Seven storylines to watch when free agency 2022 begins
It seems unlikely that we are close to being on the doorstep of the 2022 free agent, the final sign all the way to the end of the 2021-22 season and the table setting for the 2022-23 season will begin. 7 October in Prague with San Jose and Nashville kicking things off.
So without ado, here are some of the top storylines that are about to unfold before and shortly after noon ET on July 13.
1. Great Goalkeeper Crunch
Literally we could write all day every day leading up to 13order about the permutations of what has evolved into a dramatic goalkeeping crisis. The three teams with legitimate Stanley Cup aspirations next season – Toronto, Edmonton and Washington – all need to find a starting scorer. Buffalo needs a goalkeeper to thrive under Craig Anderson and sooner rather than later. Who else? The New York Rangers will need a low-maintenance fallback for Vezina Trophy winner Igor Shesterkin as well as several teams. So these are important dates for Edmonton GM Ken Holland and his Toronto partner Kyle Dubas, because when the free agency opened a year ago, they were both in the same spot. Edmonton’s arrival in the Western Conference Finals does not diminish the fact that the Netherlands failed to find a scorer to stop a team with two of the best four or five players in the world Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl in a single match. long way. Dubas corrected a mistake made a year ago by unfortunately move Petr Mrazek to Chicago at the NHL Draft, but if Dubas can’t deal with the issue satisfactorily and get the Leafs out of the first round next spring, then most likely his job fees.
Part of what makes this story so compelling is that there really isn’t a clear candidate among the pending unrestricted freelancers you can hang your organizational hat on. A year ago, there was Philipp Grubauer and Frederik Andersen (discussing the relative benefits of both). And yes, Darcy Kuemper won the Stanley Cup in Colorado. But the fact is that Avs only made a brief attempt at upgrading the previous Kuemper buy backup Ranger Alexander Georgiev and then signed a three-year contract with AAV worth $3.4 million telling him about the team’s thoughts on a repeat with Kuemper at the helm. Can Kuemper bring Leafs, Caps or Oilers to the promised land? Or even out of the first round? Are the teams willing to bet 6 years north of $6 million to find out?
The same question concerns Jack Campbell, who has restarted his career with a couple of stellar regular seasons in Toronto, both ending in playoff disappointment and failure to lead the team through. first round, something has plagued the Leafs since before 2004 -05 lockouts. Will the islanders move Semyon Varlamov? No possibility. John Gibson’s name popped up in Anaheim after Pat Verbeek replaced Bob Murray as Ducks GM for the season. Then it became quiet and now with Ville Husso in Detroit, Vitek Vanecek in New Jersey, Marc-Andre Fleury Renovated in Minnesota and Georgiev in Colorado, there were a lot of Gibson talks. But his agent pointed out Gibson, who has a partial ban on sales, not interested in playing in Toronto. The same conundrums that teams will or should ask about Kuemper and Campbell will or should ask about Gibson. And the whole story of Cam Talbot going crazy in Minnesota is not going to be profitable. Why did Bill Guerin do this? So, what else? Jake Allen? With so much uncertainty surrounding Carey Price’s future, it seems like a dead end unless a team is willing to spend too much on a mid-range netminder. Will there be a backup star or European star Tim Thomas back in the day who can show up and save the day? Probably. But it seems inevitable that a lot of money will be spent on goalkeepers over the next few days. We predict that there will be a lot of buyer regrets next spring.
Speaking of which. Without trying to be cruel, if the Leafs end up working out a deal to get Matt Murray from Ottawa with the idea that he will be the one to answer their target assumption question, that will increase Odds for this to be Dubas’ final season in Toronto. I don’t care if the Senators eat a two-year share at $6.25 million annually that hasn’t returned his deal. It’s hard to imagine a goalkeeper trying to get back in shape after some time off kicking since 2017 and his second Stanley Cup win in Pittsburgh thriving in Toronto. It’s not like he’s going to be under a microscope at all. Maybe it would work out perfectly for both Murray, 28, and the Leafs, and it would be nice to write that redemption story in Toronto. But it seems every goalkeeper being discussed at this stage represents many troubling questions. And a quick one for NHL teams: it might be good to draft and develop your own stoppers.