NHL Free Agency 2013: Teams in Desperate Need of Scoring
During the 2013 NHL free-agency period, there are going to be a number of teams interested in players like Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf, Joffrey Lupul and Travis Zajac because of their desperate need of scoring.
Some teams need to overhaul their offensive arsenal; others are desperate to add secondary components. Some may be salivating at the chance to add a veteran like Jarome Iginla as the final piece to their Stanley Cup puzzle.
Whatever the case, there are 13 teams that should be desperate to add scoring in July of 2013.
The NHL lockout could result in a shortened 48-game season, so there is a good chance that there will not be many trades when the season starts. Many teams will address their needs via free agency.
The Anaheim Ducks have two unrestricted free agents in Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf. But if they are unable to re-sign any part of the duo, they should be buyers on the open market.
Other free agents slated to be available in 2013 will include Ryane Clowe, Travis Zajac, Simon Gagne, Stephen Weiss and former-Duck Joffrey Lupul.
The team's first priority will be securing their own UFAs, but the market is large enough for Anaheim to address their scoring needs.
The Buffalo Sabres have a bevy of prospects in their system like Mikhail Grigorenko, Zemgus Girgensons and Joel Armia, but the current roster could use some additional scoring.
Ryane Clowe is a physical and gritty scoring forward who would fit the current makeup of the club. It is a fair assumption that Corey Perry would be a sought after winger to complement Cody Hodgson or one of Buffalo's center prospects.
Jarome Iginla is a free agent at the end of the 2012-13 season, and if he wants to go after a Stanley Cup he will not re-sign in Calgary.
Sven Bartschi is a young prospect and he is expected to be the future of the team, but he is going to need some help. Alex Tanguay and Michael Cammalleri are solid top-six forwards but they can not carry the team.
The Flames will be desperate to add any offense they can because they may finally come to grips with building a team not centered around Iginla.
Alex Semin is only signed for the 2012-13 season with the Carolina Hurricanes. If the experiment does not work as planned, the Hurricanes would look to sign someone to replace Semin.
If Nathan Horton is available, he is the type of player the Hurricanes could look to sign because he would add some grit and scoring ability to complement the team's top six.
Columbus Blue Jackets
The Columbus Blue Jackets are a team that may not be successful in attracting some of the free agents available in 2013, but Scott Howson will certainly be searching.
The Blue Jackets have a sound defensive base in prospects Ryan Murray and Tim Erixon in which to build around, but Howson could look to add some veterans if they are available.
Look for Columbus to target secondary options like Michael Ryder, Mason Raymond and Nik Antropov for the time being because they are not established enough to reel in big fish like Corey Perry.
The Dallas Stars are under new ownership, so general manager Joe Nieuwendyk should have no reservations when it comes to spending money on free agents in 2013.
Brendan Morrow and Jaromir Jagr's salary comes off the books after the 2012-13 season, so there should be no excuse not to spend money.
The Stars have a nice core of younger players like Jamie Benn and Loui Eriksson, but the team could stand to add some additional offense in a big way.
Adding a key piece like Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf or Nathan Horton could go a long way in making the Stars a respectable playoff contender in the Western Conference.
Detroit Red Wings
The Detroit Red Wings are a perennial contender that are always looking to improve their roster, so they should be desperate to improve their scoring during the 2013 free-agency period.
After making an unsuccessful bid to sign both Zach Parise and Ryan Suter this past summer, Ken Holland could make an attempt to sign rising offensive-defenseman Alexander Edler and one of the many scorers that are going to be available in July of 2013.
After losing Ryan Suter to free agency this past summer, the Nashville Predators should look to add a replacement defender and some offense.
The Predators have been a team that has built around strong defense and goaltending, but scoring has been an area of weakness.
Nashville would be an elite contender if they added some scoring, so they should be able to convince some top-end talent to sign in the "Music City" in the offseason.
Potential targets should include Corey Perry, Mike Ribeiro and Joffrey Lupul.
New Jersey Devils
After Zach Parise signed with the Minnesota Wild, the New Jersey Devils' overall offensive depth took a huge hit.
When you factor in that Travis Zajac and David Clarkson could be sought-after secondary-tier free agents in 2013, the Devils will be desperate to add some scoring.
The good news for the Devils is that they may have some money to spend on the free-agency market. According to The Fourth Period it is expected that Calgary businessman and Portland Winterhawks' owner Bill Gallacher will buy a majority stake in the team.
The Phoenix Coyotes are a team that will be under new ownership before the start of the 2013 free-agency period, so expect them to be aggressive in attempts to sign some scoring threats.
Shane Doan is getting older, Radim Vrbata is a secondary scorer and Mikkel Bødker is still developing as a young forward.
The Coyotes should look to do something drastic to generate some buzz around the team in an attempt to prove that hockey can thrive and be successful in Arizona.
Toronto Maple Leafs
The Toronto Maple Leafs are going to be one of the biggest players in the 2013 because Brian Burke will likely be interested in acquiring his former draft picks in Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf.
The Maple Leafs are a team that has not made the playoffs since the 2003-04 season. So if Burke fails to land one of the following during the free-agency period, his time in Toronto could be over.
Getzlaf will likely be the top target because of Toronto's need for a center, but either player would help Toronto long-term.
The Vancouver Canucks may have won the league's Presidents' Trophy two consecutive years in a row, but that hasn't stopped them in their attempts to add scoring.
The Canucks wanted to sign Shane Doan this offseason, but he ultimately decided to re-sign with the Phoenix Coyotes.
In 2013, the Canucks could look to add veteran Jarome Iginla, Ryane Clowe, Nathan Horton or David Clarkson, because each player would fill a similar role for them.
They would add scoring and grit, an area Vancouver has sought to improve on over the past few years.
The Jets had a respectable inaugural season in Winnipeg, but the team needs to address their offense. Evander Kane is a player who has a ton of talent and skill, but he can't be the only player to help drive the offense.
Secondary players like Andrew Ladd, Olli Jokinen and Blake Wheeler should help, but 2013 could be a smart summer for the Jets to attack the free-agency market because of the amount of players that are slated to be available.