Sunday NHL Free Agent Roundup – July 23, 2017

by | Jul 23, 2017 | Rumors | 39 comments

Would Jaromir Jagr be a good fit with the Montreal Canadiens?

Looking at possible fits for five notable unrestricted free agents and possible UFA options for the Boston Bruins. 

ESPN.COM: Josh Cooper recently listed Jaromir Jagr, Jarome Iginla, Shane Doan, Thomas Vanek and Andrei Markov as his top five remaining NHL unrestricted free agents.

He suggests the Montreal Canadiens as the best fit for Jagr, though he also noted a Western Conference scout brought up the Dallas Stars and Chicago Blackhawks as other possible options. He feels returning to the Calgary Flames would be a good fit for Iginla, suggesting their young players could benefit from his leadership. Heading to a team with cheaper young talent, such as the Winnipeg Jets, would be worthwhile for Doan. 

Cooper suggests returning to the Detroit Red Wings on a one-year deal would benefit Vanek, as he enjoyed success during his brief tenure last season in Motown. He notes the Canadiens have the salary-cap space to bring back Markov and wonders if they’ll do it. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Seems every time Jagr becomes a UFA there’s speculation linking him to the Canadiens. I’ll believe it when I see it. The Habs stress speed in their offensive attack so I don’t see how Jagr’s a fit there. They’d be better served bringing back Markov and probably will if the 38-year-old blueliner stops asking for a two-year, $12 million contract. Yes, he’s slowed a bit but remains an effective puck-moving rearguard.

Iginla and Doan returning to the cities where they began their NHL careers would be a fitting end to their respective playing careers. However, I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for either scenario. Vanek returning to Detroit is more likely if the Wings can free up sufficient cap space. 

CSNNE.COM: Joe Haggerty examines some possible UFA fits for the Boston Bruins. Defenseman Eric Gelinas could be an intriguing and affordable player for the Bruins defense. Haggerty feels Gelinas could benefit being away from the bad defensive situations he was in with the New Jersey Devils and Colorado Avalanche.

Haggerty doubts the Bruins are looking for a stopgap veteran forward. But if they are, he thinks Brian Gionta might be a better option than bringing back Jarome Iginla or Jaromir Jagr. If they want a scorer, Thomas Vanek might find chemistry with David Pastrnak and David Krejci on a small-money, short-term deal. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bringing in Vanek or Gelinas could be rewarding gambles for the Bruins, especially if they’re on economical one-year deals. They currently have over $12 million in salary cap space, though much of that will be taken up re-signing restricted free agents such as Pastrnak and Ryan Spooner, If the Bruins are to dip into the UFA bargain bin, I expect they’ll do so once they have their RFA situation sorted out. 



  1. The top 5 remaining UFAs have a combined age of 456. I wonder if any of them will get even a tryout offer? Jagr could provide third line/PP scoring for a mid tier team and Markov still has a year left but those other guys could be sitting home when the season starts.

    • I think your math is a little off unless the top 5 UFAs have an average age of 91 years!

      • I was obviously kidding, wow!

    • Wow, the top 5 FAs average 91 yrs old?

      • Wow can’t wait until Jagr hits 100 in 9 yrs the guy just keeps on going

    • Agree. At their ages in the dog days of their combined careers its in dog yrs for me also. Move on from these hangers on.

  2. Bruins need to start playing some of there prospects I would start a kid line and let them bring some real speed to the team. Try Agostino Senyshyn and Debrusk.

    • That’s why there’s no room for Giota – they need to start playing their kids.

    • Not enough room on the roster to do, play all 3 of those players. I think the Bruins signed Agostino with the intention of giving him the opportunity to earn a starting roll, there could potentially be room for 1 more if Stafford isn’t re signed. Rumours were they were trying to reup him. I like him in the #3 RW spot.

      No interest in any of the players Haggerty suggested. Bring back Stafford if the price is right, the Bruins top 6 D are set so who ever joins the roster is a #7/8 guy with Postma. Ideally it would be another LH. What about rolling the dice on a 1 year league min contract for Despres?

      • Postma has been trying to get to the NHL as a regular since his Atlanta days. I don’t see him helping the Broones.

