NHL Rumors: 3 Potential Landing Spots for Nikita Zadorov

The Calgary Flames are the most recent team to be eliminated from the playoffs, so we switch to offseason conversation regarding them. They have a few key free agents that they have to work on re-signing as well as a pair of solid defencemen that played big defensive minutes for them all season.

Nikita Zadorov is one of those players is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, and the Flames may look to allocate some of the money they were paying him to re-sign other players. Let's look at three teams that Zadorov could land before next season.

Calgary Flames

The Flames may decide to bring one of Zadorov or Erik Gudbranson back, but likely not both of them since the team has Juuso Valimaki and Connor Mackey knocking at the door for a spot. Zadorov will also likely see a small pay decrease after he signed a one-year, $3.75 million contract with the Flames before the start of last season. The Flames would be smart to opt to keep one big defenceman who can throw the body and play hard defensively, so Zadorov may very well be sticking around for longer than another deal that sees him signed for one year.

Philadelphia Flyers

The Flyers have more questions up front than on the back end, but signing a defensively-minded defenceman is up there on the list off offseason moves they must make. They will be looking for someone to play on the third pairing and possibly move up if needed. Zadorov has played top-four minutes and has shown bits of offensive potential. He would be an instant fan-favourite in Philadelphia by how hard he plays the game. If the Flames don't extend a good offer to him, expect the Flyers to throw their hat in the mix with some money to spend this offseason to upgrade.

Carolina Hurricanes

The Hurricanes are still in the playoffs, but looking at their roster, they are set to lose Ian Cole and Brendan Smith to free agency unless they opt to bring one back. This would create a hole where each of them have done very well shutting down opponents and playing very physical. This fits right into the playing style of Zadorov to be a replacement if needed. He has the size and would be able to succeed under the style of play coach Rod Brind'Amour likes.

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