As we stand on August 1st, there are still plenty of quality free agents remaining on the market. I’m going to try and predict where each one will land, and why I think so.
Nazem Kadri – New York Islanders
Kadri is the biggest fish still remaining on the open market, and right now, I think it’s between the Islanders, Colorado, and maybe Calgary.
Ultimately, I give the edge to the Islanders, because he’s been linked to them quite a bit in the least few weeks, and him waiting for a contract to be finalized seems like an Islanders-esque thing, as we often see Lou Lamoriello have deals in place for months before they ultimately come to fruition.
That being said, I could actually see Kadri remaining in Colorado, but I give the edge to New York, just for the fact that they can offer more money and term.
Evan Rodrigues – Pittsburgh Penguins
I could honestly see Evan Rodrigues doing something similar to Danton Heinen, taking a one-year deal with Pittsburgh at below market value, essentially betting on himself to have another good season this year and earn his big contract in the 2023 free agency.
Rodrigues seems to be in the perfect fit in Pittsburgh right now, and taking just $500k-$1M more on a short-term deal with a different team could set him up for failure.
I could be completely off of the mark on this one, but I feel like if someone was going to offer Rodrigues millions more than Pittsburgh could, it would’ve happened by now.
Phil Kessel – Edmonton Oilers
I’d be lying if I told you I had a single clue on what was going to happen to Phil Kessel this offseason.
It seems like interest for him has been stale, and I don’t anticipate him making much money on his next deal, as his game as evidently fallen off with age. However, I see him being a solid fit in Edmonton if he can ignore the fact that it’s a Canadian market with high-level media, which we know Kessel wasn’t fond of in Toronto.
Imagine Kessel on the wing of Connor McDavid or Leon Draisaitl, or setting up Evander Kane on the power play. The possibilities are endless as long as he’s playing alongside talent, which he hasn’t had in a few years.
PK Subban – Montreal Canadiens
Is this likely? Probably not. Do I want it to? So much.
My belief is that PK Subban should’ve never been traded out of Montreal, and he should’ve been a lifelong Canadien. Even to this day when I think of the Canadiens or Subban, I correlate them with one another.
I’d love to see him play at least one more game as a Canadien, but as I said, not sure how likely that is.
In reality, it’s just hard for me to even pick a team for Subban. There hasn’t been many rumours regarding him and his free agent status, so it’s all speculation.
Paul Stastny – Colorado Avalanche
With the departure of Kadri, I could see Colorado going for a guy like Paul Stastny on a short-term, close to a league-minimum deal so they aren’t forced to rush Alex Newhook into a role he may not be ready for.
Stastny has history with the Avalanche franchise, and after winning the Stanley Cup, I don’t think he’d be hesitant to join the franchise again.
Much like many of these guys remaining on the market, there aren’t many rumours regarding him in the mill.
Sonny Milano – Minnesota Wild
The Minnesota Wild are looking to add another forward, and Sonny Milano may be a cheap, one-year option, as it looks like he may have overpriced himself after the Ducks opted to not qualify him.
Milano would get a year with a team that will likely be battling for a playoff spot, get a chance to add to a forward core that will have some talent trickling throughout the lineup, and an opportunity to make more on a longer-term deal in the summer of 2023.