The big dogs of NHL free agency are about to get fed. July 1st brings big contracts to players and much needed depth to teams. Here are my 2017 NHL free agency predictions for who lands where.
2017 NHL Free Agency Predictions
Alexander Radulov – Las Vegas Knights
With the Canadiens last year, Radulov was a revelation. But he’s nearly 31 and wants a long-term payday which Montreal may not be willing to accommodate. Vegas wants to make a splash in Year 1, and to cater to the Russian tourists.
Kevin Shattenkirk – Washington Capitals
I think the Caps will make a move to free up cap room and Shattenkirk will simply stay in the fold. He liked it there and they loved him.
Joe Thornton – Los Angeles Kings
Big Joe loves the California life and being out of the hockey spotlight. I don’t see him leaving the west coast. He could still return to San Jose, but my money is on L.A.
Ryan Miller – Vancouver Canucks
The team has a need at goalie and Miller performed well for them the last couple of years. He is comfortable in that city but does want to win. It’ll be a tough decision but I think he stays in B.C.
Karl Alzner – Vancouver Canucks
Some team will overpay for this serviceable defender and I think it’s Vancouver. They want to get better and Alzner marginally helps with this.
Nick Bonino – Montreal Canadiens
They desperately need centers and he is looking for a larger role with a contending team. Perfect fit.
Justin Williams – Washington Capitals
I believe that this playoff legend will stay put in D.C. They will contend once again and that’s what he thrives on.
Steve Mason – Winnipeg Jets
Their goaltending has been awful for years and he would be an upgrade.
Matthew Ross is a sports commentator and a radio host on TSN 690 Radio in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Follow him @MatthewWords.