NHL Rumors: Free Agent Danton Heinen Linked to 3 Teams

The Pittsburgh Penguins decided not to qualify forward Danton Heinen, allowing for the 27-year-old to hit the open market this summer. After a season where Heinen 18 goals in 76 games, he shouldn't be too upset about it as there will be interest in his services.

Heinen is likely going to hear from the Toronto Maple Leafs, Seattle Kraken and New Jersey Devils, three teams looking to fill in some secondary scoring on the wing. The Kraken need as much offense as possible, meanwhile the Devils are also going after some big names as their expected to offer Johnny Gaudreau a massive contract. With almost $27 million in cap space to work with, it makes options a bit easier to come by. The Leafs could use Heinen as a replacement for Ilya Mikheyev in the team's middle-third of their lineup. 

Heinen played well last season in Pittsburgh and found a groove at times, with Evgeni Malkin. If he can maintain his scoring punch, a second-line left-winger appears to be the ceiling. After a strong regular season in 2021-22, he followed it up with three more goals during the Penguins seven-game Stanley Cup Playoff series against the New York Rangers. 

While he made $1.1 million last season in Pittsburgh, Heinen should expect a very small raise, if any. It appears the league's 'middle' section of talent is likely going to get squeezed out more and more this summer when it comes to available funds. Expect to see some massive deals handed out and a number of one-year show-me contracts which may eventually lead to an extension. Heinen is in line for the latter.

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