Sunday, May 20, 2012

NHL Free Agents

Predictions on where free agents of relevance (in our opinions of course) will go.

Unrestricted Free Agents:

Saku Koivu C Anaheim
Best Fit: Retirement
Where he will likely go: Retirement
Reason: Koivu isn't putting points up like he once did and isn't a very effective player anymore, so he should probably go out with some dignity.

Teemu Selanne RW Anaheim
Best Fit: Anaheim
Where he will likely go: Retirement
Reason: Selanne is still going well, he can keep it going for at least one more season but he is not really up to his usual standards so it seems like he will retire at the end of the year.

Joe Corvo D Boston
Best Fit: Los Angeles
Where he will likely go: Boston
Reason: Even though Corvo was effective in Boston as a stay at home defense men, he is familiar with LA's system and they may want to beef their D up after losing Jack Johnson.

Olli Jokinen C Calgary
Best Fit: Phoenix
Where he will likely go: Phoenix
Reason: Jokinen is not the player he once was but he can still put up the points as he proved this year throwing up 61 points and 23 goals, any team needing veteran leadership, Phoenix is needing a first and second line center as they have third line centers running the show and Jokinen would get to play great minutes and go trigger happy.

David Jones RW Colorado
Best Fit: Ottawa or Boston
Where he will likely go: St.Louis
Reason: His playing time will be bumped up in St.Louis or Ottawa, while it would be cut in Boston but he fits Boston's playing style more with his big bodied way of going to the net, not as physical as he could be but Boston could help that very much, while St.Louis will help him be a possible top line player and keep him a 20+ goal scorer, and Ottawa would put him either on the wing next to Spezza or Turris who could possibly make him a 30 goal scorer.

Jiri Hudler LW/C Detroit
Best Fit: Detroit
Where he will likely go: Ottawa
Reason: After having his best goal scoring year and second best overall it seems like he's going to want more than the three million dollars he made this year, in which case I feel Detroit should forget him and move on from the Hudler era (if you can call it that), so anywhere in need of a good offensive winger and solid defender should look at Jiri Hudler and his talents. Playing next to Spezza with that nasty wrist shot would give him a chance to hit anywhere between 25-35 goals and I feel it would be fun to watch too.

Nick Lidstrom D Detroit
Best Fit: Detroit
Where he will likely go: Detroit
Reason: Even though he is old and his PPQB skills have worn down, his defense is still up there with the best in the league, hopefully Nicklas sticks around another year.

Ryan Smyth LW Edmonton
Best Fit: Edmonton
Where he will likely go: Edmonton
Reason: Smyth is one of the all-time greatest Oilers and should have been there his whole career, now that he's back I don't see him leaving for at least a year.

Dustin Penner LW Los Angeles
Best Fit: Toronto
Where he will likely go: Ottawa
Reason: The Leafs offense started to become potent this year with Joffrey Lupul and Phil Kessel, and if Nazem Kadri gets the chance he deserves they will need a winger for him, if they can add Penner they could put either him or Lupul on Kadri's line and create a very solid second line.

Ryan Suter D Nashville
Best Fit: Detroit
Where he will likely go: New York Rangers
Reason: The Rangers need a better first line defense-men, and Suter is just the player that can change that for them, wanting to move somewhere where his family will be able to stay permanently I'm thinking him and NY will match perfectly, not to mention the fact he automatically become their star defender and a fan favorite.

Martin Brodeur G New Jersey
Best Fit: New Jersey
Where he will likely go: New Jersey
Reason: Honestly I am hoping that Brodeur has the guts to call it quits this season I also realized he has had that guts to stay in the league nowadays, with the media hounding him after every loss and his extended playoff run this year it seems like he won't, on top of that, he is still posting solid numbers and having good seasons.

Zach Parise LW New Jersey
Best Fit: Detroit
Where he will likely go: New Jersey, Colorado or New York Rangers
Reason: The star of New Jersey will most likely come back after the extended playoff run unless Suter convinces him to come with him, but right now in my opinion he will be heading either back, to Colorado or NY and I can't narrow down my decision

Petr Sykora RW New Jersey
Best Fit: New Jersey
Where he will likely go: New Jersey
Reason: I think the wrist shot hitting elder statesman comes back to New Jersey after their extended playoff run, either that or he retires and I don't see why he would after scoring 21 goals and 23 assists.

