The NHL is already gearing up for the up coming season. Check out what happened this week, and a look ahead to next week, in the National Hockey League! And be sure to checking out the latest NHL odds for the upcoming season!
NHL Updates of the Week – June 28 Edition
NHL Free Agency begins on July 1
NHL free agency begins on Monday, July 1, and every team in the NHL is considering exactly what to do to prepare for the free agency period. Teams like the Colorado Avalanche, who were desperately close to winning the Western Conference, know that the right free agency pickup could lead to a Stanley Cup berth.
Other teams, like the Chicago Blackhawks who only have $11.94 million in cap space, might be preparing for the future. Massive swings can happen season to season in the NHL, though.
In 2018, the four teams playing in the conference finals were the Washington Capitals and Tampa Bay Lightning in the East, and the Vegas Golden Knights and Winnipeg Jets in the West. The Stanley Cup ended up a battle between the Caps and the Golden Knights.
This season, the San Jose Sharks battled the St. Louis Blues in the West. The Boston Bruins took on the Carolina Hurricanes in the East. The Stanley Cup ended up a fight between the Blues and Bruins.
The point is that free agency, even non splashy pickups, can lead to playoff success. Starting on July 1, expect every team in the NHL to scramble for whatever players they can get that can help their respective teams.
Columbus Blue Jackets could lose Artemi Panarin on July 1
Pannarin is the biggest free agent name on the market. He met with both the New York Rangers and Florida Panthers recently. Panarin becomes an unrestricted free agent on Monday. The Rangers have $17,536,591 in cap space. The Florida Panthers have $23,914,206 in cap space. Florida seems to have an edge for Panarin.
How important was Panarin to Columbus’s Eastern Conference Semifinals run? Panarin was the Blue Jackets leading point getter this season with 87, 28 goals and 59 assists. He’s massively important, which means the Blue Jackets could be a much different team if Panarin bolts.Panarin isn’t the only Blue Jacket that could fly out of Columbus. Goalie Sergei Bobrovsky could also leave. Bobrovsky won the Vezina Trophy in 2013 and 2017. Most rank Bobrovsky the number one goalie in the National Hockey League.
The Florida Panthers are looking to sign both Panarin and Brobrovsky. If they pull that off, Florida instantly becomes a top contender to win the East this coming season. If the Blue Jackets lose both, they could be in some trouble.
Colorado Avalanche and New Jersey Devils could make most waves
The Colorado Avalanche have more cap space than any other team in NHL. The Avalanche have a gargantuan $38,900,239. They have enough cap space to sign Panarin. If they do, the Avalanche could become the favorites to win the Western Conference.
The New Jersey Devils drafted Jack Hughes with the first pick. Hughes is NHL ready. He should contribute this season. Then this past Saturday they traded for P.K. Subban. Subban won the Norris Trophy in 2013. He’s one of the top defenseman in NHL and should immediately help the Devils.
New Jersey has $25,770,700 in cap space. They probably aren’t done making moves. If Jersey grabs a couple of free agents next week, they most definitely could become contenders in the deep Eastern Conference.