By Peter Bolt
With July 1st almost here, I figured I would write about some possible destinations for free-agent, John Carlson. There is no question Carlson’s asking price is going to be extremely high and rightfully so. The elite defender is coming off his best season yet, recording 68 points (15g-53a) in 82 games and played a major role in the Capitals winning the Cup. Carlson was an absolute stud during the playoffs, recording 20 points (5g-15a) in 24 playoffs games and was a plus 12. The 28-year-old defensemen can expect the money to start pouring in on July 1st.
1. Vegas Golden Knights
The Knights fell just short of pulling off the unthinkable this season falling to the Caps in the Stanley Cup Finals. The Knights are young, fast, and have more than enough cap space to pay Carlson the money he will be looking for. Carlson is going to want to play for a contender and the Knights proved that they clearly are. McPhee selected Carlson back in 2008 when he was the GM of the Capitals and already has an established relationship with Carlson. I would bet money that McPhee is going to be doing everything he can to bring Carlson to Vegas.
2. New York Islanders
The New York Islanders biggest problem last season was unquestionably their defense. The Isles gave up the most goals out of any team last year (293!) while at the same time finishing 7th in the league in goals for. Carlson could help the Islanders fix their defensive problems and get the team back in the playoffs. The Isles have already made some moves in the right direction such as bringing in Lou Lamoriello. The Islanders could resign Tavares and still have more than enough cap space to sign Carlson.
3. New Jersey Devils
The Devils made the playoffs last season for the first time since their Cup run back in 2012. The Devils biggest weakness last season was their defense which looked atrocious at times, especially during their playoff series with the Lightning. The Devils are one of the youngest teams in the league and have a lot of cap space to offer Carlson a big pay day. Hall and Hischier just might be able to convince Carlson to head over to Newark.
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