NHL Notebook: Daily Faceoff names top 50 free agents, Kyle Dubas speaks out after Toronto Maple Leafs fire him, and more

Photo credit:Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Laing
1 year ago
The latest edition of the Daily Faceoff top free agents list dropped on Tuesday morning, and Frank Seravalli detailed the top 50 players who will be looking for new homes.
Sitting atop the list in a rather weak class is New Jersey Devils defenceman Damon Severson, who is projected to sign a six-year, $6.1-million AAV deal with a new club. Other names like Tyler Bertuzzi, Michael Bunting, Alex Killorn, Patrick Kane, Jordan Staal and Max Pacioretty rest in the top-15 of the rankings.
Here’s some of what Seravalli wrote about the list:
The Stanley Cup playoffs both giveth and taketh when it comes to money in the pocket of pending free agents.
With a strong showing as Brad Marchand Lite for the Boston Bruins, despite their historic first-round flameout, trade deadline acquisition Tyler Bertuzzi acquitted himself quite well in his first career postseason performance. He climbs from No. 12 all the way to No. 2 on Daily Faceoff’s latest Top 50 free agents ranking.
Michael Bunting went in the opposite direction. With a suspension followed by a healthy scratch, the Toronto forward tumbles from the No. 1 spot down to No. 5.
And now, we’re armed with more data to help support those rankings – which are usually a blend of projected interest level in the player plus total projected dollars earned on the market.
In all actuality, some of these projections may be low, as they do not factor in a number of variables, including human emotion during negotiation, current playoff performance, and a minimum ($83.5 million) increase in next season’s salary cap upper limit. Those numbers may change in the coming days and weeks. For now, they are a great baseline to add critical context to an ever-evolving conversation.
Here’s a look at the top five players on the list. The remainder of the list can be seen here, but there’s just one Oilers player who made the list, Nick Bjugstad.
RankPlayerPosAgeTeamCap HitGPGPTSAFP Projection
1Damon SeversonRD28NJD$4.17M817336 x $6.1m
2Tyler BertuzziLW28BOS$4.75M508306 x $5.25m
3Dmitry OrlovLD31BOS$5.1M667365 x $6.25m
4J.T. CompherC28COL$3.5M8217525 x $5.3m
5Michael BuntingLW27TOR$950K8223495 x $5.25m


Dubas releases statement on firing

Former Toronto Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas said Tuesday that it was an honour to work for the club in his first public comments since his firing last Friday.
Dubas, who spent nine years with the team, said in his statement he wouldn’t get into specifics around his dismissal:
“While I understand there is interest surrounding the circumstances of my departure, I will not get into the specifics of what I consider to be reasonable and consistent but private discussions. In the days that I felt I needed to assess and evaluate my own view of the future, both with respect to the necessary direction of the Club and ensuring that I had the full support of my family for what I knew would be required in the off-season and years to follow, the organization, as is their right to do, decided to go in a different direction.
In the nine seasons since being afforded the opportunity to work in the National Hockey League for the Toronto Maple Leafs, we have had the chance to learn a lot and have grown significantly through the ups and downs. We have watched our family double in size while developing meaningful relationships which will last a lifetime. It was an honour to be able to work in such an inspiring place, with dedicated, loyal people and an
extremely passionate fan base. The impact of that and the relationships with all of the people at MLSE, from the board of directors through to the ushers at Scotiabank Arena, will forever hold a dear place in our hearts.
“To the players, coaches and staff at the facility each day, past and present, thank you for your passion and commitment at every step of the journey together. It was a tremendous pleasure to work alongside you each day. We will roll from here.”

Flames officially name Conroy GM

The Calgary Flames made the news around Craig Conroy official on Tuesday naming him the eighth general manager in franchise history.
Flamesnation’s Ryan Pike was at the announcement Tuesday in Calgary, and this to say about the moves that also saw the club hire Dave Nonis into a senior hockey role.
Conroy originally joined the Flames’ hockey operations department when he ended his playing career in February 2011 after a long, distinguished playing career. A product of Clarkson University, he was drafted in the sixth round of the 1990 NHL Draft by the Montreal Canadiens. He played 1,009 NHL games in stops with Montreal, St. Louis, Los Angeles and two stints with Calgary. He was a frequent contender for the Selke Trophy and represented the United States in the World Cup of Hockey and Winter Olympics.
He was originally acquired by the Flames at the 2001 trade deadline (along with a seventh-round pick) from St. Louis for Cory Stillman. He left the Flames and signed with Los Angeles as a free agent in the 2004 off-season, but was reacquired in January 2007 for a second-round pick, fourth-round pick and Jamie Lundmark. He served as Flames captain for parts of two seasons before handing the baton to Jarome Iginla prior to the 2003-04 season – that turned out fairly well for everybody.
Conroy becomes the eighth permanent GM in Flames franchise history, following Cliff Fletcher (1972-91), Doug Risebrough (1991-95), Al Coates (1995-2000), Craig Button (2000-03), Darryl Sutter (2003-10), Feaster (2010-13) and Treliving (2014-23).
The Flames also announced the addition of Dave Nonis as senior vice-president of hockey operations and assistant general manager, and announced promotions/extensions for Brad Pascall (vice-president of hockey operations and assistant GM) and Chris Snow (vice-president data/analytics and assistant GM). (The vice-president titles for Pascall and Snow are new.)
Conroy’s been in hockey operations since 2011 and has been a part of the Calgary community for roughly 19 of the past 22 years. Now he gets his well-deserved shot at running the show and getting the franchise back to on track after a few topsy turvy years. Let’s see how he does.

Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@thenationnetwork.com.

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