Taking Over NHL Teams – Middle Tier

A couple of weeks ago on the Hockey PDO Cast, host Dimitri Filipovic and guest Jonathan Willis ranked all 31 NHL franchises in terms of which teams they would most like to take over as general manager. After listening to the episode, I thought it would be a fun exercise to give my take on it. I don’t remember what all aspects they factored in when making their lists but I have come up with my own:

  • On-ice Success
    • How well a team has done in recent seasons is basically the representation of how good the team’s roster is. If I am taking a franchise, I either want them to have been really bad for several seasons to build up a nice foundation of draft picks and prospects or I want the team to be very successful. The middle ground of teams that are neither competitive but aren’t rebuilding is the worst place to be.
  • Salary Cap Situation
    • I take into account the current amount of salary cap a team has, including Long-Term Injured Reserve relief. I want as much flexibility as possible when taking over a team.
  • Long-Term Outlook
    • This involves how many contracts the team has on its books after this season and how good/bad they are, plus takes into account the age of its key players.
  • Prospect System
    • How good does the future look for a team? As contracts expire and are let go due to age or cost, how easy will it be replace them internally with young players in the farm system?
  • Coaching Staff
    • Although I would be taking over as GM and able to hire my own front office, I have to work with a team’s current coaching staff. I would have the ability to fire and replace the coaching staff that is in place but would have to work with buyouts and such.

What I Value Most

  • If I am taking over a team, I either want a team that is good now and has key players locked down with prospects in the pipeline or I want a team that has been rebuilding for a while and has few long-term contracts on the books.
  • Does an organization have one or two marquee players like the Penguins have with Crosby and Malkin or the Blackhawks do with Kane and Toews? Even if the team doesn’t match the above scenario, having an elite player makes a major difference.
  • I want a good coaching staff in place if I am taking over a team. Having a proven veteran coach can go a long way in bringing up a subpar roster. It should be kept in mind that when a new GM takes over a team that he is generally given the freedom to make a change in coach pretty early in his tenure.

Types of Teams on this List

  • In this group there two types of teams: those who have well-established rosters and competitive now but have a questionable future and those who have young rosters but aren’t as talented as Edmonton and Toronto and without a clear path moving forward.
  • There isn’t any real difference between individual ranks in this tier but from bottom to top, there is a substantial difference.

*Clause Keys:

  • NMC: No-Move Clause
  • NTC: No-Trade Clause
  • M-NTC: Modified No-Trade Clause
  • LTIR: Long-Term Injured Reserve
  • ELC: Entry-Level Contract
  • AAV: Average Annual Value
  • UFA: Unrestricted Free Agent
  • RFA: Restricted Free Agent

The Teams

27. New York Rangers

2016-17 Record

48-28-6 (102 points)

Current Salary Cap Space

$1,992,385

Player Under Contract after the 2017-18 Season

29

Farm System Ranking

(According to The Hockey Writers)
23rd

Best Prospects

·       G Igor Shesterkin

·       G Brandon Halverson

·       RW Pavel Buchnevich

Worst Contracts

POS

AGE Player Cap Hit

(After the 2017-18 Season)

Clause

D 30 Marc Staal 3 years, $5.7 million AAV NMC
G 35 Henrik Lundqvist 3 years, $8.5 million AAV NMC

Best Contracts

POS

AGE Player Cap Hit

(After the 2017-18 Season)

Clause

C 24 Mika Zibanejad 4 years, $5.35 million AAV None
D 28 Kevin Shattenkirk 3 years, $6.65 million AAV NMC

Players Needing New Deals After this Season

POS

AGE Player Current Cap Hit

Free Agency Type

W 33 Rick Nash $7.8 million UFA
F 24 J.T. Miller $2.75 million RFA
C 25 Kevin Hayes $2.6 million RFA
W 30 Michael Grabner $1.65 million UFA
C 31 David Desharnais $1 million UFA
LW 24 Jimmy Vesey $925,000 RFA – ELC
RW 32 Adam Cracknell $675,000 UFA
C 29 Paul Carey $650,000 UFA
D 30 Nick Holden $1.65 million UFA
D 23 Brady Skjei $925,000 RFA – ELC
G 30 Ondrej Pavelec $1.3 million UFA

Reasoning

  • The Rangers are one of the oldest teams in the league this season, haven’t had the levels of success that the Penguins or Blackhawks have, and don’t have a good farm system. They aren’t off to a good start this season and are having serious problems scoring goals. The Rangers aren’t that far away from getting through some bleak times financially however. As bad as the Lundqvist and Staal contracts are, they are only on the books for three more years after this season so there is light at the end of the tunnel. They also have some really good contracts such as the ones given to Zibanejad and Shattenkirk this offseason. The Rangers are also lucky enough to have Alain Vigneault behind the bench, a coach I consider to be one of the best in the league. If I were to take over this team, the first thing I would do is identify which players make up the future of the franchise. To me, these players are Mika Zibanejad, J.T. Miller, Kevin Hayes, Jimmy Vesey, Pavel Buchnevich, and Brady Skjei. Anyone else I would attempt to trade and build up their farm system. Henrik Lundqvist, Ryan McDonagh, Mats Zuccarello, and Chris Kreider all have trade value and could be moved although Lundqvist has a full no-move clause and McDonagh has a modified no-trade clause. Trading these players for picks and prospects would go a long way towards jumpstarting the Rangers’ future and allow for more talented prospects to get playing time at the NHL level. The Rangers are also in a decent situation because they have draft picks for the foreseeable future, a luxury they haven’t had in the recent past. Taking over the Rangers would be a dream job because of the history the franchise has, its location, and the pull it has on players to sign there as free agents.

