NHL Week in Review (Off-Season Outlook)


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The Cup has been handed out and the pursuit of the 2019 Stanley Cup is already underway as teams have been looking to the future for months now.

As the end of the Stanley Cup Finals approached things got a little more intense as it meant the official beginning of the offseason.

That means plans that teams have been trying to make can finally go into effect with a few big milestones coming up.

First will be the Draft where teams look to find the future by drafting a player or two that they can see enter the league right away.

For the worst teams in the league that could mean finding a player that can become the building block for years to come.

This year that player seems to be Rasmus Dahlin who has received plenty of hype throughout the year as a great defenceman that reminds people of Erik Karlsson.

The Buffalo Sabres will have the chance to take him and they likely will as they continue to try to be relevant in the league.

The rest of the teams have done their scouting and have an idea of who they think they can add that can provide some help for the next year.

After all, there is only one team that achieved their goal this year and that is the team celebrating with the Cup right now.

Everyone else is just trying to catch them and the Draft will be the first big chance to make progress towards that.

It is not the only way though as shortly following the Draft will be the next big date circled on the calendar.

July 1 marks the opening of Free Agency, the most exciting time in the NHL season when it comes to player movement.

The day starts with plenty of speculation as some teams stay out of it all together while others throw massive contracts at big names.

Like the draft, free agency is a chance for teams to get some immediate help for their pursuit of the Stanley Cup.

It is a more expensive way but there is a chance that signing that one name could be the difference for a number of teams.

This year that could be the case as this year will feature one of the biggest names on the free agent market.hockey-sidebar

John Tavares is not under contract after going through the entire season without resigning with the New York Islanders.

He is widely considered one of the best players in the league but he has been hidden away on a team unable to make any progress.

It seems pretty likely that at this point in his career he wants to get a big contract somewhere that he can win.

There is no doubt that any team that needs a centre and some that don’t will be talking to him in order to see what he wants.

Not every team will get a chance but there will be a bidding war for his services as few players of his stature are available at any point in time.

He will make his decision and it will count as one of the most significant decisions in the off-season this year.

He won’t be the only free agent talked about as Ilya Kovalchuk seems to be ready to return and teams are lining up for the Russians’ services as well.

Some big names are going to be at the forefront this year with a much-hyped top draft pick and one of the biggest free agents in recent years.

They aren’t the only ones though as Ottawa’s Erik Karlsson could be on his way out as well this off-season.

The Draft is an event that has become known for some big trades and the rumours are building that Karlsson wants to be moved.

The Senators have said that they will not be trading their star defenceman and that they will be offering him an extension on July 1.

All of that might be true but last year the team took some serious calls and considered offers for the Swede.

If they were willing to trade him last season then it is quite possible that they consider it again especially as he enters the final year of his contract.

It is already shaping up to be an active off-season as some big decisions need to be made in pursuit of that Cup.

What happens remains to be seen but with the Cup handed out things are now focusing on the new season which is just over three months away.

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