The NHL offseason starts right after the Stanley Cup Final, and there are plenty of things that could happen before the start of the 2017-18 regular season. All 31 teams this offseason will look to improve their team by signing free agents, drafting players, and/or making trades to help fill spots on the roster that was weak from a year ago. There are always free agent signings that are perfect fits, and then there are signings that make you sit there and wonder why did they sign there? With that being said there is plenty of free agent signings that will do just that.
This offseason has some high talented quality names on the market, and it is always interesting to see where they will decide to play for the next part of their career. Some players decide to either stay with their current team, they go to another team that would be a perfect fit for them, or they go to whatever team is offering the most amount of money. Some players have shown their true colors in past free agency periods, but their are some players that will actually play with one team throughout their whole career. Now-a-days those players are very rare, as players will move from team to team to help themselves financially, or other reasons that can help them and their families in the long haul.
These players this offseason have a very big decision to make not only because they have to decide where they are playing hockey for the next part of their career, but they have to decide where they think their best fit would be. With that being said here are the top 15 dumb moves that these NHL teams this off season.
15 Ottawa Not Locking Up Kyle Turris Long-Term
Kyle Turris is currently set to become a free agent after the 2017-18 season, which is not a good thing for the Ottawa Senators. He has been with the Senators since 2011, and has been a huge part of their recent success that they have had. With Turris being currently 27 years old and entering into the prime of his career, it is time for Ottawa to lock him up for potentially the remainder of his career. With Ottawa having only Derrick Brassard and Zack Smith as the only centers currently under contract beyond 2018, it is time for Ottawa to pull that trigger and get Turris signed long-term.
The Ottawa Senators are better off signing Turris now rather than after the 2017-18 season, because of the fact that they might be able to sign Turris for cheaper than they would sign him for after next season. Both sides have a decision to make this offseason and it will be interesting to see what direction both sides go.
14 Bruins Don't Trade Ryan Spooner's Rights
With Ryan Spooner set to be a restricted free agent, the Boston Bruins should trade his rights to get something back in return for him. The Bruins look to be all set when it comes to centers as they currently have five signed for the 2017-18 season, and it looks like Spooner is the odd man out. With the Bruins trading his rights they can at least get a draft pick for him, no matter what round the pick is, because it will help the Bruins out in the long run.
The Bruins already have their four centers in David Krejci, Patrice Bergeron, David Backes, Riley Nash, and Jakob Karlsson, and with Spooner's sub par playoff performance in 2016-17 he looks to be on the outside looking in for the centers in Boston. Rather than letting him walk for nothing, if the Bruins don't trade his rights it will be one regret that they have made in the past three seasons.
13 Tampa Bay Declining One Of Their RFA's Qualifying Offers
With Tyler Johnson, Ondrej Palat, and Jonathan Drouin all being restricted free agents, they are going to receive some high offers from teams around the league. Tampa Bay should keep all three of them, due to the fact that when they are all healthy Tampa Bay is a legit threat to winning the Stanley Cup title year in and year out. With Stamkos coming back healthy for next season it is only right if the Lightning keeps the same core around their superstar.
Tampa Bay could not catch a break in 2016-17 as they were derailed with injury after injury. Look for Tampa Bay to continue to succeed in 2017-18, only if they keep the same group around. Without either one of Johnson, Palat, and Drouin it will be tough for the Lightning to compete in the Eastern Conference.
12 Philadelphia Re-Signing Steve Mason
The Steve Mason Era in Philadelphia has not been a good one to say the least. Mason was traded from Columbus to Philadelphia in 2013, and Mason has struggled in his time in Philadelphia. It is time for the Flyers to take a step in the right direction, and to acquire/or sign via free agency another goaltender.
Some names that are available in free agency is Ryan Miller, Jonathan Bernier, Brian Elliott, which are starting goaltenders in the National Hockey League, or they can sign someone like Chad Johnson, Darcy Kuemper, Jonas Gustavsson, to back up Michal Neuvirth.
The Flyers have not made the playoffs in consecutive seasons since they went five straight years from 2007-2012. Philadelphia has so much young talent in front, and they need a goalie that is going to be able to help them night in and night out. Unfortunately, they're not going to see that and they'll stick with Mason.
