Welcome to the free NHL agency. The market opens at 12:00 p.m. ET on Saturday when players can start signing with new teams. NHL.com Senior Writer Dan Rosen will be following the action throughout the day on our Free Agency Blog.
12 p.m. ET
The market opens in 12 hours. Will there be a lot of action?
That’s the big question facing free agency this year.
Several NHL general managers said this week that they think it could be a swap market rather than a free agent market, and we’ve already seen several swaps with more likely to come.
There is a possibility that the defender Eric Karlsson (San Jose Sharks) and forward Alex DeBrincat (Ottawa Senators) are traded. That would be bigger news than signing a free agent this year.
“A lot of people who wanted to go into free agency signed, and I think an apartment [NHL salary] “The cap also changes the dynamic,” said Doug Armstrong, general manager of the St. Louis Blues. “I think if you want to improve your team, maybe you should do it via a trade.” So we decided to do it.
Some GMs also believe that the cap ($83.5 million, up $1 million from last season) and trade market could result in a longer free agency period, at least compared to that , which we are used to in the NHL.
“Five years ago…you could put up the ‘Gone Fishin’ sign on July 2nd,” said Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brad Treliving. “I think there’s going to be a longer time frame[this year].”
But that doesn’t mean the market isn’t deep enough for a hectic day of signings on Saturday.
Some of the biggest names on the market are forwards, a list that has quite a bit to offer Ryan O’Reilly (maple leaves), Vladimir Tarasenko (New York Rangers) Tyler Bertuzzi (Boston Bruins), Matt Duchene (Nashville Predators), Jonathan Toews (Chicago Blackhawks), Patrick Kane (Ranger), Alex Killorn (Tampa Bay Lightning), Michael Bunting (maple leaves), Max Domi (Dallas Stars) Jason Sugar (Pittsburgh penguins), Blake Wheeler (Winnipeg Jets), JT Compher (Colorado Avalanche) and Tomas Tatar (New Jersey Devils).
The Predators gave Duchene a special permit for a buyout on Friday. The Jets did the same to Wheeler. That means both are on the list above as unrestricted free agents.
note that Patrice Bergeron And David Krejci were not mentioned. Because if they play this season, the assumption is that they will play Boston, the only NHL team either player has played for. But the Bruins are waiting to decide if they will play.
Available defenders include Dmitry Orlov (bruins), Matt Dumba (Minnesota Wild), Shayne Gostisbehere (Carolina Hurricanes), Ryan Graves (Devil), Scott Mayfield (New York Islanders) John Klingerberg (wild) and Carson Soucy (Seattle Kraken).
There’s some speculation that Mayfield could return to the Islanders, but the clock is ticking. The rest are expected to be available.
There are such in the goalkeeping market Tristan Jarry (penguins), Semyon Varlamov (Islander), Fredrik Andersen (hurricanes), Anti Raanta (hurricanes), Joonas Korpisalo (Los Angeles Kings), Yaroslav Halak (rangers) and Jonathan Quick (Golden Knights).
Andersen and Raanta are expected to return to Carolina. That’s what Hurricanes GM Don Waddell said Wednesday at the 2023 Upper Deck NHL Draft in Nashville.
Quick is reportedly ready to sign with the Rangers, the team he grew up with as a young goalie in Connecticut.
The Penguins are expected to let Jarry into the market, meaning they won’t be bringing him back.
What’s unique about this group of UFAs is that while neither is necessarily a franchise changer, each has an opportunity to make a meaningful impact and contribution no matter what team they join.
In the right spot, Tarasenko could score 30-40 goals, Duchene could have 80 points, Bertuzzi could be a winger in the top six, Toews could be a No. 2 or No. 3 center and Kane if he’s back at the hip is healthy Surgery could be the game-changer it always has been.
Orlov, Dumba, Graves, Mayfield and Soucy are easily among the top four defenders. Gostisbehere and Klingberg can direct the power play.
Jarry and Hill could be the #1 goaltenders.
We’ll see where everything is developing soon, hopefully on Saturday.
To sleep well.