As the season ends, the first real day of free agency is upon us.
The NHL’s first free agency period is upon the league.
The first day of the 2017-18 season is fast approaching.
There are some intriguing players that will be free agents.
One of those players is defenseman Zdeno Chara.
There’s nothing more fun than watching the NHL’s best defensemen compete.
The 26-year-old Chara, who is playing his second NHL season after being selected third overall by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, is a big-play defenseman who loves to play with a lot of speed.
He is a natural scorer.
He was a sixth-round pick in the 2015 NHL Entry draft by the Blue Jackets.
Chara’s biggest strengths are his defensive game and his offensive game.
He has a strong shot from the point, and has been one of the best at the other end of the ice this season.
Charas NHL numbers: 5 goals, 14 points in 41 games.
Charat has had his share of issues in his first season with the Blue Jacket.
He didn’t score a goal in his last 16 games, but he has two assists in that span.
He’s been a healthy scratch in six of his last seven games.
His numbers have dropped off since the end of last season, but Chara still has been the best player on the blue line for Columbus.
In terms of defense, Chara has been a very effective shutdown defender, playing on the top pairing alongside Ryan Johansen.
He also has two goals and three assists in his past seven games, helping Columbus to the top spot in the Atlantic Division.
He finished the season with a plus-7 rating.
The Blue Jackets have not won in the playoffs since the 2007-08 season.
They have made the playoffs in only four of the past five seasons.
They also have missed the playoffs the last four seasons.
The Penguins will be looking to build off their winning season from last season and will likely bring Chara back next season.
The Toronto Maple Leafs have not made the postseason since their 2012-13 Stanley Cup run.
They haven’t made it to the second round since 2008-09.
Toronto is looking for their first playoff appearance since 2006-07.
They were a first-round playoff team last season.
Toronto won’t be looking for a repeat of that success, but it will be interesting to see how the rest of the league fares after the Blue Jays and Red Sox come back from being eliminated from the playoffs.
If the Toronto Maple Leaf lineup can get on the same page, they can have a chance to win a Stanley Cup.
Toronto’s roster is full of young talent.
They signed free agents Mark Scheifele and Mark Schellberg to long-term deals, which should help their chances of winning a Stanley cup.
The Maple Leafs also signed Tyler Bozak to a four-year, $28 million deal.
He will be an unrestricted free agent after the season.
Bozaka has had a solid season, averaging a point per game and ranking second among the Maple Leafs defensemen with 12 goals and 21 assists in 24 games.
He should be a big part of Toronto’s success in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
The Calgary Flames have won the Stanley Cups since 2003.
They are coming off a disappointing season.
Calgary lost the Stanley cup in 2012 and lost to Pittsburgh in the first round last year.
They made the Stanley final in 2013, but lost in seven games to the San Jose Sharks in six games.
Calgary’s goaltending is the weakest part of their defense.
They lost the first Stanley Cup finalist, Roberto Luongo, in 2011.
They finished second in the Western Conference last season with an impressive 8-3-1 record.
The Flames need to get better at the blueline, and they will likely look to bring back Mark Giordano.
Giordani is a physical defenseman who can play both the left and right side of the blanks.
Giords numbers: 28 goals, 38 points in 81 games.
Giordan is one of those defensive players that can play with either the left or right side.
Giordon has an ability to make plays at the blue lines.
He makes a lot more than just big hits.
Giors ability to win faceoffs and get his guys open is a huge asset.
He won the Norris Trophy as the best defenseman in the NHL in 2016-17.
Giordeys goal and assist totals were good in 2016, but the Flames are looking to add another scoring forward in this offseason.
The Winnipeg Jets will look to make another Stanley Cup Playoff run after being eliminated in the 2017 Western Conference Final.
They won the Presidents Trophy in 2016 and finished fifth in the East.
They needed to improve their penalty kill in the off-season, and Giordanni was a key part of that.
He had five goals and six assists in 45 games this