For many of us, we dread the NHL offseason. Even with the beautiful weather, the beaches and all the opportunities at outdoor activities, we would give it all up for it to be October already.
If you’re not the outdoorsy type then this summer is for you. With so many good quality UFA’s and solid Veterans looking to ship out of the organization they currently play for, you could look forward to a busy summer from the comfort of your air-conditioned home.
Here are a few things to watch out for while you’re sipping your cold ice tea, beer or whatever your summer drink of choice is.
Corey Perry- Anaheim Ducks
After spending 14 seasons with the Anaheim Ducks, many are speculating that Perry’s days with the organization might be numbered. Setting the franchise record for GP with 988, second all-time in goals with 372 and third in points with 776. It’s hard to picture the career Duck in a different uniform next season. Perry who’s performance has been declining over the last 3 season, still has a lot to offer a team even at 34 years of age. His leadership skills and ability to get under anyone’s skin would be a great asset to a young team as long as he’s not taking minutes away from the young guns.
Matt Duchene- Columbus Blue Jackets
The hockey world was stunned when the Columbus Bluejackets eliminated the Tampa Bay Lightning in the first round of the 2018-2019 Stanley Cup finals, Matt Duchene took on a big role in that series. What does the future hold for the 28-year-old center? Some insiders have Duchene returning to the Blue Jackets if they are able to retain the services Artemi Panarin and goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky. Some who are more skeptic could him either returning to the Ottawa Senators or somewhere close to wife’s home like Dallas or Vegas.
Sergei Bobrovsky- Columbus Blue Jackets
Sergei Bobrovsky AKA “Bob” has been a top tier goaltender over the last 3 seasons. As a 30-year-old UFA, Bobrovsky could fetch a lot of interest on the open market. A good goalie in today’s NHL is hard to come by so don’t be surprised if he’s fetching Carey Price kind of money. Even with being eliminated in the second round by the Boston Bruins, Bobrovsky ended his playoffs with a .925 Sv% and a GAA of 2.41. Fantastic numbers considering this was against the Lightning and a team currently going into game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals, the Boston Bruins. I would not be surprised to see him end up somewhere in the Western Conference if he leaves the Blue Jackets.
Erik Karlsson- San Jose Sharks
After missing 29 games during his first and possibly only season with the San Jose Sharks, we are left with more questions than answers. The 29-year-old superstar defender was still near a point per game despite his injuries. The hockey world should find out in the next week or so if he’s going to stay in San Jose or hit the market July 1st. The word is he’s trying to get a bidding war between the Ottawa Senators and Montreal Canadians, two teams that are conveniently located close to home for his wife is from Ottawa. Many speculate he could be joining fellow Swedes Mika Zibanejad and good friend and goaltender for the New York Rangers, Henrik Lundqvist. The option is also there for him to Join former teammate in Mark Stone in Vegas or long time Friend Victor Hedman in Tampa Bay.
Taylor Hall- New Jersey Devils
Taylor Hall has always been known as one of the elite players in the NHL. After 6 seasons with the Edmonton Oilers, Hall got a fresh start in Newark, New Jersey and he never looked back. Proving his worth by being awarded the Hart Memorial Trophy as the league’s MVP of the year. There have been rumors that Hall wants out of New Jersey and where better to end up than back in Edmonton. Imagine a line consisting of Taylor Hall, Connor McDavid, and Leon Draisaitl, nothing is more terrifying. That being said, does he want to return to the organization that traded him for Adam Larson one for one? We’ve yet to hear anyone say this but, the New York Islanders should definitely make a pitch for his services. Reuniting him with Jordan Eberle and sliding Mathew Barzal between them would be a pretty fun line to watch every night.
The 2019 NHL offseason is looking to be an interesting one with a lot of big names possibly on the move. July 1st free agency should be a frenzy and the 2019 NHL draft on June 21st that is being hosted in beautiful Vancouver, Canada will also a crazy day in the hockey world. If a “summer bod” and the beach isn’t quite your thing, at least you have 2 days this summer to claim as your own.