Though we’re only partway through the second round of the playoffs, many fans have already started dreaming about what could happen on July 1st in free agency. Craig Custance of The Athletic (subscription required) gives us an update on each of his top-20 free agents, including superstar John Tavares.
Obviously Custance can’t handicap a market, but he does mention the San Jose Sharks, Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues as potential pursuers if the New York Islanders’ captain does hit free agency. Tavares would have almost every team checking in should he get to the negotiating window a few days before July 1st.
- The Halifax Mooseheads have hired a new head coach for the 2018-19 season. Eric Veilleux will be behind the bench for the QMJHL squad next season, fresh off his own departure from the Colorado Avalanche AHL affiliate. Veilleux has plenty of experience in the Q, having played there as a junior and coached for nearly a decade.
- The IIHF handed out several suspensions yesterday to the Swedish World Junior squad, after the incidents that occurred after this year’s gold medal game. Players and coaches removed their medals before the post-game event was over, including captain Lias Andersson who tossed it into the crowd in frustration. Interestingly though, of the players suspended only goaltender Olle Eriksson Ek could realistically return to the tournament. The others—Andersson, Axel Jonsson-Fjallby, Jesper Boqvist and Rasmus Dahlin—have either graduated through age or are expected to be in the NHL full-time next year. Perhaps the biggest hit will be the coaching suspensions, which includes a three-game ban for head coach Tomas Monten.