26. Boston Bruins

2016-17 Record

44-31-7 (95 points)

Current Salary Cap Space

$878,034

(with $2.75 million in LTIR relief)

Player Under Contract after the 2017-18 Season

29

Farm System Ranking

(According to The Hockey Writers)
12th

Best Prospects

·       LW Jake DeBrusk

·       D Jakub Zboril

·       D Charlie McAvoy

Worst Contracts

POS

AGE Player Cap Hit

(After the 2017-18 Season)

Clause

C 31 David Krejci 3 years, $7.25 million AAV NMC
C/RW 33 David Backes 3 years, $6 million AAV NMC

Best Contracts

POS

AGE Player Cap Hit

(After the 2017-18 Season)

Clause

RW 21 David Pastrnak 5 years, $6,666,666 AAV None
LW 29 Brad Marchand 7 years, $6.125 million AAV NMC
D 26 Torey Krug 2 years, $5.25 million AAV None

Players Needing New Deals After this Season

POS

AGE Player Current Cap Hit

Free Agency Type

C/LW 25 Ryan Spooner $2.825 million RFA
C/RW 28 Riley Nash $900,000 UFA
LW 25 Kenny Agostino $875,000 RFA
C 24 Sean Kuraly $808,750 RFA – ELC
LW/C 23 Frank Vatrano $792,5000 RFA – ELC
C/LW 26 Tim Schaller $775,000 UFA
D 40 Zdeno Chara $4 million UFA
D 28 Paul Postma $725,000 UFA
G 31 Anton Khudobin $1.2 million UFA

Reasoning

  • The Bruins have been one of the oldest teams in the league in recent years as they played a slower style of game and missed the playoffs two out of the three previous seasons and were ousted in the first round last year. That has changed now and they are right at the league average in terms of age and that includes veterans Zdeno Chara, David Backes, and Patrice Bergeron. However, they now have really talented young players that have stepped up and are playing big roles on this year’s team. They are in a pretty good position financially with almost all of their key forwards locked down for the future with some money coming off the boards after this season. I have the Bruins this low because there is a lot to navigate through moving forward from a salary standpoint as both Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo will need new contracts after next season and I would want to sign them to long-term deals and buy up some UFA years. Trading a contract would make this easier but most of their pricey deals have no-move clauses attached to them and would make a trade very difficult. Again, this is a team that I like because of their history and player’s attachments to the region but I think their return to long-term success is a little bit blurrier than other teams.

25. Montreal Canadiens

2016-17 Record

47-26-9 (103 points)

Current Salary Cap Space

$9,305,367

Player Under Contract after the 2017-18 Season

28th

Farm System Ranking

(According to The Hockey Writers)
28th

Best Prospects

·       G Charlie Lindgren

·       C Michael McCarron

·       RW Nikita Scherbak

Worst Contracts

POS

AGE Player Cap Hit

(After the 2017-18 Season)

Clause

F 26 Andrew Shaw 4 years, $3.9 million AAV None
D 32 Shea Weber 8 years, $7,857,143 AAV None
D 29 Karl Alzner 4 years, $4.625 million M-NTC –

7 team no trade list
G 30 Carey Price 8 years, $10.5 million AAV NMC

Best Contracts

POS

AGE Player Cap Hit

(After the 2017-18 Season)

Clause

C 22 Jonathan Drouin 5 years, $5.5 million AAV None
F 23 Alex Galchenyuk 2 years, $4.9 million AAV None
RW 25 Brendan Gallagher 3 years, $3.75 million AAV None

Players Needing New Deals After this Season

POS

AGE Player Current Cap Hit

Free Agency Type

C 34 Thomas Plekanec $6 million UFA
C/RW 32 Torrey Mitchell $1.2 million UFA
RW 34 Ales Hemsky $1 million UFA
C 24 Phillip Danault $912,500 RFA
LW 22 Jacob De La Rose $725,000 RFA
D 26 Brandon Davidson $1.425 million RFA
D 24 Joe Morrow $650,000 RFA

Reasoning

  • A new general manager in Montreal may not be that far away considering the pressure surrounding Marc Bergevin from this offseason and the poor start to the current season. The Canadiens have plenty of cap space currently and are always able to spend to the cap ceiling, making it a nice franchise to take over. The issue is that it is still Montreal, which can be good and bad. Good because they have the most intense fans in the league and is a favorite landing spot for free agents. Bad because if a season isn’t going well, the media will rip the team apart. The Canadiens have some bad contracts, including Shea Weber and Carey Price, both of whom have eight years left on their deals with very expensive cap hits. Price has a full no-move clause on his contract and Weber is basically unmovable despite having no trade protection. These two deals make the future pretty tough to navigate through because Price will be 39 at the end of his contract and Weber will be 40. Their blueline outlook is extremely bleak after trading top prospect Mikhail Sergachev for Francophile Jonathan Drouin. They also have very little depth at center and it has yet to be proven whether Drouin can be a true number one center. There are good things about this team too, including head coach Claude Julien, one of the best in the game. They also have several good young forwards such as Artturi Lehkonen, Phillip Danault, Charles Hudon, and Alex Galchenyuk. If I took over this team, the first thing I would do is finally give Galchenyuk a real chance at center. He is talented enough that he could be the answer to the team’s center problems. After that, I would trade for as much proven talent as possible. With the age of the roster and the nature of some of the contracts, it is clear that the team is built to win right now. As soon as Price’s extension kicks in next season, it will become much more difficult to have salary cap flexibility. If the Canadiens don’t win in the next few seasons, it could be a long time before they are competitive again because their bad contracts are nearly unmovable.

24. Colorado Avalanche

2016-17 Record

22-56-4 (48 points)

Current Salary Cap Space

$4,820,272

Player Under Contract after the 2017-18 Season

25

Farm System Ranking

(According to The Hockey Writers)
18th

Best Prospects

·       LW Tyson Jost

·       LW A.J. Greer

·       C Alex Kerfoot

Worst Contracts

POS

AGE Player Cap Hit

(After the 2017-18 Season)

Clause

C/LW 32 Carl Soderberg 2 years, $4.75 million AAV M-NTC

10 team no-trade list
D 29 Erik Johnson 5 years, $6 million AAV NMC

Best Contracts

POS

AGE Player Cap Hit

(After the 2017-18 Season)

Clause

C 22 Nathan MacKinnon 5 years, $6.3 million AAV None
LW 24 Gabriel Landeskog 3 years, $5,571,429 AAV None
D 26 Tyson Barrie 2 years, $5.5 million AAV None

Players Needing New Deal After this Season

POS

AGE Player Current Cap Hit

Free Agency Type

W 31 Blake Comeau $2.4 million UFA
W 24 Matt Nieto $1 million RFA
W 24 Nail Yakupov $875,000 RFA
W 27 Gabriel Bourque $750,000 UFA
D 25 Patrik Nemeth $945,000 RFA
D 22 Chris Bigras $843,333 RFA – ELC
D 27 Mark Barberio $750,000 UFA
G 29 Jonathan Bernier $2.75 million UFA

Reasoning

  • Colorado may have a bad on-ice product right now and had one of the worst seasons in recent memory last year but they have a path to future success. They have a decent farm system with some high-end talent plus have good young forwards at the NHL level. Their farm system only got better with the Matt Duchene deal after bringing back Samuel Girard, Vladislav Kamanez, and Shane Bowers plus picks. They don’t have many bad contracts either and could move a lot of players for prospects and picks. If I took over this team, one of the first things I would do is  see what the market is for Gabriel Landeskog and consider moving him. He has a good contract and is a proven player and could fetch quite a return. I would also attempt to move Tyson Barrie and take advantage of the good start Semyon Varlamov has had in net and see if there is interest in him. I would also keep head coach Jared Bednar in place because he has experience working with younger players and could be an asset in the future. It is also difficult to judge his coaching ability given the lack of talent he has worked with in Colorado.

