What to Expect From Every NHL Team This Offseason
This offseason has the potential to be the biggest offseason in the NHL in quite some time. Names like Phil Kessel, Ryan O’Reilly, and Eric Staal are floating in the rumor spectrum. Here’s what each team has in store for the offseason:
Anaheim Ducks: Expect the Ducks to stay pretty much the same, despite a few small switches. They believe they have a team that can win now.
Arizona Coyotes: The Coyotes may not do much either this offseason, but as the season progresses, expect them to move out core players like Hanzal and others for draft picks.
Boston Bruins: The Bruins will look to add depth this offseason, while also exploring a bigger trade. Although not in a rush to do so, if a good deal comes along for Lucic or Chara, they will pull the trigger if the player’s no movement clauses works with it.
Buffalo Sabres: The Sabres are currently about to enter their “transition period”, either this year or next year. They will continue to try to add young, ready pieces (like Evander Kane), so they’ll be ready to compete in 3-4 years.
Calgary Flames: Calgary will be looking to take the next step. After a huge year where they came out of nowhere, Calgary will look to add some more pieces, like another top-6 forward (Lucic, O’Reilly) and another top-six defenseman.
Carolina Hurricanes: Carolina will probably stay quiet in terms of moves this offseason, but they will continue to explore deals for Eric Staal, Jordan Staal, and Cam Ward. Alex Semin is a strong buyout possibility.
Chicago Blackhawks: Unfortunately for the Stanley Cup Champion Blackhawks, they will be forced to shed salary again this offseason. Patrick Sharp and Bryan Bickell are head candidates. Sharp will be the easier one to move, and will be moved sooner.
Colorado Avalanche: Colorado will look for a trade for Ryan O’Reilly aggressively, as well as pursuing a free agent defenseman. They don’t have the prospects to make a trade, so expect them to be hard in pursuit for Mike Green and Francois Beauchemin.
Columbus Blue Jackets: Priority #1 in defense. Columbus is willing to sacrifice some of their young players, preferably Rychel, in exchange for a top-4 defenseman. Expect them to take one at their #8 pick if they don’t trade up (which will be hard to do).
Dallas Stars: Like Columbus, they too will be looking for defensemen. Dallas’ offense is fine, but adding a solid two-way defender is a necessity.
Detroit Red Wings: The Red Wings are a mystery team this offseason. They have the assets to trade (16th overall and Mantha), but there are no indications into what they are going to trade them for (if they do trade them). Detroit is hungry to get back into the later rounds a few more times before Datsyuk and Zetterberg get older.
Edmonton Oilers: The Oilers are going to be one of the most aggressive teams this offseason. They have the 16th overall, Martin Marincin, and other young pieces to trade in exchange for NHL-ready talent. This offseason is huge for the Oilers, as they need to turn the franchise around and give Connor McDavid a chance to shine in the playoffs.
Florida Panthers: Dale Tallon is expected to be persistent in free agency and on the trade market, searching for a top-six winger. Patrick Sharp and Justin Williams are names that have been discussed. Re-signing Jonathan Huberdeau is also high on his list.
Los Angeles Kings: The Kings are looking to bounce back from last year, and have some internal issues to work out (Voynov, Stoll, exc.). They are also a head candidate for Mike Reilly.
Minnesota Wild: They still have to solve their goaltending issue. Devan Dubnyk’s contract negotiations have gotten “difficult” according to Bob McKenzie. Along with that issue, they need to find a reliable backup, as Dubnyk cannot play every game in the season, like he did in the stretch run they had once they acquired him.
Montreal Canadiens: Montreal will be looking for offense this offseason, while looking to unload some assets, too. Ryan O’Reilly has been linked to them. One of Markov, Emelin, or Gilbert will be moved out due to salary cap.
Nashville Predators: The Predators will be looking for one more piece up front, but re-signing Mike Ribeiro and Mike Fisher is the top priority. Ribeiro will ask for a huge raise from his 1.05 million salary last season, and they have to keep Jones and Forsberg contracts in mind.
New Jersey Devils: The Devils are looking to get offensively sound, and they will have to use the trade market to do so. Eric Gelinas and Jon Merrill are on the block. They’ve already began transitioning into the Shero era, as they have signed some cheap free agents out of Europe.
New York Islanders: The Islanders are expected to stay mainly the same next season, with some depth being added. Michael Grabner is likely to be traded, and Snow will work on an extension for Kyle Okposo immediately.
New York Rangers: The Rangers are expected to stay put for next season, despite St. Louis not returning. Re-signing Derek Stepan and Carl Hagelin are the main goals. Rookies Oscar Lindberg (center) and Brady Skjei (defense) are anticipated to make the team next year. A Kevin Klein trade is being explored.
Ottawa Senators: Ottawa’s main concern is goaltending, as they have to trade one of Craig Anderson or Robin Lehner. They would like to add a top-six forward with that trade, but it may be tough to do with the abundance of goalies on the market this offseason.
Philadelphia Flyers: Like Detroit, the Flyers are another mystery team. Not sure what they’re going to do, as they have some big contracts on their hands like Lecavalier & MacDonald.
Pittsburgh Penguins: Pittsburgh will look to add depth this year, using the money saved on not re-signing Paul Martin and Christian Ehrhoff on forwards. Evgeni Malkin will not be traded.
San Jose Sharks: The Sharks are expected to stay the same, trying to get one last run out of Thornton and Marleau. If things fail, however, you could look to see those guys dealt away at the deadline or sooner.
St. Louis Blues: The Blues need to assess their offense this offseason, and TJ Oshie is a prime candidate for trade. Barrett Jackman will not be back.
Tampa Bay Lightning: The Lightning, following a Cup run, will stay the same, with maybe a few depth or fourth line additions. Re-signing Stamkos, who is eligible for a new contract on July 1st, is Yzerman’s priority.
Toronto Maple Leafs: The Leafs will continue their rebuild, and all players are up for grabs. It has been made known that they want to trade Phil Kessel before the draft. Dion Phaneuf has also generated significant interest (Detroit, Dallas, Columbus).
Vancouver Canucks: The Canucks will like to add a defenseman, but will not overpay for one, which will be hard to do with this weak free agent class. Cody Franson will be a fit, but the money might not be there.
Washington Capitals: The Capitals are another team expected to be very aggressive this offseason. They are trying to add one or even two top-six forwards, and are willing to trade young players and draft picks in exchange for them. One name right off the bat is Patrick Sharp.
Winnipeg Jets: The Jets will try to improve their middle six forward group, and the start to that is re-signing Drew Stafford and Jiri Tlusty. Expect Pavelec to get one more shot.
It’s going to be a very exciting offseason, folks. Get ready.