As the regular season comes to a close, agents and their unrestricted free agent clients are licking their chops, waiting for July 1st. James Neal and David Perron, two key elements for the Golden Knights success are UFAs this summer.
Sportsnet focused on the latest reports regarding the top UFAs around the NHL. Neal and Perron are considered top ten UFAs available July 1st. The Golden Knights were also mentioned when it comes to prize winger James van Riemsdyk.
Here’s a bit of what they had to say. The entire article is here.
on James Neal
Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos has suggested that Neal will be asking for as much as $6.5 million or $7 million per season on a long-term deal. Despite having the cap space to make that work, the belief is that Vegas is hesitant to commit long-term to players 30 and older. -Luke Fox, Sportsnet
I think they (Vegas) want to keep him too… More likely than not, they would like to keep him there. If he goes to market, James will command a lot of attention. -Pierre McGuire
on David Perron
McPhee is keeping mum publicly with his plans for these veteran wingers. There is value in keeping Perron beyond 2017-18, but the temptation to let Perron walk and use his cap space on younger, cheaper talent will be tempting. There’s no guarantee Perron produces this well again. -Fox
on James van Riemsdyk, Toronto Maple Leaf forward
Van Riemsdyk is still integral to the Leafs’ potent first power-play unit but is otherwise seeing third-line minutes. On another squad — Carolina? Vegas? New York? Jersey? San Jose? — he’d be a top-six fixture again. -Fox
I think Neal will go where ever the money is. I would be surprised if he’s here next year.
Just sign Perron at this point
As much as I like James Neal, that’s too much money to commit to a guy his age who is a streaky scorer. If they have to choose, I’d be inclined to keep Perron.
Let ’em both go. We got plenty of young talent in the wings. Sorry fellas, but thanks for the ride!
Neal isn’t worth that kind of $ for a 24 goal scorer, he hasn’t produced anything since return from injury but if any team wants to pay that let him go. Edmonton found out the hard way look at Lucic
It would be nice to have both back but of the two Perron is the more important to sign. I agree that Neal is not worth $6.5-7 million. Not even close. If he really thinks he’s worth that then we have to let him walk. Perron, in my opinion, is a more versatile and skilled player. He’s a class act and an example to young players on how to play and behave in the pros. That’s worth a few extra bucks. George McPhee seems to know what he’s doing so when the time comes I’m sure he’ll do what’s best for the team.
Perron is good but not a 1st line winger – I’d love to have him as a 2nd line winger any day however. Solid. So, through those optics and being he is 30 next year, McPhee would be foolish to offer him more than 4.5 MAYBE 5 million for anything longer than 3 years.
He has too much talent coming up in the draft/prospect pool…like Toronto a few years back, they will no have problems with options in the next couple years with young talent vying for positions up-front.
I am of the mind that McPhee won’t match the money Neal is sure to find in the open market. He does need veteran leadership in the locker room and has the cap space but Neal isnt “that guy”. Neal is also soft, oft-injured and his best years are behind him.
I am curious to see what McPhee does to net that proven veteran “winner” you can build a team around in the off-season – obviously, veteran leaders considered indispensable were NOT made available by other teams in the expansion draft 😉
What a surprise in Vegas this year! Very exciting team for years to come!