Players To Watch In Final Contract Year: Part 2

And we’re back again. On to the second half of the teams in the NHL to go through and take a look at what players will be playing for new contracts this next season, and which players we can look for to be traded, or end up with a new home by the start of next season. I left off with the Montreal Canadiens, so we’ll jump right in with the Predators.

Nashville: David Legwand will be finishing his contract this season, and I’m sure Nashville will be more than happy to get his $4.5 million cap hit off of their books. Legwand will probably stay in Nashville, where he’s played for his entire career, but he definitely won’t be back for $4.5 million.

New Jersey: New Jersey is going into what will probably be the last season of a historic career by Martin Brodeur. Brodeur is a must watch this season, we may never see a goalie do what he has done again. Aside from Brodeur, Marek Zidlicky, Jaromir Jagr will also be free agents after this season. Jagr will play as long as he can get a job, and Zidlicky is 36 and will be looking at a pay cut if he resigns in New Jersey.

New York Islanders: The New York Islanders re-signed Evgeni Nabokov for another season, so he’ll be around until at least next summer. Nabokov is aging, and the Islanders need to start looking for a better option in net. Matt Moulson is also entering the final season of his contract, and will be looking for another good season this year to be able to get a nice fat paycheck next season. Pierre-Marc Bouchard was brought in on a one year deal, and will look to make a mark, and find a home in Long Island for a few seasons to come.

New York Rangers: The Rangers have to start dealing with Henrik Lundqvist right now. They need to work out a deal before they go into any talks with anyone about anything else, ever. Lundqvist needs to be signed, this is the final season on his contract, and he is due to make some serious cash. Ryan Callahan has been solid for the Rangers in the past few seasons, and is looking to have another good season this year to promise that fat contract at the end of the year. Callahan probably won’t make it to the end of the season before reaching an agreement on an extension.

Ottawa: Milan Michalek has proven that he has the ability to score goals, and with a good season this year, he could get himself a good sized deal. Ottawa looks to be a good team this season, and I would expect a good season out of Michalek to get the kind of deal he know he deserves. Without a great season, Michalek may have to start looking for a new place to live.

Philadelphia: Philly will be able to breathe much easier after this season. Kimmo Timonen is entering the final year of his contract that has a cap hit of $6 million, and Andrej Meszaros $4 milloin cap hit will also be coming off of the books. Timonen will have to take a pay cut if he plans on continuing his career, and Meszaros is being drastically overpaid at the moment.

Phoenix: Radim Vrbata has really played well for the Coyotes the last two seasons and could likely be up to make some more  money come next season. If the Coyotes find themselves falling in the standings they might look to move Vrbata, the only question is what would Phoenix look to get in return for Vrbata?

Pittsburgh: Brooks Orpik and Tomas Vokoun are both entering the final years of their deals. Orpik is a solid defenseman that can cover for Kris Letang, and is a very valuable player for the Penguins. There has been lots of chatter around Marc-Andre Fluery and whether he will stay in Pittsburgh, so Vokoun might find himself an extension if he begins to outplay Fluery again.

San Jose: The Sharks have a group of players that will they have to deal with very soon. Joe Thornton is entering the final year of his deal, and will likely get an extension with the Sharks. Patrick Marleau has been a large question mark. Inconsistency has plagued Marleau. His season started great last year, but he quickly cooled off. Dan Boyle has been in talks with San Jose about an extension and believes he can play for another two or three years.

St. Louis: The Blues gave Derrik Roy a one year deal to prove himself, and his future depends on how well he preforms this season. Jaroslav Halak and Brian Elliot both are entering their contract seasons, and will be battling for the top spot in the crease in St. Louis. The Blues have had talks with teams about moving Halak, but no deal has been done. It seems that the Blues know who they want in net, now they just have to give it time to see if they can get anything in return for Halak.

Toronto: The Maple Leafs need to decide what they are going to do with two of their top players this season. Dion Phaneuf is up for a new contract, and the Leafs would be pretty silly to let him walk, but they have been very open about moving anyone that is on the roster. If the right deal comes up for anyone in Toronto there’s a good chance they could be moved. Phil Kessel is also looking for a big contract this season. Rumors have been spun that the Leafs want to trade Kessel. Kessel can score, but lacks the leadership the Leafs thought he would bring over from Boston. Kessel may not be in Toronto to finish the season, and I would be kind of surprised to see him in a Leafs uniform next fall.

Vancouver: Daniel Sedin and Henrik Sedin are both up for new contracts before next season, and both will be paid accordingly. The Sedin’s are likely to play out their career in Vancouver and I don’t see it taking the sides too long to agree on a couple new contracts.

Winnipeg: The Jets traded for Devin Setoguchi this offseason, and he has a season to prove that he can still play. If Setoguchi has a solid season he can get a good sized contract from Winnipeg next season.


Tags: Brooks Orpik Dan Boyle Daniel Sedin David Legwand Devin Setoguchi Dion Phaneuf Evgeni Nabokov Free Agency Henrik Lundqvist Henrik Sedin Jaromir Jagr Jaroslav Halak Joe Thronton Kris Letang Marc Andre Fluery Martin Brodeur Matt Moulson Milan Michalek Patrick Marleau Phil Kessel Pierre-marc Bouchard Radim Vrbata Ryan Callahan Tomas Vokoun

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