Free Agency started just a few days ago on June 1st, and a lot big things happened on the first and second days of free agency. John Tavares left the New York Islanders to sign a seven-year deal with Toronto, the Blues picked up forward Tyler Bozak, David Perron, and Ryan O’Reilly, several goalies switched teams, James Van Riemsdyk went back to Philadelphia (the team that drafted him) on a five year deal, and James Neal is heading to Calgary on a five-year contract. Despite all of these different and big moves happening, there are still some things up in the air that are on NHL headlines right now.
Where will Erik Karlsson end up?
Karlsson may arguably be the best player to play for the Senators, this was something that was even stated by Senator great Daniel Alfredsson. The Ottawa Senators drafted the Swedish defenseman 15th overall in the 2008 draft and since then he has won the James Norris Trophy for best defenseman twice, won an Olympic silver medal, named to first team all-star four times, had an 82 point in 82 games season in 2015-16, and has accumulated 126 goals and 392 assists for 518 points in just 627 games. All of which he accomplished wearing a Senators uniform and being a captain since the 2014 season. Karlsson currently has one year remaining on a seven-year contract and right now the question is will he sign an extension with Ottawa, or be traded to another team. The Senators did offer Karlsson a contract extension offer, but he has also been given permission to talk to other teams. Those teams include Dallas Stars, New York Rangers, Tampa Bay Lightning, San Jose Sharks, Vegas Golden Knights, and the Washington Capitals. If Karlsson decides to sign a deal with another team the Senators will have to trade him to that team and there has been much speculation that Tampa Bay is the current front runner. Where this elite ofensive-defensman will end up is still up in the air, but in my opinion I think that there is a good chance that he will stay with Ottawa.
Will Tom Wilson re-sign with the Capitals?
Last season, his fifth with the Capitals since being drafted 16th overall in 2012, Tom Wilson set career highs in goals (14), assists (21), and points (35), while helping the Capitals win their first Stanley Cup, tallying 15 points in 21 playoff games. The 6-4 right-winger is currently a restricted free agent (RFA) and and re-signing him is the Caps current number one focus this off-season. The Capitals GM hopes to sign him to a long-term deal. This young power forward is a big part of the Capitals team, often playing on the first line and being used in multiple situations, but with former head coach Barry Trotz jumping ship to the New York Islanders, you gotta wonder if Wilson might do the same, just with a different team. My best guest though is that he stays in Washington, where he has put up 104 points in 391 games.
Top Free Agents:
There are also plenty of top players still looking for contracts for the upcoming season and leading the pack is Patrick Maroon, who had a career high 43 points last season playing for both New Jersey and Edmonton. Maroon also had a 27 goal season in 2016-17 playing for Edmonton. Other players that have still gone unsigned are defensemen Brooks Orpik, Dan Hamhuis, and Toby Enstrom, forwards Scott Hartnell, Mark Letestu, and goaltenders Kari Lehtonen and Ondrej Pavelec, among others.