Tuesday, July 27, 2021

2021 NHL Free Agency Signings Predictions

 I'm doing something a little different this week, because tomorrow July 28th is the first day of NHL Free Agency, I thought it would be fitting to make Free Agent Signing Predictions.

Side note: I will only making predictions on the UFA signings.

Key Free Agents:

Dougie Hamilton-NJ (7yrs/63M)

The signing of Dougie Hamilton gives the Devils a true number 1 defenseman and gives them great depth on the right side with Hamilton, Subban, and Severson.

Jaden Schwartz-SEA (7yrs/45.5M)

Jaden Schwartz is a great veteran presence in the locker room and is a really good all-around player. Adding Schwartz would be a huge boost to a new expansion team like the Seattle Kraken.

Philipp Grubauer-EDM (6yrs/39M)

Signing Philipp Grubauer would give the Edmonton Oilers a legit number 1 goalie, something they are in dire need of. A tandem of Grubauer and Mike Smith would give the Oilers a terrific goalie tandem in goal.

Philip Danault-NYR (7yrs/42M)

Philip Danault has proven over the last couple of years to be one of the best shutdown centers in the NHL. He is the perfect fit for the Rangers and gives them a player that can be relied upon to shut down top players on other teams.

Zach Hyman-EDM (7yrs/38.5M)

While this may be an overpayment for Zach Hyman, this is the type of player that the Oilers need. Hyman should thrive on a line with McDavid and could have a breakout year next season.

Kyle Palmieri-BOS (6yrs/34.5M)

Kyle Palmieri would thrive on the Boston Bruins on a line with Taylor Hall and David Krejci. This would also push Craig Smith to the third line with Charlie Coyle and makes Boston a dangerous threat in the Metropolitan Division.

Blake Coleman-NSH (6yrs/31M)

Blake Coleman was underpaid for the past three years but it paid off for him because he ended up winning back-to-back Stanley Cups with the Lighting. Nashville is the best fit for Coleman, who would excel playing under head coach John Hynes.

Tuukka Rask-BOS (4yrs/24M)

Tuukka Rask is only going to play for the Boston Bruins, so we can expect him to re-sign with Boston. Locking up Rask for a few more years, allows the Bruins to bring along Jeremy Swayman correctly.

David Krejci-BOS (4yrs/22M)

David Krejci is still a reliable second-line center in the NHL, and expect the Bruins to bring him back. The Bruins core has a good 3-4 year window to win a Stanley Cup, and Krejci is very much part of that core.

Fredrik Andersen-COL (4yrs/22M)

Since the Avalanche lost Philipp Grubauer, they will need to sign a starting goalie, and Fredrik Andersen seems to be the best option available. Andersen has proven to be a real good starting goalie in the league and should do more than a fine job with Colorado.

Brandon Saad-PIT (4yrs/20M)

Brandon Saad brings a steady veteran presence and playoff pedigree to a team in the Penguins trying to make it past the first round for the first time since 2018. Saad is highly versatile and could fit anywhere in the top 6 and would be a welcomed addition to the Penguins.

Tyson Barrie-FLA (3yrs/17.5M)

Tyson Barrie is the puck-moving defenseman the Panthers need; he would basically be their Keith Yandle replacement. Barrie gives the Panthers a true powerplay quarterback on defense, something they really missed last season.

Petr Mrazek-CAR (3yrs/15M)

Since the Hurricanes traded away Alex Nedeljkovic, it seems likely that Petr Mrazek will be brought back to Carolina. Mrazek has been a pretty reliable number 1 goalie with Carolina, pair him with a good backup, and the Canes should be good.

Alec Martinez-VGK (3yrs/15M)

Alec Martinez was consistently one of the best defenders on the Vegas Golden Knights in the playoffs last postseason. It would make sense for them to bring back Martinez, as losing him would leave a huge hole on the blueline.

