Free Agency Notes: Hague, Marchment, Kulak

We haven’t heard a whole lot of offer sheet talk yet this offseason, but there is one young defenseman who could come into play. The Athletic’s Jesse Granger notes that he believes Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Nicholas Hague is “a real possibility” as an offer sheet candidate from general managers league-wide. Hague is an important defenseman on the rise in the Golden Knights organization, and while he doesn’t have a lot of leverage on his next contract as he’s not arbitration-eligible, another team could indeed force Vegas’ hand. A second-round pick from their first 2017 draft class, Hague’s notched a solid 42 points in 142 NHL games over the past three years. While he’s been limited to third-pairing minutes on a deep Vegas team, he’s shown really solid play-driving ability as an up-and-coming two-way defenseman. With the Golden Knights’ tight salary cap situation, it’s a reasonable bet that they couldn’t match a healthy offer for Hague.

  • TSN’s Pierre LeBrun expects the Montreal Canadiens to make an offer to bring back defenseman Brett Kulak when free agency opens tomorrow. They won’t be alone, though, as LeBrun notes that six other teams could be interested as well. Dealt to the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for a package that included William Lagesson and a second-round pick at the trade deadline, Kulak is an underrated defensive commodity who’s extremely valuable in a bottom-four role. He’d spent the last three seasons prior to this year in a Habs uniform, and he was a steady presence in 2021-22 on a struggling team.
  • If the Tampa Bay Lightning can’t come to terms with pending UFA Ondrej PalatThe Athletic’s Joe Smith lists Mason Marchment as someone the team could make an offer to in free agency. He’d certainly add a strong checking element to the team’s middle six, and while he likely wouldn’t replace Palat’s value entirely, he’d be a strong value option with a breakout year last season and great underlying metrics. March finished 2021-22 with 47 points in just 54 games.

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