23. Chicago Blackhawks

2016-17 Record

50-23-9 (109 points)

Current Salary Cap Space

$0 ($2,455,834 in LTIR relief)

Player Under Contract after the 2017-18 Season

29

Farm System Ranking

(According to The Hockey Writers)
29th

Best Prospects

·       RW Alex DeBrincat

·       LW Graham Knott

·       D Ville Pokka

Worst Contracts

POS

AGE Player Cap Hit

(After the 2017-18 Season)

Clause

RW 28 Patrick Kane 5 years, $10.5 million AAV NMC
C 29 Jonathan Toews 5 years, $10.5 million AAV NMC
C 29 Artem Anisimov 3 years, $4.55 million AAV NMC
D 32 Brent Seabrook 6 years, $6.875 million AAV NMC
D 34 Duncan Keith 5 years, $5,538,462 AAV NMC
RW 38 Marian Hossa 3 years, $5.275 million AAV NMC

Best Contracts

POS

AGE Player Cap Hit

(After the 2017-18 Season)

Clause

W 24 Brandon Saad 3 years, $6 million AAV None
D 24 Connor Murphy 4 years, $3.85 million AAV None
G 32 Corey Crawford 2 years, $6 million AAV NMC, M-NTC –

10 team trade list

Players Needing New Deals After this Season

POS

AGE Player Current Cap Hit

Free Agency Type

F 27 Lance Bouma $1 million UFA
C/RW 22 John Hayden $925,000 RFA – ELC
RW 23 Ryan Hartman $863,333 RFA – ELC
LW 35 Patrick Sharp $800,00 UFA
W 29 Tommy Wingels $750,000 UFA
D 30 Cody Franson $1 million UFA
D 27 Michal Kempny $900,000 UFA
D 27 Jan Rutta $925,000 UFA

Reasoning

  • The Blackhawks could certainly be lower on this list given their current and future salary cap woes. For the past few offseasons, the front office has had to depart with key players in order to free up cap space. That hasn’t done good things to their on-ice product, losing in the first round of the playoffs two straight years. Despite their difficult salary cap situation and minimal playoff success, they still have three of the best players in the league on their roster in Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, and Duncan Keith. There is still real potential for the Blackhawks to reach and win a fourth Stanley Cup in the last ten years before they become uncompetitive. I think the situation in Chicago is still attractive because of their elite NHL talent and some more under-the-radar players on the way. They also have Joel Quenneville as their head coach and he is no worse than the second best coach in the league right now. If I took over this team, there isn’t a lot that could be done except roll with the roster the way it is currently built. This past offseason the front office got the band back together by bringing in Brandon Saad and Patrick Sharp for the second time in their careers and that familiarity has shown itself on the ice. I would also have the conversation about whether it is more important to win in the now or try and stay competitive for the long-term future. If it is the former, I would consider trading one or more of their young players for proven commodities. The problem is that this still doesn’t help their financial situation as their young players are cheap and veterans aren’t. If it is the latter and long-term success is more important, then I would try and trade Patrick Kane, Corey Crawford, or Duncan Keith. Kane has never had more trade value than he does right now and there are teams that would love to acquire him. The issue is that he has a no-move clause in his contract and would have to sign-off on any deal. Keith has the same clause while Crawford has a modified no-trade clause that would make any move easier. The Blackhawks have dug themselves a hole by giving no-move clauses to anyone who asked for it, especially those with expensive deals, and have handcuffed themselves for the future.

22. Dallas Stars

2016-17 Record

34-37-11 (79 points)

Current Salary Cap Space

$643,897

Player Under Contract after the 2017-18 Season

24

Farm System Ranking

(According to The Hockey Writers)
11th

Best Prospects

·       D Julius Honka

·       LW Remi Elie

·       D Miro Heiskanen

Worst Contracts

POS

AGE Player Cap Hit

(After the 2017-18 Season)

Clause

RW 31 Alexander Radulov 4 years, $6.25 million AAV NMC
G 30 Ben Bishop 5 years, $4,916,667 AAV NMC

Best Contracts

POS

AGE Player Cap Hit

(After the 2017-18 Season)

Clause

C 23 Radek Faksa 2 years, $2.2 million AAV None
D 25 John Klingberg 4 years, $4.25 million AAV None

Players Needing New Deals After this Season

POS AGE Player Current Cap Hit Free Agency Type
LW 27 Antoine Roussel $2 million UFA
C 23 Devin Shore $870,000 RFA – ELC
LW 22 Remi Elie $745,000 RFA – ELC
C 24 Mattias Janmark $700,000 RFA
C 23 Gemel Smith $650,000 RFA
D 34 Dan Hamhuis $3.75 million UFA
D 24 Jamie Oleksiak $964,688 RFA
D 27 Greg Pateryn $800,000 UFA
D 25 Stephen Johns $725,000 RFA
G 33 Kari Lehtonen $5.9 million UFA

Reasoning

  • The Stars are kind of at a crossroads in their franchise’s success arc right now. They have some really interesting forwards, including both veterans and those not in their peak yet, have a decent blueline with more prospects on the way, and a proven goaltender. They don’t have a lot of cap space currently but will have quite a bit in the future. There are a couple of bad contracts but at least they aren’t overly long and shouldn’t impact that cap flexibility long-term. I love the forward core they have in place with Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin leading the way and they have a nice group of young blueliners. I think they have a good head coach in Ken Hitchcock and see him as more than capable of getting the Stars to a Stanley Cup appearance. If I took over this franchise, there isn’t much to do currently as they are winning. There is certainly the chance that they will need to add something at the trade deadline but I wouldn’t be overly aggressive in attempting to fix something that isn’t broken. After this season there are certainly some things that will need addressed. Jamie Oleksiak, Stephen Johns, and four of their young forwards all need new contracts this offseason, but there should be plenty of money available with Kari Lehtonen’s $5.9 million contract coming off the books. This offseason, I would also begin negotiating an extension with Tyler Seguin as his contract expires after next season. Considering this will be his first time reaching unrestricted free agency, he is due a big upgrade over his current $5.75 million cap hit. It is pivotal that he gets extended because he is their current first line center and will be expected to play an important role in the future along with Benn.

