Let the craziness commence.
The NHL free agency period opens up at 9 a.m. PT on July 1, leaving teams less than 24 hours from now to finalize their plans to retool their roster for next season. There are several marquee players available in unrestricted free agency that could shift the balance of power in the league, as well as numerous restricted free agents that any team would love to acquire if the price is right.
More than a third of the teams in the league enter the free agency period with over $17 million in projected cap space according to Cap Friendly, which means there's no shortage of available funds to be thrown around.
After being eliminated by the eventual Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues in the Western Conference final, the Sharks already have made their most important move of the offseason in locking up Erik Karlsson to an eight-year contract. Joe Thornton is fully expected back, and Patrick Marleau is rumored to desire a return to the franchise that drafted him. Still, San Jose has a lot of work to do to finalize its roster for next season, and it's quite possible --perhaps even likely -- they'll lose multiple contributors from last year's team, some of them fan-favorites.
As for where all the players will end up, here are predictions for some of the biggest names available in NHL free agency: