NHL Free Agents 2012: 1 Player Each Team Will Wish They'd Re-Signed
It happens every year.
A team in the NHL has a free agent that it wants to re-sign but is unable to for any variety of reasons. Whether it be another team outbidding it or the player wanting out, the team loses a player it wanted to keep.
This offseason, there have been some pretty obvious situations with teams losing players, specifically, two players that left Nashville and New Jersey.
For others, the players they lost aren't that big a name, but the team will still feel the loss, whenever the season starts.
Who are these players?
Anaheim: George Parros
For years in Anaheim, George Parros was one of the best enforcers in the league. He'll still continue to be, but unfortunately for the Ducks, it will be in a Florida Panthers jersey.
While the Ducks made moves to bring some toughness back into the lineup, there's not that many players like Parros.
This is one of the smaller moves that could have big ramifications for a team.
Boston: Marty Turco
The Boston Bruins brought in Marty Turco near the end of the season to have more depth to finish the season when Tuukka Rask went down with an injury. While he wasn't able to play in the playoffs, he might be missed this season.
With Tim Thomas not playing this season, Turco would have provided veteran experience to Rask. With the Bruins letting him go, they will have Anton Khudobin backing Rask up.
Buffalo: Jochen Hecht
Jochen Hecht was another player that provided veteran experience for his team. Looking at the Sabres' center depth, they could have used more of it this season. With Cody Hodgson, Tyler Ennis, Luke Adam and possibly Mikhail Grigorenko manning the position this season, they will be depending on an extremely young core.
The 35-year-old Hecht would have provided some leadership to all those young players.
Calgary: David Moss
One of those role players that every team would love to have, David Moss left Calgary to find a new home in Phoenix. Although he has had his injury troubles in the last couple of seasons, when he's in the lineup, he'll make a difference.
Unfortunately for Calgary, it won't be for it.
Carolina: Bryan Allen
This season, Joni Pitkanen and Tim Gleason will form the veteran leadership for the Hurricanes defense. Letting go of Bryan Allen made sure of that. Allen would have given Carolina another veteran to lead their young defense.
Justin Faulk, Jamie McBain and Ryan Murphy will need it to grow as players in the NHL.
Chicago: Brendan Morrison
While it's been awhile since Brendan Morrison's prime, he can still be a valuable piece in any lineup. Chicago acquired him last season to bring in more depth to the team's center position, and it's choosing to let that depth go.
Morrison is still looking for work, so maybe Chicago will re-visit possibly bringing him back when the season starts.
Colorado: Peter Mueller
Say what you will about his injury troubles, Peter Mueller still has potential. He has never been given the shot at being the player he can be because of all those injuries and now will be moving to his third team.
Mueller could be a huge steal for the Florida Panthers if he finds a way to stay healthy. If he does, the Avalanche could be kicking themselves for giving up on him.
Columbus: Kristian Huselius
You know you have a bad team when Kristian Huselius is the player the Blue Jackets will have wished they re-signed. All other free-agent departures in Columbus were minor, so Huselius somehow gets this spot.
Dallas: Sheldon Souray
While out of the NHL for the 2010-11 season, Sheldon Souray made for a nice story in 2011-12. While he only totaled 21 points in 64 games, he was a plus-11 in plus/minus, showing that his blistering slapshot isn't the only good thing about Souray's game.
Now that Souray is in Anaheim, Dallas will have to go on without him.
Detroit: Jiri Hudler
This one's a bit of a stretch. With the Red Wings bringing in Mikael Samuelsson and Jordin Tootoo, Hudler would probably be considered expendable.
Edmonton: Cam Barker
This is another one where it's amazing that a player that shouldn't be here is. Cam Barker can now officially be called a dud after not working with the young Oilers team. However, Barker might have provided another year to allow for more development of their players in junior.
Florida: Jason Garrison
Jason Garrison was the only big loss from the Florida Panthers roster. The Panthers badly wanted to keep him, but the lure of playing close to home was to much for Garrison. Now in Vancouver, Garrison takes his skills to a team where they will make a huge difference in the playoffs.
He would have in Florida, too. It's just that Vancouver is much closer to a championship than Florida is.
Los Angeles: No One
Here's the list of players that the Kings lost to free agency this offseason.
Do any of those players look like they'll be missed?
Minnesota: Guillaume Latendresse
Guillaume Latendresse is another player that has struggled with injuries in the last couple of seasons. He is also another player that can score a lot when he is healthy.
