With the trade deadline behind us, we can now look forward to talking about the next big and exciting piece of hockey – free agency. The Vegas Golden Knights have six players who have suited up for them this season heading to unrestricted free agency. In typical fashion, we will take a look at the odds of each one of these players being re-signed by Vegas management in the offseason. Without further a due, let jump right into it.
Alec Martinez, 33, D
Odds of Being Re-Signed: 20%
With the emergence of young stud defensemen such as Zach Whitecloud, Dylan Coghlan and Nicolas Hague on the Golden Knights blue line, I would be extremely surprised if management decides to bring back Alec Martinez. No doubt about it, Martinez has played great this season, as he has delivered 7 goals and 15 assists, good for 22 points in 40 games. The only problem is the amount of cap space the Golden Knights are willing to give to him in the offseason.
Martinez is in the last year of a contract that is paying him an average annual value of $4 million. This doesn’t seem like all that much for a solid D-man, but he is also turning 34 in July and is in the latter stages of his career. I find it very unlikely, seeing as Vegas has so much young talent prospering on the blue line this year, that Martinez is brought back. If he is, it would have to be for a fraction of what he is getting paid right now.
He is a two-time Stanley Cup winner, which will be very intriguing to many young teams looking to add some experience to their squads. One team that stands out in my mind are the expansion Seattle Kraken, who look to have ample cap space and need for experience seeing as they are a new team. If I were a gambling man, I would put my money on him ending up in Seattle.
Prediction: Signs with the Seattle Kraken
Mattias Janmark, 28, C
Odds of Being Re-Signed: 50%
“Your fate is solely in your hands”. Now, I’m not sure which famous philosopher uttered these words of wisdom, but hey, we’re writing about hockey here, not history. Anyways, the reason I bring up that saying is because it’s exactly what is happening with trade deadline acquisition Mattias Janmark.
Janmark fills a much-needed hole for the Golden Knights at the third-line center position, which was previously occupied by the underwhelming Cody Glass. The Swedish native is a sturdy and reliable option for the Golden Knights – right now. In the offseason, things can change, so Janmark needs to be at his very best every night if he will want to be offered a contract by the team.
The odds of him being signed all depend on his performance in the playoffs. If he can prove himself to be that gritty, energized, net-front presence the Golden Knights need, then I see no problem with him re-signing in the offseason.
Prediction: Re-signed by the Golden Knights for two years/$3M AAV
Tomas Nosek, 29, LW
Odds of Being Re-Signed: 20%
Nosek has been a mainstay on the Golden Knights’ fourth line ever since their inaugural season. He has averaged 16 points over those four seasons in Sin City, and has played how you would expect a fourth-liner to play. In my opinion, I don’t see him re-signing with the Golden Knights. The emergence of players from the prospect pool is likely to make Nosek the odd-man out in Vegas this offseason.
For the money he’s being paid, the Golden Knights could go and fetch someone else for a lot less who can contribute even more. An example would be Corey Perry, who, although he’s only on a one-year, $750,000 deal with the Montreal Canadiens, has been stellar in every game he has played, and has contributed 16 points in 33 games.
Unless Nosek can put up these numbers with so few games remaining in the season, I highly doubt he is brought back in the offseason.
Prediction: Signed by another team
Oscar Dansk, 27, G
Odds of Re-Signing: 30%
The 27-year-old Swedish goaltender has proved himself to be quite a remarkable AHL goalie. At the NHL level though, Dansk is subpar at most. Some people may credit that to him not getting enough of a chance at the NHL level, and that may very well be true, but as far as it seems to go with the Golden Knights, Dansk will always be that goalie who is going to stay in the AHL.
With Marc-André Fleury and Robin Lehner signed on to tend the goal for the next couple of years, I don’t see Dansk getting his shot at glory in a Golden Knights uniform. If he does get a chance to play, it will have to be somewhere else. The only way Dansk gets signed this summer is on a two-way contract.
The two-way contract may be exactly what he would want to settle with, but as a former athlete myself, I wouldn’t settle for that. If I were Dansk I would take any one-way contract given to me and bet on myself to compete for a starting job. You’ll never know if you never try and in Dansk’s case, he just needs to be given an opportunity to try.
Prediction: Signed by Another Team
And there you have it. There were two other unrestricted free agents in the likes of Tomas Jurco and Patrick Brown, but I don’t feel as if they have made a big enough impact on the team to be considered in this article. I really hope all these players find a home where they can thrive, play their best hockey and put up some great numbers.
Who do you think is going to be re-signed by the Golden Knights? Let me know in the comments below!
Michael Vidakis is a Montreal native who writes for the Vegas Golden Knights team here at The Hockey Writers. In his spare time, he enjoys the finer things in life such as Jean-Claude Van Damme movies, staring aimlessly outside windows and tangerines.