Category Archives: NHL Free Agency

The Ultimate Guide to the 2017 NHL Trade Deadline: Eastern Conference Edition

The Ultimate Guide to the 2017 NHL Trade Deadline: Eastern Conference Edition

This post is broken up into five parts per team. First is the record as of Wednesday, 2/15, which is two weeks from the trade deadline. 

Secondly is the top prospects per each team. Note, this doesn’t include players like Auston Matthews and Brandon Carlo since they are contributing on a major scale in the NHL. There is room to still call those players and others of that nature as “prospects”, but for this use, they are not considered in that category. 

Also listed is each team’s 2017 unrestricted free agents. After that is an analysis, which is essentially what the team is likely to do at the trade deadline. 

Lastly is potential targets. These players come off of a list from @NHLRumourReport’s “Rumor Board” which can be found here: http://www.nhlrumourreport.com/p/nhl-trade-rumour-board.html?m=1. Make sure to give him a follow on Twitter as well. 

Metropolitan Division

Washington Capitals — 

Record as of 2/15: 39-11-6 (56 GP)

Top prospects: Lucas Johansen (D), Madison Bowey (D), Stanislav Galiev (W), Jakub Vrana (W), Ilya Samsonov (G), Vitek Vanacek (G), Zach Sanford (W)

2017 UFAs: TJ Oshie, Justin Williams, Karl Alzner, Daniel Winnik, Brett Connolly, Tom Gilbert

Analysis: The Capitals are essentially all in at this point, so don’t expect them to sell any of their unrestricted free agents. They already made one move, which was acquiring Tom Gilbert from LA in exchange for future considerations. With a hefty number of guys coming off the books this season that will be due for pay raises, specifically TJ Oshie and Karl Alzner, it’s safe to expect to see the Capitals as aggressive buyers this deadline. Although it’s likely not going to be major pieces, depth will he added. 

Potential targets: Radim Vrbata, Alex Burrows, Patrick Eaves

Pittsburgh Penguins — 

Record as of 2/15: 35-13-7 (55 GP)

Top prospects: Derrick Pouliot (D), Jake Guentzel (W), Daniel Sprong (W), Filip Gustavsson (G)

2017 UFAs: Chris Kunitz, Trevor Daley, Nick Bonino, Matt Cullen, Kevin Porter

Analysis: The Penguins, coming off a Stanley Cup win, are essentially in the same mindset as the Capitals. They need to and want to win now. Derrick Pouliot is a name that could be moved out. He hasn’t progressed well since being drafted high in 2012. Colorado could be a fit, but not for Duchene or Landeskog. Maybe another rental, though. 

Potential targets: Jarome Iginla, Radim Vrbata, Shane Doan, Dmitry Kulikov, P-A Parenteau

Columbus Blue Jackets — 

Record as of 2/15: 35-15-5 (55 GP)

Top prospects: Joonas Korpisalo (G), Sonny Milano (W), Oliver Bjorkstrand (W), Paul Bittner (W), Dillon Heatherington (D), Gabriel Carlsson (D), Pierre-Luc Dubois (C), Vitaly Abramov (W)

2017 UFAs: Sam Gagner

Analysis: The Blue Jackets surprised many this season by soaring to the top of the league after an abysmal 2015-2016 season. The emergence of young players like Josh Anderson and Markus Nutivaara have put the Jackets in a good position moving forward to the deadline. A few tweaks may be made, but likely nothing significant. 

Potential targets: John Mitchell, Michael Stone, Brian Boyle, Andreas Martinsen, Tyler Johnson

New York Rangers —

Record as of 2/15: 37-18-1 (56 GP)

Top prospects: Igor Sheshtyorkin (G), Ryan Graves (D), Ryan Gropp (D), Sean Day (D), Ty Ronning (W)

2017 UFAs: Steve Kampfer, Tanner Glass

Analysis: As always, the Rangers are looking to win it all. Henrik Lundqvist is not getting any younger. A primary concern for them is on defense, although an immediate fix may not be in the plans. Kevin Shattenkirk certainly makes sense from both sides, but the Rangers likely won’t cough up what the Blues want for him and will rather wait until the offseason. 

