Capped: Upcoming UFAs, Including Giroux, Letang, and Klingberg
The NHL playoffs are truly a magical time for us all to experience, but there is a life after the playoffs conclude. The focus shifts from watching the players play, to watching where they end up getting traded to, who they want to play with, and ultimately where they will be playing next season. That shall be the focus in this edition of 'Capped', I'll discuss a few of the UFA players that are expected to hit the open market come the start of the summer. A UFA, also referred to as an 'Unrestricted Free Agent', is a player that is free to sign with whatever team they wish, meanwhile their former team will receive zero compensation. There are a few types of UFA statuses, I'll give a small breakdown on them.
Group 3 UFA – The most common variant of the UFA status, this occurs when the player has either played through 7 accrued seasons (the skater is on the NHL roster for at minimum 40 games, goalies need to be 30 games), or they at least 27 years old as of June 30th in the given year.
Group 6 UFA – These players are at least 25 years old, played in at least three seasons of professional hockey (18–19-year-old players play in at least 11 professional games, or a 20+ year old plays in at least 1 or more professional games. Professional hockey is a regular season or a playoff game at the NHL level, AHL, ECHL, or in a professional league overseas.), their contract is set to expire, and has played in a grand total of less than 80 games in the NHL. Goalies need 28 games at the NHL level.
Non-Qualified RFA's – Players reach this status if they are a RFA (Restricted Free Agent) and didn't receive a qualifying offer from their respective team by June 25th, they then become UFA's and can sign with whatever team they want as of July 1st in the given year.
Undrafted UFA's – Any player that went undrafted in the NHL Entry Draft, or those that are no longer eligible to be drafted all become UFA's and can sign with whatever team they desire.
With that out of the way and we can see what defines someone as a UFA, let's start looking at some of the upcoming UFA's.
#1) Claude Giroux – RW – Florida Panthers Contract: $4.1375M (50% retained in the trade that sent him to Florida from Philadelphia) Roster Percentages: 90.5% ESPN, 82% Yahoo
This is a player that realistically every contending NHL team should be looking at acquiring, he can play all three forward positions, is one of the better faceoff takers in the entire NHL, that 60% win rate looks even better when you factor in that he took over 1200 faceoffs this year, and managed to win over 700 of them. We all know Giroux is going to put up points each year, we just don't know where he is going to sign to. There is reason to believe that he will consider going back to the Flyers given how long he spent in the city of brotherly love, the amount in which he loves the city of Philadelphia, along with the familiarity he has with the staff and players. I don't believe he will go back there, but if Florida goes on a d