NHL free agent tracker 2016: Gut reactions to biggest signings

Steven Stamkos’ decision to stay with the Tampa Bay Lightning has deflated the buzz surrounding the start of the 2016 NHL free agency period. But that doesn’t mean the days ahead won’t be active ones.

Utilizing NHL columnist Kevin Allen’s top 20 list as a basis, he and NHL editor Jimmy Hascup will provide their first takes on the biggest moves of free agency (players are in order ranked by Allen):

1. Center Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning, eight years, $68 million: At 26, this is a star still in the prime of his career — and he stays with the team that gives him a very good chance to win a Stanley Cup.

*Defenseman Keith Yandle (signed before draft weekend), Florida Panthers, seven years, $44.45 million: He is one of the top five offensive defenseman in the game today. He is a creative power play point man who can thread a pass through traffic.

2. Winger Milan Lucic, Edmonton Oilers, seven years, $42 million: A unique blend of size, skill and nastiness, Lucic can help drive play and should fit in well with Connor McDavid on the top line.

3. Winger Loui Eriksson, Vancouver…

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