21. St. Louis Blues

2016-17 Record

34-37-11 (79 points)

Current Salary Cap Space

$5,887 ($5,523,344 in LTIR relief)

Player Under Contract after the 2017-18 Season

31

Farm System Ranking

(According to The Hockey Writers)
16th

Best Prospects

·       C Ivan Barbashev

·       G Ville Husso

·       D Jordan Schmaltz

Worst Contracts

POS

AGE Player Cap Hit

(After the 2017-18 Season)

Clause

LW/C 33 Alexander Steen 3 years, $5.75 million AAV NTC

Best Contracts

POS

AGE Player Cap Hit

(After the 2017-18 Season)

Clause

RW 25 Vladimir Tarasenko 5 years, $7.5 million AAV None
LW 25 Jaden Schwartz 3 years, $5.35 million AAV None
C/LW 26 Brayden Schenn 2 years, $5.125 million AAV None
D 24 Colton Parayko 4 years, $5.5 million AAV None
G 27 Jake Allen 3 years, $4.35 million AAV None

Players Needing Re-signed After this Season

POS

AGE Player Current Cap Hit

Free Agency Type

C 31 Paul Stastny $7 million UFA
W 24 Dmitrij Jaskin $1 million RFA
C 33 Kyle Brodziak $950,000 UFA
LW 34 Scottie Upshall $800,000 UFA
LW 26 Magnus Paajarvi $800,000 UFA
C 23 Oskar Sundqvist $675,000 RFA
W 25 Beau Bennett $650,000 RFA
D 24 Joel Edmundson $1.05 million RFA
G 31 Carter Hutton $1.125 million UFA

Reasoning

  • The Blues have a very good roster that is built to win both now and in the future. They have done an amazing job to move on from the Backes and Oshie era and into the Pietrangelo and Tarasenko era. They have no truly bad contracts and have avoided giving bloated contracts to veterans so far. Alexander Steen is 33 years old but only has three more years left on his deal before becoming a free agent and Jay Bouwmeester is 34 but is a free agent after next season. They also get more cap flexibility after this season with Paul Stastny becoming a free agent and it will be interesting if the team re-signs him. They have all of the important players locked down for the future and should have plenty of money to extend anyone else when the time comes. They have a pretty good goaltender situation, a decent prospect system, and have a very competent head coach behind the bench in Mike Yeo. If I were to take over this team, nothing needs done immediately. They are in first place in the Central Division at the time of writing this and are both a good offensive and defensive team and that has happened while suffering some key injuries early on. After this season, I would choose to not re-sign Stastny but allocate that money elsewhere. Keeping money back to extend Pietrangelo in two years will be key because he is due a raise over his current $6.5 million cap hit.

20. New York Islanders (If Tavares Re-signs)

2016-17 Record

41-29-12 (94 points)

Current Salary Cap Space

$2,673,361

Player Under Contract after the 2017-18 Season

22

Farm System Ranking

(According to The Hockey Writers)
15th

Best Prospects

·       RW Josh Ho-Sang

·       C Mathew Barzal

·       LW Michael Dal Colle

Worst Contracts

POS

AGE Player Cap Hit

(After the 2017-18 Season)

Clause

LW 31 Andrew Ladd 5 years, $5.5 million AAV NMC
RW 29 Cal Clutterbuck 4 years, $3.5 million AAV None
D 33 Johnny Boychuk 4 years, $6 million AAV NMC
G 31 Thomas Greiss 2 years, $3,333,333 AAV None

Best Contracts

POS

AGE Player Cap Hit

(After the 2017-18 Season)

Clause

C 26 Casey Cizikas 3 years, $3.35 million AAV None
D 26 Nick Leddy 4 years, $5.5 million AAV None
D 23 Adam Pelech 3 years, $1.6 million AAV None

Players Needing Re-Signed After this Season

POS

AGE Player Current Cap Hit

Free Agency Type

C 27 John Tavares $5.5 million UFA
W 31 Nikolai Kulemin $4,187,500 UFA
W 28 Josh Bailey $3.3 million UFA
C/LW 26 Brock Nelson $2.5 million RFA
W 38 Jason Chimera $2.25 million UFA
LW 24 Shane Prince $850,000 RFA
C 24 Alan Quine $612,500 RFA
D 28 Calvin De Haan $3.3 million UFA
D 28 Thomas Hickey $2.2 million UFA
D 36 Dennis Seidenberg $1.25 million UFA
D 23 Ryan Pulock $863,333 RFA – ELC
D 25 Scott Mayfield $625,000 RFA
G 32 Jaroslav Halak $4.5 million UFA

Reasoning

  • Placing the Islanders this high on the list comes with the caveat that Tavares re-signs with the team either during the season or before free agency starts. If he isn’t on this roster come next season, the Islanders present and future outlooks become quite bleak. His talent level is on par with that of Sidney Crosby, Steven Stamkos, and Connor McDavid and he is the franchise center for the Islanders. If I were to take over the Islanders, the first thing I am doing is going all-out to re-sign Tavares. He is worth McDavid money and the team has the cap space to make it possible. If I succeed, I then go about trying to build this roster around Tavares by getting him the best wings I can. If I fail to re-sign him, I trade him immediately. Losing him for nothing is unthinkable and not having his talent will already be a major setback. After trading Tavares, I would then deal Jordan Eberle, Anders Lee, Casey Cizikas, Brock Nelson, Josh Bailey, Calvin De Haan, and Thomas Hickey. Basically anyone over the age of 25 would be gone because this roster needs to be rebuilt. At least recouping assets for these players would jumpstart the rebuilding process.

