During the offseason the free agency market is the only way for NHL betting fans to keep themselves entertained. Like an ennui-ridden aristocrat throwing playing cards into a top hat, people who bet on hockey while away their time playing a little game ‘who will sign whom?’
Who will sign Alexander Radulov?
A year ago, Radulov signed as a free agent to a one-year $5.75 million deal with the Montreal Canadiens, following a four-year stint with the CSKA Moscow of the Kontinental Hockey League. In 2016-17, the Russian right wing scored 18 goals and provided 26 assists (54 points) in 76 regular season games – good enough to warrant back-to-back NHL seasons for the first time since 2006-08; but will it be with the Canadiens? General manager Marc Bergevin would like it to be so, but as a free agent with a steep price tag, it seems more than likely that Rad will go to one of the many other teams that have expressed interest in him.
Who will sign Ryan Miller?
Miller’s best goaltending days are probably behind him, but the 37 year old can still be a valuable asset in a backup role. And speaking of backups, Miller is married to actress Noureen DeWulf who, according to Wikipedia, is “best known for her roles in films such as West Bank Stoy, Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, and The Back-up Plan.” Aren’t those things you wouldn’t want to be known for? The point is, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to NHL betting fans if Miller decided to leave the Vancouver – where he has spent the last three seasons – and move to sunny California and the Anaheim Ducks, who have shown interest in his services, in order to be close to his wife. Though looking at her resume, she’s the one who should consider moving to Canada.
Who will sign Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau?
The 6’4″, 200 lbs Thornton has become one of the best top line centres and wingers in the NHL, thanks to his vision on the ice, puck strength, passing skills, and power forward style of play. Excepting a short detour with the HC Davos of the Swiss National League in 2012-13, Jumbo Joe has been a fixture of the San Jose Sharks since 2005. Marleau’s tenure with the team dates back even longer, to 1997. Both are 38, both reportedly want contracts for a minimum of three years, and both have reportedly heard from the Los Angeles Kings, Nashville Predators, New York Rangers and Toronto Maple Leafs. Thornton would return to San Jose if Marleau does too. Aww, isn’t that sweet?
Will anyone sign Jaromir Jagr?
The league’s second all-time leading scorer became made light on light on Twitter of the fact that his phone has not be ringing off the hook (phones used to be very complex machines, kids), but as the saying goes, there’s a grain of truth in every joke. Jagr is 45 but far from being washed-up; he posted 46 points (16 goals, 30 assists) in 82 games with the Florida Panthers last season – that’s 20 points fewer than the previous season but still good enough to rank fourth on the team in goals, assists, and points. It would be a loss to NHL betting if were forced to ply his trade in his native Czech Republic.