With three full days remaining until free agency, here are a few thoughts about some recent moves and the draft. Free agency itself will be an exciting time trying to figure out where star players like Steven Stamkos and Kyle Okposo will sign.
- Andrew Shaw should not carry a cap hit higher than Brendan Gallagher. While Shaw plays a great two way game, he does not produce offensively like Gallagher does. Shaw has never broken 40 points in any of his NHL seasons. Gallagher has scored 40 or more points the past three years. Last year, Brendan had 40 points in 53 games played. I understand that Shaw is worth a fair amount of money. He does an excellent job screening goalies,winning puck battles and killing penalties. Gallagher plays tougher minutes not paired with a linemate like Johnathan Toews than Shaw does and is worth more points per game than Shaw is. The Habs have the cap room however, this is a contract that will directly impact their future.How much remains to be seen. If this was a one or two year deal,it would make more sense to me.Six is too many years for Shaw.
- Well done Arizona Coyotes.The team was able to sign backup extraordinaire Louis Domingue to a two year pact.For just over one million dollars for two years the Coyotes have a strong goalie that can start for periods of time. Domingue won 15 games last year. Although he did not finish with a winning record (15-18-4), he saved over 91 percent of shots faced and kept the Coyotes in a lot of games they should not have been in at all. Domingue set himself up to be the starter next season if Mike Smith is selected in the Las Vegas Expansion Draft.
- My Stamkos prediction? Well, although Detroit traded the contract of Pavel Datsyuk for more cap room, and other teams want to talk to him, Stamkos will end up back with the Lightning. Tampa Bay does not have to offer him as much as the other teams courting him. Florida has no personal income tax. Beyond that, the Lightning are at the beginning of a potential dynasty. This team was two games away from another Stanley Cup in 2015. If the team can find a way to keep Victor Hedman it has the potential to make the Stanley Cup Finals every season over the next four to five years. Is that true of Buffalo? No, that squad is good but not there quite yet. Is that true of Detroit? Maybe, but what happens if Mrazek does not have another stellar year and Zetterberg is injured again? Is that true of Toronto? No, that squad will be at that level if everything goes right in four to five years. The Lighting made it to the Eastern Conference Final without a lot of help from Stamkos. He was injured. This squad has the depth to win now. None of his rumored suitors have what they do.