David Savard-MTL (6yrs/25.5M)

David Savard is the type of defenseman the Montreal Canadiens need on the team, especially with Shea Weber expected to miss next season. Savard isn't flashy and doesn't put up many points but he hits and blocks a ton of shots every game while logging heavy minutes.

Linus Ullmark-SJ (5yrs/22.5M)

Since the San Jose Sharks just bought out Martin Jones, they need to sign a starting goalie. Linus Ullmark is the perfect fit on a rebuilding team like San Jose, as he is used to playing on bad teams. 

Martin Jones-BUF (3yrs/12M)

Martin Jones is still a starting-caliber goalie in the NHL and would be a solid stopgap option for the Sabres in goal until Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen is ready to take the reigns as the Number 1 goalie.

Ryan Suter-NYI (4yrs/16M)

Ryan Suter was bought out from his previous contract by the Minnesota Wild, so he would be a terrific fit on a team like the Islanders. Coincidently, Barry Trotz is now the coach of the New York Islanders, who coached him when he was with Nashville.

Mikael Granlund-SEA (3yrs/11.5M)

Mikael Granlund is a versatile forward capable of playing all three forward positions. With how thin the Kraken is at the center, Granlund could become their first-line center.

Nick Foligno-MIN (3yrs/11.25)

The Minnesota Wild needs more grit in the lineup, and Nick Foligno will definitely bring that to the lineup. He would also be joining up with his brother Marcus, which has become a trend this offseason.

Alex Goligoski-COL (2yrs/9M)

Despite being 35, Goligoski shows no signs of aging and was one of the Coyotes' better defensemen last season. Goligoski would be a terrific addition for Colorado Avalanche and would fit perfectly being paired with either Bowen Byram or Sam Girard.

Alex Edler-BUF (2yrs/8M)

The Buffalo Sabres need some defenseman to fill out their lineup for next season. So adding a good veteran defenseman like Alex Edler, would definitely help their young defenseman like Rasmus Dahlin.

Brandon Montour-CBJ (3yrs/12M)

Since the Blue Jackets traded away Seth Jones, they now need to add another defenseman to play on the right side. Montour joins a young D core that includes Zach Werenski, Adam Boqvist, Jake Bean.

Ryan Getzlaf-MTL (2yrs/7M)

Ryan Getzlaf may be 36 now, but he is a Stanley Cup Champion and has been a captain for a long time, so he would definitely be a great fit on a young team like the Montreal Canadiens, who just lost Captain Shea Weber.

Joel Armia-NJ (4yrs/14M)

Due to the depth on the wings in Montreal, Joel Armia was relegated to playing on the 4th line. Armia would be a great fit on the 2nd or 3rd lines of New Jersey.

Derek Stepan-LA (3yrs/10.5M)

The LA Kings are looking for a veteran center; a player like Derek Stepan could be a great fit on their 2nd or 3rd line. He would also be a good mentor for young centers coming in like Quinton Byfield and Alex Turcotte.

Casey Cizikas-SEA (4yrs/14M)

Casey Cizikas was part of the Islanders' identity line and will be a major utility player on any team he signs with. Cizikas gives the Seattle Kraken a player that plays on the fourth line but gets utilized like a 2nd line player.

Alexander Wennberg-MIN (3yrs/10M)

Alexander Wennberg had a tremendous bounceback season with the Florida Panthers and will be looking for a bigger contract. The Wild need to improve their depth at center, and Wennberg is what you call a great depth center.

James Reimer-OTT (3yrs/9.75M)

James Reimer had a good regular season with the Carolina Hurricanes last season while Petr Mrazek was injured. After losing Joey Daccord to Seattle in the expansion draft, Ottawa needs a backup, and Reimer is a solid one.

Nick Bonino-CBJ (3yrs/9M)

The Columbus Blue Jackets need to improve their depth at center, and Nick Bonino is still a pretty reliable two-way center. Bonino is a two-time Stanley Cup champion and would bring his Stanley cup pedigree to a very young Columbus team.

