NHL Free Agency: 15 Free Agents Who Could Still Make a Difference in 2012-13
The summer months have all but come to a close and the hockey season is closer to starting. Even though there is a lockout pending, there are players who are still looking for a team.
These players may not be the most effective or the cream of the crop but they are the top remaining free agents and they are solid players who can fill a role that could make a difference for a team during the 2012-13 season.
Sergei Samsonov last played in the NHL during the 2010-11 season with the Florida Panthers and Carolina Hurricanes. During that season, Samsonov tallied 13 goals and 27 assists for 40 points in 78 games. He is a former 75-point performer who usually hovered in the 40-to-50 point range.
Samsonov is only 33 years old and the time off from action will give him fresh legs. He has talent to be a decent secondary performer in the NHL.
Tomas Holmstrom is still a free agent and he only wants to sign with the Detroit Red Wings. He is a player who can still make an impact. Holmstrom is a power play specialist who loves to camp in front of the net.
All but one of Holmstrom's 11 goals in 2011-12 came on the power play and most of them were stuff-in shots in front of the cage . Bringing Holmstrom back for another year will definitely have an impact on the Red Wings and their power play.
Petr Sykora was a huge surprise for the New Jersey Devils last season and it is a huge surprise that they haven't re-signed him.
He scored 21 goals and added 23 assists for 44 points in 82 games and he only made $650k.
Adding Sykora as a veteran and in a secondary role is a wise move based on how he performed last year and how much of a bargain he proved to be.
Sykora is still a skilled skater with decent hands so it wouldn't be surprising to see him hit 40 points again in 2012-13.
Speaking of former New Jersey Devils, Kurtis Foster is an offensive defenseman who has had ups and downs during his NHL career but he still would be able to make a difference for an NHL team in 2012-13.
Foster has good offensive instincts and has shown that he can put up 40 points in a season.
Foster's offensive abilities and potential could be enough to draw interest from teams that are seeking a bottom-pairing offensive defenseman.
Jason Arnott is another former New Jersey Devil that could make an impact for a team in 2012-13.
Arnott is a veteran who hasn't received a contract offer for 2012-13 but he could still make an impact next season.
Arnott is a Stanley Cup champion power forward who still has a lot left in the tank. He is a decent bottom-six center who can still win faceoffs and kill penalties. Adding a veteran like Arnott would really add experience and depth to any team in the NHL.
Andrei Kostitsyn is a player who can be productive in the right situation and it is possible that he could have an impact in 2012-13.
He is a skilled offensive player with defensive zone deficiencies but with the right coach, Kostitsyn could turn his game around.
If teams are willing to put his past curfew suspension aside, Kostitsyn could go down as a bargain UFA signing.
Michal Rozsival is a solid bottom-pairing defender who can eat up a lot of minutes and that is why he is a defender who could make a difference in 2012-13.
He isn't the most offensive or physical defenseman, but he still has some value in the league. Rozsival is a veteran and a good teammate and that is something that every team would want to add to their locker room.
It is hard to comprehend that Pavel Kubina is still on the market after considering the teams that were after him at the trade deadline.
Kubina is a puck-moving defender who will eat up second-pairing or third-pairing minutes and he will add some offense.
He is a defenseman that has experience and it could really help teams that are looking for that extra piece to become a deep playoff contender.
Jochen Hecht is a player who is looking to rebound in 2012-13 after an injury-ridden 2011-12 season.
Hecht could have an impact in 2012-13 because he is a defensive bottom-nine forward who kills penalties and wins faceoffs.
Although Hecht has regressed significantly and isn't the same player he was in his prime, he has the intangibles to make it work on almost an NHL team.
Chris Campoli has battled injuries the past few years but now that he is healthy, he is a defenseman that could make a difference in 2012-13.
Campoli is a defenseman who excels when it comes to puck possession and the offensive side of the game. His speed makes him a mobile defenseman and that makes him valuable enough to overlook his defensive deficiencies.
Nonetheless, Campoli would be a welcome addition to any team's bottom pairing because of his shot and offensive qualities.
Dominic Moore has played for multiple teams throughout his NHL career and it seems that he can never stick in one spot.
Moore will find a job for the 2012-13 season because is a solid bottom-six player who will win faceoffs, play in the dirty areas of the ice and he will chip in some secondary offense from time to time.
Moore has the experience so it will be a matter of time before he finds a team to call home for the upcoming season.
Every team in the NHL could use a veteran forward that can play a versatile role and Daymond Langkow is one of those veteran forwards still looking for a job. He is no longer a spry 20-year-old but the 35-year-old forward can still kill penalties and chip in 30 points of offense a season.
Langkow is also a solid two-way center and a superb defensive forward who will contribute offense in spurts, but he brings intangibles and veteran leadership.
Andrew Brunette is a veteran forward who can have an impact as a secondary scorer as long as he has enough ice time.
His stint with the Chicago Blackhawks rendered him almost useless because he didn't have enough opportunities to contribute.
Brunette is only a couple years removed from his stretch of 50-plus point campaigns where he was in a top-six role.
If Brunette is paired with the right linemates, there is no reason why he can't return to his 50-point form.
Brian Rolston is a player that would fill a niche role on a team in 2012-13 and he would be worth adding. Rolston could be acquired just for his power play prowess and his booming heavy shot.
If teams wanted a veteran that has experience and other intangibles, Rolston is the man for the job. Although his best days are behind him, he still has one of the heaviest shots in the NHL.
Shane Doan said he will make a decision by September 15th and the clock is ticking. He has waited as long as he possibly can for prospective owner Greg Jamison to get the necessary funds together so he can buy the Phoenix Coyotes and keep them in Glendale.
Doan currently has a few offers on the table so it will be interesting to see when and where he signs.
Wherever he does sign he will have an impact because Doan is a veteran leader who can play in a top-six role and he will score at least 20 goals while contributing 45 points or more.