Potential targets: John Mitchell, Kevin Shattenkirk, Michael Stone, Fedor Tyutin, Dmitry Kulikov, Cody Franson

New York Islanders — 

Record as of 2/15: 25-20-10 (55 GP)

Top prospects: Michael Dal Colle (W), Josh Ho-Sang (W), Mathew Barzal (C), Kieffer Bellows (W), Ilya Sorokin (G) 

2017 UFAs: Dennis Seidenberg 

Analysis: The Islanders are stuck in no mans land between making and missing the playoffs currently. They only have one asset to sell, Seidenberg, but it’s unlikely that Garth Snow will do that. However, an expansion prep trade involving Thomas Hickey or Calvin de Haan would certainly be interesting. Regardless, it’ll likely be a quiet day on Long Island. 

Potential targets: Matt Duchene, Gabriel Landeskog, Tyler Johnson

Philadelphia Flyers —

Record as of 2/15: 27-22-7 (56 GP)

Top prospects: Anthony Stolarz (G), Sam Morin (D), Travis Sanheim (D), German Rubtsov (C), Carter Hart (G), Oskar Lindblom (W)

2017 UFAs: Mark Streit, Steve Mason, Michael Del Zotto, Nick Schultz, Michal Neuvirth, Boyd Gordon, P-E Bellemare, Chris VandeVelde

Analysis: The Flyers are in a very similar spot to the Isles. One spot they have to fix up moving forward is goaltending. One of Steve Mason or Michal Neuvirth, both pending free agents, could be moved out in the upcoming two weeks to allow for Anthony Stolarz to see more NHL playing time. Also, you have to wonder, could Ben Bishop make sense there? It seems like more of an offseason move but it’s definitely interesting. 

Potential targets: Tomas Jurco, Ben Bishop

Carolina Hurricanes — 

Record as of 2/15: 24-22-7 (53 GP)

Top prospects: Jake Bean (D), Julien Gauthier (W), Nicholas Roy (C), Alex Nedeljkovic (G), Haydn Fleury (D)

2017 UFAs: Bryan Bickell, Ron Hainsey, Viktor Stalberg, Jay McClement, Matt Tennyson

Analysis: Continuing with teams in the middle of the pack, the Hurricanes find themselves in a tricky situation as well. However, they differ themselves from the Flyers in the fact that they do not have many quality assets to sell this deadline. Viktor Stalberg is a nice depth piece for a playoff run, but is dealing him for little return worth it at this point? Either way, Carolina will be a fun team to watch these next few months. As I’ve said before, Duchene makes a lot of sense for them. 

Potential targets: Tomas Jurco, Matt Duchene, Ben Bishop, Ryan Spooner, Tyler Johnson

New Jersey Devils — 

Record as of 2/15: 24-22-10 (56 GP)

Top prospects: Michael McLeod (C), Nathan Bastian (C), Joey Anderson (W), Mackenzie Blackwood (G), John Quenneville (C), Josh Jacobs (D), Steve Santini (D)

2017 UFAs: Kyle Quincey, P-A Parenteau, Keith Kinkaid 

Analysis: The Devils are going to be a seller this deadline with the few pieces they have. Kyle Quincey may fetch a late round pick as a depth defensemen. P-A Parenteau is much more enticing as a scorer and could go for upwards of a second round pick depending on the market. Not bad for a player picked up off of waivers in October. 

Potential targets: Tomas Jurco, Ryan Spooner, Derrick Pouliot

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Atlantic Division 

Montreal Canadiens — 

Record as of 2/15: 31-19-8 (58 GP)

Top prospects: Mikhail Sergachev (D), Noah Juulsen (D), Nikita Scherbak (W), Michael McCarron (W)

2017 UFAs: Andrei Markov, Alex Radulov, David Desharnais, Brian Flynn, Chris Terry

Analysis: Montreal’s big move was firing Therrien and hiring Julien, but that does not mean a few changes won’t be made at the deadline. For starters, Bergevin will try to find suitors for Plekanec and Desharnais. Even if that does not work, I’d expect them to shore up their offense a little bit. Seeing how Alex Galchenyuk does at center under Claude Julien in the upcoming two weeks will have a profound impact on where that offense will be going.  

