The Tampa Bay Lightning are heading into the offseason with limited cap space, and it could result in veteran forward Alex Killorn heading elsewhere. If the 33-year-old does hit the market, he will receive a lot of interest, as he is one of the top pending unrestricted free agent (UFA) forwards this year. With that, he scored 27 goals and recorded 64 points in 82 games this campaign. As a result, teams looking for help in their top six will be in the mix for his services this offseason. Let’s now discuss three specific potential free-agent destinations for the two-time Stanley Cup champion.
Detroit Red Wings
The Detroit Red Wings are a team to pay close attention to this summer. They are improving and have the cap space to make several free-agent acquisitions if they wish to. One specific area that they should be looking to improve is their top six, and Killorn could emerge as a free-agent target because of it. This is especially so when noting that he has a connection with Red Wings general manager (GM) Steve Yzerman.
If the Red Wings signed Killorn, he would be an immediate fit on their top line with Dylan Larkin and Lucas Raymond. However, he also would be a suitable option to play second-line minutes with Andrew Copp and either David Perron or Dominik Kubalik. In either scenario, the Red Wings’ top six would look significantly better on paper. With that, Killorn would also be a notable upgrade to their power-play unit.
With the Red Wings looking to take that next step and officially move out of their rebuild, bringing in a high-impact veteran forward like Killorn is exactly the kind of move that they need right now.
The Colorado Avalanche were recently dealt horrible injury news, as captain Gabriel Landeskog is expected to miss all of the 2023-24 season due to a knee cartilage transplant. As a result, the 30-year-old winger is gearing up to miss his second straight season. The Avalanche missed him immensely this season, and it was a notable reason why they had an early playoff exit. As a result, they should be on the hunt for a top-six left winger, and Killorn fits that description.
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Killorn would be a marvelous addition to the Avalanche’s first line with superstar forwards Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen. Playing with two players of their calibers would very likely lead to Killorn’s production skyrocketing. The longtime Lightning forward would also provide the Avalanche with another valuable weapon to their power play and could be in the running to kill penalties as well.
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It is also likely that Killorn would be open to joining Colorado, as they are legitimate contenders, and they would give him the chance to compete for another Stanley Cup because of it.
New York Islanders
The New York Islanders are heading into the 2023 NHL Offseason with one major need – a top-six, scoring forward. Even after adding Bo Horvat from the Vancouver Canucks before the 2023 NHL Trade Deadline passed, the Islanders still had noticeable scoring troubles. As a result, it would be wise for them to add another skilled forward like Killorn to their roster.
The left wing position has become a weak point for the Islanders, and it has the potential to become even worse if Pierre Engvall and Zach Parise are not back next season. As a result, Killorn should be one of the forwards who the Islanders consider signing this summer. He would have the potential to form an excellent trio with Horvat and Mathew Barzal on their top line. However, he would also be a welcomed addition to their second line playing with Brock Nelson and Kyle Palmieri.
It will be intriguing to see if the Lightning can successfully bring back Killorn. Although he has made it known that he loves the club, their lack of cap space is going to make it challenging for them to keep him. If he does hit the free-agent market, look for the Red Wings, Avalanche, and Islanders to be in the mix for his services.