The runaway slump season for NHL GMs continues this week as they hunt for deals in the free agent market.
From seasoned goalkeepers to powerful defenders and famous snipers, many top talents are poised to be on the move as teams persevere to suffer salary crunch amid the league cap.
Here’s a look at some of the players who will be on guard when the NHL Free Agent Market opens on Wednesday.
A nagging lower-body injury limited Frederick Andersen’s playing time with the Toronto Maple Leafs final season — and gave Jack Campbell a chance to steal the top spot. 1 netminder.
Now Andersen, 31, could be looking for a unused start.
Last season saw the six-foot-four, 238-pound Danish goalkeeper set a disappointing 13-8-3 record with 895 saves. It was a stark departure from the 2017-18 season as he led the Leafs to the playoffs with 38 career wins and a solid 0.918 preserve percentage.
Andersen signed a $25 million five-year contract with Toronto in 2016.
He helped bring two Stanley Cup trophies to Tampa Bay, but the cap-broken Lightning may not be competent to afford Blake Coleman much longer.
Coleman’s five-foot-11, 207-pound three-year deal with a reasonable annual cap of $1.8 million came when the New Jersey Devils sent him to Florida on the 2020 trade deadline.
Doji Hamilton said he wants to stay where he is.
“I have nothing to say about my experience here and being a Carolina Hurricane. So I hope we can persevere,” he said following Team Lightning knocked out the baton in the second round of the playoffs.
The 28-year-old defender spent the final three seasons in Carolina, racking up 42 points (10 goals, 32 assists) in 55 routine season games final year. He added five more points (two goals, three assists) in 11 post-season games.
Rumor has it that Zach Hyman has already found a unused home with the Oilers, but Edmonton may be limited in the considerate of deal they can sign with the 29-year-old winger.
In order to secure a greatest periodic eight-year contract, Oilers will need to organize a “sign and trade” deal with the Leafs. Toronto general manager Kyle Dupas said that wouldn’t happen without a “sincere deal”.
“When you preserve a team big bucks for the salary cap, it comes at a cost. And we won’t commend that,” Dubas told reporters on Saturday.
Hyman spent his packed six seasons playing for Toronto in his hometown of the Leafs and signed a four-year, $9 million contract with the club in 2017.
Among the veteran goalkeepers who may be on the move this summer is Darcy Quimper.
The 31-year-old goalkeeper has spent the former four seasons with the Arizona Coyotes exiting a two-year, $9 million contract.
Gabriel Landeskog played his entire NHL career for 10 seasons in Colorado. He’s been the captain of the avalanche since 2012. Could he really be wearing a unused jersey coming this fall?
The six-foot, 215-pound left winger earned 52 points (20 goals, 32 assists) in 54 routine season games final year, then added another 13 points (four goals, nine assists) in 10 playoffs.
However, Avs left the 28-year-old Swede unprotected in the Seattle Kraken expansion draft and has yet to sign him to a unused deal.
A trade from the New Jersey Devils to the New York Islanders at the April trade deadline gave Smithtown, New York, native Kyle Palmieri a chance to play for his hometown team — at fewest temporarily.
While the 30-year-old right winger said he “loved every second” of playing for the islands, he has not rebounded with the club, making him one of the most desirable strikers available on the market at free agents.
Palmieri’s whole points fell final season, with 21 points (10 goals, 11 assists) in 51 routine season games, but he started to rebound during the playoff round in New York, scoring seven more goals and assists prior the Lightning eliminated the Islanders in half Stanley Cup Final.
Just a few weeks ago, few people imagined that Ryan Sutter would be in the free dealership market this year.
The 36-year-old defender had four years left on his contract with Wild when Minnesota bought him ahead of the expansion draft earlier this month. The average annual transaction value was $7.54 million.
Sutter has been a staunch champion on the Blue Line in Minnesota for nine seasons, but his offensive production has declined. Last season, the six-foot-205-pound defense put in just 19 points (three goals, 16 assists), a massive drop from the 51 points it scored in 2017-18.