Alex Pietrangelo tops NHL's free agent class of 2020
With the 24-team NHL playoffs commencing sometime in July, free agency will be pushed back from it’s typical July 1 start date. But it’s never too early to speculate about where these stars might end up for the 2020-21 campaign.
Here are the top five impending free agents, with their potential destinations and earning power.
5. Robin Lehner
After settling for two one-year deals in a row, Robin Lehner is not interested in taking a discount this offseason.
"I’ve taken discounts my whole life," he told The Daily Herald. "I’m not a guy that wants to be overpaid either. I want to gain some respect that I think I deserve and we’ll see if that happens or not."
There will be several goalies on the market this offseason, including Jacob Markstrom, Jaroslav Halak, and Corey Crawford, which could drive Lehner’s price down. If he wants a big contract, he may have to head to a venue like Detroit, which has the need and the salary cap space.
4. Mike Hoffman
A 20-goal scorer for six straight seasons, Hoffman has been highly-productive for Florida. But it may be time to move on if he’s offered a raise above his $5.187 million salary this year.
3. Torey Krug
With the Bruins right up against the cap, they’ll face an agonizing decision this offseason to either re-sign their top blueliner in Torey Krug or let him walk away.
Krug is not just valuable in the defensive end, but also as a power play runner, as 26 of his 40 assists this year have come with the man-advantage. Fortunately for Boston, Krug seems interested in taking a "hometown discount."
2. Taylor Hall
The 2018 Hart Trophy winner still has several prime years ahead of him, so Taylor Hall could easily cost the team that signs him a $9 million annual salary.
KIDS: You want to be noticed by scouts?— Topher Scott (@TopherScott_) December 18, 2019
One of the best ways is by showing effort to win puck races. Check out Taylor Hall on this play and his determination to get to this puck first. Great job by a hungry player and the play ends up as the GWG. Welcome to Arizona!! pic.twitter.com/qvCSOlpe3M
Hall put up 52 points in 65 games between the Devils and Coyotes this season. Perhaps Colorado, a contender with the fifth-most cap space in the NHL, will pony up and help Hall make a run at a Stanley Cup. He’s played in just five playoff games over 10 seasons.
1. Alex Pietrangelo
The captain of a Stanley Cup-winning club, Alex Pietrangelo was three points shy of his career-high (54) before the season was halted with 11 games left to play. However, he had already set a career-high in goals (16).
Pietrangelo is still considered an elite defender too, so he could command a $9 million annual salary. If Pietrangelo leaves the only team he’s ever played for, Toronto and Las Vegas are logical destinations.