NHL Free Agency Update: Biggest Restricted Free Agents That Still Haven't Signed
The NHL offseason has quieted down significantly since mid-July. Even the swirling trade rumors seem to have downgraded from hurricane status to a tropical storm.
Roberto Luongo is still in Vancouver, in case anyone hasn’t heard.
The majority of the NHL’s unrestricted free agents have signed with their clubs for 2012-13. The restricted free-agent market, however, still has some big names on the market.
Group 2 free agents are a semi-complicated matter, especially with the current collective bargaining agreement set to expire in September and the NHL and NHLPA discussing terms of a new agreement.
With that said, Group 2 free agents’ teams are given compensation if the individual signs with a different organization. That breakdown is as follows, according to NHL.com:
$1,110,249 or below None
Over $1,110,249 to $1,682,194 Third-round choice
Over $1,682,194 to $3,364,391 Second-round choice
Over $3,364,391 to $5,046,585 First-round and third-round choice
Over $5,046,585 to $6,728,781 First-round, second-round and third-round choice
Over $6,728,781 to $8,410,976 Two first-round choices, one second- and one third-round choice
Over $8,410,976 Four first-round choices
The simplest way to explain that is by giving an example. If John Smith signs with a new team for $2 million per year, his former team is given a second-round draft pick as compensation.
Here are some of the biggest names still left on the Group 2 free-agent market.
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images
Current Team: Dallas Stars (entry-level contract expired)
Jamie Benn was one of the best stories of the 2011-12 season. In his third NHL season, Benn netted 63 points and was plus-15.
He was named an All-Star and did so in perfect timing for negotiating a new deal. The 23-year-old winger is arguably the Stars' best player, even with the offseason signings in Dallas.
You have to assume re-signing him would be a top priority for the Stars. If your team is in need of a young, skilled winger, I've got your best one on the market right here.
13 Game-Winning Goals
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
Current Team: Washington Capitals (entry-level contract expired)
Haven't teams been fighting for high-level defensemen this offseason?
Ryan Suter took top dollar to go to Minnesota. Matt Carle went to Tampa Bay.
Now teams are scrapping to find people to fill their blue-line holes. Right, Philadelphia?
The Capitals re-signed 26-year-old defenseman Mike Green to a new three-year deal worth $18.25 million. You have to think a similar contract will be in order for 22-year-old Carlson.
Carlson has scored 30-plus points in his first two full NHL seasons and is a plus-15 player. He's also a minute muncher, averaging nearly 22 minutes of ice-time per game.
74 Penalty Minutes
30 Postseason Games
Rick Stewart/Getty Images
Current Team: Toronto Maple Leafs (one-year deal expired)
When Jonas Gustavsson left Toronto for Detroit, the door opened for Ben Scrivens. Currently, the Maple Leafs have only one goalie on their roster in James Reimer.
Signing Scrivens is obviously a priority for the Leafs, but they haven't accomplished that task...yet.
Scrivens is a former Hobey Baker Award finalist, but he is just a 6.5 prospect score, according to Hockey's Future.
Leaf fans hold Scrivens in high praise, but other teams may as well. Improving goaltending situations is always a focus for NHL teams.
12 Games Played
.903 Save percentage
3.13 Goals-Against Average
Nick Didlick/Getty Images
Current Team: Vancouver Canucks (Entry-Level Contract Expired)
Continuing with the goaltender theme and staying in Canada, the Vancouver Canucks have a somewhat convoluted goaltending situation.
Roberto Luongo is on the trading block. Cory Schneider appears to be the No. 1. But, Luongo is still in Vancouver and could be at training camp, according to general manager Mike Gillis.
If the Canucks can't find a home for Luongo, they may not have room for Lack. If that's the case, would another team pick him up?
The undrafted free agent appears ready to make the jump to the NHL ranks.
Career Numbers (AHL):
2.26 Goals-Against Average
.926 Save Percentage
Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images
Current Team: Montreal Canadiens (Entry-Level Contract Expired)
P.K. Subban has turned into one of the more notable faces of the Montreal Canadiens. With that in mind, he still doesn't have a contract.
The Boston Bruins upset the Canadiens by drafting Subban's younger brother, Malcolm, in the first round of this year's draft.
Could you imagine if the Bruins tried to get P.K. from the Canadiens?
One of the better defensive players on the market still, P.K.'s value may increase as the preseason nears.
245 Penalty Minutes
24:18 Time-On-Ice Average