Will Butcher, the 2017 Hobey Baker winner as the best NCAA player this season will be a free agent next week. The Pittsburgh Penguins should be in on his sweepstakes.
With most of the big name NHL free agents off the table, the Pittsburgh Penguins may be able to find another coveted free agent next week. Only this one hasn’t played in the NHL yet.
Will Butcher is his name and he is a young defenceman with great potential. Alyssa Naimoli wrote about why the Penguins should get in on the free agent frenzy around him earlier this week.
The Penguins should definitely try to sign him if they can. After all, Butcher’s agent Brian Bartlett told the Post-Gazette that they would be very interested if the Penguins called.
“If they happen to call,” Bartlett said, “I’m sure we’d answer the phone.”
Today, let’s take a look at the Penguins real chances of acquiring Will Butcher.
Where Else Might He Land?
The Chicago Blackhawks might be another suitor interested in acquiring Butcher’s services. They are a team that can compete for a cup, but they are struggling depth-wise. With so many expensive contracts locked in their stars, Butcher seems like the perfect affordable defenceman to help them out.
The Washington Capitals are in a similar situation as the Blackhawks and may want to sign a cheap, high-potential defenceman to help their roster.
The Detroit Red Wings seem to be ready to make a push for him, but it’s hard to see where he’ll fit in, especially with their signing of Trevor Daley. The New Jersey Devils may be looking to offer Butcher a lot of NHL minutes right away. The Devils are a rebuilding team and may be able to offer more than some other teams.
What Can Pittsburgh Offer?
So what are the chances Will Butcher comes to Pittsburgh? Well it actually seems pretty good if you ask me.
We’re back-to-back Stanley Cup winners, and it looks like we have a good shot at a three-peat. Like I mentioned before, it seems as though Butcher’s agent is already interested in Pittsburgh as a destination. It could be a perfect fit.
Butcher would give us the much-needed depth we are looking for at an affordable price. We may still be looking for a cheap third-line centre, but we could still have enough cap space to sign Butcher. If the price is right, Butcher may be looking at some places to live in Pittsburgh some time soon. Let’s hope that happens!