Future Free Agents: Brian Boyle

Cam Lewis
May 03 2017 07:00AM

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© Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Brian Boyle was acquired by the Toronto Maple Leafs for a pretty hefty price at this year's trade deadline. He said at the end of the team's season that he would be open to returning to Toronto, but as a 32-year-old, it's also likely going to be Boyle's final chance to make a big payday in free agency. Where will the elite fourth line centre end up? 

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Future Free Agents: Alexander Radulov

Cam Lewis
April 27 2017 07:00AM

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© Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

The narrative surrounding Alexander Radulov has completely flipped in the past year. When he was inked by the Montreal Canadiens to a one-year, $5.75 million deal on the first day of free agency, not long after the team had pulled off a massively polarizing swap of P.K. Subban for Shea Weber, it was met with a scoff and a laugh. Radulov, an enigmatic Russian who was too lazy and into himself for the NHL attempting another comeback with this impending disaster in Montreal. Comedy! 

But Radulov was a hit this year. He was Montreal's most valuable player (not named Carey Price) for good chunks of the season, and dragged the team on his back throughout the first round of the playoffs. The team didn't win, but Radulov's performance resulted in him being called 'the best player in the league' by the notoriously xenophobic Don Cherry. 

Now nobody's laughing at the idea of Radulov, finally, at the age of 30, living up to his hype and becoming a star player in the NHL. In fact, he's going to be heading into free agency this summer not as a question mark maybe worth a one-year gamble, but instead as a player who's certainly going to lock down a lucrative, long-term contract. 

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NHL Second Round Playoff Preview: Washington Capitals vs. Pittsburgh Penguins

Cam Lewis
April 26 2017 10:49AM

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© Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Stanley Cup Final. 

Well, not actually, because anything can happen, a key player can get injured, a goalie can get hot, and a surprise team can win, but the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins are clearly the two best teams in the NHL. They finished with the best and second best records during the regular season, their underlying numbers match it, and whoever comes out of this series will become the favourite to win it all. 

The Penguins have been the obstacle in the path to success for the Capitals forever now. Ever since Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby entered the league in 2005-06, the Penguins have come out on top. Last season, Pittsburgh beat Washington in what was as tight and well played of a series as you'll see en route to their second Stanley Cup in the Crosby era. In fact, Washington has only even beaten Pittsburgh in a playoff series once in franchise history, and that came back in 1994. 

We ask every single season, but can this be Washington's year? Can Alex Ovechkin finally beat Sidney Crosby? This might be his best — and last — chance. 

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Future Free Agents: Ryan Miller

Cam Lewis
April 19 2017 07:00AM

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© Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

When the Vancouver Canucks signed Ryan Miller back in July 2014, it was surely a move that was expected to make the club competitive. But things didn't work out that way. Miller was solid for the Canucks, save for an injury-riddled 2014-15 season, but the team only made one playoff appearance during his three years in Vancouver. Now Miller is soon to turn 37 years old and is running out of opportunities to win the first Stanley Cup championship of his career. 

Is he still good enough to take a team to that level? Or is Miller going to have to switch gears and take on more of a depth, mentorship role with a contending team? 

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NHL First Round Playoff Preview: Edmonton Oilers vs. San Jose Sharks

Cam Lewis
April 11 2017 03:00PM

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This is part of a playoff preview series based at NHLNumbers.com

Here it is. The Edmonton Oilers are in the playoffs. Connor McDavid will get his first opportunity to show the hockey world that he is, in fact, the best player around. The first test will be the San Jose Sharks, who are on the opposite side of the spectrum. The Sharks are old and tired, and this is probably their final shot at the Cup with this group, while Edmonton is just on the cusp of something great. It's a passing of the torch in the Pacific Division. But is San Jose ready to give it up? Or will Edmonton have to wait another year? 

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