19. Ottawa Senators

2016-17 Record

44-28-10 (98 points)

Current Salary Cap Space

$3,455,970

Player Under Contract after the 2017-18 Season

34

Farm System Ranking

(According to The Hockey Writers)
27th

Best Prospects

·       D Thomas Chabot

·       C Logan Brown

·       C Colin White

Worst Contracts

POS

AGE Player Cap Hit

(After the 2017-18 Season)

Clause

W 30 Bobby Ryan 4 years, $7.25 million AAV NMC M-NTC –

10 team no trade list
D 32 Dion Phaneuf 3 years, $7 million AAV NMC M-NTC –

12 team approval list

Best Contracts

POS

AGE Player Cap Hit

(After the 2017-18 Season)

Clause

C 29 Zack Smith 3 years, $3.25 million AAV M-NTC –

10 team no trade list
G 36 Craig Anderson 2 years, $4.75 million AAV None
G 27 Mike Condon 2 years, $2.4 million AAV None

Players Needing Re-Signed After this Season

POS AGE Player Current Cap Hit Free Agency Type
RW 25 Mark Stone $3.5 million RFA
C 28 Kyle Turris $3.5 million UFA
C 28 Chris DiDomenico $612,500 UFA
D 23 Cody Ceci $2.8 million RFA
D 36 Johnny Oduya $1 million UFA
D 27 Chris Wideman $800,000 UFA
D 24 Fredrik Claesson $650,000 RFA

Reasoning

  • They have the best defenseman in the world in Erik Karlsson, have a very good goaltender in Craig Anderson, and have some really interesting and young forwards. They also have a good coach in Guy Boucher, who has gotten his team to buy into his system. They do have some bad contracts and aren’t a cap team traditionally, plus have a bad arena situation, but their on-ice product is good enough to like their situation. I would come to this team and attempt to trade Bobby Ryan right away. His $7.25 million cap hit is too much when Kyle Turris and Mark Stone both need re-signed this offseason and are due raises. I would also look to trade Derick Brassard for some cap relief because the team has center prospects that are likely ready to make the jump to the NHL. Next, I would start to open the dialog with Karlsson on an extension. He can’t sign one until next summer but I would do everything possible to ensure that he is a Senator for the rest of his career. This team is still pretty young but has veterans where they are most important and has a nice prospect pool for the future.

18. Washington Capitals

2016-17 Record

55-19-8 (118 points)

Current Salary Cap Space

$1,867 ($3,549,367 in LTIR relief)

Player Under Contract after the 2017-18 Season

25

Farm System Ranking

(According to The Hockey Writers)
25th

Best Prospects

·       LW Jakub Vrana

·       G Ilya Samsonov

·       D Madison Bowey

 

Worst Contracts

POS

AGE Player Cap Hit

(After the 2017-18 Season)

Clause

RW 30 T.J. Oshie 7 years, $5.75 million AAV M-NTC –

15 team no trade list
D 37 Brooks Orpik 1 year, $5.5 million AAV None

Best Contracts

POS

AGE Player Cap Hit

(After the 2017-18 Season)

Clause

C 25 Evgeny Kuznetsov 7 years, $7.8 million AAV M-NTC –

15 team no trade list
D 26 Dmitry Orlov 5 years, $5.1 million AAV None
G 28 Braden Holtby 2 years, $6.1 million AAV M-NTC –

7 team no trade list

Players Needing New Deals After This Season

POS

AGE Player Current Cap Hit

Free Agency Type

C 28 Lars Eller $3.5 million UFA
RW 23 Tom Wilson $2 million RFA
C 32 Jay Beagle $1.75 million UFA
RW 27 Alex Chiasson $660,000 UFA
W 25 Devante Smith-Pelly $650,000 RFA
RW 28 Anthony Peluso $650,000 UFA
C 24 Tyler Graovac $625,000 RFA
D 27 John Carlson $3,966,667 UFA
D 30 Taylor Chorney $800,000 UFA
D 22 Madison Bowey $703,333 RFA – ELC
D 27 Aaron Ness $612,500 UFA
G 25 Philipp Grubauer $1.5 million RFA

Reasoning

  • This roster is getting older but they still have most of their key players locked down to reasonable contracts long-term. Their core remains what it has been for several seasons now – Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Andre Burakovsky, and T.J. Oshie upfront, John Carlson, Dmitry Orlov, and Matt Niskanen on the blueline, and Braden Holtby in net. That core is comparable to the best in the league and is still good enough to make them a favorite to win the Eastern Conference this season despite losing key players last offseason. Now to the bad parts: they have to make decisions on seven UFAs this offseason and only have a little over $15 million in cap space to work with. They also have five RFAs playing on expiring contracts. They have some bad contracts, including T.J. Oshie’s new deal that started this season and runs for eight years. They also have just four defensemen signed for next season, but one is Brooks Orpik and another is 23-year old Christian Djoos. They do have a very good defensive coach in Barry Trotz and he can work wonders with lackluster rosters. They also have Braden Holtby in net and he can cover up a lot of defensive woes. The first thing I would do after taking over this team would be to get John Carlson extended. He is likely considered to be part of Washington’s future defense core along with Orlov and needs to be locked down for the foreseeable future. The next thing I would do is determine which players I would re-sign after this season. For me, these players would be Tyler Graovac, Madison Bowey, and Philipp Grubauer. That means I would look into dealing Tom Wilson, who is an RFA this offseason and has never developed into a good scorer at the NHL level. By trading him for prospects or picks, he wouldn’t be lost for nothing like he would be if he went elsewhere in free agency. Washington doesn’t begin to get any real relief until after next season when Orpik’s $5.5 million contract comes off the books.

17. Anaheim Ducks

2016-17 Record

46-23-13 (105 points)

Current Salary Cap Space

$964,908 ($5,039,908 in LTIR relief)

Player Under Contract after the 2017-18 Season

29

Farm System Ranking

(According to The Hockey Writers)
26th

Best Prospects

·       D Brandon Montour

·       C Sam Steel

·       LW Max Jones

Worst Contracts

POS

AGE Player Cap Hit

(After the 2017-18 Season)

Clause

C 33 Ryan Kesler 4 years, $6.875 million AAV NMC

Best Contracts

POS

AGE Player Cap Hit

(After the 2017-18 Season)

Clause

C 24 Rickard Rakell 4 years, $3,789,444 AAV None
D 23 Hampus Lindholm 4 years, $5,205,556 AAV None
D 26 Sami Vatanen 2 years, $4.875 million AAV None
D 25 Cam Fowler 8 years, $6.5 million AAV M-NTC –

4 team approval list
D 26 Josh Manson 4 years, $4.1 million AAV None
W 33 Patrick Eaves 2 years, $3.15 million AAV M-NTC –