Keith Yandle-PHI (1yr/3M)

Despite not being the same player he once was, Keith Yandle is still a solid offensive defenseman that specializes in running the powerplay. This is a low-risk signing for Philly because even if it doesn't work out, they can try to trade him at the deadline.

Jonathan Bernier-CAR (2yrs/6M)

Jonathan Bernier has always been a reliable backup in the NHL, and he should do a solid job in Carolina as the backup to Petr Mrazek. Bernier can step in for 10-15 games, and be relied upon to steal some games occasionally.

Tomas Tatar-COL (1yrs/2.5M)

This is a bargain of a contract for a player of Tatar's caliber, he would be a great fit in the top 6. He would help soften the blow of losing key forwards such as Landeskog, Donskoi, and Saad in the offseason.

Braden Holtby-WSH (2yrs/5M)

Braden Holtby had a ton of success in Washington, so returning there would make a whole lot of sense. A tandem of Samsonov and Holtby should be good enough to carry the Caps to a playoff spot.

Antti Raanta-TOR (2yrs/5M)

Antti Raanta has struggled with injury issues the past two seasons, but he would still be a reliable backup for Jack Campbell. Raanta isn't a starting-caliber goalie, but he can step in for a couple games here and there and perform great.

Eric Staal-STL (2yrs/5M)

Since the Blues lost Tyler Bozak in free agency, they will need to add a veteran center to replace him. Eric Staal isn't the same player he used to be but if he is used correctly, he can be a solid 3rd line center.

Pius Suter-SJ (3yrs/7.5M)

Pius Suter had a solid year last season with the Chicago, so it was a mystery why he wasn't qualified. Suter would be a perfect fit on the San Jose Sharks, who are in need of a 3rd line center.

Brian Elliott-VAN (2yrs/5M)

With Braden Holtby being bought out, that leaves the Canucks without a backup for Thatcher Demko. Brian Elliott has been a really solid veteran backup with the Flyers the past few years; he should do an excellent job backing up Demko.

Erik Haula-NSH (2yrs/4M)

Erik Haula was a great fit in Nashville last season, and he seemed to be one of the players they relied upon heavily in the playoffs. It would be smart to keep him around especially cause they already lost Calle Jarnkrok and Viktor Arvidsson in the offseason.

Tyler Bozak-ANA (2yrs/4M)

Tyler Bozak would be a great addition to any team in search of a veteran 3rd line center. The Anaheim Ducks are a team that could use him on their 3rd line.

Devan Dubnyk-NSH (2yr/4M)

Devan Dubnyk didn't have a great year last year but he would still be a great backup goalie in the NHL. Since Pekka Rinne retired, Juuse Saros needs a backup, and Dubnyk would be a great insurance policy for Nashville in goal.

Mattias Janmark-TOR (1yr/2M)

Toronto Maple Leafs need to replace Zach Hyman, and Mattias Janmark is a much cheaper option on the market. Even though Janmark may not have the offensive production that Hyman does, he does everything else Hyman does.

Travis Zajac-NYI (2yrs/3M)

Bringing back Travis Zajac is very likely if Casey Cizikas signs elsewhere. Also, Zajac will get to play alongside Zach Parise, with who he had the best years of his career playing.

Zach Parise-NYI (1yr/1M)

Zach Parise was bought out by the Minnesota Wild, so that would make him a UFA. Lou Lamoriello is the GM of the New York Islanders, and with Ryan Suter rumored to be going there, Parise could be a fit too.

Corey Perry-MTL (1yr/700K)

Corey Perry stays with the Montreal Canadiens; he fit in well with them last year, and with them rumored to add Ryan Getzlaf, it would give them a pretty dominant 3rd or 4th line.

