NHL Rumors: Top 12 UFAs This Summer in the NHL

The Class of 2024 NHL UFAs Is Still Loaded

Luke Fox of Sportsnet: Fox writes that even with several critical foundational unrestricted free agents already locked heading into the summer of 2024, several still make the UFA Class of 2024 very intriguing once Free Agency begins.

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Add in the fact that the salary cap is going up by $4.2 million, and some team out there will throw out a massive deal on one of these players.

Here is the list:

  1. Sam Reinhart – Florida Panthers (2023-24 salary cap hit: $6.5 million)
  2. Jake Guentzel – Carolina Hurricanes (acquired at the deadline from Pittsburgh) (2023-24 salary cap hit: $6 million
  3. Brandon Montour – Florida Panthers (2023-24 salary cap hit: $3.5 million
  4. Elias Lindholm – Vancouver Canucks (acquired from Calgary) (2023-24 salary cap hit: $4.85 million)
  5. Noah Hanifin – Vegas Golden Knights (acquired at the deadline from Calgary) (2023-24 salary cap hit: $4.95 million)
  6. Steven Stamkos – Tampa Bay Lightning (2023-24 salary cap hit: $8.5 million)
  7. Jonathan Marchessault – Vegas Golden Knights (2023-24 salary cap hit: $5 million)
  8. Matt Duchene – Dallas Stars (2023-24 salary cap hit: $3 million)
  9. Brett Pesce – Carolina Hurricanes (2023-24 salary cap hit: $4.025 million)
  10. Teuvo Teravainen – Carolina Hurricanes (2023-24 salary cap hit: $5.4 million)
  11. Tyler Toffoli – Winnipeg Jets (acquired at the deadline from New Jersey) (2023-24 salary cap hit: $4.25 million)
  12. Dylan DeMelo – Winnipeg Jets (2023-24 salary cap hit: $3 million)

There are some things to keep an eye on going forward. First, let’s start with the Florida teams, the Panthers and the Lightning.

Reinhart and Montour want to stay with the Panthers, and Bill Zito would like to extend their contracts. Their advantage, like Vegas, is there is no state income tax. Both could take a discount compared to what they could get on the open market to stay in Florida.

The Lightning and Stamkos talk has diminished some. It made major headlines at the beginning of the season, as he was disappointed there were no extension talks. The Lightning were up against the cap. He could take a discount to stay, but this feels like going to the start of free agency.

The Vegas Golden Knights are interesting as well. Tomas Hertl is in, so Jonathan Marchessault or Chandler Stephenson could be expendable. They also have Noah Hanifin. There were talks of him signing a similar extension to what Calgary offered, but nothing came of it.

The Carolina Hurricanes have 11 UFAs this summer, all of whom will be looking for raises. Guentzel could get a contract similar to Patrik Laine, while Pesce could get in the $6 million range.  Again, Guentzel, Martin Necas, Brady Skjei, Tony DeAngelo, and Teuvo Teravainen are free agents.

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Elias Lindholm‘s days may be the number one in Vancouver. The fit doesn’t seem right; he could end up in a place like Boston. The Bruins wanted to trade for him, but the price was too high.

The New Jersey Devils wanted to re-sign Tyler Toffoli before they dealt him away to Winnipeg. Term and money were an issue, but the Devils are open to bringing him back into the fold in the summer.