- The asking price for Jonathan Drouin is thought to be a similar player or a prospect (a top 10 pick or a legit top-six forward or top-four defenseman).
- Steven Stamkos would be another ball game, most likely would be asking for too much young talent to even consider the offer but you never know, he would be worth it. To give up young talent to get this franchise cornerstone.
- Jonathan Bernier could be a decent addition to the goaltending pool in Calgary, possibly a trade straight up for Jonas Hiller?
- Frederik Andersen, another goalie who is going to be traded. The Ducks have John Gibson, so the Flames could throw together a package deal there.
There are quite a good amount of UFAs next year that could change any time in a mere signing. Whether the Flames take that route after signing their young guys to long term deals is besides the point. Although, a goalie could be nice. The Flames struggle in that department, and could use a complete starter.
The Futures of many players on the Flames roster are in speculation ;
With the amount of salary that could be cleaned up, the Flames could sign their young talent long term, as well as add either depth or even more skill to the roster.
- Jiri Hudler
- Dennis Wideman
- Kris Russell
- David Jones
- Jonas Hiller
Anze Kopitar, Los Angeles Kings (29 years old)
Kopitar is one of the top five centers in the world and along with Drew Doughty the dual engines of the Kings. The average annual value on his current contract is $6.8 million, and he’ll receive a significant raise.
Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning (26)
Stamkos is one of the two best goal scorers on the planet, and just captained a team to within two victories of the Stanley Cup. He could surpass Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane for the highest AAV in the League, and anything below a max contract would be savings to help the Lightning sign other core players (more on that in a bit).
Dustin Byfuglien, Winnipeg Jets (31)
Byfuglien is fine as a power forward when the Jets have put him there, but he’s an elite defenseman, even if the numbers like his play more than the eyeballs do sometimes. Winnipeg has a lot of young talent on the way and is an emerging contender, but what happens with Byfuglien could be critical for the Jets to make a Stanley Cup run in the near future.
David Backes, St. Louis Blues (32)
One of the best two-way centers in the League, but the Blues’ postseason record has probably kept him from being firmly in a group with guys like Toews and Kopitar. Even if he’s just outside the elite, he’s incredibly valuable and a No. 1 center on many teams.
Eric Staal, Carolina Hurricanes (31)
After eight years of averaging 0.85 points per game or better, he’s slipped to 0.77 and 0.70 the past two seasons. He’ll be 32 early in the 2016-17 season, but his value could get a boost from an improved team around him in 2015-16.
Kyle Okposo, New York Islanders (28)
Okposo is an interesting player to monitor. His name was reported as a potential trade candidate before the 2015 NHL Draft. The Islanders have lots of young players who could become frontline guys on a title contender, but Okposo is already such a player. He’s also likely due a hefty raise from his current AAV of $2.8 million.
Andrew Ladd, Winnipeg Jets (30)
One of five captains on this list (Shane Doan is a sixth) who could be UFAs next summer, he can still be a valuable top-six forward and obviously an important member of Winnipeg’s leadership group.
Erik Johnson, Colorado Avalanche (28)
Johnson was having a nice 2014-15 season, and not just because of an inflated shooting percentage, before injury derailed it. He’s not the only key member of the defense corps the Avalanche have to negotiate a contract with.
Alex Goligoski, Dallas Stars (31)
Goligoski has played a lot of minutes in his four-plus years in Dallas, and is an above-average but maybe not elite defenseman. He could be a veteran anchor for an otherwise pretty young defense corps in the coming years for the Stars.
Brian Campbell, Florida Panthers (37)
Campbell went from looking like a huge overpay for the Chicago Blackhawks seven years ago to being properly valued as the cap went up and as advanced stats helped illuminate his worth. His next contract will probably be much shorter in length though.
Milan Lucic, Los Angeles Kings (28)
Now that the Boston Bruins have turned him into a huge haul, the Kings have him for one year at $6 million. He was considered a top power forward, but his production has slipped in two of the past three seasons.
David Perron, Pittsburgh Penguins (28)
His arrival in Pittsburgh started great, but his production cooled as the season progressed. He’s got two of the best centers in the world to play with, which could enhance his value.
Jaromir Jagr, Florida Panthers (44)
He was great as both a mentor and a facilitator for Florida’s group of young forwards after arriving in a trade this past season. He has said he wants to play until he’s 50. If he thinks he can still play in 2016, someone in the NHL will pay him to do so.