  3. Most of the players mentioned are well past their best before date but would make a good depth piece for a team that feels its a contender. Jagr to Montreal makes zero sense. Habs are not a legitimate contender, one Carey Price injury or off season and their in the lottery with the Canucks. I agree with the comment that the Bruins need to start filling their roster with young players or rookies adding a Vanek or Jagr wont help them win a Cup.

  4. I can’t stand the “bring him in for leadership ” talk. If a team is that devoid of leadership that you have to bring in a fading guy like ifinla or Doan…. you have a huge problem! I like Iginla, but it’s just time to hang em up ! Ditto Doan.

    Save yourself 2-3-5 million. If they are such great mentors…. Let your youngsters watch some video taped their glory days, it’s free! And a lot less depressing.

    • **** Iginla****
      *** video tape of their glory days****

    • Both of the teams Cooper mentions, Calgary & Winnipeg have a ton of veteran leadership.

      • “Iginla certainly could add leadership to a young, on-the-cusp group like his old team, the Calgary Flames, or another inexperienced squad in a similar spot.”

        Direct quote from the actual article….. Which was my point!

      • Wasn’t directed at you Nyr4life just on subject. I agree with you.

    • I dont know. If jagr could show the youth on my team how he works out, eats and generally maintains his body and mind in peak condition. That veteran experience may be worth it.

      Of coarse you could jist higher a strength and conditioning coach or something. Haha
      But to see it in action from a legend has some value.

  5. The one name i’m surprised at still being out there is Drew Stafford. He is only one season removed from 21 goals and last season he suffered some injuries. At 31 he is still one of the younger ufa’s available. Will he get an offer or does he have to go via PTO?

    • Im surprised jagr remains unsigned. Im assuming his asking price is too high for teams who may wish to add him.

  6. What’s the hold up with the RFA’s? Is everyone waiting to see what happens in Edmonton with Draisaitl? It was reported a while back that the bruins were close to signing Pastrnak to a contract close to Marchand money $6.125 for 8yrs. Then the MacDavid extension happen and now his agent wants to see what Draisaitl will get. Interesting is Leon gets over $7m, will the bruins be comfortable having Pastrnak as there highest paying player on their payroll. If so how does that sit with Marchand and Bergeron. The bruins are wishing Pastrnak had Arvidsson agent.

    • No hold up just zero rush with the season over 3 months away.

  7. Jagr to Mtl always come up because he and Pleks are friends, come from the same town, had chemistry playing for the Czech team, and Jagr years ago made a statement that he would not mind playing in Mtl. If the Jagr thing was going to happen it Hemsky would not have been signed. Personally I figured both would only have made it back to the NHL after PTOs.

  8. How does does David Poille do it? He keeps getting players to sign contracts way below market value. Arvidsson 7 years at 4.25 per. Amazing. This kid just started to pop last year with 31 goals & 61 points. The best managed cap team in the NHL bar none & has been for ever.

    • I was thinking the same thing when I saw the deal this morning. He gets the hometown discounts more than any other GM.

      Imagine that, players wanting to play in the south over the glorified hockey markets. Go Nashville

    • To me Striker, that’s bad player representation. Yes in the end it fall to the player but unless the player and agent thinks last year was a flute and won’t be able to repeat them numbers, then by all means get what you can long term.

      • Alright, I’ll be the guy to say it. He has 77 points in his short NHL career. If he continues on a pace or better this deal is AWESOME! If he regresses? I think the money is about right, but I don’t like the term for a guy with ONE good season under his belt.

      • I watched Nashville play a ton live this year, not sure why or how just kind of worked out that way. He’s a player & he hasn’t peaked yet. He may be 1 of the fastest players in the NHL. He stole Neal’s spot on Nashville’s #1 line in mid December & wasn’t even getting PP time prior to that & his inclusion to that line woke up Forsberg. Baring injury this is a 30 to 40 goal scorer & 60 to 70 point player for years. Mind boggling.

      • Is that formula 100% Or is there an actual chance he regresses? The guy made 620K last year. It’s a nice raise for a guy with very little NHL experience and absolutely ZERO leverage. One good year….One.

