With the Stanley Cup Final and the draft officially done, it is time for every NHL team to look at what the next move is for them to succeed in 2017-18. Every team looks to make moves, or help put the franchise in the right direction so that they can be labeled as a contender for the Stanley Cup Final. Now with the expansion of the Vegas Golden Knights, we now have 31 teams in the National Hockey League. With the expansion draft behind us we focus on all other teams besides the Golden Knights in this, due to the fact that we haven't even seen the Golden Knights play yet.
Every team has a player who can be considered as a player who is expendable on their current roster. Others have players who they can get pieces for in a trade, then you have your teams that has players that just don't fit into the future plans in which the franchise is going in. In today's era of the NHL we see players that stick to the same team for their whole career, but for the majority we see players that move around to try and get a better chance at playing for a Stanley Cup Final. Every NHL team currently has one player that they should get rid of due to different scenarios.
The list for players looking for new homes in the off season is about to get bigger than it was before. With that being said here is one player that every team has currently under contract that they should dump this offseason.
30 Anaheim Ducks - Clayton Stoner
The Anaheim Ducks are definitely looking to upgrade their blue line a little bit, and they can start by dumping 32 year old defenseman Clayton Stoner. Stoner is a former 3rd round pick in the 2004 NHL Draft by the Minnesota Wild, and has been an okay defenseman since beginning his National Hockey League career in the 2009-10 season. With the direction that the Ducks are going in there is no reason that Stoner should be apart of their plans for the 2017-18 campaign. In his career he has tallied 7 goals to go along with 41 assists, for a total of 48 points in his career in 360 games in which he has played in.
Stoner did not play on the Anaheim playoff roster this season, and is currently set to make $3.25 million next season to play in the AHL. Anaheim should either buy him out, or move him because with the young talent that they have under contract for defense there is no reason to keep Stoner who is set to be a free agent after the 2017-18 season.
29 Arizona Coyotes - Jamie McGinn
The Arizona Coyotes have all the cap space in the world it seems like for the upcoming season, with a rough estimate of about $46.1 million in cap space. One player that they currently have under contract that they should dump is Jamie McGinn. McGinn is a former second round pick in the 2006 NHL Draft and was selected by the San Jose Sharks. He has been a third line guy for the majority of his NHL career, and has bounced around for the past three seasons as he has played for four different teams.
McGinn has bounced around from Colorado, to Buffalo, to Anaheim, to Arizona all in the previous three seasons. With McGinn still not being able to find a home the Coyotes need to move in the right direction and need to cut McGinn. He has never tallied more than 38 points in the NHL, and needs to be on the move from Arizona especially since he is set to make $3.5 million for the next two seasons.
28 Boston Bruins - Jimmy Hayes
The Boston Bruins have some young talent that looks to help them be promising for the forseeable future, but unfortunately Jimmy Hayes is not apart of that talent. The former 2nd round pick in the 2008 NHL Draft, has not performed well in the National Hockey League. Hayes has been traded three times so far in his career, and has yet to find a home that suits his style of play. When he signed with the Bruins it looked like it was a match and that he finally found his team to play for.
Well, that did not happen as Hayes has been below sub par in his time in Boston. He has one year left on his contract which he will be set to make $2.5 million out of it, but the Bruins should dump him as soon as possible. The Bruins have some good prospects at the forward position and should play them, and should move Jimmy Hayes out of Boston.
27 Buffalo Sabres - Tyler Ennis
Since his two concussions during the 2015-16 season, he has not been the guy that Buffalo has needed to make it back to the playoffs. The former first round pick in the 2008 NHL Draft, started off making an impact for the Sabres at the beginning of his career, but lately he has not been the same player. Ennis is 27 years old, and still has plenty of years left in him just not in Buffalo.
It is time that the two sides move on from each other, and to go there separate ways. In Ennis' career he has scored 97 goals to go along with 139 assists for a total of 236 points in 419 games in which he has played in. He is set to make $3.65 million for the next two seasons, and should be either bought out or traded before the start of the 2017-18 season.
26 Calgary Flames - Matt Stajan
The Calgary Flames will look to continue to improve from the 2016-17, and bring that improvement into the 2017-18 season. One player that should not be apart of that improvement is Matt Stajan. The former second round pick in the 2002 NHL Draft has been an ok player since being traded to the Flames, and should be on the outside looking in for their plans in 2017-18. Stajan does have a modified no trade clause, but the Flames should look to buyout their fourth line center.
