Part 2 of our series on who might be a one-team dude for his career, and who might eventually finish elsewhere. Results might vary. (As in, they might all be incorrect.)
P.K. Subban -- Yes
Max Pacioretty -- No
P.K. Subban is one of the best players in the NHL. He is durable, productive and his game translates into the postseason. Subban has almost always performed well when the game matters most (he has 30 points in 43 playoff games). He's a ham, and most hams do well under pressure because ... they are hams. They love the lights. Martin Short always nails every talk-show guest appearance because he is a ham who loves attention and enjoys getting a reaction from people. Subban is the same. He has seven seasons left on his contract after this season. He will be 34 when this deal ends. I say at that point, retiring as a Canadien will be in reach and Subban will opt to stay. He has a chance to be a Hall of Famer and see his number retired.
Fewer players have the contract value (from a team budget perspective) of Max Pacioretty. Mad Max has a $4.5 million hit for the next four seasons, while scoring at a 40-goal pace the past two seasons. He's underpaid. So when Pacioretty hits unrestricted free-agent land at age 30 in the summer of 2019, he will be looking to make up for lost income. If he remains healthy and fast, he will cash in on a big five-year contract, and I say that will be elsewhere. He won't be traded before that. His contract is too team friendly.
Pekka Rinne -- Yes
Pekka Rinne is making big money ($7 million per season) and is one of the league's better goalies. If the Predators win the Stanley Cup (I don't think they will), it will be because of Rinne. He'll be 36 when this contract ends and by then will have made lots of cash playing for Nashville. I don't think it would be hard to figure out a two- or three-year contract, depending on Rinne's health.
The time to trade Shea Weber might be this summer. Weber turns 30 in August. There are teams in desperate need of reconstruction. Weber is owed $38 million over the next three seasons before his salary plummets to $6 million a season. No need to trade him then, barring a load in return. Weber would get a big return (think Morgan Rielly and this summer's first-round draft pick from the Maple Leafs, Dougie Hamilton or Milan Lucic package from the Bruins, Matt Duchene from the Avalanche, etc.) for his services. Weber's cap number is $7.8 million, which is fine and, while his salaries are $14 million, $12 million and $12 million per the next three seasons, big-market teams have the money to pay. And then Weber becomes a good salary value at $6 million of real cash at age 33, 34 and 35. With Seth Jones coming on fast, Mike Fisher turning 35 this summer and Mike Ribeiro already 35, the Preds could get ready assets at forward and defense now and get a draft pick as well in a Weber trade. They will have to sustain success through drafting and trading. If they can get three great pieces (forward, defense, draft pick) for one player and his $38 million owed over the next three seasons, I think Nashville should think hard about it.
Patrik Elias -- Yes
Andy Greene -- No
Boy, things look really bleak in New Jersey in terms of being stuck in the middle (a.k.a., the worst place to be). Starting next season, the Devils are going to be paying Travis Zajac $6.5 million a season for four years. Ryane Clowe is banking $4.8 million for four more seasons. But those contracts are not terrible for the Devils because at least they help them get to the floor. The Devils' organizational cupboard is bare, and it will have a hard time attracting free agents. The one time the Devils had a high pick, fourth overall in 2011, they picked Adam Larsson. For whatever reason, the young defenseman hasn't developed yet, and the handful of picks behind Larsson, for now, look like they would have been better picks.
Patrik Elias has had a great career. I would think he will play next season, collect his $5.5 million (the final year of his deal) and then retire. His numbers are already all rounded off at just over 1,200 games, 400 goals, 600 assists, and 1,000 points. He's been to four Stanley Cup finals and won two. He will get his numbered retired, of course, and I would vote for him for the Hall of Fame.
Andy Greene is a piece the Devils might consider moving, and you would think he wouldn't mind moving because the team's future looks bleak. This will be the third straight season the Devils have missed the playoffs, and that hasn't happened since the mid-1980s "Mickey Mouse" era. It's hard to sustain success when you lose Zach Parise and Ilya Kovalchuk for nothing and most of your draft picks are late first-rounders. You wonder if it's time to strip this team and start from scratch. If Lou Lamoriello is in charge, you know he won't want to do that. He's 72.
