2013 NHL Free Agents: Players Likely to Get Biggest Deals

Tyler BrookeSenior Analyst IIApril 7, 2013

UNIONDALE, NY - MARCH 09: Mike Ribeiro #9 of the Washington Capitals skates against the New York Islanders at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on March 9, 2013 in Uniondale, New York. The Islanders defeated the Capitals 5-2.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The NHL will feature some big names in free agency this offseason, and there are a few guys who are bound to get some big contracts. 

Despite the shortened season, it’s been one of the more exciting seasons in recent memory.  The Chicago Blackhawks started the season with a huge point streak, failing to lose in regulation in 24 straight games. The Pittsburgh Penguins won 15 straight this season as well.

All of the excitement will likely carry over into the offseason, as fans will be keeping an eye on a few big names in free agency. Here are a few guys who are going to be making quite a bit of money in free agency.

Jarome Iginla

Sure, Iginla may be 35 years old, but he’s been a great player during his long career that’s lasted over 15 seasons. 

It’s been a slightly less-productive season for Iginla, but that is likely due to the shortened season and lack of practice before the beginning of the year.  With over 500 goals and 1,000 points during his career, he’s allowed to have a bit of an off year during after another labor strike.

He may have been traded to the Penguins, but his contract will expire at the end of the year, and teams will jump at the opportunity to have the veteran right wing on their team. He may not be making $7 million a year, but it’s not a stretch to think he could be making at least $4.5 million.


Mike Ribeiro

Alex Ovechkin may be the star player on the Washington Capitals, but Ribeiro has made a big impact on this team as well. Just this season, he already has 12 goals and 25 assists.

It’s Ribeiro’s first season with the Capitals, but the end of his contract means he could be heading to his fourth team during his long career. His current contract has had him making $5 million a year since 2008, but a jump in goals scored this season could see him getting a bigger short-term deal over the offseason.

Ribeiro is another veteran player, but he has a few more years in him than Iginla has. It’s pretty rare to see a center who can score as well as he does, and that will lead to a nice fat contract.


Nathan Horton

Horton has enjoyed quite a bit of success with the Boston Bruins since coming over in 2010. He may have missed a large part of the 2011-2012 season, but overall, he’s been a pretty reliable player to have on the ice.

The regular-season numbers may not be super exciting since coming to Boston, but the playoff run in the 2010-2011 season was largely due in part to Horton. He had eight goals and nine assists during that run that ended with the Bruins winning the Stanley Cup.

Front offices around the NHL will be keeping a very close eye on Horton. He’s only 27 and still has yet to truly reach his prime. He’s been able to stay on the ice this season, and that will relieve a lot of teams if they’re planning on picking him up. Wherever he goes, he is sure to make a positive impact on the team and will come in handy if they make a playoff push.