Potential targets: Martin Hanzal, Shane Doan, Alex Burrows, Patrick Eaves, Brian Gionta 

Ottawa Senators — 

Record as of 2/15: 29-19-6 (54 GP)

Top prospects: Logan Brown (C), Thomas Chabot (D), Colin White (C), Johnathan Dahlen (C)

2017 UFAs: Tommy Wingels, Chris Neil, Chris Kelly, Tom Pyatt, Mike Condon

Analysis: The Senators sit in a pretty good spot right now. They have a solid core of players currently and few UFAs to deal with this summer. As a budget team, there aren’t many big pieces they can add, although Matt Duchene was looked at. Some bottom pairing defense would help them greatly. 

Potential targets: Michael Stone, Fedor Tyutin, Cody Franson

Toronto Maple Leafs — 

Record as of 2/15: 26-18-11 (55 GP)

Top prospects: Carl Grundstrom (W), Joseph Woll (G), Travis Dermott (D), Jeremy Bracco (C), Rinat Valiev (D), Andreas Johnson (W)

2017 UFAs: Brooks Laich, Milan Michalek, Colin Greening, Roman Polak, Matt 

Matt Hunwick, Curtis McElhinney, Ben Smith

Analysis: I wouldn’t expect the Leafs to buy heavily or sell heavily at this trade deadline. Their rebuild has certainly taken an accelerated approach, but they need to stay on track. Trading prospects for a player like a Kevin Shattenkirk should not be in the picture currently. Some veteran bottom-six presence for cheap would be a good addition, though. 

Potential targets: Kevin Shattenkirk, Fedor Tyutin, Brian Boyle, Cody Franson

Boston Bruins —

Record as of 2/15: 29-23-6 (58 GP)

Top prospects: Charlie McAvoy (D), Trent Frederic (C), Jakub Zboril (D), Jake DeBrusk (W), Zachary Senyshyn (W), Jeremy Lauzon (D), Malcolm Subban (G)

2017 UFAs: John-Michael Liles, Dom Moore, Zac Rinaldo

Analysis: Despite not being in a great spot heading into the trade deadline, it seems that the Bruins are looking to do something big. Gabriel Landeskog has been linked to them for a while now. Kevin Shattenkirk makes sense too, but like the Rangers, waiting until the offseason is probably for the best. 

Potential targets: Kevin Shattenkirk, Gabriel Landeskog

Florida Panthers — 

Record as of 2/15: 24-20-10 (54 GP)

Top prospects: Henrik Borgstrom (C), Adam Mascherin (C), Ian McCoshen (D)

2017 UFAs: Jaromir Jagr, Jakub Kindl, Shawn Thornton, Reto Berra 

Analysis: The Panthers don’t have much to do this trade deadline, quite frankly. Jagr is a free agent but I think it’s unlikely he gets moved. A new team to start next season is not out of the question, though. Florida has a lot of front office confusion to sort out in the next few months. A report came out a few months ago that they’d be willing to take on bad contracts if prospects came along with it. That’s after they traded Lawson Crouse with Dave Bolland to Arizona this summer. Very strange. 

Potential targets: prospects

Tampa Bay Lightning — 

Record as of 2/15: 25-24-7 (56 GP)

Top prospects: Brett Howden (C), Boris Katchouk (W), Taylor Raddysh (W), Matthew Spencer (D), Dennis Yan (W), Adam Erne (W)

2017 UFAs: Ben Bishop, Brian Boyle 

Analysis: The Lightning have had a disappointing year, which could be attributed to a number of things. Steven Stamkos being out long term did not help. They’re likely to sell this year. Brian Boyle is a solid bottom six center that can fetch them a second and a B-prospect at worst. Ben Bishop is another interesting piece, but he’s probably going to be available in the summer anyways. So it remains unknown if there will be any takers for him. 