11 Dallas Not Signing Veteran Defenseman
The Dallas Stars now have their franchise goaltender it looks like in Ben Bishop, now it is time for Dallas to focus on signing some veteran defenseman to help Bishop out. The Stars currently have five defenseman on the roster, and only two of them are yearly veterans in the NHL in John Klingberg, and Dan Hamhuis. With the veteran free agent market is kind of small in this year's off season the Stars have to choose one to two specifically to help the Stars be able to contend for the upcoming season.
Two names that come to mind are Dennis Wideman, and Mark Streit. These two veterans would help come in to Dallas and help them instantly upgrade their defense, and to help contend in the Western Conference. With so much money invested in their goaltending, it'll be tough for Dallas to land a veteran blue liner.
10 Colorado Doesn't Move Either Landeskog or Duchene
It is safe to say that Colorado is going through a rebuilding phase and they have two guys that could give value to that rebuilding phase. Gabriel Landeskog who has a modified no trade clause, and Matt Duchene are both under contract and should be moved for pieces. The Avalanche have young talent, but they need to move one or both of these players in order to not only help create the rebuild of the Avalanche Franchise, but to put them in the right direction.
Landeskog and Duchene have been in trade talks for the whole 2016-17 season, and it is finally time for Colorado to make that move. If Colorado does not trade one of these two players they will not only regret it for the long haul, but they will be disappointed in themselves if down the line after their contracts expire that they leave, and the Avalanche does not get anything for them.
9 San Jose Keeps Both Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton
Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau (both 37 years old) are both on their last legs, and should be on different rosters in 2017-18. These two players have had illustrious careers, but it is time for San Jose to go young and to build around Brent Burns, Logan Couture, and Joe Pavelski. Both Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau both made around $6.7 million a season ago, and it is tough to see them making that type of money anywhere.
With that being said the Sharks should let both of these guys walk, and signing talent to help build around their new core. Instead the Sharks most likely will retain both of them, which will be bad for both sides. For the Sharks they are giving money to guys on their last legs, and for both Marleau and Thornton to continue to play together might not be for the best.
8 Ryan Miller Stays In Vancouver
The Vancouver Canucks are another team that looks to be in a rebuilding phase, due to the fact that they have struggled to perform successfully. One position they really have not been good in is goaltending, and their current starting goalie in Ryan Miller is a free agent. Ryan Miller is still one of the more dependable goaltenders in the league today, but looking at what Miller has in front of them is not a pretty sight.
There are plenty of talented teams that are looking for goaltenders for the 2017-18 season, and Ryan Miller could really help them out. The dumb move that Miller could do is that he will re-sign in Vancouver due to the fact that he will probably get offered more money to stay in Vancouver.
7 Edmonton Not Signing Leon Draisaitl Long-Term
Leon Draisaitl has bursted onto the scene the past two seasons in Edmonton, and it started when Connor McDavid went down in the 2015-16 season. Draisaitl became the number one center and produced just like one for Edmonton, then this season he played with McDavid and was even better in 2016-17. Leon should be a huge focus for the Oilers' future as he is only 21 years old and is a restricted free agent.
The former number three overall pick in the 2014 NHL Draft, is going to get paid this offseason, but being a restricted free agent means that Edmonton has to re-sign him for whatever the cost is that another team wants him for. The Oilers should pay whatever the cost is as he was their second best offensive player from a season ago, and him and McDavid will be a force to be reckoned with for the next ten plus seasons if they continue to play together in Edmonton.
If Edmonton does not re-sign Draisaitl before July 1st, it's possible a team can swoop in and give Draisaitl an expensive offer sheet that the Oilers would be forced to match.
6 Detroit Keeping Both Howard and Mrazek
The Detroit Red Wings need to figure out who is going to be their franchise goalie of the future, and who is on their way out the door. Howard is under contract until the end of the 2019 season, while Mrazek is a restricted free agent after next season. Mrazek is 25 years old, and Howard is 33 years old so you would think that they could work something out, but in reality they both can be starting goaltenders in the NHL, and they both are in the prime of their careers.
