UFA Predicted Destinations
With less than 5 hours to go, here are my best guesses as to what’s going down
Nylander- Sadly, Nylander will leave the best situation of his career for more money, and will be overpaid by Philadelphia after the rest have passed the flyers by. Their disastrous last season will certainly scare away consistent winners like Gomez and Drury. Jagr should get some commision on this one.
Gomez- Usually, Shrewd GM Lou Lam gets what he wants, but Gomez’s worth seems to have been inflated this year and he’s gettin big dolla bills and New York City thrills when he crosses the river to become a Ranger.
Drury/Briere- Up until today I thought Drury’s eventual departure to L.A. or San Jose (my bet is he replaces Marleau) would keep Briere home. But it seems the million dollar snub the team gave when handing out a larger offer to Drury will send Danny into the waiting arms of Montreal. He could also be the team that misses out on Drury’s second choice.
Smyth- For the first time in his career, Smyth gets to choose where his loyalty will lie. This should be a very tough decision for the ultimate team player. Smyth’s giant heart may not net him the most money, but he will be the most widely sought after.
Blake- The Smyth situation may be unpredictable, but it will take ALOT for him to re-sign with the Isles. Long Island isn’t the hockey hotspot of Toronto and others, and is not close enough to contender status to attract players. If Blake doesn’t land in Toronto, Wang and Snow will do everything they can to salvage this off-season and resign Blake.
Kariya- Kariya has always been about the game and his team before the money. His Colorado experiment failed horribly and he found a great niche with the underdog Predators, who he was hoping to resign with. Instability has thrown that out the window. He could sign with the L.A. Kings, who’s speed, youth and unassuming personality are quite similar to Nashville. Has always been long rumoured to play for home town Vancouver, but Nonis has publicy stated they are hamstringed by the cap and will not be making free agent offers.
Bertuzzi- Detroit hasn’t become the highly respected winning franchise they are today by making the rash knee-jerk decisions of other short-sighted GM’s. They will let Schneider walk for bigger money and after working out wether Lang or Slava Kozlov works their second line, they will sign Big Bert for a conservative contract. Todd won’t fetch any big offers, and has already stated he doesn’t want to move anymore.