Other Notables: 

Brock McGinn-SJ

Andrew Cogliano-SEA

Travis Hamonic-WPG

Tomas Nosek-OTT

Ondrej Kase-OTT

Tony DeAngelo-CAR

Jake Virtanen-CAR

Nick Ritchie-BUF

Derek Forbort-BOS

James Neal-PIT

Brandon Sutter-DET

Artem Anisimov-COL

Alex Galchenyuk-CGY

Ryan Murray-OTT

Mathieu Perreault-WPG

Ian Cole-WPG

Jake McCabe-CAR

Jordan Martinook

Brendan Smith-ANA

David Rittich-CHI

Jason Demers-ARI

Erik Gudbranson-CBJ

Michael Bunting-DET

Sami Vatanen-CGY

Marcus Johansson-ARI

Marcus Sorensen-VAN

Darren Helm-DET

Valtteri Filppula-CGY

Jordie Benn-ARI

Ryan Donato-BUF

Danton Heinen-BUF

Sean Kuraly-BOS

Derrick Brassard-TB

Cody Ceci-DET

Jani Hakanpaa-TOR

Zach Bogosian-NYR

Patrik Nemeth-LA

Jordan Oesterle-NJ

Laurent Brossoit-WPG

Erik Gustafsson-STL

Trevor Lewis-FLA

Luke Glendening-DET

Cedric Paquette-DET

Pierre Edouard Bellemare

Carter Hutton-VGK

Bobby Ryan-DET

Dmitry Kulikov-MTL

Juhar Khaira-VAN

Colton Sceviour-SJ

Evan Rodrigues-BOS

Dominik Kahun-ARI

Luke Schenn-VAN

Jon Merrill-COL

Stay tuned for my Podcast, where I will recap all of the Free Agent signings.

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

What St. Louis Blues should do in Free Agency

 This is a big offseason for the St.Louis Blues because they have a couple key free agents to re-sign, and in addition have to deal with the Vladimir Tarasenko saga as well.

Before the expansion draft, the St.Louis Blues should work to trade Vladimir Tarasenko so they don't lose him for nothing.

St.Louis Blues trade Vladimir Tarasenko to the New York Rangers for Kappo Kakko, Zachary Jones, 2nd round pick '22, 4th rd pick '21. If the Rangers make the playoffs or Tarasneko scores 30+ goals, the 2022 2nd round pick becomes a 1st round pick.

This trade works out great for both teams because Tarasenko gets to play with Artemi Panarin, one of his best friends, while the Blues get a highly talented player in Kappo Kakko, who was underutilized by David Quinn, prospect defenseman Zachary Jones, and a 4th round pick. Depending on Tarasenko and the Rangers' performance next season, the 2nd round pick could become a 1st round pick.

St.Louis Blues also trade Vince Dunn to the Edmonton Oilers for Ethan Bear.

This trade makes sense for both teams because the Oilers need a good young defenseman, while the Blues add Ethan Bear, a player that they wouldn't mind losing in the expansion draft.

St.Louis Blues lose Ethan Bear in the expansion draft to the Seattle Kraken.

After the Tarasenko and Dunn trades, the Blues have 21.03 million in cap space.

Before heading into Free Agency, the Blues make a major trade:

St.Louis Blues trade Jaden Schwartz to the Boston Bruins for Jake DeBrusk, rights to Jaroslav Halak in a sign and trade.

The trade makes sense for both teams because Schwartz fits perfectly into Boston's system; at the same time, Jake DeBrusk gets a change of Scenery and the Blues also get the rights to veteran backup, Jaroslav Halak.

St.Louis Blues now turn their attention to re-signing their key Free agents:

Key UFAs: Mike Hoffman, Tyler Bozak, Jaroslav Halak

Key RFAs: Robert Thomas, Ivan Barabshev, Zach Sanford, Jordan Kyrou

The Blues don't re-sign Mike Hoffman and Tyler Bozak, so will become UFAs.

St.Louis Blues re-sign Jaroslav Halak to a 2yrs deal worth 2 million per season.

St.Louis Blues re-sign:

Robert Thomas-3yrs/4M per

Jordan Kyrou-2yrs/1.7M per

Zach Sanford-2yrs/1.5M per

Ivan Barbashev-3yrs/1.5M per

Before Free Agency, St.Louis Blues make one trade:

St.Louis Blues trade Robert Bortuzzo, Niko Mikkola to the Columbus Blue Jackets for Jake Christiansen, 2021 7th rd pick. 

