NHL Players Available: Dumba, Kane, Tarasenko On Free-Agent Market

Could Longtime Minnesota Defenseman Matt Dumba Find Himself Moving to Arizona?

Veteran Goal Scorers Kane, Tarasenko Still Playing the Waiting Game

Welcome to the NHL season where one key addition can turn a team from a pretender to a contender. When looking at the best NHL players available via free agency, there are still some impact players out there.

The trade of Alex DeBrincat from Ottawa to Detroit was one of the biggest moves of the offseason. More movement figures to be coming, especially with a bump up in the salary cap and that could make a difference when the hockey scores start rolling in.

Ultimately, the upcoming free agent moves figure to come from rebuilding teams as the Arizona Coyotes, Chicago Blackhawks and Anaheim Ducks are the only teams with more than $10M in cap space, according to the Cap Friendly site.

Let’s take a look at some unrestricted free agents still unsigned.

Dumba Leaving Minnesota?

The Minnesota Wild protected defenseman Matt Dumba twice in the recent expansion drafts. However, there were rumblings a season ago that his time with the Wild is drawing to a close. When discussing the top NHL players available, it doesn’t take long for Dumba’s name to be mentioned.

Dumba has struggled to stay healthy as the 79 games he appeared in a season ago were his most since the 2017-18 season.

Still, a right-shot defenseman in his 20s that can be a top-four option is a valuable commodity.

Arizona seems to be the team most likely to ante up and sign Dumba.

Beantown or Bust?

The biggest question surrounding a Boston Bruins team that set NHL records for wins and points during the regular season is what will happen with their top two centers.

Patrice Bergeron, fresh off winning the Selke Trophy as the top defensive forward in the NHL for the sixth time, and David Krejci are both free agents.

The sense is that they either re-sign to make one last run at the Stanley Cup or they retire.

Boston opened up some space with the trade of Taylor Hall and signing some reasonably priced free agents. Mark Scheifele of the Winnipeg Jets has been a name linked with the Bruins in the event that Bergeron and Krejci bid adieu to the Bruins.

It has been a tough offseason for the Bruins with the trade of Hall as well as Tyler Bertuzzi, Dmitry Orlov, Garnet Hathaway and Connor Clifton all signing elsewhere. Losing Bergeron and Krejci would make things all the more challenging for the team that was favored heading into this year’s playoffs.

Stastny On the Move Again?

Paul Stastny has played for four teams since the start of the 2017-18. Last season was his first with the Carolina Hurricanes and among the 15 seasons when he played at least 50 games, it was the only time he failed to score at least 10 games.

The days when he scored 20 goals a total of six times in an eight-year span with the Colorado Avalanche are behind him. However, he did have 21 goals in 71 games for Winnipeg during the 2021-22 campaign. That does make him among the top NHL players available.

Stastny can bring a reliable performer to a team, but what will be his asking price?

Looking for a Goal Scorer?

Two players acquired by the New York Rangers to make a run at the Stanley Cup are available.

Patrick Kane is a two-time 40-goal scorer and put up 92 points during the 2021-22 season. However, he is also 34 years old with some injury concerns.

Vladimir Tarasenko had a run of four straight 30-goal seasons.

However, he has scored 51 combined goals over the four years. At 31, he might be able to secure a longer deal than Kane.

There are risks for both of them and if the two former Stanley Cup champions want to join a contending team, their options might be a little limited.

A Look Back

There have been some big names changing teams already with Anaheim signing winger Alex Killorn and defenseman Radko Gudas, Ryan Johansen being traded to Colorado, Alex Newhook being acquired by Montreal, Michael Bunting going from Toronto to Carolina, Matt Duchene landing in Dallas and Florida adding defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson.

Among the most active hockey teams in the offseason have been the Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins, Toronto Maple Leafs and the New York Rangers.

The Red Wings not only picked up a proven goal scorer in DeBrincat, but signed center J.T. Compher and goalie James Reimer.

Defenseman Ryan Graves, forwards Noel Acciari and Lars Eller and goalie Alex Nedeljkovic all signed with Pittsburgh.

Toronto looked to add some grit with the acquisitions of Max Domi, Tyler Bertuzzi and Ryan Reaves while the trade for John Klingberg gives the Maple Leafs another puck-moving defenseman.

The Rangers added veterans Blake Wheeler and Nick Bonino as well as goalie Jonathan Quick.

When it comes to big names being traded, Tyler Toffoli headed to New Jersey for Yegor Sharangovich, Pierre-Luc Dubois went from Columbus to Los Angeles while Philadelphia dealt defenseman Ivan Provorov to Columbus and winger Kevin Hayes to St. Louis.

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