It’s no secret, Lou Lamoriello is going to be looking to replace Nick Leddy on the left side. Sure, he could give it to an internal guy, but with this team having Stanley Cup aspirations that’s a major risk for the New York Islanders.
Instead, I fully expect him to be active in the free-agent market. Today, Craig Morgan linked veteran Alex Goligoski to the Isles.
Goligoski, who is on the verge of turning 36 in three days, is an offensive defenseman who has spent the last five seasons with the Coyotes. Despite being up there in age, he was still an extremely productive player the last couple of seasons.
This year, he had 22 points (3 goals, 19 assists) in 56 games for the Coyotes. Over a full season that’s a pace of 32 points. The previous four seasons, his point total was 32, 27, 35, and 36.
He’s also accustomed to playing big minutes with the Coyotes. Each of the past two years he’s averaged over 23 minutes of ice time.
Looking at some of the advanced numbers, he had a 52.75 GF% which lead the way for Arizona defensemen. His HDCF% was on the wrong side of 50, 48.91 according to Natural Stat Trick but keep in mind he was playing for the team that let in the 10th most goals in the league.
The vet is coming off a five-year $27.375 million contract ($5.475 million AAV). His next deal won’t be anywhere close to that but if Ryan Suter is requiring four years and you can get Goligoski for potentially less term and less AAV, I’d highly consider that move.
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The Bruins clearly have a need on the left side, so expect them to be active for him and the same goes for Minnesota, another team referenced by Craig Morgan, who just parted ways with Suter. Regardless, it’s something to keep an eye on for tomorrow.