Looking Ahead To The Top Restricted Free Agents
Luke Fox of Sportsnet List His Top 12 RFAs heading Into the Summer of 2023: Fox writes with the NHL Trade Deadline now over, it is time to look ahead to July 1, 2023. Even with Mathew Barzal, Roope Hintz, Dylan Cozens, Matt Boldy, Dan Vladar and Stuart Skinner amongst the names signing extensions before their expiration dates, there are plenty of intriguing names out there once July 1st hits.
Situations in New Jersey, New York, and Anaheim are the most intriguing ones as the teams decide to extend the player. Does the player get an offer sheeted, or do they move via trade to another team?
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- Pierre-Luc Dubois – It is no secret as Fox writes that Dubois wants to go to the Montreal Canadiens. The Jets have a big decision to make this off-season. GM Kevin Cheveldayoff will do everything in his power to re-sign Dubois. And when Rick Bowness came in as the new coach, he wanted to help Dubois remain in Winnipeg too. It will come down to does Dubois see Winnipeg as a legit contender.
- Timo Meier – The Devils acquired the biggest “Shark” Timo Meier at the deadline. A contract extension was not part of the deal, but GM Tom Fitzgerald is making it a priority to sign him long-term. That is why he made the deal. Yes, Meier has the one-year $10 million qualifying offer, but Fitzgerald believes Meier will be sold on the team and the area.
- Jesper Bratt – Another RFA from New Jersey is Jesper Bratt. Bratt is looking to get franchise pay. But Fitzgerald wants to have a structure. Even with getting Meier signed long-term, that will not affect signing Bratt. The issue will be keeping Bratt under Jack Hughes‘s salary. But Fitzgerald has made Bratt a priority.
- Cole Caufield – Caufield has been out injured since mid-January, but as Eric Engels reports that should not affect his next contract. GM Kent Hughes wants the young sniper with the Canadiens long-term. Caufield wants to be in Montreal and the team wants him there. The belief is Caufield will skip the bridge deal and sign long-term as Nick Suzuki did.
- Alex DeBrincat – The Senators made a splash trading for DeBrincat in the summer. He has performed, but unlike other players who were traded and signed extensions, DeBrincat did not in Ottawa. DeBrincat has a $9 million qualifying offer if they can only agree on a one-year deal. Nothing will get started until the season is over.
- Troy Terry – The young rebuilding Anaheim Ducks will look to build around their young core which includes Troy Terry. Terry is wrapping up a contract that pays him $1.45 million a season. The player has arbitration rights this summer. So he has the leverage. There have not been many discussions between both parties. This is an interesting situation to watch.