The Biggest Names on the NHL Free Agent Market

Audio/Story posted October 8, 2020 in Sports, CommRadio by Jacob Cheris

Host Logan Bourandas and analysts Jacob Cheris, Jordan Hession and Drew Prokop look ahead at some of the biggest names set to hit the free agency market in the NHL.

Normally, we would be talking about how crazy the first week of the 2020-21 NHL season went, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Tampa Bay Lightning just won the Stanley Cup in September. Now we are focused on the business side of the league. Free agency opens on Friday, Oct. 9. Here are some of the biggest names on the market right now.

Henrik Lundqvist, Goaltender

Lundqvist had the final year of his contract bought out by the New York Rangers last Tuesday. The 38-year-old netminder spent his entire career with the Rangers, but with the emergence of Russian netminder Igor Shesterkin, it was inevitable that Lundqvist’s time in New York was done.

Lundqvist ranks sixth in NHL history in wins (459) and is a future Hall of Famer. Lundqvist took the Rangers to the Stanley Cup Final in 2014 and won the Vezina Trophy in 2012 as the league’s best goaltender. The Washington Capitals are the most likely candidate for Lundqvist to sign with because they are looking for an experienced goaltender to backup Ilya Samsonov.

Braden Holtby, Goaltender

Holtby had the worst season of his career with a .897 save percentage and a 3.11 goals-against average. Having previously been paid $6.1 million for five years, Holtby was expected to get a big pay raise, but now that is very unlikely. Another reason why Washington won’t re-sign Holtby is because it will interfere with the development of Samsonov, and the Capitals have to focus on re-signing Alex Ovechkin next season.

Holtby won the Stanley Cup in 2018 and the Vezina Trophy in 2016. He is also a five-time All-Star. Holtby’s likely destinations are the Edmonton Oilers or the Minnesota Wild. The Wild are searching for a number one goaltender after they traded Devan Dubynk to the San Jose Sharks. Minnesota has $8 million in cap space right now.

Alex Pietrangelo, Defenseman

Contract talks between the Blues and Pietrangelo aren’t going well, even though Pietrangelo led the Blues to the Stanley Cup in 2019 and put up 52 points (16 goals, 36 assists) this season. The Philadelphia Flyers are one team that is interested in Pietrangelo. They need a top-four defenseman after Matt Niskanen retired on Monday.

Pietrangelo is only 30 and seems to be looking for a raise. His previous cap was $6.5 million, and a team with a lot of cap space, like the Winnipeg Jets, could also draw interest.

Torey Krug, Defenseman

Krug was offered a six-year contract worth $6.5 million per season by the Bruins. He declined that offer. The 29-year-old defenseman had 49 points (nine goals, 40 assists) this season. He’s an excellent puck-moving defenseman and is looking for a long-term contract with big money.

Possible destinations for Krug are the Detroit Red Wings and the Florida Panthers. Detroit needs help at every position and has a lot of cap space, while Florida could use more help on defense.

Taylor Hall, Forward

Hall is the best player on the market. Despite being on bad teams like the New Jersey Devils and the Arizona Coyotes, he still managed to put up 52 points.

It is rumored that the former Hart Trophy winner wants to sign a short-term deal with a Stanley Cup contender. If this is the case, then the Colorado Avalanche are the perfect fit for him. The Avalanche have $22 million in cap space right now, so they have the money to give Hall the payday he deserves. If the Avalanche sign Hall, they are going to be a very fast and dangerous team.

Mike Hoffman, Forward

A lot of teams should be looking at Hoffman, one of the most consistent players in the NHL. He consistently scores 20 goals per season no matter where he plays, netting 29 in 2019-2020.

If Florida does not re-sign Hoffman, a likely destination would be either the New York Islanders or the Montreal Canadiens. The Canadiens are in desperate need of a top-six winger, and New York needs more scoring in its lineup. But first, New York needs to focus on re-signing Mathew Barzal. That could open the door for Montreal.

 

Jacob Cheris is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email jacobcheris19@gmail.com.

About the Contributors

Jordan Hession's photo

Jordan Hession

Junior / Broadcast Journalism

Jordan Hession is a junior from Annapolis, Maryland majoring in broadcast journalism. Jordan is the co-host of CommRadio’s longest running live radio show The Sin Bin with Kyle Cannillo. In the summer of 2020, Jordan interned at SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio as a sports programmer. When Jordan is not discussing sports, he is writing various articles for collegiate and professional sports leagues and teams. Jordan has a love for all sports but has a genuine passion to spread ice hockey and baseball globally. Away from broadcast journalism, Jordan enjoys lifting weights and cooking. Jordan’s role models in the broadcast journalism industry include Doc Emrick, Gary Thorne and Mike Lange. In the future, Jordan sees himself working as a producer or host in sports talk radio and potentially television. To contact Jordan, email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Jacob Cheris's photo

Jacob Cheris

Sophomore / Broadcast Journalism

Jacob Cheris is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism from Gaithersburg, Maryland. He is an aspiring sports play-by-play broadcaster or sports analyst. Jacob is a huge Washington Capitals fan and has a great passion for hockey. He played all throughout high school and still plays in the Student Hockey League. He is also a member of Penn State Sports Night, where he analyzes hockey and other sports on YouTube. His favorite play-by play-broadcasters are Mike “Doc” Emrick of NBC Sports and Joe Beninati of NBC Sports Washington. Jacob is looking to expand his love for hockey and use it across all sports.

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Logan Bourandas

Sophomore / Broadcast Journalism

Logan Bourandas is a broadcast journalism major from Long Island, NY. He is a the news director for CommRadio and the host of Ducks on the Pond, which is an all-baseball talk show on CommRadio. He is also a sports writer and podcaster for CommRadio. He got his start as the station manager for his high school radio station WPOB in his hometown of Plainview, NY, where he hosted numerous radio shows and was involved in sports broadcasts. You can contact him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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Drew Prokop

Freshman / Broadcast Journalism

Andrew Prokop is a freshman in the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications. He has appeared on CommRadio podcasts such as Opening Drive and the NFL Game Picks podcast. Andrew looks to pursue a career in sports broadcasting.

Instagram: drewprokop1
Twitter: drewprokop
Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)