With the talent that is in this year's free agent class, Stajan should be a free agent due to the Flames not wanting to keep him another year. Yes, he is a free agent after next season, but the Flames could save some money by buying him out and using that money to help sign another big name talent. Stajan is set to make $2 million and has a $500,000 signing bonus to go along with it, so look f0r Calgary to dump him to save some money.
25 Carolina Hurricanes - Cam Ward
The Carolina Hurricanes are set to have three starting caliber goalies on their roster for the 2017-18 season and they have to get rid of one of them. It looks like Cam Ward will be the odd man out, even with the year that he had in 2016-17. Ward is currently set to become a free agent after this upcoming season, but should be looked to be moved for either future pieces or pieces that will help the Hurricanes right now. The former first round pick in the 2002 NHL Draft is getting up there in age as he will be 33 next season.
Ward currently has a fifteen team no trade list, that goes along with his modified no trade clause, and the Hurricanes should look at the teams that are not on that list and should try and move him to one of those teams. With Scott Darling looking like he will be the starting goaltender for the Hurricanes next season it does not make any sense for the backup goalie to be making $3.1 million just to open the door on the bench for the majority of the season.
24 Chicago Blackhawks - Marcus Kruger
The Chicago Blackhawks are already looking forward to avenging their first round sweep from the Nashville Predators in this year's playoffs. One move they should make is to dump Marcus Kruger. The former fifth round pick in the 2009 NHL Draft, did not really make a whole lot of noise for the Blackhawks last season. Kruger is a great center as he wins 50.4 % of his faceoffs, and is a very effective on the defensive side of the game.
Other than that his offense is non-existent has he has struggled to put the puck in the net, Kruger has not scored more than 9 goals in a season in his NHL career, and it is hard to have a guy who struggles to put numbers on the stat sheet. The Blackhawks have been the best at reshuffling a roster in the past ten years, so look for them to do it again this season and to start by letting Kruger go.
23 Colorado Avalanche - Matt Duchene
The Colorado Avalanche are looking to go in a different direction, and they need to make some moves in order to do just that. One move they should do is to dump Matt Duchene, by trading him for key pieces that can help the rebuild. The former third overall pick in the 2009 NHL Draft is currently set to make $6.0 million in 2017-18, and $6.5 million in 2018-19. Duchene has been a solid player for the Avalanche since making his NHL debut in the 2009-2010 season, but it is time for him to get a change of scenery.
Matt Duchene is currently coming off of one of the worst seasons of his career, and should be looking at other places to play besides Colorado. The Avalanche can definitely move Duchene for some pieces, and then we can see the rebirth of Matt Duchene who is in the prime of his career.
22 Columbus Blue Jackets - Matt Calvert
The Columbus Blue Jackets are coming off of their best season in franchise history, and there are certain moves that have to be made so they can improve and go back to being contenders again in 2017-2018. One move that they must make is to dump Matt Calvert as they look to continue their success in the upcoming season. Calvert is a former fifth round pick in the 2008 NHL Draft, and has not had success in the NHL so far.
His career high in points in a season is 24 which is not a total that you want to have for a career high. Calvert is set to make $2.9 million next season, and then becomes a free agent so why not move him to try and get something for him, or buy him out so that you can get that contract off the books. He is a fourth line guy in this league and there is no reason why he should be making $2.9 million next season.
21 Dallas Stars - Antti Niemi
The Dallas Stars were disappointing to say the least last season, and their goaltending was a big part of that. The Stars acquired Ben Bishop from the Kings recently, and signed him to an extension. Now their our three goalies that the Stars have under contract, so one of them have to go. Antti Niemi looks to be the one that will be going, Niemi did not perform up to the level that we have seen in the past from him.
Niemi is set to make $4.5 million next season, and is set to be a free agent after the 2017-18 season. With that being said the Stars could definitely move Niemi for some pieces that could help the Stars out for the 2017-18. There is never a reason to keep three starting caliber goaltenders, so look for the Stars to dump Niemi this off season.
20 Detroit Red Wings - Frans Nielsen
The Detroit Red Wings had one of the worst seasons in the last 27 years especially since that was the first time they missed the playoffs since 1989-90. One player that was acquired in last off season for Detroit, should be getting dumped by the Red Wings is Frans Nielsen. Nielsen is under contract til the 2022-23 season, and has not been a player that the Red Wings thought he was going to be. Nielsen is 33 years old and has a few seasons left in his career, but Detroit should dump him and move on to help them in the right direction.
The former third round pick in the 2002 NHL Draft, has had an alright career in the NHL and should be on the outside of Detroit's plans. Detroit is looking to bounce back and be back in the post season next year, but they need to make sure that they get the players that they need to help put them in the right direction.
