Rumors picking up steam on available NHL free agents Mike Hoffman, Erik Haula, Conor Sheary, and more

Expectedly, now that all arbitration hearings are complete, the chatter surrounding available free agents is picking up. There’s a plethora of talent if teams have the cap space and desire to land them. At the same time, some of those players will have to take pay cuts if they hope to play in the NHL next season.

San Jose Sharks interested in Erik Haula and Conor Sheary

According to SJ Hockey Now, the Sharks have reached out to both Erik Haula and Conor Sheary. San Jose has a little over $2 million in cap space at the moment.

nhl free agents
Erik Haula (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

“We’re sorting through conversations that we’ve had with numerous teams,’’ Haula’s agent Jay Grossman said weeks ago. “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 and that appears to be happening now.

At 28 years-old, Haula has plenty of game left and should be snatched up fairly soon. Same for 28 year-old, Sheary whose production has dipped ever since 2016-17 where he scored 53 points in just 61 games.

Chatter on Mike Hoffman

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.

According to the latest reports Hoffman is mulling several offers. The top three destinations are believed to be the Bruins, Predators, and Blues.

Carolina open to bringing back Sami Vatanen

Yesterday we noted that Hurricanes GM Don Waddell wants to extend Dougie Hamilton. He also has been in contact with Sami Vatanen as recent as last week. Although the two sides talked, Vatanen appears to want to see what else is out there. Wadell told him to circle back afterwards.