John Tavares -- Yes
Things are going so well for the Islanders this season, so much positivity (it's even the last season Alexei Yashin eats up cap space!) that I'm not even going to bother trying to figure out which young player won't be here for his entire career. John Tavares is obviously the hub of this operation. His talent was clear after he was taken first overall in the strong 2009 draft. But, what increased my confidence that he would be a perennial top 10 point producer was when I learned of his work ethic. During his rookie season, a member of the Islanders organization told me what a hard-working self-improver Tavares was. That is something that is hard to see or feel unless you are on the inside and see it on a daily basis. That's when I realized that the Islanders were in good hands. Tavares has muddy mitts, for sure, but it's his will that has transformed the Islanders into hip and relevant again.
Henrik Lundqvist -- Yes
Ryan McDonagh -- No
Henrik Lundqvist might be the most New Yorkiest Ranger of all time. He is cosmopolitan, international, a model and a musician, and in an organization with only four Stanley Cups. And one of those Ranger championships (the first one) was won when Wyatt Earp was still alive. If Lundqvist were to win two Cups before he was done and spend his entire career with the Rangers, he would be the No. 1 Ranger of all time.
Ryan McDonagh is from Minnesota, and it appears in the past few seasons, a spell was cast or legislation was been passed to make NHL players from that part of the country migrate home to work out, play golf and have a family. Soon, the Wild will look like the Minnesota Golden Gophers with the majority of the players having Minnesota ties and a couple from Sweden or Finland. I think Shjon Podein could be behind this.
Chris Neil -- Yes
Erik Karlsson -- No
Chris Neil's pro career began with the Mobile Mysticks of the ECHL in 1999. He played in the IHL for the Grand Rapids Griffins. He arrived in Ottawa during the fall of 2001 and has never left, surviving with his fists and a head that appears to be as thick as concrete. I know. I have one of those heads. Neil has one season left on his contract at $1.5 million with a $1.9 million cap hit. If the Sens want him for another season, I would think next season would be it for his career.
Erik Karlsson is an offensive wonder. He is also going to be wealthy by the time he is a free agent at the age of 29. So, if the Senators still are strides from a championship, you could see Karlsson opting for a team closer to a title. He'll have plenty of money and will be offered plenty more. I say he takes that flow elsewhere, if he's not dealt for multiple assets before that.
Claude Giroux -- Yes
Claude Giroux is the only Flyer worth talking about in this exercise. He is under contract until he is 34, the summer of 2022. There is some erosion in his numbers (this is the third straight season his assists-per-game average has decreased), but that could be a reflection of the Flyers lack of depth. Giroux is not an elite skater, so you wonder how he will age once he hits 30 and heads toward hockey middle age. Now, Giroux is an amazing talent with elite awareness, hands and, the most important asset, competitiveness. If he is not dealt (for whatever reason) and he makes it to 34 and is still a Flyer, the chances are good he signs one more deal to finish his career with the Flyers.
Sidney Crosby -- Yes
The Penguins have won only four playoff series in five seasons since they won the Stanley Cup in 2009. Because the team is centered around Sidney Crosby, that's where you have to start. Crosby is an interesting evaluation. He is averaging the most points per game this season, and he has for the last three seasons. Yet, his current numbers are career lows in terms of goal rate and point rate, despite leading the league in points per game. He is shooting less and hanging around the net less. Wayne Gretzky was on another planet from age 20 until 30. He squeezed out one more Art Ross at age 33. That's how it usually works for hockey players. Crosby turns 28 this summer. He is signed until he is 35, and I think with the way he keeps himself in shape and his freakishly large lower body, he should age well and produce with just a little erosion. Unless he demands a trade at some point, he will retire as a Penguin.
Evgeni Malkin turns 29 and his numbers are eroding as he does what many players do as they age: shoot less. Malkin's shots per game have decreased for three straight seasons. His numbers this season are almost identical to his rookie numbers. Malkin is signed until he is 35 and his cap number is a hefty $9.5 million. (Crosby is $8.7 million) Do you trade Malkin for prospects, first-round picks and a roster player or cap space to sign a player as Malkin approaches 30? It's a fun and difficult thing to ponder. Malkin is popular, a future Hall of Famer, helps make the Penguins profitable and is better than a point per game in the playoffs ... BUT, he could get a big return for a team looking to make a splash. I say that eventually happens.
