3 Bargain Free Agents
Nick Bonino F
Despite his lengthy beard and lack of hair on his head, Bonino is still only 29 years of age. Coming off back to back Stanley Cup championships - while playing an integral part in both victories as their go to 3rd line center. Well, it is a little difficult to become the second line center in Pittsburgh due to those other guys… Anyways, who could forget the heroic HBK line from the 2015-2016 playoffs and most recently his stellar two way play with timely goals this year? Bonino also brings that college swagger to any team – he spent 3 seasons with Boston University before heading to the NHL where he put up some impressive numbers. The penguins will have to part ways with this valuable piece of the puzzle but any team could pick him up for the right price. You can expect him to be playing 3rd line minutes on a playoff team and contribute about 10 goals and 20 assists. No slouch for a guy who brings way more value than just simply points. Bonino should be expecting a paycheck of about $2.5mill a year for about 1-2 years with a playoff contending team.
Patrick Sharp F
Coming off an injury riddled, disappointing season – Sharp is looking for a new start and so are the Stars. The 4 time 30+ goal man put the puck in the back of the net only 8 times this past season. But, that will not stop him from getting a shiny contract from a new team. His resume is a lengthy one, boasting 3 Stanley Cup championships with the Blackhawks, and an Olympic Gold medal with team Canada in 2014, and 14 years of NHL experience – attractive would be an understatement. His contract last year saw him pull in $5.9mill, you could expect this to drop to about $2-3mill for about 1 year in length. I would love to see Sharp play with a competitive team that can rekindle his razor sharp scoring touch.
Anders Nilsson G
Goalies are a different breed – we tend to see goalies fill their potential way later in their careers, somewhere around 25-27. Organizations like to use the no rush approach when developing their goalies. Anders Nilsson, 27, has spent the past few seasons as the backup tender, but has seen some decent action due to injuries and inconsistent play. Last season he played behind the ticking time bomb that is Robin Lehner – I bet the Sens are not too sad about losing him. Nilsson standing tall at 6’6” has bounced around from a few teams namely the Islanders, Oilers, and Sabres and is looking to compete for that starting role. Several teams are looking to shake up their goalie rotation and coming off a tremendous season playing on one of the worst teams will ultimately help Nilsson’s case. You could see Nilsson take a page out of the Ottawa Senators book where they gave backup hopefully to turn into a starter Condon a similar contract. Watch out for teams like Winnipeg, Vancouver, or Arizona to pounce on this character. I predict he will make no more than $2mill for about 2-3 years.