Despite stars such as Patrick Kane, Vladimir Tarasenko, and Ryan O’Reilly set to hit free agency, the leading scorer among pending unrestricted free agent forwards is actually a less heralded name: Alex Killorn. The 33-year-old longtime Tampa Bay Lightning forward has had a career-best year, scoring 61 points through 78 games. An exceptional net-front presence, Killorn could be a fit for quite a few teams looking to add some scoring punch in the offseason.
According to Pierre LeBrun of TSN on the latest Insider Trading segment, while the Lightning are going to try to find a way to keep Killorn, he’s “likely headed to market.” LeBrun points to the significant pay raises for Mikhail Sergachev, Erik Cernak, and Anthony Cirelli that are set to kick in next season as a major contributor to what is a likely Killorn departure, and references Ondrej Palat’s free agency last summer as a comparable for Killorn’s current situation. While his age may keep him from the type of long-term deal Palat signed, Killorn’s strong performance this season makes him among the most attractive forwards set to hit the market in a few months.
Some other notes from the Eastern Conference:
- Washington Capitals forward Anthony Mantha will not play tonight against the Montreal Canadiens due to a lower-body injury, the team announced. Mantha played in the Capitals’ last game, which was Sunday against the New York Rangers. While he could still come back before the end of the season, this injury could mark the conclusion of what has been a supremely disappointing campaign for Mantha, who has scored just 11 goals and 27 points in 67 games. Of note with this injury is that the Capitals will only dress 17 skaters for their game tonight, allowing them to access emergency call-ups per the NHL’s rules.
- Jonas Siegenthaler will not play in tonight’s New Jersey Devils game against the Columbus Blue Jackets, according to team reporter Amanda Stein. In his place, veteran defenseman Brendan Smith will draw into the lineup. It’s unknown whether this absence is injury related, as Siegenthaler played in the Devils’ last game on Tuesday, but it’s worth noting that Siegenthaler’s play has dipped a bit from the stellar form he displayed earlier in the season, so perhaps this is head coach Lindy Ruff’s way of giving his talented defenseman a means of achieving a “reset” before the playoffs.