*the greatest secret of the off-season*
I was a bit of puzzled when I saw the FA will only open in next Sunday. If the off-season goes smooth, it will be only 3-4 days before the season starts. I assume it's because the VHL draft will happen on Friday, but still interesting to see this. And it's not like I'm interested much in this since my cap won't allow to being any of them. And it's not like I need them anyways, our team is a top tier team now. So there is no tampering going on. I'm just going to predict where the TOP 5 free agents will end up.
*Note: I think two teams will skip the free agency period. These teams will be Riga and Vancouver - their cap situation won't have enough money for that. But both teams are already having good roster so I don't think either me or Beav is going to be upset with this.
LW - Matt Thompson
Current TPE: 948
Previous team: Seattle Bears
No offense to the defending champ Ironside, but I think Matt will be more hyped free agent. He has more TPE and will likely get more positional awards than Sebastian. And let's be honest - who wouldn't be interested to net a commish player who is also actively earning TPE. Last season, he managed to fill McAllister shoes and become the star of Seattle, but couldn't even make the finals. That made Bek to not re-sign with the Bears and test the FA waters instead.
Where will he sign: Helsinki Titans. I already posted this prediction in one of my previous articles and I won't change my mind here. Helsinki is an upcoming team that managed to make the finals last season. And I think Bek will love the idea of two commishes playing alongside each other. Also, he will stay as the highest TPE player and he will have a lot of chances to put up a great performance again. With him, Helsinki will be dangerous and become one of favorites to win it all.
C - Sebastian Ironside
Current TPE: 787
Previous team: Toronto Legion
Another pretty hyped FA. Perhaps he won't be the headliner of this free agency class, but he proved to everyone that he can make a serious damage by forming a dynamic duo with Arroyo. I know Dollar would've liked to re-sign with the Legion, but the rules won't allow him to do until S67 (? I guess). So he has to find a new team.
Where will he sign: I imagine Seattle Bears management to go hard for Sebastian. They do have a good center already, but adding a two way guy into the roster? Sign me up! Also, Dollar already had a brief history with Seattle before. Anyways, my guess will be a different. In my opinion, he will sign with the New York Americans team. Why? Well, this team could be considered as an upcoming one. They already have Kingfisher, McWolf, Wilisnky and other solid players. But they don't have a world class center yet. And Ironside could instantly fix this problem. Also, there would be another reason I don't want to name right now.
C - The Charm
Current APE: 657 (will be somewhere at 500 after another regression)
Previous team: Helsinki Titans
The Charm never was a superstar. But he was providing a solid offensive play regardless of where he was playing. Davos, Seattle and Helsinki - all of them were getting what they were expecting from him. Especially Davos who got the championship with him and Helsinki that managed to make the finals last season with the Irish playing a big part of it. He will face a heavier regression this off season, but I think he's still capable of a good season and any team that gets him should be happy.
Where will he sign: He is a more interesting case than Ironside. Unlike the ex-Legion who only spent his career in one team so far even after Dollar resigning from the GM job; The Charm already was a part of four teams after Tyler stepped down from Davos. That means he can't play for Davos, Seattle, Vancouver and Helsinki in the next season. So he only has two viable possibilities: New York or Toronto. Given that NY would sign Irosnide I imagine Tyler helping Devise with joining the Toronto Legion team. It could make sense too - The Charm is no Ironside, but a good replacement nontheless. It will make sure Arroyo will get some help and Toronto will be a fighting for the wildcard spot.
D - Luc-Pierre Lespinau-Lebrunette
Current APE: 456 (will be somewhere at 350 after another regression)
Previous team: Toronto Legion
Here is your typical goon...or at least he tries to be that guy. I assume Dwyer isn't really happy with LPLL performance in that category. It would be easy to understand since he was a real thing in the GOMHL league, but the VHL is something different. And looks like Luc isn't that lucky here. Anyways, his defensive play is on point. He is good at stopping pucks and he definitely was one of reasons why Toronto managed to shock the world despite not being gifted offensively.
Where will he sign: He is listed as FA, but I assume he just didn't accept an extension offer from Devise yet since Dwyer isn't logging in every day. So I think he will re-sign with Toronto Legion.
G - Johnny Havenk Carison
Current TPE: 426
Previous team: Toronto Legion
Yet another player who might leave Toronto. He was drafted third overall by the Legion in the S62 draft. It's really hard to rate this pick immediately. He wasn't the best third OV, but at least he still continued to earn some TPE. And maybe one day he would actually become a decent goalie. He's an interesting goalie tbh. All these super active goalies rapidly earning TPE and locking a starter spot in their respective team. And then there's Donno who doesn't gives a puck. He just earns some TPE and not planning to stop despite of a heavy goalie market. I was surprised when I didn't saw him in the Legion's protected list and looks like Devise lets him go to find another team. Will JB Rift as good as JHC though? Because I thought he would be a decent starter option for Toronto for a season.
Where will he sign: Theoretically, to any team that will have at least 500k left in the cap. For competing teams he will provide a solid backup option. Or he can join Moscow and try to become a starter. And that's exactly what I'm expecting: Moscow Menace. With Nixon or not, Carison could at least play more than 10-15 games per season.
So there is my free agency prediction. Obviously, they won't join teams I was mentioning just because I was predicting that. And it's not certain that this will even happen. So let's just get a seat and wait for the Sunday to reveal one of the greatest off-season secrets - where will they sign.
6x2=12 TPE goes to Randoms
11.02 - 17.02
18.02 - 24.02