While the Wild definitely acquired enough production to replace Latendresse, he could have provided a lot of secondary scoring for a team looking to make it back to the playoffs.
Montreal: Brad Staubitz
The Montreal Canadiens essentially replaced Brad Staubitz with Colby Armstrong. If Armstrong somehow finds a way to stay healthy, then the move will be good.
However, if Armstrong doesn't, the Canadiens will miss the more durable Staubitz.
Nashville: Ryan Suter
New Jersey: Zach Parise
See previous slide.
New York Islanders: P.A. Parenteau
P.A. Parenteau formed some great chemistry with John Tavares over the last two seasons, and now they have lost a player that was one of their best. The Islanders might not have wanted to pay Parenteau what Colorado ended up paying him, but it probably would have been worth it to keep their team together.
New York Rangers: Brandon Prust
Now, it's understandable that New York would not want to pay Brandon Prust all the money that Montreal ended up paying him. It's also a fact that the Rangers have the players to replace Prust. With the moves that New York made during the offseason, this is the lone move that the Rangers might regret.
Ottawa: Filip Kuba
Filip Kuba was a big part of why Erik Karlsson was able to win the Norris Trophy last season because his defensive style allowed Karlsson to take offensive risks. With Kuba gone, Karlsson could be adversely affected, especially if a replacement doesn't show themselves.
Philadelphia: Matt Carle
Philadelphia's defense core has gone through some massive problems this offseason, whether it was Chris Pronger still having concussion problems or the news that Andreas Lilja and Andrej Meszaros would be out with injuries to start the season. Add in the loss of Matt Carle, and Philadelphia's defense looks even worse.
Phoenix: Ray Whitney
This would easily been Shane Doan if he had chosen to leave Phoenix. He didn't, so the 40-year-old Ray Whitney gets the honor.
Whitney has defied his age for a few seasons now, and it should continue for at least another year. Last year, he formed one of Phoenix's best lines with Radim Vrbata and Martin Hanzal. Now, Phoenix will have to go on without him, and it remains to be seen if Phoenix can have the same success without him.
Pittsburgh: Steve Sullivan
Last season, Steve Sullivan provided two important things to the Pittsburgh Penguins, veteran leadership and depth on the wing. They lost both with Sullivan's departure to Phoenix. Now, Pittsburgh is pretty much back to the same depth it had before Sullivan's arrival. That might not be a bad thing, as it has been successful with and without him.
St. Louis: Jason Arnott
This one is all about championship experience. Jason Arnott was instrumental in bringing the Stanley Cup to New Jersey in 2000, scoring the winning goal in double overtime of Game 6.
St. Louis is a young team that is on the precipice of competing for the Stanley Cup. While the Blues still have Jamie Langenbrunner, Arnott would have been able to provide the experience needed for a team like the Blues.
San Jose: Daniel Winnik
Daniel Winnik might have only been in San Jose for the last part of the season, but he is a valuable part of any lineup he's in. A good penalty killer, Winnik could be more of an offensive producer if he can learn to actually put the puck in the net.
Winnik had 184 shots on net last season, yet he only put six of them in the net. If he can find a way to improve that number in Anaheim, San Jose could regret letting him go.
Tampa Bay: Mike Commodore
It is well documented that Tampa Bay needs defense, or at least needs its defense to improve. While the Lightning acquired Matt Carle and Sami Salo during the offseason, the retention of a team-first player like Mike Commodore would have provided some extra depth for a team that will very likely need it.
Toronto: No One
To quote the Los Angeles slide, here are the players that Toronto lost.
Again, not a player that will make a huge difference at all.
Vancouver: Samuel Pahlsson
Samuel Pahlsson decided that he wanted to continue his career in Europe rather than the NHL. The Vancouver Canucks will miss him, however. While the Canucks didn't make it out of the first round, Pahlsson would have been invaluable if they had. Defensive players like Pahlsson can make all the difference for a team looking to win the Stanley Cup.
Washington: Alex Semin
The fact that Washington let Alex Semin go was not a surprise. The fact that Semin signed with the Capitals' division rival Carolina Hurricanes will make Washington wish it had re-signed the skilled Russian.
If Semin can find some consistency with the Hurricanes, the Capitals will dread the day they let him go.
Winnipeg: Chris Mason
Al Montoya is no pushover, but Chris Mason gave the first-year Winnipeg Jets more than a solid backup to Ondrej Pavelec. With Mason on his way back to Nashville, the Jets are hoping that Montoya can provide at least some of what Mason gave them.