Patrick Marleau -- Yes
Logan Couture -- No
Patrick Marleau is 35 and has two seasons left on his contract. He is a guy who actually learned to shoot more as he aged. He averaged more than three shots a game from ages 29-34, which, of course, translated into more goals. He has a shot at 500 career goals during this contract, but I think he might need at least one more season at age 38. One would hope the Sharks would do that and have him end his career a Shark and his number retired.
Couture turns 26 and is signed until he is 30. There is no blatant reason he would be moved outside of the Sharks blowing this thing up, and one certainly gets the sense San Jose is thinking reconstruction if they don't make the playoffs this spring.
David Backes -- Yes
Patrik Berglund -- No
David Backes turns 31 in May. He is a free agent after next season. He is durable, popular, consistent, genuinely involved in the community and has leadership qualities. One would think that term and salary shouldn't be difficult to figure out, so Backes can play his entire career with the Blues. Although you know the Minnesota Wild would have interest in the former Minnesota State #cawlidgehawkey player as they continue to try to add size and character to the franchise.
I picked Patrik Berglund because I wanted to give myself an easy one.
Steven Stamkos -- Yes
Steven Stamkos will be an unrestricted free agent after next season at the age of 26. Every team -- and I mean EVERY team -- would clear space to sign him. One has to think the Toronto Maple Leafs' entire rebuilding plan is based around the premise of "Would the Ontario native ever consider returning to Ontario to be the hub of the Maple Leafs?" You know the Lightning want him to sign the eight-season extension yesterday if possible. There is no income tax in Florida and no shoveling. The upside of what Stamkos could achieve in terms of country "heroism" and legacy of winning a Cup in Toronto/Canada isn't comparable to what it would bring in Tampa. We all understand this. But some of us love the Gulf Coast, and the Lighting at this moment are certainly set up for better success than the Leafs. That could change after a fire sale in Toronto. And Stamkos. This is going to be interesting to watch if Stamkos doesn't sign his extension this summer.
Toronto Maple Leafs
No, no, no, no, no, no.
All bets are off in Toronto! First of all, most of their core players didn't even begin their career in Toronto. So the fact that we can't even really play this silly game with the Leafs says something about their current condition. Unless they score on Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel and can convince Stamkos to do a LeBron "coming home, coming home," this could be a long slog. (But imagine if they did score on that scenario.)
The Sedins -- Yes
Alexander Edler -- No
Daniel and Henrik Sedin have three seasons left on their $7 million cap number, contracts that will take them to age 37. Already with more than 1,000 games played, they both will be over 1,000 points by contract's end. At that point, they could retire or squeeze out another two-season deal with Van. Either way, this is the lock of all locks that they don't go anywhere. They will retire the same day, have their numbers retired on the same night, and go into the Hall of Fame together.
Alexander Edler turns 29 in April. He is signed for four more seasons at a manageable $5 million cap hit. When playing well, he is a great value, which is a reason not to trade him. But with his cap number and term, I would think the Canucks could get a nice little term to strengthen organizational depth as they begin to prepare for the post-Sedin era.
Alex Ovechkin -- Yes
Mike Green -- No
This is Alex Ovechkin's final season in his 20s. He has a September birthday and, for the rest of his career, he will play as a 30-something. He is signed until he is 33. He is making an even $10 million each of the next five seasons. He has had a remarkable career -- obviously the greatest Capital of all time. He has been consistent, productive and, outside of last season, a playoff beast. The Capitals' lack of success has little to do with Ovechkin. He has 31 playoff goals in 58 playoff games and is a plus-9.
Mike Green is in the last season of his contract and is making $6.25 million. The Caps already have two right-handed shots on D and have the group locked up under contract.
Let's face it, it's going to be a challenge to have a player spend his entire career in Manitoba with those winters. It's a great place to play once you get inside the rink, but outside will keep some players away. Many players simply would never consider Winnipeg unless it was a last resort. The Jets have to look to unload players before their contracts are up for fear they won't re-sign. That will make the one player/one franchise accomplishment even more difficult in the Peg.