Here are some off season moves that I believe will happen from the time that the 14’ Draft begins to end of July/August.
If the Buffalo Sabers are able to draft Aaron Ekblad (70/30 chance because Florida will do that Florida thing it does and not take the best player) with the second over all pick, expect to see Christian Ehrhoff traded to the western conference for a late first round pick or a 2 & 3 round pick.
A few Destionations for Ehrhoff (79PG 6G 27A 38PIM -27 on a very poor team) would be
Colorado Avalanche – After there promising season the Avs lost out to the Wild in OT. A need was exposed, a puck moving veteran defensemen. Twice having the lead late in the third the Avs gave up the game-tying goal, and then the OT winner. The Avalanche D core played over their heads this year and it showed in the playoffs Ehrhoff would be a top pairing d man as soon as he gets to Denver. Lots of cap room even after re-signing Berrie, O’Reilly, and maybe Stastny? If Stastny doesn’t ask for more then 5 million with the rising cap seems like a good fit.
Dallas Stars – Same story as Colorado lots of cap space, A need for a top pairing d man. Puck movers are always wanted by any team and Dallas is a team with a defense problem.
Ales Hemsky (75GP 11G 30A 24PIM -15) is be able to sign another 4-5 million contract from Ottawa and im sure it will be a one year contract. But here are some other landing spots for Hemsky…
Tampa Bay Lightning – Kinda scary if Stamkos is lined up next to Hemsky on the power play, If Hemsky could put up 17 points in 20 games with Ottawa, Stamkos could score 70 riding shotgun with hemsky. If Ales lands in Tampa Hemsky could return to his near point per game pace or surpass it if he is hooked up Stamkos.
New York Islanders – A play maker is something that John Tavares is need of, No Vanek, no Molson, Hemsky would be a nice fit as a top 6 forward and set up man on the power play.
Nashville Predators – A team that is starved for offense would gladly pay a player like Hemsky 5 million in a thin market such as this year’s free agent market. Lots of cap space and could over pay to secure him.
Pittsburgh Penguins – With a lot of money coming off the books after this year (14 million). Hemskey will be pursued after re signing Orpiks and Niskanen and would have to take a pay cut if wanting to play with Crosby, Malkin and crew 2.5-3.5 million-ish per year.
Ryan Callahan (65GP 17G 19A 24PIM +1) had a up and down season with the New York Ranger witch end when he was traded to the Lightning. Callahan is a player every team wants but not for the money he is asking for, He is a heart and soul leaves it all on the ice kinda guy. But those guys don’t make 6 million a year, I can see teams giving a long term contract (5 plus years) for 4 - 4.5 million to Callahan. I will be very shocked if he gets anymore then that.
Teams that could land Callahan…
Tampa Bay Lightning, New York Islanders, Edmonton Oilers
The 2 teams I believe that have the best chance to sign Callahan are NY Islanders and Tampa Bay. Both teams need a gritty guy to round out the 6th forward spot and be a guy to work in the corners and the messy areas.
Edmonton is in need of a player like Callahan, a number 7 forward that can move up and down the lines when called upon. He is a PK and defense first guy and is tough as nails on he side boards and can win the battles down low. Edmonton will have to bump his salary up to 5 million per to bring him in but I believe he would be worth it to that young team.
The biggest fish in this year’s free agency is Ryan Miller. Miller is a A1 goalie in the later year of his career, but still an elite goaltender.
Going Going Back Back 2 Cali Cali ……Ryan Miller will end up in either Anaheim or San Jose. Due to his family being based in Cali it’s a given he’ll end up there.
San Jose needs to change something and a goalie change could be the change that is coming, Miller would be a upgrade over Niemi in all aspect of the game. He has the ability to win games by him self something that every team in the NHL is looking for.
Anaheim would look scary with an elite goalie back stopping them. With more cap room than the Sharks, The Mighty Waterfowls could out bid San Jose to sign Miller. With the arms race in Cali heating up the Ducks just need a little something something (Ryan Miller) to take them back to the promise land.
Well those are my thoughts, watchya think?