The NHL offseason is in full swing after the Colorado Avalanche won the Stanley Cup over the Tampa Bay Lightning last month. We’re already through the 2022 NHL Draft, which saw the first Slovakia-born player selected No. 1 overall in Juraj Slafkovsky by the Montreal Canadiens. Now, we’ll head into free agency with a few big names on the open market, plus a bunch of notable veterans who have tough decisions to make.
Among those veterans are Patrice Bergeron, Claude Giroux, Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang. The Pittsburgh Penguins already have a deal worked out for Letang, who is taking less money to make it easier to bring back Malkin. Pens GM Ron Hextall is confident a deal will get done but it is telling that Malkin hasn’t signed yet. Free agency opens on Wednesday and Malkin could test the waters for the first time in his career.
Giroux was dealt to the Florida Panthers by the Philadelphia Flyers before the deadline this past season. Giroux is still chasing the elusive Cup, so chances are he’ll land on a short-term deal with a contending team. The Edmonton Oilers have been linked to Giroux. His hometown Ottawa Senators could also be in the mix following the acquisition of LW Alex DeBrincat.
Bergeron will likely choose between the Boston Bruins and retirement. The Bruins pushed out coach Bruce Cassidy for some reason, which may not help their case to Bergeron. The Bruins are heading more towards a rebuild than retooling and contending given the state of the Eastern Conference. That could mean Bergeron plays one more season elsewhere to try and win a second title.
2022 NHL Free Agency start time
Time: Noon ET
Date: Wednesday, July 13