This trade is a cap dump to unload Robert Bortuzzo's contract, in doing so the Blues will free up at least 1.375 million in cap space.

St.Louis Blues enter Free Agency with 9.34 Million in cap space.

In Free Agency, the St.Louis Blues add two key players:

David Savard-5yrs/4.5M per

Alexander Wennberg-3yrs/3.25M per

This is how the lineup looks like after free agency

2021-22 St.Louis Blues










Spares: J.Wallman, S.Santini, M.MacEachern, V.Husso

LTIR: O.Sundqvist

The St.Louis Blues look like a much deeper team than they were this season, and hopefully, the new players can mesh together to form a contending team.

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

What Edmonton Oilers should do in Free Agency

The Edmonton Oilers must improve their team in free agency if they are to be a legit contender in the Western Conference. These are the moves the Edmonton Oilers should make in free agency.

Before the Free Agency period, they need to first move some players that might be exposed for the expansion draft.

One of the players that could be in danger of being drafted by Seattle is Adam Larsson, who also happens to be a UFA. Adam Larsson is too important to the Oilers for them to lose him for nothing in the expansion draft, so they should move him beforehand.

Edmonton Oilers trade Adam Larsson to the Columbus Blue Jackets for Alexandre Texier, 2nd round pick '22. 

This is a trade that works out great for both teams because the Blue Jackets get a top 4 Right Handed defenseman, while the Oilers get a young forward in Alexandre Texier, who has top 6 potential and a 2nd round pick.

Edmonton Oilers lose Ethan Bear to the Seattle Kraken in the expansion draft.

Before heading into free agency, they need to re-sign a few players, however, they will first need to clear some cap room.

Edmonton Oilers buyout James Neal; the Buyout will cost an annual cap hit of 1.9 million until 2025.

The Buyout saves the Oilers 3.85 million in cap space.

The Oilers also buy out Mikko Koskinen, the buyout will cost an annual cap hit of 1.5 million until 2023. The Buyout saves the Oilers 3 million in cap space

After the buyouts, the Oilers now have 18.38 million in cap space.

Edmonton Oilers have two key UFAs to re-sign: Tyson Barrie, and Slatter Koekkoek.

Tyler Ennis, Patrik Russell, Dmitry Kulikov, and are also UFAs but are not re-signed.

Mike Smith was also a UFA but is not brought back.

Edmonton also has a few RFAs to re-sign: Alexandre Texier, Kailer Yamamoto, Juhar Khaira.

Dominik Kahun is don't qualified.

Edmonton Oilers re-sign a few players:

Tyson Barrie-3yrs/5M per

Kailer Yamamoto-2yrs/2.5M per

Alexandre Texier-2yrs/1.75M per

Jujhar Khaira-3yrs/1.6M per

Slatter Koekkoek-1yr/850k

After re-signing these players, the Oilers need to sign a starting goalie.

The Oilers have 6.68 million in cap space left to sign a goalie, so they will need to make a trade to free up cap space.

The player they should trade is Kyle Turris because he is being paid 1.65 million but was basically as spare by the end of last season.

Edmonton Oilers trade Kyle Turris to the Buffalo Sabres for a 2021 6th round pick.

The Oilers free up 1.65 million in cap space, while the Sabres get a solid 4th line center in Kyle Turris.

After the Turris trade, the Edmonton Oilers have 8.33 million in cap space to spend on a starting goalie.

The Goalie that the Oilers should go after is Linus Ullmark; despite playing on the worst team in the league last season, he still put up a 9-6 record with a 2.63 GAA and .917 SV%.

Edmonton Oilers sign Linus Ullmark to a 5 yr deal worth 4 million per season in free agency; Linus Ullmark should help stabilize the goalie situation in goal.

Edmonton Oilers need to add some depth players to help out their roster.

