2012 NHL Free Agents: Jamie Langenbrunner and 5 of the Best Veterans Available

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2012 NHL Free Agents: Jamie Langenbrunner and 5 of the Best Veterans Available
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The NHL capped off one of its most captivating seasons last month, and looks to keep its mainstream momentum going well through the offseason.

The free agent market has been hot, with rumors circling around numerous players and teams, just waiting for the pieces to fall into place.

Most teams are currently in a holding pattern, waiting for the highly sought-after Zach Parise to sign, at which point, things could start heating up incredibly fast. Proven veterans are ready to enlist their services to the most captivating bidder, hoping to make a run a Lord Stanley in 2013.

Here's the latest on five of the top free agents on the market, and where they might be lacing up next season:

 

Jamie Langenbrunner

Suitors: Blues, Maple Leafs

Langenbrunner has stated his intention to stay in St. Louis, where despite an injury-plagued season, he helped the Blues overachieve in 2011-12.

It's hard to imagine why the Blues wouldn't want the gritty 36-year-old back for another playoff run; even though unconfirmed speculation has linked him to Toronto as well.

Even with that, it's hard to imagine him leaving St. Louis.

 

Zach Parise

Suitors: Devils, Penguins, Blackhawks, Red Wings, Wild

The Devils' leader has been linked all over the NHL this offseason, after leading New Jersey to a surprisingly successful run to the Finals.

Pittsburgh made a statement, and set the market incredibly high by offering him a franchise-record contract when free agency opened. They also have the persuasive Sidney Crosby, whom Parise is good friends with, on their roster.

Still, recent developments have the Blackhawks coming out of nowhere for a late push, and the Devils and Red Wings are still in the thick of things as well.

 

Alexander Semin

Suitors: Capitals, Red Wings

Semin found himself in the headlines after the TSN crew absolutely ripped him apart on TV the other night. Semin's agent fired back with a scathing excoriation of the TSN analysts, but the damage was done: Semin's name is in the news for the wrong reasons.

Despite that, Semin has proven to be a capable scorer and a solid second-line player. Detroit, and many other teams hoping to sign Parise, may be eyeing him as a fallback option should they lose out on the New Jersey winger.

 

Ryan Suter

Suitors: Predators, Red Wings, Wild, Flyers

The Hurricanes pushed hard to pry Suter away from Nashville, but were recently informed that they were no longer on the list of teams he was considering.

Nashville has reportedly made a "substantial" offer to keep their productive defenseman, which could be enough to retain him. But again, a lot depends on where Parise falls, as the Red Wings and Flyers are desperately waiting in the wings. Don't count out Minnesota, either, as the Wild have been aggressively pursuing a number of top free agents.

 

Jaromir Jagr

Suitors: Flyers, Stars, Flames

Jagr enjoyed a wonderful return to the NHL in 2011-12, lighting up the scoresheet in Philadelphia, and although 40 years old, he's been a pretty hot commodity on the market this summer.

Dallas has made a late push to acquire him, possessing ample cap space and a top-six line spot to offer. He's also been linked to Calgary, where he would be useful both on the ice, as well as helping countryman Roman Cervenka transition into the NHL. 

Jagr is, once again, not expected to sign until Parise does, and could boost any team he goes to.

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