8 team no trade list

Players Needing New Deals After This Season

POS

AGE Player Current Cap Hit

Free Agency Type

F 30 Andrew Cogliano $3 million UFA
C/LW 35 Antoine Vermette $1.75 million UFA
RW 31 Jared Boll $900,000 UFA
LW 21 Nick Ritchie $894,167 RFA – ELC
C 27 Dennis Rasmussen $725,000 UFA
RW 21 Ondrej Kase $670,000 RFA – ELC
C 27 Derek Grant $650,000 UFA
RW 25 Logan Shaw $650,000 RFA
C 26 Chris Wagner $637,500 UFA
D 36 Kevin Bieksa $4 million UFA
D 37 Francois Beauchemin $1 million UFA
D 23 Brandon Montour $925,000 RFA – ELC
G 30 Reto Berra $700,000 UFA

Reasoning

  • The Ducks have done a masterful job at transitioning through the generations of players. Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry were once the young guys and looked up to Teemu Selanne and Scott Niedermayer and now they are the veterans with young players like Rickard Rakell, Nick Ritchie, and Ondrej Kase stepping into progressively bigger roles. They also have one of the best bluelines in the league with four of their key members locked down. Their current front office has done a great job at building from the net out similar to how the Predators have and the Ducks have a really nice goaltender situation behind a stout defense. Their salary cap situation starts to get even better after this season as some of their veteran contracts come off the books. This gives them plenty of cap space to re-sign their important free agents. They shouldn’t have any overly expensive contracts to sign this offseason but can sign goalie John Gibson to an extension next summer. That won’t be a cheap extension as it will be his last deal before becoming a UFA. I don’t like their coaching situation and think that Randy Carlyle is overrated but that could be remedied fairly easily. I also don’t like Ryan Kesler’s deal that pays him nearly $7 million per season for the next four years. He’s still really productive but is injured too often. All-in-all the Ducks are a good team that can compete for a Stanley Cup right now and can also be a threat in the future with the skillset they have in younger players.

16. Minnesota Wild

2016-17 Record

49-25-8 (106 points)

Current Salary Cap Space

$404,607 ($3,998,774 in LTIR relief)

Player Under Contract after the 2017-18 Season

28

Farm System Ranking

(According to The Hockey Writers)
19th

Best Prospects

·       C Joel Eriksson Ek

·       LW Jordan Greenway

·       D Mike Rielly

Worst Contracts

POS

AGE Player Cap Hit

(After the 2017-18 Season)

Clause

LW 33 Zach Parise 7 years, $7,538,462 AAV NMC
C 34 Mikko Koivu 2 years, $5.5 million AAV NMC
D 32 Ryan Suter 7 years, $7,538,462 AAV NMC

Best Contracts

POS

AGE Player Cap Hit

(After the 2017-18 Season)

Clause

RW 25 Nino Niederreiter 4 years, $5.25 million AAV None
D 24 Jonas Brodin 3 years, $4,166,667 AAV None
G 31 Devan Dubnyk 3 years, $4,333,333 AAV M-NTC –

19 team approval list
C/RW 25 Charlie Coyle 2 years, $3.2 million AAV None

Players Needing New Deals After This Season

POS

AGE Player Current Cap Hit

Free Agency Type

W 25 Jason Zucker $2 million RFA
W 29 Chris Stewart $1.15 million UFA
C 40 Matt Cullen $1 million UFA
C 32 Daniel Winnik $660,000 UFA
D 23 Matt Dumba $2.55 million RFA
D 32 Kyle Quincey $1.25 million UFA

Reasoning

  • Wanting to take over the Wild is more of a here and now reasoning rather than looking to the future. They are a very good team right now and have some intriguing prospects for the future but also have some really bad contracts. The deals given to Zach Parise and Ryan Suter are going to ruin the future salary cap of the Wild. Each of their cap hits represent more than 10% of the current salary cap and both players are already at least 32 years old. To more good news, they have a very nice defense core and a good goaltender in Devan Dubnyk. They also have an excellent head coach in Bruce Boudreau and he always gets the most out of his teams in the regular season even if that success hasn’t translated to the playoffs. It will be interesting to see how the next few seasons are navigated by the Wild with several key players needing new deals in the coming seasons. I think they need to do everything possible to win a Stanley Cup in the next year or two and then attempt to trade some of their contracts for prospects and picks. They aren’t that different than Chicago in that they have given big contracts to two players and will struggle to retain all of their key players moving forward.

15. Pittsburgh Penguins

2016-17 Record

50-21-11 (111 points)

Current Salary Cap Space

$251,928 ($956,928 in LTIR relief)

Player Under Contract after the 2017-18 Season

25

Farm System Ranking

(According to The Hockey Writers)
30th

Best Prospects

·       LW Jake Guentzel

·       G Tristan Jarry

·       RW Daniel Sprong

Worst Contracts

POS

AGE Player Cap Hit

(After the 2017-18 Season)

Clause

RW 30 Phil Kessel 4 years, $6.8 million AAV NMC, M-NTC –

8 team approval list
D 30 Kris Letang 4 years, $7.25 million AAV NMC, M-NTC –

18 team approval list
D 23 Olli Maatta 4 years, $4,083,333 AAV None

Best Contracts

POS

AGE Player Cap Hit

(After the 2017-18 Season)

Clause

C 31 Evgeni Malkin 4 years, $9.5 million AAV NMC
C 30 Sidney Crosby 7 years, $8.7 million AAV NMC
W 25 Conor Sheary 2 years, $3 million AAV None
D 27 Justin Schultz 2 years, $5.5 million AAV None
D 26 Brian Dumoulin 5 years, $4.1 million AAV None
G 23 Matt Murray 2 years, $3.75 million AAV None

Players Needing New Deals After This Season

POS

AGE Player Current Cap Hit

Free Agency Type

RW 30 Patric Hornqvist $4.25 million UFA
C 25 Riley Sheahan $2.075 million RFA
RW 30 Ryan Reaves $1.125 million UFA
C 25 Greg McKegg $650,000 RFA
W 25 Bryan Rust $640,000 RFA
RW 25 Tom Kuhnackl $625,000 RFA
D 28 Ian Cole $2.1 million UFA
D 24 Frank Corrado $650,000 RFA
D 27 Zach Trotman $650,000 UFA
C 28 Carter Rowney $612,500 UFA