19 Edmonton Oilers - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
The Edmonton Oilers put themselves on the map by making the playoffs this season, and they have what looks to be the Hart Trophy Winner in Connor McDavid. Edmonton is looking to be contenders next season, but there is one player that they should dump and that player is Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. The former number one overall pick in the 2011 NHL Draft, has seen his numbers drop the past two seasons.
Nugent-Hopkins is under contract until the 2021-22 season, and the Oilers should look to move him to try and gain more talent to make them contend again in 2017-18. He is set to make $6 million next season, and for the remaining years on his contract. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is entering the prime of his career, he would be a good help for Edmonton, but then again he could be a better player for a different team.
18 Florida Panthers - Derek MacKenzie
The Florida Panthers have the young talent that can help lead them into the promise land known as the post season, but they have one player who should not be on this team and that is Derek MacKenzie. The former fifth round pick in the 1999 NHL Draft, has been ok in the NHL, but has not been the best during his tenure in Florida. MacKenzie is the current captain of the Panthers and is under contract for the next two seasons. He is set to make $1.35 million the next two seasons and for a fourth line guy that is not bad.
At the end of the day Florida should go with all of their young talent, over fourth line veterans every day of the week. MacKenzie should be boughtout and Florida can make a step in the right direction for the 2017-18 season.
17 Los Angeles Kings - Dustin Brown
The Los Angeles Kings are poised to bounce back after a rough 2016-17 season, which all took a big hit due to the loss of franchise goaltender Jonathan Quick. With Quick becoming healthy, now they can focus on the 2017-18 season and one player that they should dump this off season is their former captain Dustin Brown. The former first round pick in the 2003 NHL Draft, has struggled since the lockout shortened season in 2012-13. Brown has not lived up to his current contract and is due to make $6.5 million next season.
Dustin Brown played on the first line for the majority of the season, but it is time for the Kings to become contenders again and they need to move Brown. If the Kings can trade Dustin Brown not only will they get rid of his horrible contract, but they can get some pieces in return to help them bounce back. The Kings are looking to be contenders again, and Dustin Brown should not be a part of it.
16 Minnesota Wild - Chris Stewart
The Minnesota Wild has been one of the better teams in the National Hockey League in the past few seasons. The Wild have signed some talents in the past that has helped change the culture of the Wild, and with them continuing to succeed one player that the Wild need to dump is Chris Stewart. The former first round pick in the 2006 NHL Draft, had one good season in the NHL and has been mediocre besides that. In the 2009-10 season Stewart tallied 64 points which is a career high, and he definitely won't put those numbers up ever again.
Stewart is set to make $1.1 million next season, but the Wild should buy him out. He was not a factor at all last year for the Wild, and why waste a roster spot on a guy who will not help you out in any way on the scoreboard.
15 Montreal Canadiens - Andrew Shaw
The Montreal Canadiens were one of the best teams in the regular season in 2016-17, but did not make it out of the first round as they lost to the Rangers in six games. One player that Montreal should definitely dump this off season is Andrew Shaw. The former fifth round pick in the 2011 NHL Draft has two Stanley Cup rings under his belt, but is not a good fit in Montreal. Shaw was sub par in the 2016-17 season, and is currently under contract until the 2022-23 season.
He is due to make $3 million with a $2 million signing bonus next season, and is definitely not one of the players that Montreal should have on the roster next season. Look for Montreal to trade Shaw to a team that could use his talents, but he should not be in Montreal in 2017-18.
14 Nashville Predators - Cody McLeod
The Nashville Predators are coming off of their best season in franchise history, as they also made their first ever Stanley Cup Final appearance in 2016-2017. Nashville already has a lot of their talent coming back next year, but one player that they should dump this off season is Cody McLeod. The former undrafted player, has been good at getting penalty minutes in his NHL career, but he has struggled to get on to the stat sheet for anything else besides that.
McLeod played his entire career with the Avalanche, until getting traded during the 2016-2017 season to Nashville. He also was not on the ice for the final game of the Stanley Cup Final, and is nothing more than a fourth line talent. With that being said he is set to make $1.25 million next season and then is a free agent after that. If the Predators want to continue to contend in the NHL, they need to dump a guy like McLeod.
13 New Jersey Devils - Devante Smith-Pelly
The New Jersey Devils could be on the rise in 2017-2018, and one player that should not be a part of that journey is Devante Smith-Pelly. The former second round pick in the 2010 NHL Draft has not lived up to the expectations that many had for him coming out of the NHL Draft. Smith-Pelly has been mediocre in the NHL, but he has showed some potential when he plays down in the AHL. Unfortunately he has not figured it out in the NHL, and has struggled throughout his young career.
