While everyone is focused on the trade deadline that is now less than two weeks away, free agency is looming for some pretty good players.
While not a strong class of free agents, it is at least stronger than last tear's crop. The biggest question concerning this year's class is the collective bargaining agreement that ends in September. Will it affect a team's spending? I guess we will find out when free agency opens this summer.
Here are the biggest suitors for the top 8 free agents.
Biggest Suitor: Los Angeles
Even though the Los Angeles Kings are in a playoff spot, they are not where they thought they would be. They thought that the addition of Mike Richards would push them into contention for the Western Conference title. That hasn't been the case.
The Kings should do all that is possible to sign Zach Parise. The only question is: Do they want three $8 million players on one team?
Biggest Suitor: Detroit
Detroit is nearing the end of the Nicklas Lidstrom era. He might stick around for one more season, but the chances are that his career is over after the season.
The Detroit Red Wings must throw all the money they can at Ryan Suter. Nashville can throw all the money it wants, but the temptation to jump ship might just be too great.
Biggest Suitor: Nashville
Maybe Alex Semin's personality wouldn't exactly fit in Nashville to start, but it would be good for his career if he were to go someplace that's out of the spotlight. Also, Barry Trotz's way of coaching could do wonders for him.
If Nashville is serious about becoming more of a contender, it would be wise to go after a scorer like Semin.
Biggest Suitor: Detroit
We all thought that last year was the year that Detroit would make a big splash in free agency, but this year it seems far more likely that they will make a move.
The Red Wings are famous for reinvigorating players careers and while Ales Hemsky's career doesn't necessarily need that, he could definitely become a better player in Detroit.
Biggest Suitor: San Jose
Carolina has struggled this season, but Tuomo has been one of the bright spots, scoring 17 goals and totaling 30 points.
If Carolina fails in re-signing him, San Jose would give him a shot at the Stanley Cup every year and he wouldn't be counted on as a primary scorer.
Biggest Suitor: Columbus
Tomas Vokoun hasn't set the world on fire in Washington and he might not be brought back as a result. Now, I'm not saying that he would want to go to Columbus, but he'd be the assured starting goaltender and that is something he would relish.
Biggest Suitor: Philadelphia
There has been speculation that the Philadelphia Flyers might be interested in Nicklas Grossman to fill in the void that Chris Pronger has left in the lineup.
If the Flyers don't trade for him before the deadline, expect them to throw an offer at him as soon as free agency opens.
Biggest Suitor: Winnipeg
If there's one sure thing that happens this offseason, it's that if Shane Doan doesn't re-sign in Phoenix, he's going to Winnipeg.