Edmonton Oilers sign a few players in Free Agency:

Kevan Miller-2yr/1.3M per

Derrick Brassard-1yr/1M

Alex Galchenyuk-1yr/1M

Luke Schenn-1yr/700k

This is how the Edmonton Oilers look like after all the moves

2021-22 Edmonton Oilers










Spares: R.McLeod, D.Shore, S.Koekkoek, L.Schenn

The Edmonton Oilers have assembled a much deeper team, and look poised to make a deeper playoff run.

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

What Pittsburgh Penguins Should Do in Free Agency

 The Pittsburgh Penguins will have a difficult offseason ahead of them because they have an aging core, limited cap space but have many issues to address with their roster.

This is what the Pittsburgh Penguins should do in Free Agency.

Before the free agency begins, the Pittsburgh Penguins need to free up some cap space because they only have about 3.2 million in cap space heading into Free Agency.

When looking at the payroll for the team, the first thing that sticks out is that they have 3 LD getting paid over 4 million per season; the Penguins will need to move one of those defensemen in order to free up cap room.

The player who is is easier to move is Marcus Pettersson because the Penguins aren't moving Dumoulin, and Matheson can't be moved without giving up other assets.

Pittsburgh Penguins trade Marcus Pettersson to the New Jersey Devils for a 2022 4th round pick.

This is a win-win trade for both teams because by trading Pettersson, the Penguins free up more than 4 million in cap space, while the Devils get an LD, something they actually need because Ryan Murray is a UFA and they don't have another LD other than Ty Smith and Will Butcher.

The Pittsburgh Penguins could lose Jared McCann in the expansion draft, so the Penguins so try to trade him before the Expansion draft.

Pittsburgh Penguins trade Jared McCann to the Chicago Blackhawks for Brandon Hagel.

This is a straight one-for-one trade that helps out both teams; the Blackhawks get Jared McCann a player that can play on the second line with Kirby Dach,  which would allow Alex DeBrincat to play on the top line with Patrick Kane, while the Penguins get Brandon Hagel, a gritty forward who scored 24 points for Blackhawks last season.

After these two trades, the Pittsburgh Penguins have 10.16 million in cap space to spend in free agency which should be enough to re-sign the players they need to.

The Penguins have four UFAs on the roster: Cody Ceci, Colton Sceviour, Evan Rodrigues, Fredrick Gaudreau; The Penguins don't re-sign Colton Sceviour or Evan Rodrigues, but they do re-sign Cody Ceci, Fredrick Gaudreau.

Pittsburgh Penguins re-sign:

Cody Ceci-1yr/1.2M 

Fredrick Gaudreau-1 yr/700k

The Penguins also have to re-sign 5 RFAs: Brandon Hagel, Mark Jankowski, Teddy Bleuger, Zack Aston-Reese, Radim Zohorna. Pittsburgh doesn't qualify Mark Jankowski, so he becomes a UFA.

Pittsburgh Penguins re-sign:

Teddy Blueger-3yrs/2M per

Zach Aston-Reese-3yrs/1.75M per

Brandon Hagel-2yrs/1.5M per

Radim Zohorna-2yrs/850k per

After re-signing all their free agents, the Penguins have over 2 million in cap space left, which is enough to sign a Left defenseman in free agency.

The Defenseman the Pittsburgh Penguins should go after is Derek Forbort, who recently played for the Winnipeg Jets. Forbort is a big, physical defenseman that would be paired with John Marino on the second pair.

In Free Agency, Pittsburgh Penguins sign:

Derek Forbort-2yrs/1.5M per

This is how the Pittsburgh Penguins look like after Free Agency.

2021-22 Pittsburgh Penguins










Spares: F.Gaudreau, S.Lafferty, C.Ruhwedel, M.Friedman

On Paper, The Pittsburgh Penguins aren't a whole lot better, but the team should produce better results in the postseason because they have a more physical defense, and their 4th line is built to mirror the Islander's fourth line which has had a whole lot of success in the postseason.