Devante Smith-Pelly is entering the prime of his career, and he could be a good fit in another system. The 24-year-old is set to make $1.35 million this season, and then he is a restricted free agent after. The Devils should move him and get something back that can help them develop quicker into a playoff team.
12 New York Islanders - Mikhail Grabovski
The New York Islanders have one season left to put a good unit around John Tavares before he decides if he is going to test free agency or not. One player that the Islanders should definitely dump is Mikhail Grabovski. The former fifth round pick in the 2004 NHL Draft did not play in the 2016-17 season due to the fact that he was still suffering from concussion like symptoms. He missed some time during the 2015-16 season with a concussion and it is not a good thing that to the day he still is struggling with those symptoms.
Grabovski is set to make $6 million this season, and will become a free agent after that. What the Islanders should do is move him and take out his big contract, and help get some talent to help try and make Tavares want to continue his career as a member of the Islanders' franchise.
11 New York Rangers - Rick Nash
The New York Rangers Stanley Cup window seems like it is closing very soon, and they need to dump some salary. Up until recently, we would have said to dump Dan Girardi, but the Rangers have already bought him out, so we'll have to go for an alternate. One piece they should look to move would be Rick Nash. We wouldn't quite use the word dump here, but moving Nash in the offseason makes the most sense, as he could carry some value with teams who have cap space but don't want to commit to Nash beyond next season. Nash carries a cap hit of $7.8 million which is far too high for the player he is today. The Rangers should look to get younger up front.
10 Ottawa Senators - Alexandre Burrows
The Ottawa Senators surprised everybody in the 2016-17 season which ended to a game seven overtime loss to the eventual Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins in the Eastern Conference Finals. If Ottawa wants to go back to the Eastern Conference Finals, and even make an appearance in the Stanley Cup Final there is one player that needs to be dumped and that is Alexandre Burrows. The former undrafted player in the 2006 NHL Draft, has been underwhelming to say the least over the past couple of seasons.
Burrows is set to make $2.5 million next season, and the year after before becoming a free agent in 2019-20. The Senators need to dump Burrows due to the fact that he did not contribute anything to the Senators great playoff run, and that Ottawa needs better talent at forward to help out their other talented players.
9 Philadelphia Flyers - Dale Weise
The Philadelphia Flyers were barely on the outside looking in on the playoffs last season, and are definitely looking to upgrade so that they can make the playoffs in 2017-18. One player that needs to be dumped by Philadelphia is Dale Weise. Weise is a former fourth round pick in the 2008 NHL Draft, and has been very underwhelming so far in his NHL career. Weise has bounced around from the Rangers, to the Canucks, to the Canadiens, to the Blackhawks, and now he is with the Flyers.
Weise is scheduled to make $2.5 million next season and is under contract with the Flyers till the 2020-21 season. Weise is no more than a fourth line talent, and should not be getting paid anywhere near $2.5 million in a season. He has not done anything important in the National Hockey League and will continue to do so for the remainder of the career, so Philadelphia should be smart about it and let him go.
8 Pittsburgh Penguins - Marc-Andre Fleury
The Pittsburgh Penguins have won back to back Stanley Cups for the first time since 1997-98 season when the Detroit Red Wings won back to back Stanley Cups. Pittsburgh has their team set and stone for years to come, but they have two goaltenders who have been good for them in the past two seasons. Unfortunately one of them has to go and that goaltender is Marc-Andre Fleury. Fleury helped the Penguins get past the first two rounds, and then he struggled in the Eastern Conference Finals, and Pittsburgh went to Matt Murray.
The former number one overall pick in the 2003 NHL Draft, has been the guy in the crease for Pittsburgh for the past decade, but now that Matt Murray has shined and was a huge reason why they went back-to-back Fleury is going to be getting the boot. He recently waived his no movement clause to be a part of the expansion draft. Both sides agree it is time to move on and Fleury will be gone at some point the offseason.
7 San Jose Sharks - Mikkel Boedker
The San Jose Sharks were not as good as they were in 2015-16, but they did make the playoffs though in 2016-17. The Sharks definitely need to go in a younger direction for the 2017-18 season and they can start by dumping Mikkel Boedker. The former eighth overall pick in the 2008 NHL Draft has not found his talent in the NHL just yet, and last year was definitely a time that he could have found it.