Reasoning

  • Right now, the Penguins are coming off back-to-back Stanley Cups and have two of the best players in the world locked down for the foreseeable future. Add to that a dynamic number one defenseman and one of the best young goalies in recent memory, and you have a situation any GM would love to take over. It’s similar to the Blackhawks in that the Penguins also have the two dynamic scorers, have a very good coach behind the bench, but also have a lot of salary cap concerns. After this season, they have six forwards and three defensemen who will need new contracts, plus have to figure out their backup goaltender situation. They have a really bad farm system that is almost stripped entirely bare that was hurt more this past offseason when Jim Rutherford traded Oskar Sundqvist to St. Louis for veteran enforcer Ryan Reaves. If more than a couple of injuries occur at the NHL level or if they are unable to re-sign some of their players, they won’t be able to replace those players internally. It is difficult to envision how the Penguins will be competitive in five years when Crosby and Malkin are 35 and 36 respectively and a lot of their young players will have received big raises. The roster is still good enough in the present to be a Stanley Cup favorite but they have to address their defense concerns. One thing I would do immediately is take advantage of Phil Kessel’s hot start to the season and trade him for a top four defenseman. It would also solve the problem of Kessel’s contract that pays him for another four years after this season when he is already 30. I would also try to trade Carl Hagelin’s $4 million cap hit and free up the money necessary to re-sign Bryan Rust, Tom Kuhnackl, and Ian Cole this offseason. There is also the looming free agency of Matt Murray in three years and he could easily get Carey Price money if he continues to play at the level he has been. Determining what he will be expecting when his contract expires will be important in order to have that cap space available when the time comes.

14. Winnipeg Jets

2016-17 Record

40-35-7 (87 points)

Current Salary Cap Space

$7,389,871

Player Under Contract after the 2017-18 Season

22

Farm System Ranking

(According to The Hockey Writers)
4th

Best Prospects

·       LW Kyle Connor

·       G Eric Comrie

·       F Marco Dano

Worst Contracts

POS

AGE Player Cap Hit

(After the 2017-18 Season)

Clause

C/RW 29 Bryan Little 6 years, $5,291,666 AAV NMC/M-NTC –

14 team no trade list
C/LW 29 Mathieu Perreault 3 years, $4.125 million AAV M-NTC –

5 team no trade list
D 27 Dmitry Kulikov 2 years, $4,333,333 AAV M-NTC –

6 team no trade list

Best Contracts

POS

AGE Player Cap Hit

(After the 2017-18 Season)

Clause

C 24 Mark Scheifele 6 years, $6.125 million AAV None

Players Needing New Deals After This Season

POS

AGE Player Current Cap Hit

Free Agency Type

C/LW 29 Shawn Matthias $2.125 million UFA
LW/C 24 Adam Lowry $1.125 million RFA
RW 24 Joel Armia $925,000 RFA
F 22 Marko Dano $850,000 RFA
F 25 Brandon Tanev $700,000 RFA
LW 36 Matt Hedricks $700,000 UFA
D 32 Toby Enstrom $5.75 million UFA
D 23 Jacob Trouba $2,812,500 RFA
D 24 Tucker Poolman $925,000 RFA – ELC
D 22 Josh Morrissey $863,333 RFA – ELC
G 24 Connor Hellebuyck $2.25 million RFA

Reasoning

  • The Jets have quietly built up a very nice roster that is filled with young forwards, a good defense group, and a promising young goaltender. They have drafted very well, have been savvy with free agent signings and trades, and should be good for the future. They have already signed young players to long-term extensions when able and have an idea of what their financial commitments look like five years down the road. They have don’t have many bad contracts, with Bryan Little and Mathieu Perreault’s being the only ones that stand out to me due to the possibility of them being overpaid. I do think believe that they need a better coach than Paul Maurice and would look to replace him with someone who has had more consistent success. I also don’t like their current goaltending situation and don’t see Steve Mason as much of an answer until Connor Hellebuyck is able to take over the net. I would come in and immediately engage with Jacob Trouba in an effort to sign him to a long-term extension. He had some issues with the Jets when he needed a new deal two offseasons ago and negotiations stretched into last November. I would want to put those concerns to bed and make these discussions as easy and painless as possible. He is the future of this defense group and should be paid as such. They have some contracts coming off the books this offseason, with Shawn Matthias and Toby Enstrom likely not being re-signed. They have plenty of cap space moving forward to extend players like Patrik Laine, Kyle Connor, and Josh Morrisey, which is the only thing that really matters. These players are their future and they are really good and represent the team’s ability to compete for a Stanley Cup.

13. Buffalo Sabres

2016-17 Record

33-37-12 (78 points)

Current Salary Cap Space

$5,457,060

Player Under Contract after the 2017-18 Season

26

Farm System Ranking

(According to The Hockey Writers)
20th

Best Prospects

·       W Alex Nylander

·       RW Hudson Fasching

·       RW Justin Bailey

Worst Contracts

POS

AGE Player Cap Hit

(After the 2017-18 Season)

Clause

RW 34 Jason Pominville 1 year, $5.6 million AAV NMC, M-NTC –

10 team no trade list
LW 33 Matt Moulson 1 year, $5 million AAV M-NTC –

12 team approval list

Best Contracts

POS

AGE Player Cap Hit

(After the 2017-18 Season)

Clause

F 26 Ryan O’Reilly 5 years, $7.5 million AAV None
C 21 Jack Eichel 8 years, $10 million AAV NMC in last 4 years
D 23 Rasmus Ristolainen 4 years, $5.4 million AAV None
D 27 Marco Scandella 2 years, $4 million AAV None

Players Needing New Deals After This Season

POS

AGE Player Current Cap Hit

Free Agency Type

LW 26 Evander Kane $5.25 million UFA
LW 31 Benoit Pouliot $1.15 million UFA
F 28 Jordan Nolan $950,000 UFA
C/RW 21 Sam Reinhart $894,167 RFA – ELC
C/LW 26 Jacob Josefson $700,000 UFA
RW 22 Justin Bailey $670,000 RFA – ELC
RW/C 24 Seth Griffith $650,000 RFA
D 33 Josh Gorges $3.9 million UFA
D 24 Victor Antipin $925,000 RFA – ELC
D 29 Justin Falk $650,000 UFA
D 29 Zach Redmond $612,500 UFA
G 26 Robin Lehner $4 million RFA
G 31 Chad Johnson $2.5 million UFA