      • He could regress slightly short term but his position as Nashville’s #1 LW is now secure. Drafted as a 21 year old, 1 full season in the minors posting solid #’s, started year 2 in the minors but stormed out of the gate & git called up the NHL permanently, came up & warmed the bench in year 2 playing 12 mins a night seeing no quality ice time either. Stole Neal’s job last year in December the rest is history.

        This contract is ridiculous low. Other kids who have showed less demand 6 mil+ coming out of their ELC’s. I smell a wager, gentleman’s bet?

        It’s not 1 good year but progressive development. Being older more mature & Nordic good head on his shoulders will develop faster than a raw 18 year old rookie with a few very minor exceptions.

      • I would say sure but it’s a trend in Nash. 1st Ellis, then Josi, Ekholm, Jarnkrok & now Arvidsson. Yes all their agents got low balled for some reason but they all accepted it?

      • And dumb are the teams that give out these 6 million per out of the gate. Keep them cost controlled as long as possible. If they regress it’s only a better bargaining chip for the team, but if they regress and have 3-4-5 years left on their 7 year deal, what are your options? Buyout? 4.25 in Nashville is like 5 in NY or other tax heavy markets. So essentially he’s making more than a guy like Zuccarello and only has a small sample size to go off. Way too soon.

      • The reason these contracts look so good is Poille has the foresight to lock them up sooner. I have zero doubts as to what Arvidsson is & will be bairing a serious injury & that could be said about any player.

        Florida signed Ekblad to a 7 year 7.5 mil deal with 1 year still remaining on his ELC deal & last season he was slightly better than average. They had better hope he earns that deal. I could name dozens of players that have accomplished less coming out of their ELC’s & got significantly more money.

        We will be talking about how ridiculously cheap Nashville got Arvidsson signed the entire term of this deal.

      • Maybe we will be talking about this deal as a steal in 4 years, or maybe we’ll be talking about how brutal it is. One good year in the NHL wouldn’t be getting a 7 year deal from me. How many times have we seen someone have a good year, or even a good playoff and they get signed to a gross contract that ends up being ripped to shreds? Joel Ward, Clarkson, Etc. One year is one year. Before I sign a 7-8 year deal I want to see some serious progression over 3 or 4 years. Or at least 3-4 years of consistency.

        And yes, maybe you will not get them as cheaply. But you have a better idea of the players direction.

        NY has been highly criticized for ufa deals. Redden, Gomez, Drury, etc. But one thing they do right is make their home grown players go through the process and earn their deals. Almost zero exceptions. Mcdonagh would b the sole one. And luckily that was a great deal for NY.

      • And I like Ekblad a lot! I think he is a great player, but no way in hell I gave him that deal… after two years!

      • I agree with Striker and Caper. Poile is the example all GM’s should go by when negotiating contracts.

        Arvidsson’s agent should be fired for multiple reasons. He could have gotten close to the $29.75M for a 5-year deal (maybe $5.25-5.5M for up to $27.5M) and had the contract end while Arvidsson is in his 20’s. That would give him a very good shot at getting another 7-8 year contract at big dollars if he keeps the 24-30g, 60-65 pts pace over this contact. Now, Arvidsson will be 31 when this contract expires and much less likely to get a max-term contract the next go around when he is significantly underpaid on this deal.

        If I was a player and saw this contract or Jarnkrok’s from last summer, I would NEVER have their agents representing me in contract talks. I understand why Arvidsson would want more than a 2-year bridge deal, but this level of discount for that long makes no sense.

      • Nyr4life: Agree on Ekblad too. Florida was the bizarro-Poile last summer with the stupid overpayments on their contracts. Ekblad is a great young defenseman, but there was no reason to give him that much money and term given they weren’t saving anything on that deal. If they had waited a year to sign, they definitely could have gotten him for less money and/or term given his injuries in 2016/2017.

  9. Old Player + Team they used to play for = easy, instant lazy rumour generation

  10. If I was a GM in the NHL I would not give one moment’s speculation to any of the five mentioned here. Not one moment.

  11. NYR4life….

    The Oilers just signed Conner McDavid for $100,000,000.00 after just one good year.