According to Sportsnet, formerdefenseman has been holding individual workouts with teams interested in his services and will be making a decision on his playing future later this week.
Sources tell Sportsnet that after working out with thelast week, Mitchell has apparently showcased his health to the and his club for the last four seasons, the Vancouver Canucks.
Mitchell is trying to make a comeback after suffering a season-ending concussion last January.
The workouts have reportedly gone well, and now the 33-year-old is expected to visit the .
It is believed Mitchell will make up his mind on his future by the end of the week.
It's no surprise that I consider Willie Mitchell to be the lone free agent left who could make a considerable impact on the team going into the new season, what with his physicality, ability to play tough minutes against top competition, and pedigree as a top three shutdown defenseman. No matter which club he signs with will be getting an excellent player, and on some level, I'm just excited that he's been able to shake the concussion concerns and work his way back into the NHL.
The rumor out there right now is that the Kings have offered him a two-year deal, with no word on the negotiations with the Sharks. Not a big surprise considering DW runs a tight ship in terms of information leakage, but definitely relevant to our discussion here.
Right now I'd still put San Jose at the top of the list due to his ties to the West Coast. Same goes with Los Angeles. Vancouver has some cap issues that we've covered extensively over the last month (read: a lot would have to break right for them if they wanted to sign Mitchell), and Washington is on the East Coast, which could hinder his desire to play there. That being said, they're definitely a contender with room to fit him into their top four, so playing time nor cap space would be an issue.
At any rate, considering I've covered this topic to death over the last month, here's some relevant links on Mitchell that have been published on Fear The Fin during the offseason:
- If the Sharks offer Mitchell a one-year contract, bonuses could be a part of the deal considering Mitchell spent 100+ days on LTIR last year and has logged over 400 NHL games. ["Where in the world is Willie Mitchell?"]
- A breakdown of Mitchell, his concussion issues, and why he would be a phenomenal fit for a Sharks team in need of a top three shutdown defenseman. ["Why Willie Mitchell could be a great fit for San Jose"]
- Who the Sharks were competing with for his services, and an update on Mitchell's concussion. ["Willie Mitchell symptom-free after eighteen days of skating"]
- Heading into free agent frenzy, I had Mitchell as the fourth best defenseman on the market for the Sharks to pursue. ["UFA Defensive Targets"]
If this drags past Friday I might just lose my mind.