Potential targets: prospects

 
Detroit Red Wings — 

Record as of 2/15: 22-24-10 (56 GP)

Top prospects: Dennis Cholowski (D), Evgeny Svechnikov (W), Vili Saarijarvi (D), Tyler Bertuzzi (W)

2017 UFAs: Brendan Smith, Thomas Vanek, Drew Miller, Steve Ott 

Analysis: For the first time in a long, long, long time the Red Wings will be sellers. Thomas Vanek has had a very strong year and will get them a decent return. Something similar as to when he was traded to Montreal (for Collberg and a 2nd) is likely in line. Even if he is dealt, I think there’s a strong possibility Vanek returns to Detroit next season. Smith could move too, but a late round pick is all they’ll get. 

Potential targets: prospects 

Buffalo Sabres —

Record as of 2/15: 24-23-10 (57 GP)

Top prospects: Alex Nylander (W), Rasmus Asplund (C), Casey Fitzgerald (D), Brendan Guhle (D)

2017 UFAs: Dmitry Kulikov, Brian Gionta, Cody Franson, Anders Nilsson, Derek Grant

Analysis: It has been another bad year for the Sabres. Tensions are boiling over in the locker room, as seen by Robin Lehner’s recent comments. They’ll be sellers again. Dmitry Kulikov has not been a fit and won’t be back with the team next season. If he’s not dealt in two weeks, he will be in the offseason. Cody Franson could fetch a decent return, despite the fact that he’s struggled in his time in Buffalo. Captain Brian Gionta also is a free agent, although he says he wants to stay. I doubt that’ll happen. He’s a good piece for a young team looking to go on a run, whoever that may be. Evander Kane’s name has been out there as well, but he carries term and salary. 

Potential targets: Derrick Pouliot, Ben Hutton

Western Conference coming soon. Please share. Thank you!
-Kevin, @TheNHLFiles

Top 15 remaining NHL free agents 

1. Radim Vrbata: Despite being linked to upwards of four teams, Radim Vrbata has not signed anywhere yet. The right wing is older but is only one season removed from 30 goals. He struggled last year putting up only 27 points in 63 games, but almost all Canucks players struggled. Vrbata can still fill a middle-six scoring role on a playoff team.  Read the rest of this entry

Team-by-team review of Day 1 of NHL free agency 

Day one of NHL free agency has come and gone, but it has left a considerable mark on the league in the process. Here’s a team by team breakdown of who signed who and what the outlook is for the team and player. 

The Anaheim Ducks really didn’t do anything. Actually, they did nothing. Beside lose Jamie McGinn and David Perron, that is. There is still time to turn it around, but it was a rough start for Bob Murray. It’s expected that they at least pick up a goalie — one of Ramo or Enroth. 

The Arizona Coyotes had a quiet but successful day, picking up some depth pieces. Jamie McGinn is a nice add. Justin Peters provides goalie insurance if Mike Smith goes down with injury again. And, Ryan White will play bottom six minutes. Nothing spectacular, nothing bad for GM Chayka’s first frenzy day on the job. 

The Boston Bruins brought in three free agents, one especially notable in David Backes. The gritty center signed a five year deal in Boston at six million per. That’s the price you’re going to have to pay. I don’t really see the fit though with Krejci and Bergeron in the middle, but I am sure Backes knows what is best. Boston also welcomed back Anton Khudobin as a backup and added Riley Nash down the middle as well. 

The Buffalo Sabres didn’t do much, but they hauled in arguably the biggest free agent of the class. Kyle Okposo signed there for 6 million. I was expecting the AAV to be higher, so good on you Tim Murray. 

The Calgary Flames added two new players in Troy Brouwer and Chad Johnson. Brouwer will play a top-six role in Calgary and Johnson proved to be a formidable NHL goaltender in Buffalo last season. It was a good day for Brad Treliving. I wouldn’t be surprised if he picks up another forward, either. 

The Carolina Hurricanes didn’t add any big names, but they brought in some depth. Lee Stempniak and Viktor Stalberg were both signed to deals. I like both of these for Carolina. Very bang-for-your-buck type players. 

Chicago was thwarted by the cap but managed to squeeze Brian Campbell in. He’ll be a valuable addition. Side note: it was reported that he left almost 2.5 million on the table from Florida to join Chicago. Wow. 

Colorado had a solid and surprisingly sensible (sorry Avs fans) day. They inked Joe Colborne to a deal, a player I’m surprised the Flames let slip away. They also nabbed reclamation project Patrick Wiercioch for under a million which could turn out to be a steal. Fedor Tyutin, master shot suppressor, was also signed. 

