Even though the 2014 NHL draft is now in the books, the whirlwind of offseason activity has only just begun.
Several draft-day trades already went down during Friday and Saturday, and many more can be expected over the summer. However, the free-agency period looms large, and with a great deal of talent—and some surprising names—set to hit the market, we can expect a flurry of activity.
While teams spend countless hours courting their coveted free agents before the period officially begins on July 1, let's take a look at a few juicy rumors that have recently surfaced on the Web.
Brodeur Is a Hot Commodity
Future Hall of Fame goalie Martin Brodeur may be the biggest name on the free-agent market this year. After spending his entire storied 21-year career with the New Jersey Devils, he's finally hitting the open market.
Well, according to Louis Jean of TVA Sports, he's generating quite a bit of interest:
Among the interested teams in Brodeur: Chicago, Boston, Pittsburgh & Toronto. Brodeur wants to go to a contender.— Louis Jean (@LouisJean_TVA) June 28, 2014
It comes as no surprise Brodeur wants to head to a contender. At 42 years of age, he'd sure like to add another Stanley Cup to the three he's already accumulated.
According to Tom Gulitti of The Record, Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan already reached out to Brodeur:
We've expressed an interest. But I think when you get to a point in Marty's career it's really about fit. I was never the best goalie in the history of the game, but I've been a veteran player sort of making these decisions. You do things differently when you're at Marty’s point in his career. It's always going to be about fit.
It should be interesting to see which team views Brodeur as the right fit—and vice versa. A bidding war for an aging yet iconic goaltender should be rather interesting.
Mitchell Heading out of L.A.
The Los Angeles Kings have already made a few moves this offseason in attempt to keep their Stanley Cup-winning team intact. Well, due to a poor cap situation, it appears as though Willie Mitchell may be left on the outside looking in.
Craig Custance of ESPN tweeted the news:
Can confirm that Kings won't be re-signing Willie Mitchell: "Unfortunately, no room." Was a huge part of that team.— Craig Custance (@CraigCustance) June 26, 2014
At 37 years of age, Mitchell's two-year contract demand may have been too risky for the Kings, according to Jon Rosen of LA Kings Insider:
Mitchell was also looking for a two-year deal, which he will certainly receive. With an estimated 5.8 million dollars in cap space available for the coming season, and the need to sign restricted free agents Dwight King, Linden Vey and McNabb while keeping the club’s salary cap situation flexible in advance of free agency and any potential trades, the financials did not favor Mitchell.
Still, Mitchell was an integral part of the Kings' championship team last season and shouldn't find much trouble finding suitors in the open market.
Grabovski Asking Too Much of Capitals
Impending free agent Mikhail Grabovski appears to be hitting the open market in a few days due to opposing salary views between the center and Washington Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan, according to Chuck Gormley of CSNWashington:
Caps GM Brian MacLellan tells me Mikhail Grabovski asking too much for his liking. #CapitalsTalk— Chuck Gormley (@ChuckGormleyCSN) June 28, 2014
At the age of 30, Grabovski is coming off a one-year deal with the Capitals, but he only played in 58 games last season due to injury, which could be a big concern for the team.
Although, when Grabovski was healthy, he was very productive. Over those 58 games, he recorded 13 goals and 22 assists for a plus/minus rating of six. He also served as a solid special teams contributor.
Should teams be concerned about his recent injury history, he could find getting his asking price met on the open market rather difficult.