With both of them trying to outplay the other one it has created a controversy that distracted the Red Wings in the 2016-17 season as they missed the playoffs for the first time since the 1989-90 season. Keeping both of them will cause more problems for the Red Wings' franchise and they could be on the outside looking in again in 2017-18.
5 Montreal Lets Radulov Walk
Alexander Radulov was a former first round pick of the Nashville Predators in the 2004 NHL Draft. He had his stint from 2006-08 before going to the KHL to play until the 2012 season, then he came back for one season only to go back to the KHL. Then he decided to come back into the NHL and signed a one year $5.5 million dollar deal with the Montreal Canadiens and was a big time player for the Canadiens in 2016-17.
Radulov played in 76 games this season while tallying 18 goals 36 assists to accumulate a total of 54 points. With him being 30 years old he is in the prime of his career, and Montreal would be dumb to let him walk in free agency this summer. Radulov was one of the better players for Montreal this season, and should be a high priority to be kept by Montreal. However the odds are against Montreal with Carey Price needing an extension and them deciding whether to give Alex Galchenyuk a long-term deal.
4 Chicago Misses Out On Thomas Vanek
Thomas Vanek is a natural goal scorer who can help any team with his rifle of a shot. One team that could definitely use a scoring left winger is the Chicago Blackhawks. Chicago is famous for adjusting their roster and then going on to win a Stanley Cup, or be a legit contender for the Stanley Cup the next season. This off season should be one of those off seasons, due to the fact that they were swept by the Nashville Predators in the first round of the playoffs this year.
Vanek has 697 points on his career, and being at the age of 33 the Blackhawks could sign him cheap and have Chicago right back to being a contender next season. Chicago at the moment does not have the cap space to sign any high quality talent, but with their roughly $5.5 million in cap space they can use less than half of that to sign Vanek to a one year deal to help the Blackhawks. But we have to see what kind of bold moves Chicago will make after getting swept in the opening round this year.
3 Kevin Shattenkirk Doesn't Sign With The Rangers
Kevin Shattenkirk is one of the marquee free agents in this year's free agency class, and is the top defenseman that is available. The perfect fit for Shattenkirk is none other than the New York Rangers. With New York having roughly $15.2 million in cap space for the upcoming season, they are the perfect fit to be able to pay Kevin Shattenkirk. Also the way that the Rangers play is a perfect style for Shattenkirk and the two sides seem to be a match made it heaven.
If Kevin Shattenkirk does not sign with the New York Rangers, it will be because another team is offering him more money, or is giving him more years under contract. Without Shattenkirk in a Ranger uniform on opening night for the 2017-18 season, look for Shattenkirk to not be able to accomplish his goals.
2 T.J. Oshie Leaves Washington
T.J. Oshie is one of the biggest names on the free agent market for the 2017 off season, and looks like he is going to get paid no matter where he will be playing in 2017-2018. The smart move for Oshie is to re-sign with Washington, who roughly has $26.7 million in cap space. Now the question comes in does Oshie want to get paid, or does he want to win a Stanley Cup? If he wants to win the Stanley Cup, Washington still has some serious talent on the roster, but due to their past lack of success can they actually contend for the Stanley Cup.
All signs lead to no they can't, but with Oshie the Capitals will always have a legit shot at it year in and year out. If Oshie is not in Washington long-term it will be a move that he regrets.
1 Islanders Not Locking Up John Tavares
John Tavares has been the face of the New York Islanders franchise since he was drafted number one overall in the 2009 NHL Draft. If the Islanders don't sign Tavares long-term it will be one of the franchise's biggest regrets. Without an extension going into 2017-18 there is no way that Tavares will want to stay with the Islanders if he does not have talent around him. Tavares wants to win a Stanley Cup and there is no way that he does it playing for the Islanders, so if they don't sign him long-term they are in trouble.
With that being said look for the Islanders to try and make moves this offseason with the roughly $7.5 million that they currently have in cap space. No talent and no long-term deal entering the season means no chance that Tavares plays for the Islanders after 2018-19.