Adin Hill probably would have called you crazy if you told him that just a year after being the backup goalie for the San Jose Sharks, he would be winning a Stanley Cup as the starter with the Vegas Golden Knights in 2022-23. Hill has completely transformed from a serviceable backup to a starting goaltender that can win in the playoffs, as he took over for Laurent Brossoit in Round 2 and played lights out for his club as they captured a Stanley Cup title in just the franchise's sixth year of existence.
With the Knights trading Reilly Smith to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday, offloading $5 million from the books each of the next two years, there is certainly some open cap space to work with, and a reunion between Hill and Vegas is an option. Whether that comes to fruition remains to be seen, but it does seem like the Smith trade could be a precursor to the British Columbia native working out a contract.
A return to Las Vegas is the most likely option, but if it doesn't work out, there are a plethora of teams who could badly use his services next season and beyond.
4. Vegas Golden Knights
Hill has already said he wants to stay put with the Golden Knights if the two sides can work out a deal, and his agent Gerry Johannson told The Athletic's Pierre LeBrun that re-signing in Vegas would “be the best thing.”
That makes a lot of sense, as Vegas had faith in Adin Hill against the Edmonton Oilers and he proved them right every single start against them, the Dallas Stars and the Florida Panthers. He had a legitimate chance to win the Conn Smythe as the postseason MVP, and was a huge reason that the Knights won it all.
“I think they know they've got a good thing going in Vegas. Hard to predict where all this goes for sure with all the goalie juggling in Vegas…but I think the Knights will be able to sign Hill,” LeBrun wrote last week.
The 27-year-old just played out the last season of a two-year, $4.35-million contract, and although he will be due for a raise, the most likely scenario remains that the team will look to lock him up for at least a couple of years.
3. Ottawa Senators
In the chance that Adin Hill can't work out a contract with his Stanley Cup brethren and decides to test free agency on July 1, the Ottawa Senators should immediately be picking up the phone. It's already known that the team will be moving on from Cam Talbot, and that leaves just Anton Forsberg in the starter's crease.
Hill looks to be an upgrade from Forsberg and with the Senators now sold and preparing to get back into playoff contention in the next few seasons, he could be the guy that helps them win some playoff games in that time. With Alex DeBrincat set to be traded as well, Hill could get a lucrative contract from the Senators in free agency.
2. Los Angeles Kings
Adin Hill is quite accustomed to the Pacific Division after spending time with the Knights and Sharks in the past few seasons. At the same time, the Los Angeles Kings are very familiar with the 27-year-olds game. The Kings really need an upgrade in goal; Phoenix Copley was buried in the AHL amid a very tough season, Jonathan Quick was traded, and contract talks with the goalie they received in that trade in Joonas Korpisalo are relatively quiet.
LA is another team that could pay Hill, and they just added Pierre-Luc Dubois as they look to get over the hump and have playoff success over the next few seasons. Hill posted a phenomenal 2.17 GAA and .932 save percentage over 16 playoff games, and the Kings will likely be one of the top suitors for him if he decides to test free agency.
1. Detroit Red Wings
With Alex Nedeljkovic set to move on from the Detroit Red Wings after a tough few seasons in Michigan, it's only Ville Husso manning the crease for the franchise heading into 2023-24. The Wings will be smack dab in the middle of the goaltending market come July 1, and Steve Yzerman could definitely fit Adin Hill under the salary cap.
Like the Senators, the Red Wings are on the up-and-up in the Atlantic Division, and to get to that next level, they will need goaltending depth that Hill would absolutely provide on a two-to-three year contract. Expect the Wings to make a hefty offer to bring Hill east for the next few campaigns.