As the 2011-2012 NHL season begins its final act, we look ahead to the start of a new hockey year. For fans around the league, free agency offers the promise of a run to the Cup next season. This off-season could very well be named the Summer of Ryan and Zach, as American stars Ryan Suter and Zach Parise are set to become unrestricted free agents.
Dreams of signing one or both of these two franchise players surely live in the minds of hockey fans, General Managers and coaches around the league. The reality is that only a few teams will be able to sign these two guys.
For those 28 or 29 teams who'll miss out on Parise and Suter, here are a few diamonds in the rough that fans should get excited about.