The best solution for the remaining unsigned players


As we enter Day 3 of the NHL’s free agent signing period, there are still some important players who haven’t been signed, including the top two players to make it to the free market this year. offseason (defender Alex Pietrangelo and striker Taylor Hall).

Let’s take a look at some of the most notable players still available and try to figure out which team would be the best and the wisest for them.

These are not predictions of where each player will finish. These are suggestions on which teams might make the most sense.

Alex Pietrangelo

It looks like Pietrangelo will be signing with the Vegas Golden Knights in the next few days. They have a major interest, he visited them in person this weekend, and the book is closed upon his return to St. Louis. As well as dramatically improving the Golden Knights’ defense, it will also further complicate their salary cap situation and will almost certainly require a few trades (Marc-Andre Fleury? Nate Schmidt? Alec Martinez?) To create room.

So although it might not be the better in shape, it is certainly the most probable place.

But as long as we’re talking about ideal fits and total assumptions, Boston would be a perfect fit for Pietrangelo, right? The Bruins just lost Torey Krug in free agency, missed an Oliver Ekman-Larsson trade and still have a huge hole in their top-four. Even though Zdeno Chara returns to the squad, he’s 43 years old and barely a fraction of himself. The Bruins need another top player and still have a ton of salary cap space to work with.

Taylor Hall

It could go in several different directions.

  • Even after acquiring Brandon Saad on Saturday, Colorado could still go all-in on a big-priced free agent if they really wanted to in an attempt to chase a championship.
  • Columbus has salary cap space and a huge need for forward impact.
  • Boston could still use a little more scoring depth to balance its lineup and has the salary cap space to sign it.
  • Nashville lost Craig Smith and presumably Mikael Granlund, bought out Kyle Turris and traded Nick Bonino. Yes, it created a lot of salary cap space, but it also removed a ton of misdemeanors that need to be replaced.
  • Philadelphia is far too quiet and has too much salary cap space to be this inactive. They have to do something, and for as good as their top roster they could still use a bit more scoring depth.

So which team is the perfect fit?

It must be Nashville, with Columbus coming in second.

The Predators need offense, their GM loves big moves and that would give Hall (in theory) the chance to play for a contender for the first time in his career.

Tyler Toffoli

The Islanders of New York.

They need more attack and Toffoli actually looks like he would be a very good candidate to play in Barry Trotz’s system. He’s a smart, defensively strong player who also possesses the talent that can make an offensive impact. This should be all Islanders need and want.

There’s just one problem with this plan: The Islanders only have about $ 8.5 million in salary cap space and you have to assume that Mathew Barzal (restricted free agent) is going to take most, if not all. , of this space.

In order for the Islanders to add another outside player, a trade might have to happen to lose a salary.

It might be worth it.

Mike Hoffman

Hoffman will be Plan B for a team that wants Taylor Hall but doesn’t get Hall.

On the positive side, he will score 30 goals for the team that signs him.

The downside is that he will be 31 at the start of the season and if he doesn’t score goals you probably won’t notice him in a positive way.

It will depend on how desperate a team is offensively hungry for goals and how much they want to pay for them.

It wrote the Montreal Canadiens everywhere.

Evgenii Dadonov

The perfect fit here is probably where it’s been the past three seasons – Florida.

The Panthers are a good, underhanded offensive team, and Dadonov has been a big part of that since returning to the NHL ahead of the 2017-18 season. He’s a good player, they have the space for him, and I’m not sure there is a better fit available for them at a better price.

Anthony Duclair

Duclair was the most amazing restricted free agent not to receive a qualifying offer, and that still doesn’t really make sense from the Ottawa Senators’ perspective.

Will Duclair ever duplicate his performance in the first half of last season? Probably not. and you know what? Its good! He has proven very quietly that he is a 20-goal scorer in the NHL (scored at a rate of 20 goals in three of his five full seasons), that he is still in his prime, that he is full of talent. and that it has some finishing ability.

Best fit: The Calgary Flames, an otherwise strong team that probably still needs another scorer.

Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk sur NBC Sports. Drop him a line at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.


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