NHL free agents become the focus of offseason now that arbitration hearings complete

Arbitration hearings are complete and every NHL team is assessing their team and cap space. Just over that horizon are a handful of quality unrestricted free agents to be signed.

Now that they may have more visibility, will the purse strings reopen for some of these UFAs? Let’s examine some of the top remaining players.

Mike Hoffman top UFA available

 It’s crazy that Mike Hoffman is still available and at the top of the list of remaining free agents. His agent was asked over a week ago how patient they are willing to be and his response per Pierre Lebrun was, “very patient”.

The feeling on their side is he’s a proven goal scorer and teams are going to free up cash to sign him. Now that the signing of RFA’s is done, a 2nd buyout window will open. That could free up even more cap space for some teams and expand those looking for scoring.

Rumor has it both Nashville and Florida could circle back soon with Hoffman.

NHL Free Agents: Mikael Granlund

mikael granlund free agent
Mikael Granlund (Casey Gower for the Nashville Post)

He’s a 28 year-old two-way forward that has had some scoring woes as of late. Granlund’s game is someone teammates appreciate because he’s hard on the puck and very determined on the forecheck.

Two teams that are looking for a player like Granlund could be the Boston Bruins, San Jose Sharks and Columbus Blue Jackets.

NHL Free Agents: Erik Haula

“We’re sorting through conversations that we’ve had with numerous teams,’’ Haula’s veteran agent Jay Grossman told Pierre Lebrun. “Really we’ve probably talked to 10-12 teams that have had legitimate interest. We’re just sorting through those options.’’

Sorting through those options could also mean wait to hear back from us once we settle our last arbitration case. At 28 years-old, Haula has plenty of game left and will be snatched up fairly soon.

NHL Free Agents: Anthony Duclair

nhl free agents
Anthony Duclair now a UFA (Sean Kilpatrick)

Anyone want a 25 year-old goal scorer? Apparently Duclair wanted too much money so Ottawa let him walk. He scored 23 goals and 40 points in 66 games.

Duclair is representing himself and should find a home as soon as RFA’s are resolved. Look at Detroit, Florida or NJ on the Duke.

NHL Free Agents: Travis Hamonic

Travis opted out of return-to-play due to family concerns. The Calgary Flames have opted to let him walk for unrestricted free agency. He is a 30 year-old defensive-minded rearguard that can help as a second or third pair righty.

His last deal was for $3.857 and this one could be considerably less. In this market, Hamonic may have to settle for a one-year deal at around $1 to $1.5 million. How about a trip to the other side of Alberta with Edmonton or maybe Winnipeg? The problem with Travis is his desire to play only in Western Canada.

Other KEY UFA’s available

  • Ilya Kovalchuk
  • Zdeno Chara
  • Sami Vatanen
  • Carl Soderberg
  • Andreas Athanasiou
  • Corey Perry
  • Derick Brassard
  • Matt Martin
  • Connor Sheary
  • Ron Hainsey
  • Craig Anderson
  • Jimmy Howard
  • Cory Schneider