Future Free Agent Profiles: Andrew Ladd and Dustin Byfuglien

Cam Lewis
November 22 2015 12:49PM

I wrote the other day that the St. Louis Blues are in an ugly spot with soon-to-be free agent and captain David Backes as they weigh the option of either hindering their Cup run in the spring or losing him for nothing come summer, but the Winnipeg Jets’ situation makes the Backes dilemma look admirable. Like the Blues, the Jets are playoff contenders and their captain, Andrew Ladd, is set to become a free agent at the end of the season. Along with Ladd, though, one of Winnipeg’s best defencemen, Dustin Byfuglien, is also set to hit free agency in a few months, while Jacob Trouba and Mark Scheifele both near the end of the entry-level contracts. 

So the Jets have to deal with that conundrum. They can shop Ladd and Byfuglien and risk ruining what appears to be a contending team right now in order to ensure they don’t end up with nothing come July, or they can make a run for it and hope that they can find a way to fit all four players into their internal budget when the time comes. 

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Future Free Agent Profiles: David Backes

Cam Lewis
November 20 2015 11:28AM

The St. Louis Blues have a conundrum when it comes to captain and top centre David Backes. They’re in win now mode and they’re a legitimate Stanley Cup contender, but judging by their current cap situation, they may not have the money to re-sign him as he’s set to hit unrestricted free agency this summer. So the Blues are going to have to wrestle with the idea of either keeping one of their core forwards for a playoff run and risk losing him for nothing come July, or trading him mid-way through the season to get something of value for him. 

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The Roundup

Nation World HQ
November 20 2015 06:45AM

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5 reasons to hate the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Canucks and Tyson Barrie, Travis Hamonic wants to be in Western Canada, the NHL's problem with offense, an early look at 2016 free agents, value of shot blocking, Connor McDavid's recovery, Sam Bennett an elite player in the making, fantasy hockey and more in this week's Nation Roundup brought to you by DraftKings.

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Future Free Agent Profiles: Anze Kopitar and Steven Stamkos

Cam Lewis
November 18 2015 08:00AM

Many of the biggest names from the potential 2016 Free Agent market have already signed extensions with their respective teams. Erik Johnson, Jakub Voracek, Mark Giordano, and Brent Seabrook came to terms on new deals before the season began, but Steven Stamkos and Anze Kopitar, arguably the two most coveted potential free agents, are still without contracts. 

If Kopitar and Stamkos do manage to slide between the cracks and July 1 rolls around before they’ve signed new contracts, you have to expect just about every team in the league will be lining up with a truck full of money to throw at them. That said, how likely is it they make it that far? 

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Future Free Agent Profiles: Eric Staal

Cam Lewis
November 15 2015 08:00AM

The 2016 NHL free agent crop is stacked. Even with big names like Brent Seabrook, Jakub Voracek, and Erik Johnson already locked up to extensions, next summer’s class of free agents is loaded with players who have the ability to be major difference makers on teams who need something to push them over the hill. One of the most interesting names on that list is Eric Staal, who appears to be on his way out of Carolina. 

Elliotte Friedman said recently that Eric Staal and the Carolina Hurricanes are far apart on what they believe would be a reasonable contract extension. Friedman also mentioned that he thought Staal could seriously use a change of scenery, even if it means leaving the Canes as a rental, and then coming back as a free agent in the summer.  

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