NHL Free Agency 2012: How Much Will the Top 20 Players on the Market Cost?

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NHL Free Agency 2012: How Much Will the Top 20 Players on the Market Cost?
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The season's second half has begun, and while players are focused on making the playoffs, agents and front office members all over the league are thinking about the trade deadline at the end of February and this summer's free agents.

Looking around the league, there are some fascinating names that could hit the open market this summer. There are even more that will have their rights restricted, but will need a new contract as well.

In this list, we're going to look at how much the top 20 unrestricted free agents could make this summer. We're limiting the list to unrestricted players at this time because there are two major issues that cannot be addressed at this time.

First, the league and players' association need to negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement. There will probably be some restrictions and limitations made on free agent contracts moving forward, and those concessions are hard to predict.

Secondly, many of the restricted free agents that could become available could have that availability impacted by the new CBA. We do not know if there will be an amnesty provision (like the NBA had), and we do not know if offers to restricted free agents will be impacted as well.

So, with that in mind, here are our estimates for what the top 20 unrestricted free agents could make on the open market this summer.

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