Daniel Alfredsson bolted from the Ottawa Senators to sign with the Detroit Red Wings, sensing that was the best move he could make in his drive to win a championship before his career ends.
‘‘It’s all about trying to get the Stanley Cup,’’ he said.
The Senators, refusing to settle after losing Alfredsson, responded with a bold move to acquire Bobby Ryan from the Anaheim Ducks.
“I think we got a star in Bobby Ryan,” Senators general manager Bryan Murray said.
“He’s an over 30-goal scorer each and every year, he’s a big, strong guy. He’s played behind two very good players in Anaheim in [Ryan] Getzlaf and [Corey] Perry. I think now he gets the chance to come in as a No. 1-line player for a team. He scores goals, he plays big minutes, he’s good around the net with and without the puck.”
NHL teams made a big splash on the first day of free agency with a slew of signings and some trades.
Less than a year after the league’s latest lockout, many teams spent big bucks on free agents despite knowing they will have to deal with a smaller salary cap next season.
Soon after adding Alfredsson, the Red Wings agreed to terms on a $24.5 million, five-year contract with 30-year-old center Stephen Weiss.
In exchange for landing Ryan, the Senators dealt forwards Jakob Silfverbeg, Stefan Noesen, and their first-round pick in next year’s draft to Anaheim.
The Ducks also re-signed 38-year-old forward Saku Koivu to a one-year deal. The 17-year NHL veteran had 27 points (eight goals) in 47 games last season.
The Toronto Maple Leafs, coming off their first postseason appearance since 2004, also made a statement by signing New Jersey Devils forward David Clarkson to a $36.75 million, seven-year deal and keeping first-line center Tyler Bozak with a $21 million, five-year deal.
‘‘It feels good,’’ said Clarkson, a Toronto native.
‘‘It’s an honor to be here. I wore that jersey as a kid. I was a big Leafs fan when I was little so it’ll be pretty special to put it on. And for my family, it’s a big day.’’
The Tampa Bay Lightning, which cleared salary cap by buying out 33-year-old Vincent Lecavalier, agreed to a $25 million, five-year deal with 29-year-old center Valtteri Filppula to essentially replace its captain.
N.J. gets Clowe, Ryder
The Devils bolstered their depth at forward, signing Ryane Clowe to a five-year, $24.25 million contract and also adding former Bruin Michael Ryder to a reported two-year deal worth $7 million. The signings came as the Devils restocked after losing Clarkson to the Maple Leafs. Clowe had three goals and five assists over 12 games with the Rangers, and was limited to just two playoff games with New York because a suspected concussion. Clowe, 30, has 104 goals and 279 points in his career . . . Veteran defenseman Rob Scuderi is headed back to Pittsburgh. Four years after he signed with the Kings weeks after helping the Penguins to their third Stanley Cup, Scuderi signed a four-year, $13.5 million contract to rejoin the Penguins. Scuderi, who also won the 2012 Cup with Los Angeles, missed only nine games over his four seasons with the Kings . . . The Predators wasted no time attempting to boost their anemic offense, signing free agent forwards Viktor Stalberg, Matt Cullen, Matt Hendricks, and Eric Nystrom. Stalberg, the former University of Vermont standout who had nine goals and 14 assists in 47 games for the Blackhawks, signed a four-year, $12 million deal . . . The Canadiens acquired enforcer George Parros from the Panthers for a prospect and a 2014 seventh-round pick. In 452 NHL games, Parros has 18 goals, 17 assists, and 1,007 penalty minutes.
Coyotes get Ribeiro
The Phoenix Coyotes, their ownership and arena problems apparently solved, landed forward Mike Ribeiro with a four-year, $22 million contract. In addition to Ribeiro, the Coyotes signed free agent goalie Thomas Greiss to serve as a backup to Mike Smith. Ribeiro, 33, has topped 50 points in a season eight times in his 14 NHL seasons. He had 49 points, including 36 assists, in 48 games with Washington last season . . . The Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks lost backup goalie Ray Emery to the Flyers but replaced him with veteran and former Blackhawk Nikolai Khabibulin. Chicago also re-signed defenseman Michal Rozsival and forward Michal Handzus . . . The Flyers made it official, signing forward Claude Giroux to an eight-year extension worth over $64 million and then solidifed their goaltending depth by signing Emery to a one-year deal for $1.65 million and former Edmonton goalie Yann Danis to a one-year, two-way contract . . . The Sharks focused on their own players in free agency, re-signing restricted free agent forward Tyler Kennedy to a two-year contract, unrestricted free agent defenseman Scott Hannan to a one-year deal, and formally announcing a five-year, $30 million contract with star center Logan Couture . . . The Islanders agreed to re-sign goalie Evgeni Nabokov after the 37-year-old had a 23-11-7 record and three shutouts in helping New York reach the playoffs for the first time since 2007.