Grades for every big NHL free-agent signing: How does Holtby fit in Vancouver?

NHL free agency for 2020 is underway!

For each key signing, Emily Kaplan, Chris Peters and Greg Wyshynski will be assessing the player’s fit with his new team, weighing whether the terms of the contract make sense, and serving up an overall grade.

We’ll be grading the most notable offseason signings below, so come back for updates as deals are completed throughout the fall.

Braden Holtby, G, Vancouver Canucks

Terms: Two years, $8.6 million

Where does he fit? There’s no way to evaluate this signing without examining who Holtby is replacing, and why. Jacob Markstrom was, by some measures, the best goaltender in the NHL last season. He was an effective last line of defense behind a young team still figuring out how to play championship-level defense. Under the right conditions, Markstrom would have been the Canucks’ goaltender next season and for seasons to come. The reason Holtby is now with the Canucks instead of Markstrom is because those conditions weren’t right.

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