Landing Spots for the Big NHL Free Agents
July 1st is never not a great day for the NHL. Not only does it mark the start of the new season, but fanatics like myself get to see which players will be representing which team next season.
Here's a few big names on the market and my predictions of where they're going to end up.
After a solid season with 20 goals and 35 assists Lucic is going to be looking for a big contract. The teams currently in play for him are the Rangers, Bruins, Oilers, and Canucks. The Rangers will not be getting him with their cap disaster, and I just don't see the Bruins being able to lure him back to Beantown. It would make sense for him to sign with his hometown Canucks, but the pressure of playing for your hometown may be too great, so I expect for Lucic to sign with the Oilers.
After a respectable 31 points last season with the Florida Panthers last season Brian Campbell is looking for a new home. The Panthers are in play obviously, but are unlikely to sign him after signing defenseman Keith Yandle to a $44.45 million dollar contract last week. Campbell is going to definitely be taking a pay cut since he's 37-years-old and towards the end of his career, but there are rumblings that he may end up back in Chicago after winning the cup with them in 2010. Brian would be a nice pick up for a Blackhawks team that is looking for its 4th cup in 8 years, I expect him to sign in the windy city.
After an impressive 64 points last season, Okposo is now the most sought after free agent after Steven Stamkos signed back in Tampa Bay. A handful of teams are in talks with the St. Paul native such as the Rangers, Bruins, Islanders, Stars etc. The Islanders and Rangers are an unrealistic choice for Okposo and there Stars won't be able to give the money Okposo is going to desire, so I think he'll end up in Black and Yellow and sign with the Bruins.
After putting up 30 goals, the most since the 2008-09 season when he put up 36 goals with the Dallas Stars, Loui Eriksson is on the market. The Bruins are trying to resign the 30 year old, but apparently are no where close with the numbers. Personally, I think Loui is overrated even though he did have a nice season, so I can understand why the Bruins are shorting him on money. The Predators are a team I could see getting Eriksson after making a HUGE trade with the Canadiens for P.K. Subban. Loui to the Preds
Kind of a no brainer here. After a great playoffs and just coming short of a Stanley Cup final birth, the Blues captain isn't going anywhere. He's a heart and soul guy that any team would love to have. Backes is staying put in St. Louis
After being traded from the Jets back to the Blackhawks last season at the trade deadline, Ladd is looking for a new home. Ladd is one of the best two way centers in the game and any team would love to have his services. The Bruins are definitely a good option for Ladd, but I think the Devils are low key in the loop. With a ton of money to blow the Devils could use another center man and he would be good fit in Jersey.