NHL Lockout: Available Free Agents NHL Teams Should Still Reach Out To
During the lockout, NHL teams are unable to contact any player, regardless of whether or not they have a contract.
This has placed free agents in a tough spot, because they want to continue playing hockey in Europe during the lockout, but they don't want to injure themselves without having an NHL contract to fall back on.
Due to this block on communication, veteran free agents are in the dark and their next move is unknown. Once the lockout ends, these players will likely sign on the dotted line as soon as possible, so here are free agents that NHL teams should still reach out to after the lockout ends.
Brian Rolston is a veteran forward who may only have a year or two left in his career, but he has intangibles like leadership qualities that would make him a decent addition to any NHL roster.
He was a solid addition for Boston last season, and he scored 15 points in 21 games after being traded by the New York Islanders.
The aging forward also possesses one of the NHL's hardest slap shots, which could be useful as a point shot on a second special teams unit.
Chris Campoli is finally 100 percent healthy, so he should be on top of his game once the lockout ends. He has battled injuries in the past, so that has had an adverse effect on his game.
He is a speedy puck-moving defender, who has great offensive instincts, and he can be a secondary power-play QB.
If anything, Campoli is an NHL defender who will have benefited from the lockout, because it has enabled him to rest up and get into game shape while the league is on hold.
Pavel Kubina is still a free agent even though he was a sought-after player at the trade deadline.
After he landed in Philadelphia, Kubina was an average defender who ate up minutes, and he served as a member of the team's second special teams unit.
Given the Flyers' losses on defense during the summer to free agency and injury, it is surprising that the team didn't lock him up.
Kubina has championship experience, and he is still a viable puck-moving power-play QB, so he should draw interest after the lockout.
Jason Arnott is a veteran who hasn't received a contract offer for 2012-13, but given his resume and credentials, he should be getting a call once the lockout ends. The power-forward may be older, but he has tons of experience that could benefit a team full of youngsters.
Arnott is a Stanley Cup champion power forward who still has a lot left in the tank, and he is a viable penalty killer and decent bottom-six forward.
If you look at the list of available UFAs on Cap Geek, an interesting name is on the list, and that is the name of Sergei Samsonov.
Samsonov last played during the 2010-11 season and during that season, Samsonov tallied 13 goals and 27 assists for 40 points.
At age 33, Samsonov is too young to be out of the NHL, because he is still a solid secondary scorer who can produce.
After the lockout ends, teams should give this veteran forward a call and a tryout.
Petr Sykora scored 21 goals and added 23 assists for 44 points in 82 games last season for the New Jersey Devils, and he only made $650,000.
Sykora is a veteran who should've been locked up by New Jersey before the lockout, and it is likely that he will test the market once the season does eventually start.
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.
Andrew Brunette is a veteran forward who can fill multiple roles with a new team after the lockout. On decision day in 2011, Brunette decided to sign with the Chicago Blackhawks instead of the New York Rangers.
His stint in Chicago was mediocre, mostly because he was in a bottom-six role, and Brunette didn't play special teams.
After the lockout, Brunette should receive a few phone calls because he is a player who still has what it takes to be a successful secondary scorer in the NHL.
Kurtis Foster is an offensive defenseman who is suited to be a third-pairing defender who quarterbacks a secondary special teams unit.
Foster has good offensive instincts, but his defensive prowess isn't the greatest.
When you consider that most teams rely on two defensive pairings throughout a game, adding Foster would be worth it because of his offensive upside.
With a number of teams looking to improve on defense and special teams, it was surprising that he was still unsigned when the lockout went into effect.