Around the NHL: the Johnny Gaudreau sweepstakes, Evgeni Malkin stays home and Matt Murray to the Leafs

Free agency is set to begin in less than 12 hours, and everybody is wondering where will Johnny Gaudreau end up. While Gaudreau is the most exciting unrestricted free agent to hit the market since John Tavares, there are several other intriguing players available in all price ranges.
We have also seen a few high profile trades in the past seven days and plenty of rumours surrounding other quality players who could be on the move.
Free Agency
As mentioned above Gaudreau is the top unrestricted free agent available. After eight seasons in Calgary, he has informed the Flames organization that he will not be returning. It has been reported that this is solely a family decision. Gaudreau would like to move closer to home as he is expecting a baby.
The New Jersey Devils, New York Islanders and Philadelphia Flyers have been the most common destinations linked to Gaudreau and it seems both the Devils and Islanders are prepared to offer him long-term deals north of nine million per season.
Philadelphia is the closest geographic location to where Gaudreau grew up and his childhood team. They also have his close friend and former college teammate Kevin Hayes locked up for four more seasons. However, they do not currently have anywhere near enough cap space to …

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Author: Scott Ony / The Leafs Nation