July 1st is just around the corner and that marks the opening of the NHL's free agent signing period.
Last year, Brad Richards was the biggest catch. He ended up signing with the New York Rangers and had a productive season on Broadway, helping the Rangers reach the Eastern Conference final.
This year, Ryan Suter and Zach Parise are the two highest-ranked free agents available. We will now examine the top 20 available players as of July 1st.
Some ground rules: I am only including unrestricted free agents (UFAs) on this list. Restricted free agents (RFAs) are unlikely to change teams unless their present clubs choose not to bring them back.
Also, I have excluded players like Martin Brodeur and Teemu Selanne, as they will either re-sign with their present teams or retire, but are almost certainly NOT going to test the free agent market.
It is possible some of these players will sign new contracts before free agency actually gets underway, but here—in no particular order—are 20 free agents who should be on every NHL team's watch list.