Columbus, like Anaheim, really didn’t do much. Seth Jones getting locked up was about as big of an offseason win as you could’ve gotten in Columbus. 

Dallas finally got Dan Hamhuis after trying for him at the trade deadline. His 3.25 million cap hit is surprisingly low. This is a great signing for Dallas and Hamhuis alike. 

The Detroit Red Wings had a busy day, signing three forwards. They grabbed Frans Nielsen (six years) and Thomas Vanek, Steve Ott (one year). Nielsen was the best center on the market and helps fill the Datsyuk void. Vanek can be a good signing if he turns it around. If not, you let him go next year. No biggie. 

Edmonton got their guy in Milan Lucic, thankfully because if they lost Taylor Hall AND didn’t sign Lucic, hell would’ve broken loose. The AAV is high, but you have to do what you have to do. They also got backup goalie Jonas Gustavsson. 

Florida made one big acquisition with James Reimer. With Berra being just traded for, you have to wonder about Lu’s future. Rumors of health issues have been going around. We’ll see. 

Los Angeles was one of the more active teams, signing five players, albeit none of high salary. They signed Teddy Purcell, Zach Trotman, Michael Latta, Tom Gilbert, and Jeff Zatkoff. All very affordable and solid options spread across all three bases. Solid day for Dean Lombardi. 

Minnesota was also very active, signing Eric Staal, Alex Stalock, Victor Bartley, and Chris Stewart. Both Stewart and Staal present a bit of a risk but have the possibility to pay high dividends. Minnesota needs to get over the second round hump soon. 

Montreal made a few waves today, mainly by signing Alex Radulov. They also signed depth players with defenseman Zach Redmond and goalie Al Montoya. Radulov will be a fun storyline to watch this year. Hopefully for Montreal, it will work out better than Semin did.

Nashville made a few defensive depth signings but nothing major. Matt Irwin and Yannick Weber will be joining the team. Maybe Weber will take #6? 

The Devils didn’t have an overly active day, but got Ben Lovejoy and Vern Fiddler. Lovejoy knows Shero from his Pittsburgh days. I think we’ll see one more move up front from New Jersey. 

The Islanders lost Nielsen, Okposo, and Martin but added Andrew Ladd and Jason Chimera. Overall a successful day for them. They probably need another forward, if not Mat Barzal will have to step in, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Time will tell. 

The Rangers made some depth signings with Gerbe, Grabner, Paliotta, and Clendening. The two forwards will provide as bottom-six help, whereas Clendening will likely slot in as a seventh defenseman. Nothing major in the Big Apple yet. 

Ottawa, like Anaheim and Columbus, didn’t do much today. They made a few minor-league signings but not anything noteworthy. New GM Pierre Dorion feels Mike Blunden can step up into a bottom-six role next season. 

Philadelphia added two bottom-six players in Dale Weise and Boyd Gordon. The Weise deal is for four years and will either look really good or really average after this year. Luckily for Philadelphia, if things go bad, Weise has an easily moveable cap hit. 

Pittsburgh, due to cap, didn’t add anything outside of two depth defensemen. They got Stuart Percy, ex-Toronto Marlie. I guess that makes up for losing Scott Harrington in the Kessel trade?

San Jose added David Schlemko and Mikkel Boedker in an attempt to push them to the next step, which is winning the Stanley Cup. Many people were surprised by Schlemko getting four years, but the AAV is low and he is a very underrated defenseman. 

The St. Louis Blues brought back David Perron on a two-year deal. He is a solid replacement for Troy Brouwer. They also got Carter Hutton to backup Jake Allen, the recipient of a new four year deal. 

The Tampa Bay Lightning signed two depth forwards, Michael Bournival and Jeremy Morin. Not much to write about here. 

Toronto only made one move, signing Matt Martin to a four year deal. The AAV was surprisingly low at only 2.5 per. He’ll provide energy for the Leafs as well as protection for the young kids. Personally, I think it’s a good signing. Others think the opposite. To each his own. 

