NHL News: Offseason Splashes

The New NHL season

The New NHL season

Matthew Dziadkowicz, Staff Writer

If you follow the majority of professional hockey like I do, you might already know which player has signed with which team this offseason. If not, you will now be learning about which free agents jumped ships, and which teams have a good chance to win the Stanley Cup in the 2018-19 NHL season.

Let’s start off with the name that has spread around this offseason faster than a wildfire. John Tavares, the ex-New York Islanders captain and star center, jumped ships and signed a seven year, 77$ Million contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs. During the 2017-18 season, Tavares had a total of 84 points in 82 games. He was among the league in top goal scorers last year with 37 goals. Tavares is 27 years old and adds to the Maple Leafs young core of players.

Another big name free agent is James Van Riemsdyk, who left the Maple Leafs and signed a five year contract with the Philadelphia Flyers, the team he was originally drafted by. Van Riemsdyk is 29 years old and plays as a left wing. The forward had 54 points in 81 games last season and was also among league leaders for goals with 36 in total. The Flyers hope Van Riemsdyk will add to there explosive offense and help lead the team to a Stanley Cup.

A big surprise this offseason is Ilya Kovalchuk returning to the NHL this offseason. Ilya Kovalchuk signed a three year contract with the Los Angeles Kings on July 1st. The 35 year old forward last played in the NHL during the 2012-13 season. He’s played 816 career games in the NHL and has put up a total of 816 points during that time. The Kings hope that he helps boost the offense for next season.

In the end, the teams that are looking in good shape for this season are the following: Tampa Bay Lightning, Winnipeg Jets, Boston Bruins, Nashville Predators, Washington Capitals, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Toronto Maple Leafs. This list might change after the season starts, but for now, those are the most dangerous teams heading into this season.

This season is projected to be a good one. A lot of teams have hopes to make the playoffs and there is a lot of competition. Tune in to see who succeeds, and who falters.