Top Free Agents Whose Fates Are Tied To Their Team's Playoff Runs
Free agency is always an exciting time and this year some big names are coming to the end of their contracts. These players could be switching locations this summer depending on how their teams finish in the playoffs. Some might be looking towards hanging up the skates if they can't pick up a ring in a few weeks. As of now, with such an exciting playoffs so far, who knows? It will definitely be a busy summer in the NHL.
Patrick Marleau - San Jose Sharks
Marleau has been great for the Sharks, but if he can't take them all the way this year, it might mean the end of his tenure there. It could even mean a switch to the Eastern Conference, as many of the top teams in the East are looking for a player with Marleau's skill and experience. May the best buyer win!
Tomas Plekanec - Montreal Canadiens
The leading scorer for the Canadiens during the regular season, Tomas Plekanec is keeping it up by helping Montreal get this far into the playoffs. However, if they can't make it as deep as they would like to, it may mean the end of him and his almost three million dollar contract in Montreal.
Ilya Kovalchuk - New Jersey Devils
Well, they already lost and it seems as though Kovalchuk's future in Jersey is pretty much non-existent. Almost everyone in the hockey world is expecting him to sign elsewhere this summer, with rumors spreading about him heading up north to Toronto. I think a move is bound to happen because Jersey just wasn't the right fit for him.
Nicklas Lidstrom - Detroit Red Wings
Detroits super defenseman Nick Lidstrom may be looking to retirement if the Red Wings can't add another banner to the rafters this postseason. He's turning 40 this year and I'm not sure how long Detroit will want to carry his almost eight million dollar salary. His stronghold on the Norris Trophy for best defenseman is over and a loss in the playoffs might be what causes him to say goodbye to hockeytown.
Evgeni Nabakov - San Jose Sharks
The Sharks goalie has had countless articles written about him recently that all have the same ring to them: a sense of surprise that he hasn't flopped in the playoffs yet. A six million dollar contract and a short history of not being able to anchor the Sharks to a title may force San Jose to part ways with their seasoned netminder.
Teemu Selanne and Scott Niedermayer - Anaheim Ducks
Ok, I know Anaheim didn't make the playoffs, but that could be a reason that either of these guys (or both) decide to move on from the west coast in the off-season. Niedermayer is getting older and has already won a Stanley Cup and a gold medal in his career. Selanne, a bargain at only 2 million, could be looking for that elusive Cup victory and might move to a club that is a contender for another shot next season.
Mark Recchi - Boston Bruins
I really don't know how this guy is still playing, and to be honest, still playing well. He's been a force to be reckoned with for the Bruins in the playoffs so far, and is an integral part of their run to the cup. On the other hand, he's 41 and in hockey terms, excluding Gordie Howe, that's ancient. If Boston gets knocked out, he might call it a career.
Bill Guerin - Pittsburgh Penguins
Bill Guerin came to Pittsburgh looking for a Stanley Cup ring and got it last season. He's been a major part of their success since he arrived and is definitely holding his own so far in the playoffs. If they lose, he might start feeling his age and decide to start focusing on his golf game.