FREE AGENT RAISE-O-METER
There are plenty of well-known names heading to free agency, but only some will strike it rich. Who’s due for the biggest pay hike – and cut?
TRUCK BACK UP THE BRINKS
Tavares’ six-year deal with a $5.5-million AAV was a steal from Day 1. At that cap hit, he ended 2017-18 as the NHL’s 108th-richest player – but was the NHL’s seventh-leading scorer over the course of the contract. As a UFA, Tavares should become the NHL’s secondrichest player behind Connor McDavid.
Nash was a $900,000 player in 2017-18. He’ll be a multimillionaire by summer’s end. He’s a physical checking center who has the skill to handle scoring-line duty, as he proved every time he filled in for Patrice Bergeron between Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak.
UP HOPE YOU SAVED
He averaged $6 million the past two seasons but is now 35 and no longer a viable offensive center. He’s a two-way veteran whose scoring contributions are gravy. Plekanec’s days of making comparatively big money have ended.
CAPITAL TO GAIN
JOHN CARLSON Carlson’s a right-handed shot in his prime in a brutally barren year for UFA blueliners, so his services couldn’t come at more of a premium. Given that he logs monster minutes and led all D-men in scoring this season, he deserves at least $7 million annually, but the suped-up market will bring him more than that.
TAKING A HAIRCUT
PAUL STASTNY Stastny will still command a pretty penny given he’s probably the second-best center on the open market, but he finishes up a contract with a $7-million AAV. No way he gets that much again at 32 – unless some team out there is maniacally desperate.
THERE BETTER BE A DISCOUNT
RICK NASH Nash managed just
59 goals in 198 games over Years 6 to 8 of his
$63-million deal. He was getting paid for a service he wasn’t providing. Teams should treat him as a 25-goal threat now and compensate him accordingly.