The Nashville Predators make a big splash in the opening moments of NHL free agency Monday by signing Steven Stamkos, Jonathan Marchessault and Brady Skjei.

Stamkos said he was signing with the Predators, leaving Tampa Bay after 16 seasons that included winning the Stanley Cup twice and making two other trips to the final. It was not immediately clear what the 34-year-old forward was getting in terms of years or dollars.

Marchessault, the 2023 playoff MVP and another standout veteran forward, got a five-year deal worth $27.5 million, according to a person familiar with the contract. The Predators also signed defenseman Brady Skjei to a $49 million, seven-year contract according to a different person with knowledge of the contract. Both spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deals have not been announced.

Marchessault leaves Vegas after being an original member of the expansion Golden Knights in 2017 and helping them reach the final twice and win the Stanley Cup once.

Big money deals

Jake Guentzel signed a $63 million, seven-year contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning after they acquired his rights from Carolina over the weekend. Guentzel will count $9 million against the salary cap through 2031.

“Things just didn’t work out in Carolina, and then I heard Tampa might be trading for my rights, so obviously I got really excited because everyone hears how good of a team and good of a spot this is,” Guentzel said. “The pedigree behind Tampa Bay, the winning culture — just a lot of high-end players that really make it intriguing to come to Tampa.”

Tampa Bay traded defensemen Mikhail Sergachev to Utah and depth forward Tanner Jeannot to Los Angeles to clear significant cap space. But the team and Stamkos’ camp could not come to terms to keep the 2008 No. 1 pick around.

“It’s part of the business: You’re not really sure what’s going to happen,” Guentzel said of Stamkos. “He’s a Hall of Famer, he’s a special player. I have the utmost respect or the guy. He’s just an unbelievable player.”

Fresh off helping Florida win the Stanley Cup, defenseman Brandon Montour signed a $50 million, seven-year contract with Seattle. Cross-border rival Vancouver signed former Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk for $38.5 million over seven years.

Boston signed defenseman Nikita Zadorov to a six-year deal worth $30 million, according to a person with knowledge of the move. Another person familiar with the deal said San Jose signed Tyler Toffoli for $24 million over four years. Both spoke to The AP on condition of anonymity because the signings had not been announced.

Running it back

Hours after a rainy rally celebrating their Stanley Cup title, the Panthers beat the midnight buzzer to re-sign Sam Reinhart to an eight-year contract worth $69 million, an annual cap hit of $8.625 million for a player coming off a 57-goal regular season.

“Since coming to South Florida, Sam has demonstrated his ability to be a powerful scoring threat while maintaining strong defensive play,” general manager Bill Zito said of Reinhart, who also scored Florida’s Cup-clinching goal. “His versatility and value as a player are only outshined by his premier personality and work ethic, and we are pleased to have him continue on with our group.”

After Patrick Kane re-signed with Detroit on Sunday night, a handful of other teams kept key players around.

Jordan Martinook is re-signing with the Hurricanes on a three-year deal worth $9.15 million, according to a person with knowledge of the contract. Erik Johnson is also staying with the Philadelphia Flyers on a $1 million contract for next season.

Edmonton, which lost to the Panthers in seven games in the Cup final, re-signed versatile depth forward Connor Brown to a one-year contract for $1 million. Brown, who tore the ACL in his left knee in October 2022, had a goal and an assist in the final.

Tanev in Toronto

Toronto, which traded for Tanev’s rights at the draft over the weekend, quickly signed him to a six-year contract worth $27 million that counts $6.5 million against the salary cap through 2030.

“Everyone knows how hard he is to play against and what a warrior and competitive he is,” forward Max Domi, who re-signed with the Leafs on Sunday for the next four years, said of Tanev. “He’s going to be a big part of this team for a long time, obviously, and a big part of our success.”

The Leafs also signed goaltender Joseph Woll, a restricted free agent, to a three-year extension for just under $11 million.

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