moves, credit Canucks GM Jim Benning (yes, you read that correctly) for adding to his emerging core both in free agency and via the trade route this summer. Vancouver has a deeper roster and is better positioned to challenge for a postseason berth as a result.

The Myers contract isn't ideal when viewed in a vacuum, but UFAs are often overpaid and he's proven to be a fairly effective blue-liner over the years.

Hughes will certainly be in the Canucks' lineup, and the left-shooting uber-prospect should be a regular member of Vancouver's top-four on the back end, especially with Hutton out of the picture.

One major hurdle remains in Benning's offseason, and that, of course, is coming to terms with Boeser. That impasse is obviously significant, but it shouldn't take away from an otherwise active and encouraging summer for the Canucks.

Grade: B-

Vegas Golden Knights

Ethan Miller / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Key arrivals

N/A

Key departures

Player Position Transaction
Nikita Gusev LW Traded to NJD
Erik Haula C/LW Traded to CAR
Colin Miller D Traded to BUF

Re-signed

Player Position New Contract Length Total Value
Deryk Engelland D 1 year $700K
William Karlsson C 8 years $47.2M
Brandon Pirri LW/RW 2 years $1.5M
Jimmy Schuldt D 1 year $850K
Malcolm Subban G 1 year $850K

Rookies who could crack the lineup

Player Position Drafted
Cody Glass C 1st round (2017)

The Karlsson contract was a reasonable one, assuming he continues to be a very solid two-way center. While the 26-year-old Swede experienced a predictable offensive regression in 2018-19, he once again proved he can be more than effective on both ends.

He also continued a remarkable run of durability by playing all 82 regular-season games, and he's missed only two contests over the last four regular seasons. So while the term of his new contract is a bit long, it's hard to argue that he isn't worth the $5.9-million cap hit.

However, the Golden Knights also dealt away a couple of key pieces this summer without getting a roster player in return. That was due to the club's salary cap constraints, but they may live to regret trading away a potential NHL star in Gusev and a solid blue-liner in Miller for a combined haul of two second-round picks, a third-rounder, and a fifth.

Grade: C+

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NHL offseason grades: Pacific Division
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