Matt Carle D Philadelphia
Best Fit: Colorado
Where he will likely go: Colorado
Reason: Colorado would like to add a good two way defender next to EJ and Matt Carle seems to be just what the doctor ordered, he can be a number 2 defender on a good team and a number 1 on an average team, Colorado with him could be sent over the hump and into a low seed in the playoffs (which they would have done if not for the injury to Matt Duchene that lasted the whole year) and if the team is healthy they can be all the way up to a 5th seed, and they have the money to throw at him.

Jaromir Jagr RW Philadelphia
Best Fit: Philadelphia
Where he will likely go: Philadelphia
Reason: Jagr has been a great contributor in Philly's system and will continue to produce next year even if it's a little less in the point production area he will contribute.

Shane Doan RW Phoenix
Best Fit: Phoenix
Where he will likely go: Phoenix
Reason: Doan has had his whole career with the Phoenix Coyotes franchise (only one year in Winnipeg and I'm sure he wants to forget it), and I'm almost 100% percent certain he wants to finish it there, it's either that or he retires this year.

Ray Whitney LW Phoenix
Best Fit: Phoenix
Where he will likely go: Phoenix
Reason: Ray Whitney likes playing in Phoenix and got the playing time, money and role he wanted, nothing is going to stop him from doing the same this summer.

Alexander Semin RW Washington
Best Fit: Colorado or Detroit
Where he will likely go: Colorado or Detroit
Reason: Semin wants playing time, which he will get on both teams, but he is also looking to be a star, which Detroit will not give him, Datsyuk is their star and coming to Colorado would make him the best player on the team, and having people like Sakic on the staff might make him want to try and live up to his potential, similar to playing with Datsyuk.

Tomas Vokoun G Washington
Best Fit: Tampa Bay
Where he will likely go: KHL or Tampa
Reason: Tampa is in desperate need of a goalie, Vokoun could still easily be the number 1 goaltender on many teams and they should and most likely will make an attempt to sign him, but his "best friend" is in the KHL on a rebuilding team, on which he can have fun with his friend,without much pressure.

Restricted Free Agents

Tuuka Rask G Boston
Best Fit: Boston
Reason: Tuuka Rask along with Tyler Seguin and Dougie Hamilton are the future stars of the Boston Bruins and Rask and Seguin are already good players on the team, Rask knows the system and has good friends on the team and the keys are about to be given to him and Seguin, Rask is going to stay in Boston and for good reason.

Matt Duchene C/W Colorado
Best Fit: Colorado
Reason: Duchene has been a star in Colorado's system since his first year, but was injured this year making his last 20+ games unbelievably painful, Duchene had seemed to have made some improvements to his game, including defensive and dirty area improvements, John Tavares took a huge step in his game this year and it looked like Duchene was due for one too, Colorado will definitely sign him in the off-season and he will become the focal point of the offense unless they sign Alexander Semin and even then he will be the star one day. Hopefully he has a bright future.

Erik Johnson D Colorado
Best Fit: Los Angeles
Reason: EJ could benefit from playing next to Doughty, but he will still be the stud on Colorado's first defensive line, so this is really irrelevant but I guarantee that next year he will make leaps in his game, and hopefully he will be paired with Duncan Siemens (whom which I will add has been compared to Scott Stevens), and with Elliot and Barrie coming up they will become a better defensive team, with EJ leading the way.

Jamie McGinn LW Colorado
Best Fit: Colorado
Reason: A great prospect with a great wrist shot, I believe McGinn can be a 20+ goal scorer very soon, especially next to Duchene, Stastny or even O'Reilly.

Ryan O'Reilly C Colorado
Best Fit: Colorado
Reason: O'Reilly will be Colorado's captain in a year, and it's for good reason, the youngster led the team in points this year (Duchene would have if not for injury) and was one of the best defensive forwards in the league, had it not been for his teams absolutely horrid defense he would have been a Selke Finalist no doubt, O'Reilly will have a bright future in Colorado and I have a hard time picturing him anywhere else.

