10. Staying Put: Patrick Marleau
Patrick Marleau is one of two top Sharks set to hit free agency after this season. With the Sharks currently sitting first in the Pacific division, Marleau is showing how regardless of his age, he can still perform. Marleau has 19 goals so far this season, good enough to be tied for the second most on the Sharks. Why would Marleau or the Sharks rush to end such a mutually beneficial relationship? The Sharks need him, and he needs the Sharks. Marleau could potentially resign for a one or two year deal come July.
9. Changing Teams: Karl Alzner
Don’t let his offensive numbers fool you, Alzner is a great defenceman. Add on to that that he is young at 28, and in his prime, Alzner will be receiving a nice payday this summer. With the Capitals being tight on cash, it looks as if Alzner will be moving out of the District of Columbia. Alzner can play top minutes, and having a reliable defender like that is something many contenders would love to add. Or a team on the verge of being the playoff hunt could add Alzner to help give them the extra push. Alzner is hitting free agency at the perfect time in his career, and he will benefit greatly from that.
Our prediction: Karl Azner signs with the Florida Panthers.
8. Staying Put: Johnny Oduya
Buy low, sell high right? Well for the Stars they might want to “buy low” on defender Johnny Oduya. By his own career standards, Oduya isn’t having a great year. All of his numbers across the board are down. A reunion between the two camps, on a 1-year deal, would be useful for both the team and Oduya. It gives the Stars are a chance to continue to have a fairly solid defender in their core and hopefully help them contend. It also gives Oduya a chance to rebuild his stock and hopefully get a larger deal next offseason. Oduya wouldn’t be wise to attempt to test the market and fall short, sticking with the Stars is his best bet.
7. Changing Teams: T.J. Oshie
Unfortunately for the Capitals, they are in a similar boat with T.J. Oshie that they are in with Karl Alzner. So far this season, Oshie has put 20 goals in the back of the net and helped out with 15. If he keeps this pace up and barring any injuries, Oshie will have one of his better years in recent memory right when it matters most. The Capitals would probably love to keep Oshie on board, but the salary cap will restrain them. With Oshie being 30, a team wouldn’t want to sign him to a massive deal, but he could sign a deal for 3-5 years. Any team that signs Oshie knows what they are going to get: a goalscorer and playmaker.
Our prediction: T.J. Oshie signs with the New York Islanders.
6. Staying Put: Jaromir Jagr
If you had to describe Jaromir Jagr in two words, it would be an ageless wonder. The man is 45 years old and has been playing hockey professionally for the last 29 years. Jagr in on the record say he wants to play until 50, and whether he makes it to that plateau is a different story. It is abundantly clear that he has regressed after an incredible 2015-2016 season where he put up 66 points with 27 goals. The Panthers are a young squad, so having a very experienced veteran such as Jagr would be beneficial to the development of the youth on the roster. With his age increasing and skillset decreasing, Jagr wouldn’t be asking the Panthers to fork over a tonne of cash. Instead, he could resign with the Panthers for a lower price to stick with the system that he knows, players that he knows and coaches that he knows, while helping future of the Panthers.