NHL Free Agents 2012: Players Whose Teams Need to Get Them Under Contract ASAP

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NHL Free Agents 2012: Players Whose Teams Need to Get Them Under Contract ASAP
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
Jonathan Quick (left) isn't letting Zach Parise (9) go anywhere. The New Jersey Devils shouldn't either.

Alexander Semin's decision to leave the Washington Capitals and test the NHL free-agent market serves as a warning to every team in the league. Sign your key players now, or be stuck playing against them next season.

Semin tallied 84 points two seasons ago, just one year after producing 79. But his output fell down to 54 points in each of the last two seasons. Now he is unhappy with his role on the team and wants to leave.

Washington's left winger isn't the only big-name free agent this summer. Many NHL teams face the possibility of losing at least one key piece on the open market.

Here is a list of players that teams can't afford to see walk away for greener—flowing with money—pastures.

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