The Canucks signed Loui Eriksson to a six year deal and he is expected to slot in beside the Sedin twins. I think it’s a good fit for the team, but I’m surprised Eriksson isn’t in a “win now” mode. 

Washington signed Brett Connolly to a cheap deal. He has the skill to really make this a great signing for Washington. The former first round pick hasn’t been able to find his knack in Boston or Tampa Bay. 

Lastly, the Winnipeg Jets made a trio of moves grabbing Shawn Matthias, Quinton Howden, and Brian Strait. Matthias is a good depth option, Howden is a youngster who never got a chance in Florida, and Strait is a 7/8 defenseman. Not spectacular, but not a bad day. 

Plenty of free agents are left. We’ll see what day two has in store. 

-Kevin, @TheNHLFiles

Recap: Hall/Larsson and Subban/Weber trades, plus Stamkos’ signing 

Yes — we are just as confused as you are. 

In thirty minutes, the course of the next NHL season changed dramatically. In what was likely the biggest flurry of trades in NHL history, PK Subban, Taylor Hall, Shea Weber, and Adam Larsson were all dealt. Not to mention Steven Stamkos re-signed in Tampa Bay. 

So let’s start at the first trade of the day. New Jersey acquired Taylor Hall from Edmonton in exchange for Adam Larsson. This was a desperate move met by a lot of scrutiny, mostly rightful, by Peter Chiarelli. With trading chips such as Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jordan Eberle, a deal involving Taylor Hall shouldn’t have been necessary. Adam Larsson is a solid young defender, but nowhere near the caliber of defenseman that should have been brought in for Taylor Hall. 

Regardless, this likely makes Edmonton the firm landing spot for Milan Lucic. That’s not to say Lucic is a formidable replacement for Taylor Hall, but it is what is going to happen.  

As for New Jersey, they get a bonafide first line winger. They’ve been devoid of scoring for a few years now and this is a tremendous pickup. 

Just a few minutes later, rumblings from Nick Kypreos came out that PK Subban could be on the move. That happened a few minutes later when he was traded to Nashville in exchange for Shea Weber. 

This is a mind boggling deal. Subban is a better player than Weber, who has significantly declined over the past few years. Weber will also be turning 31 at the start of the season and still has ten years left on his deal. It’s hard to find a rationale from Bergevin’s side when looking at this trade. 

From Nashville’s side, it is a fantastic trade. They get a younger, dynamic defenseman in Subban who can anchor their top-four for years to come. Ryan Ellis, PK Subban, Matthias Ekholm, and Roman Josi is a scary defensive corps. 

Moving on from trades, the Lighting also announced that they had re-signed big fish free agent Steven Stamkos to a eight year, 8.5 million per deal. This is a lower AAV than what other teams may have given him, but with no state income tax in Florida, he’ll earn a lot more than he would elsewhere. 

This changes Friday’s gameplan drastically. Almost every team was going to take a shot at Stamkos, so now they all have to revert to Plan B. David Backes and Frans Nielsen just moved up the leaderboard big time. 

Stay tuned for more NHL news, because I’m sure we’ll get some. 

-Kevin, @TheNHLFiles

Stamkos Watch 2k16

Where will Steven Stamkos land? Let’s break it down into four groups. 

1) The Impossibilities 

These teams have no chance at signing Steven Stamkos, mainly due to cap restrictions. There’s not much else to say. The teams that fall into this category are:

•Chicago Blackhawks

•Pittsburgh Penguins

•Los Angeles Kings

•Columbus Blue Jackets

2) The Long Shots 

These teams have a chance at signing Stamkos, but it’s highly unlikely. The teams that fall into this category are:

•Philadelphia Flyers 

•Colorado Avalanche

•New Jersey Devils

•Calgary Flames

•Dallas Stars

•Carolina Hurricanes

•San Jose Sharks 

•Nashville Predators 

•Washington Capitals

•Anaheim Ducks 

Some of these teams, like Philadelphia, Washington, Dallas, Edmonton, and Anaheim, don’t necessarily have a need for Stamkos with their center core and cap situations. Others, like Carolina and New Jersey, simply are not likely to get him because they are relatively unattractive destinations. But theoretically, any team on this list could get Steven Stamkos. 

