There are still some very good NHL free agents that remain without a home, and they are seemingly waiting for cap space to free up with teams, like the Boston Bruins, before finding a landing spot for next season and beyond. Mike Hoffman is obviously the top target left as a 30-year-old that’s averaged 28 goals per season in his NHL career while coming off a couple of strong seasons in Florida.
Sami Vatanen and Travis Hamonic register as the best D-men still on the board, but there’s also 43-year-old Zdeno Chara that’s still captain of the Boston Bruins until he potentially signs elsewhere. So who is going to end up in Boston when it’s all said and done?
Well, we did a round table with the collection of Hockey Now reporters this week and all put in our two cents about where the free agents are going to end up. My take: The Bruins probably aren’t going to clear the space required for Hoffman, even on a one-year deal, when it’s all said and done, but they will take on a bargain winger with goal-scoring pedigree in Anthony Duclair.
He could bring some offensive pop to the top-6 and would allow the Bruins to look at possibly trading Anders Bjork or Jake DeBrusk to fill other roster needs. In addition, the Boston Bruins will find some money in the couch cushions to keep Chara for his 15th season in Boston.
Those are my predictions and I’m sticking to them. Here are the rest of the links from around the hockey world:
*Do you want to buy Wayne Gretzky’s house in southern California? You’ll only need to come up with a cool $22.9 million, but the place looks pretty damn sweet. As you’d expect for the Great One.
*The Chicago Blackhawks have written a “dear fans” letter this past week letting them know that the dynastic years are officially over. The Madhouse on Madison is about to become the Playpen on Madison with young players and a rebuild on the way. I wonder how Stanley Cup winners like Jonathan Toews and Pat Kane are going to take this.
*Interesting perspective from former first round picks to NBC Sports Philly about the patience needed for a guy like Nolan Patrick in Philadelphia. But none of it is going to matter if Patrick can’t get himself back on the ice consistently after dealing with a migraine condition.
*The NHL is still hopeful for an 82-game regular season that would begin on Jan. 1, but the chances of that may be starting to diminish. Gary Bettman and Bill Daly are keeping their eyes wide open about all of this.
*Max Domi is looking to make a statement with the Columbus Blue Jackets this coming season after things didn’t end great with the Montreal Canadiens.
*For something completely different: The MCU film “Shang-Chi” has wrapped filming, which is damn good news that the MCU content machine is going to be up and running again soon after a long wait following Spider-Man: Far From Home.”