In one of the NHL’s first major offseason moves of 2013, would-be free agent Sergei Gonchar reportedly signed a two-year deal with the Dallas Stars, who had just traded for his rights with the Ottawa Senators. TSN's Darren Dreger reported the news.
Between the impending trimming of the salary cap and a relatively shallow pool of restricted and unrestricted free agents, this summer’s spree may be underwhelming in contrast to previous years. That is why the likes of Adam Proteau from The Hockey News cautioned everyone not to “get all giddy about July 5,” when free agents are turned loose for collection without any return packages required.
Nonetheless, there is still a decent quantity of names that are hardly a lock to return to their current teams and will be apt to percolate intrigue.
(As an aside, please note the distinction between those who are “hardly a lock to return to their current teams” and those whose re-signing with their current teams would make the most sense. Those in the latter category will not be seen on this list.)
Based on who might fit in where and who is affordable for whom, here is a short list of soon-to-be NHL free agents whose movement would be less than surprising and the top teams that would make sense for them. Or vice versa.