Jamie Benn W/C Dallas
Best Fit: Dallas
Reason: He's becoming the Star the Stars have needed since Modano's departure, in fact he's a solid Modano impersonation, it'll be fun watching him grow in the state of Texas.

Devan Dubnyk G Edmonton
Best Fit: Edmonton
Reason: Devan Dubnyk has been very good, especially for Edmonton who is in desperate need of a goalie who can help them stop people from scoring, Dubnyk became a good goalie this year posting a 0.914 save percentage while superstar goalie Marc-Andre Fleury posted a 0.913 save percentage, having a higher or even close to save percentage as Marc-Andre Fleury (a goalie who when someone is not in his head is said to be the best goalie since Patrick Roy) is a great step into the future.

Carey Price G Montreal
Best Fit: Montreal
Reason: Carey Price is truly one of my favorite goalies in the league, able to stay cool in the clutch and withstand all of Montreal's bullsh*t while still playing excellent, he is able to withstand it all due to his perception that he is good and people are jealous, but it also makes him a goalie that many teams don't want to deal with (his mentality is kind of like Patrick Roy's), Montreal is looking to bounce back to greatness and Carey Price will help them do it.

PK Subban D Montreal
Best Fit: Edmonton
Reason: Edmonton is playing for the future and so is PK Subban while, Montreal is blasting him and it seems like can become a great defense-men, and he has the potential to be one of the best puck moving defenders in the league, in fact his skills with his great skating he has more potential than most of the young defense-men in the league.

Shea Weber D Nashville
Best Fit: Vancouver
Reason: Shea Weber was what Vancouver needed in the finals against Boston last year, a bruiser who could stand up to Boston, and he could have probably pushed them to winning the cup, but Weber to Vancouver would be very complex so for now at the very least it looks like he's stuck in Nashville.

Erik Karlsson D Ottawa
Best Fit: Ottawa
Reason: Karlsson is already a star in Ottawa's system and will continue to grow, at 21 he posted a godly (for a defense-men and a great for a forward) 78 points and 19 goals with a great +16 rating, Karlsson is a bright part of Ottawa's future.

T.J. Oshie RW St.Louis
Best Fit: St.Louis
Reason: T.J. Oshie has been improving little by little every year and in this playoff seeded system he has been very consistent, why move somewhere when you can be a contributor to a playoff team with a bright future?

Chris Stewart RW St.Louis
Best Fit: Colorado
Reason: Colorado needs a top 6 forward and Stewart needs Peter Stastny what else can I say?

Ben Scrivens G Toronto
Best Fit: Toronto
Reason: Almost identical in situation to Edmonton, Toronto now has a pretty potent offense and some good defensive prospects (plus Phaneuf) but their goalie situation is as bad as it gets, Reimer and Gustavsson should and will not be sharing the goalie duties on a playoff team, and definitely not a contender, with his in his net style and strange glove positioning (though it works) reminiscent of Toronto Maple Leafs great goalie Felix Potvin (both of them having cat like reflexes and crazy agility) it seems like the Toronto Maple Leafs just caught a break with Ben Scrivens showing he can be a legitimate NHL goalie.

Cory Schneider G Vancouver
Best Fit: Vancouver
Reason: Vancouver had a good goalie (used to be great, except in the clutch) in Roberto Luongo but his inconsistency and inability to stay cool in pressure (or believe in himself, these are the main reason he is inconsistent), but Cory Schneider is completely different, always cool, or at least always looks it, and believes he is going to win before it happens. Schneider is going to be a great goalie and in my opinion the greatest in Vancouver history before it's over (sorry Cap'n Kirk), here's to a fun time watching Schneids in Vancouver.

Mike Green D Washington
Best Fit: Boston
Reason: Mike Green is a good team defender, average one-on-one defender, amazing offensive defense-men and an unbelievable power-play quarterback, which is exactly what Boston needs to be a Stanley Cup champion once again, with a fixed power-play (over the anemic one they have right now) they should be first in the east and possibly the Presidents Trophy winners for atleast the year they get it.

Evander Kane LW Winnipeg
Best Fit: Winnipeg
Reason: Evander Kane is Winnipeg's star and hit thirty goals this year, that number will definitely improve as will his 27 assists, I'm guessing the Jets don't let him go.

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