3) The Middle of the Road

These teams float in between the favorites to land Stamkos and the long shots. All of these clubs will be in good consideration. The teams that fall into this category are:

•New York Rangers

•New York Islanders

•Winnipeg Jets

•Arizona Coyotes

•Ottawa Senators

•Boston Bruins

•Florida Panthers

•Minnesota Wild

•Montreal Canadiens 

•St. Louis Blues 

•Vancouver Canucks 

Most of these teams, minus maybe the Wild and the Rangers, have a good enough current cap situation to fit Stamkos in under the bill. Teams like Ottawa, Winnipeg, Montreal, and Vancouver are all devoid of a top-tier center. Two teams that may surprise you on this list are Arizona and St. Louis. However, both teams have the cap and have general managers that are not afraid to do something big. Arizona winning the Cup may be a pipe dream, but wouldn’t Stamkos look nice with the music note on his chest? His addition would certainly help the Blues potentially disperse their playoff failures. 

4) The Favorites 

Last but certainly not least, the favorites. These teams are presumed to have the best chance to land Steven Stamkos. The teams that fall into this category are:

•Buffalo Sabres

•Toronto Maple Leafs 

•Tampa Bay Lightning

•Detroit Red Wings

These four are set to duke it out at the top for a chance to sign Steven Stamkos.

Stamkos staying with the Lighting is still a very real possibility, especially because of the absence of income tax in Florida. The hometown Toronto Maple Leafs are also a very attractive option. Buffalo is also ready to shell out a bunch of money to try to get him in a Sabres jersey. Furthermore, Detroit is ready to bring trucks of money to the Stamkos residence as well, and they even traded the Pavel Datsyuk contract to do so. 

Only time will tell where Steven Stamkos will go. But he certainly won’t be devoid of options. 

-Kevin, @TheNHLFiles

Notable NHL Training Camp Invites (Updated 9/17/15)

NHL training camp is just around the corner, so here are some notable names attending camps.

Updated 9/17/15 Read the rest of this entry

Sunday Blog: Franson, PTOs, and Al Arbour 

We’ve reached the dog days of the NHL offseason, which is a perfect time to start a new trend. I’ll try my best to post these Sunday blogs, just to talk, every week along with the regular content spread out accordingly.   Read the rest of this entry

How Every Team Faired in Day One of NHL Free Agency

How each NHL team did on day one of free agency.
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Frolik Generating Tons of Interest

Among forwards, Michael Frolik from the Winnipeg Jets has been garnering some of the most interest heading into the free agency period. 
The 27 year old forward is about to enter his 8th NHL season after being drafted 10th overall by Florida in 2006. It is believed that Frolik and his agent met with over 10 teams down in Florida over draft day weekend. He is seeking a deal up to five seasons long and will likely get in the 5 to 6 million range. 
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Martin St. Louis’ Future

Martin St. Louis’ first full year in New York has come to a bitter end, leaving many fans desiring more out of the aging winger. He had an above average regular season with 21 goals and 52 points in 74 games, but failed to produce when it really mattered, the playoffs. After being a catalyst to the playoff run to the Finals last season, St. Louis only had one goal and 7 points in 19 playoff games this year. 
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Top 5 NHL Free Agents by Position

Up front, this offseason’s free agents are weak, but the defense is loaded for any team looking to rebuild their backend for the upcoming season. The group also features four goalies that could potentially hit the market that could be starters next year.
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Make it or Break it Seasons: Dany Heatley & Martin Havlat

Although both being prominent 20+ goal scorers once, Martin Havlat has seemingly fallen off the map while in California, where he played for 3 seasons in black and teal, as has Dany Heatley, in the great hockey state of Minnesota. Havlat was the big piece going to San Jose in July of 2011 in the trade which brought Dany Heatley to Minnesota, which quite frankly in the long run, meant just two large contracts switching teams. Both players, eager for a fresh start, never really found their grooves in their new homes, although the Sharks made it to the postseason 3 times with Martin Havlat, whereas the Wild only danced once with Dany Heatley on the roster. Almost 3 seasons later, both men hit unrestricted free agency, eager for a new start and a new team to play with, and new identities to create for themselves.
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