Boedker was playing with the first line at the start of the season, and he just could not get anything to click in his first season with the Sharks. He is set to make $4.8 million next year along with a $1 million signing bonus as well. The Sharks should not only make Boedker available, but they should move him at all cost. In order to contend in the Western Conference you have to have guys that can help you on the scoreboard, and Boedker struggles to do so.
6 St. Louis Blues - Jori Lehtera
The St. Louis Blues made the playoffs again after the firing of Ken Hitchcock in February, and Mike Yeo who is now the head coach helped lead them along the way. The Blues beat the Wild in five games, only to lose to Nashville in the Western Conference semi-finals in six games. The Blues are right there when it comes to talented teams in the Western Conference, but they need to make moves to continue to contend. Unfortunately they only have roughly $9.4 million in cap space, so to get some money back they can dump Jori Lehtera.
The former third round pick in the 2008 NHL Draft has been ok in his three full seasons in the NHL. He is set to make $4.7 million next year, and then $5 million the following season before becoming a free agent. The Blues should instead dump him, and get the money back from his contract in order to help needs that they need to improve in 2017-18.
5 Tampa Bay Lightning - Jason Garrison
The Tampa Bay Lightning were very injured a season ago, and it hurt their chances of going back to the Stanley Cup Final. With all of the injuries a thing in the past, the Lightning have a big offseason ahead of them due to players that they have to re-sign. They already made a big splash in moving Jonathan Drouin for top blue line prospect Mikael Sergachev. Now it's time to trim the fat. When it comes to a player that they should dump this off season it is none other than Jason Garrison. The 32 year-old defenseman went undrafted in the 2008 NHL Draft, and has been a solid defenseman in the National Hockey League.
With Garrison set to make $2.5 million next season before becoming a free agent, they should buy Garrison out and then use the money to help re-sign one of their big free agents. Tampa Bay should be making some serious moves this offseason in order to contend and this should only be a taste of it.
4 Toronto Maple Leafs - Joffrey Lupul
The Toronto Maple Leafs made the playoffs for the first time since the 2012-13 season, and the future is looking awfully bright in Toronto. The Maple Leafs have young talent that have some very good chemistry, but one player they need to dump that is currently under contract is Joffrey Lupul. The former seventh overall pick in the 2002 NHL Draft has had a solid career in the NHL, but did not play in a game in the 2016-17 season. Unfortunately Maple Leafs fans he is still on the books and is set to make $5.25 million to probably not play in a game.
Lupul seems like he has played his last game in Toronto and maybe even in the NHL, but the Maple Leafs need to dump his salary so they can have more cap space to be able to sign talent that they need. The Coyotes always seem to be a team that takes on these types of contracts, so perhaps the Leafs could unload him there.
3 Vancouver Canucks - Derek Dorsett
The Vancouver Canucks are in a rebuilding phase and it stinks that they have to take the Sedins down with them. The Canucks definitely need a spark and to get rid of some players that are going to cost a good amount. One of those players is Derek Dorsett, the former seventh round pick in the 2006 NHL Draft has been nothing more than a fourth line guy during his NHL career. Dorsett also missed the entire 2016-17 season with a neck injury, but he should be all set for the start of next season.
He is set to make $2.5 million this season, and next season before coming a free agent before the 2018-19 season. Vancouver needs to accept a full rebuild is happening, and to dump some salaries that are very unnecessary such as Dorsett's.
2 Washington Capitals - Jay Beagle
The Washington Capitals for the second consecutive year won the Presidents' Trophy, and for the second consecutive year they lost in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals to the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Capitals are in for a big offseason as they have a bunch of talent to sign, but one guy that they need to dump is Jay Beagle. The former undrafted player in the 2008 NHL Draft has been with the Capitals for his entire career, but it is time for him to change locations.
Beagle is set to make $1.75 million next season before becoming a free agent following the 2017-18 season. He has been an ok player for Washington, but they need guys who can make big contributions come playoff time, and unfortunately Jay Beagle is not that type of player.
1 Winnipeg Jets - Tyler Myers
The Winnipeg Jets have a good young foundation to build around, but one player that they should be dumping this off season is defenseman Tyler Myers. The former 12th overall pick in the 2008 NHL Draft only played in 11 games in the 2016-2017 season, and made $4.0 million playing in just those 11 games. Myers has had an alright career in the National Hockey League, but he has not stuck out for any reason besides the fact that he is a 6 foot 8 inch defenseman.
He is set to make $3.5 million next season and then $3.0 million the year after that before becoming a free agent. Myers who is only 27 years old and in the prime of his career should be bought out, and Winnipeg should move on. The Jets have a bright future ahead of them just not with Tyler Myers in the fold.
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