Reasoning

  • Buffalo should be on the same path that the Maple Leafs and Oilers are on but have struggled to take the next step in their development. They have all of the young players in place succeed – Jack Eichel, Sam Reinhart, Justin Bailey, Rasmus Ristolainen, and Jake McCabe, plus have interesting prospects that have high potential. They also have good veterans like Ryan O’Reilly and Kyle Okposo who have helped the young players develop well at the NHL level. A lot of their young players have already had their RFA years bought out and are locked down for the distant future. There’s a good and a bad to that. The good is that they will likely be spending less per year for a player like Eichel, who could become one of the best in the league in the future. The bad is that they are going to be paying him $10 million per season based entirely on potential when he has only played in one full season. The new coaching staff they have led by Phil Housley appears to have been a good hire and he has the chance to get the Sabres back to the playoffs. It doesn’t look like they are going to be a playoff team this season and they should look to trade away any expiring contracts for prospects and picks. I would put Evander Kane on the trading block and attempt to take advantage of his hot start. He should at least be worth a first round pick and could even get an additional pick or prospect in return. I would also go into next offseason with the goal of spending money in free agency to finish out this roster. They have a nice core in place, especially if Robin Lehner looks to be a reliable goaltender, but they need some scoring help and blueline help. They have plenty of money available for next year, even if Lehner gets a nice raise, and they should use as much of this as they can.

12. Calgary Flames

2016-17 Record

45-33-4 (94 points)

Current Salary Cap Space

$2,432,999

Player Under Contract after the 2017-18 Season

26

Farm System Ranking

(According to The Hockey Writers)
8th

Best Prospects

·       LW Emile Poirier

·       C Hunter Shinkaruk

·       C Mark Jankowski

Worst Contracts

POS

AGE Player Cap Hit

(After the 2017-18 Season)

Clause

RW 32 Troy Brouwer 2 years, $4.5 million AAV NTC
D 34 Mark Giordano 4 years, $6.75 million AAV NTC

Best Contracts

POS

AGE Player Cap Hit

(After the 2017-18 Season)

Clause

LW 24 Johnny Gaudreau 4 years, $6.75 million AAV None
C 23 Sean Monahan 5 years, $6.375 million AAV None
D 24 Dougie Hamilton 3 years, $5.75 million AAV None
D 27 T.J. Brodie 2 years, $4,650,400 AAV NMC, M-NTC
D 27 Travis Hamonic 2 years, $3,857,143 AAV None
D 27 Michael Stone 2 years, $3.5 million AAV M-NTC –

15 team no trade list

Players Needing New Deals After This Season

POS

AGE Player Current Cap Hit

Free Agency Type

C 28 Mikael Backlund $3.575 million UFA
W 31 Kris Versteeg $1.75 million UFA
RW 45 Jaromir Jagr $1 million UFA
C 23 Mark Jankowski $925,000 RFA – ELC
LW 33 Tanner Glass $650,000 UFA
C 25 Freddie Hamilton $612,500 RFA
D 23 Brett Kulak $650,000 RFA
D 29 Matt Bartkowski $612,500 UFA
G 29 Eddie Lack $1.375 million UFA

Reasoning

  • The Flames have one of the best young cores in the league, with almost all of them locked down for at least the next three seasons. Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan are two of the most exciting players in the league and Michael Frolik, Mikael Backlund, and Matthew Tkachuk made up one of the most puck-dominant lines in the NHL last season. They also have a nice defense group with their top five all being signed for at least the next two seasons. They have questions in net despite trading for veteran Mike Smith this past offseason. They have two goaltenders in their farm system in Jon Gillies and Tyler Parsons, both of whom have a lot of upside and could develop into long-term starters. I am really confident in their head coach Glen Gulutzan and think he has good chemistry with his roster. They have just one potentially bad contract in Mark Giordano, who is an excellent defenseman but is already 34 and has four more years left on his deal with a cap hit of nearly $7 million. They have some key free agents coming this offseason that they’ll have to make decisions on. I would re-sign Mikael Backlund, but let the rest of them walk, excluding their RFAs. Calgary is in a really good place with how their salaries are structured and how much cap space they have moving forward. Extending young players like Matthew Tkachuk and Sam Bennett in a few years will be no problem.

11. Columbus Blue Jackets

2016-17 Record

50-24-8 (108 points)

Current Salary Cap Space

$5,096,992

Player Under Contract after the 2017-18 Season

32

Farm System Ranking

(According to The Hockey Writers)
13th

Best Prospects

·       C Pierre-Luc Dubois

·       RW Oliver Bjorkstrand

·       LW Sonny Milano

Worst Contracts

POS

AGE Player Cap Hit

(After the 2017-18 Season)

Clause

C/LW 31 Brandon Dubinsky 3 years, $5.85 million AAV NMC

Best Contracts

POS

AGE Player Cap Hit

(After the 2017-18 Season)

Clause

C 23 Alexander Wennberg 5 years, $4.9 million AAV None
RW 23 Josh Anderson 2 years, $1.85 million AAV None
D 23 Seth Jones 4 years, $5.4 million AAV None

Players Needing New Deals After This Season

POS

AGE Player Current Cap Hit

Free Agency Type

RW 28 Cam Atkinson $3.5 million UFA
C/LW 24 Boone Jenner $2.9 million RFA
LW 27 Matt Calvert $2.2 million UFA
RW 22 Oliver Bjorkstrand $655,833 RFA – ELC
D 30 Jack Johnson $4,357,143 UFA
D 23 Markus Nutivaara $817,500 RFA

Reasoning

  • The Blue Jackets surprised nearly everyone last season when they finished with the fourth highest point total and made the playoffs. Looking back, perhaps people shouldn’t have been surprised given the talent on the roster and the potential that their young players hold. They have a very good defense group led by Seth Jones and Zach Werenski, both under the age of 25. In net, they have one of the best in the world, reigning Vezina Trophy winner Sergei Bobrovsky. I’m not the biggest fan of head coach John Tortorella but he seems to have curbed some of his previous problems and did a masterful job with this roster last season. Their contract situations are pretty good and have plenty of cap space moving forward with little chance of running into problems if managed correctly. If I were their GM, I would get extensions done with Cam Atkinson, Ryan Murphy, and Boone Jenner as quickly as possible. I would re-sign Oliver Bjorkstrand and Markus Nutivaara this offseason and would sign Artemi Panarin to an extension as soon as July 1 gets here. Knowing what these players will be earning in the future, plus preparing for Werenski’s next contract will make it easier to extend Bobrovsky this summer.

*All stats and information came from Hockey-Reference, Cap Friendly, Roster Resource, and The Hockey Writers

 

 

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