The NHL's free agency period is just days away as teams begin making their pitches to the long list of available talent.
Vincent Lecavalier and Danny Briere are just two of the top players set to become available Friday, July 5. For the right price, the two veteran centers can each provide a lift for a contender next season.
Where they and the others will end up remains a mystery for now, but the speculation never ends.
Here, we'll take a closer look at the latest buzz surrounding some of hockey's big names this summer.
Boston Bruins Shopping Tyler Seguin?
The Boston Bruins had a spectacular run in 2013, somehow reaching the Stanley Cup Final before coming up just two wins short of a second title in three years. But center Tyler Seguin flew under the radar for most of Boston's postseason run, and now it seems the team could be willing to part ways with the young star.
According to TSN's Bob McKenzie, the Bruins have been talking trades and Seguin's name has come up:
Not 100 per cent yet but looks like Nathan Horton will NOT be back with BOS. B's talking trade and Tyler Seguin's name has been discussed.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) June 29, 2013
The 21-year-old scored 32 points in 48 games during the regular season last year but struggled mightily in the playoffs, recording just eight points (seven assists and one goal) in 22 postseason games.
Boston Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli had harsh criticism for Seguin recently, via The Boston Globe's Fluto Shinzawa:
He’s got to commit his mind and focus on the one task at hand. He’s got to become more of a professional. And you know what? I can say that about a lot of 21-year-olds. I know he got criticized for playing on the periphery and all that stuff. He did. He’s got to commit to being a professional and focusing on the game. He does that, we don’t expect him to be crashing and banging. Just play your game.
Clearly, Seguin is going to have to step up his effort level so that it matches his talent level next season. He's still young, but as he gets set to enter his fourth NHL season, time is quickly running out for him to mature.
Half of the League Interested in Danny Briere?
The veteran free agent Briere is drawing interest from more than a dozen NHL teams, according to ESPN NHL insider Pierre LeBrun:
Expectation is that the Daniel Briere shortlist will be down to 4-5 teams by Tuesday. 15 teams called— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) June 30, 2013
The center will turn 36 in October but still has plenty to offer a contending team next season.
Briere recorded 16 points in 34 games with the Philadelphia Flyers last year. Although he isn't the same player he was in 2006-07 with the Buffalo Sabres when he lit up the league for 95 points, he is an experienced player with over 100 postseason appearances.
The Flyers bought out the remaining two years on Briere's contract earlier this offseason.
But Briere is open to changing positions on the ice if it means he can play for a contender, via NHL.com's Adam Kimelman:
There's all kinds of situations. There's teams where it might be a good fit but their top two or three centers are really already strong and there's no room there, but it might be a good fit for all the other reasons. I'm not limiting myself to just playing center.
It appears that whichever team signs Briere this summer will be getting a determined, team-first veteran.
Plenty of Suitors for Vincent Lecavalier
The Tampa Bay Lightning are surprisingly content to part ways with veteran center Lecavalier this summer, but there is no shortage of teams interested in the 33-year-old, according to LeBrun:
So that's a dozen teams. Lecavalier camp hoping to narrow down choices to 3-4 teams within next 2 days or so— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) July 1, 2013
Lecavalier made his NHL debut 15 years ago with the Lightning and is coming off a season in which he recorded 32 points in 39 regular-season appearances.
Tampa Bay opted to buy him out this offseason, though, which means he has quickly become one of if not the most coveted free agent this summer. Lecavalier can still produce at an impressive level and his experience certainly doesn't hurt.
Lecavalier can talk to teams this week but cannot sign with anyone until Friday. CBS Sports' Adam Gretz also adds that Lecavalier met with both the Calgary Flames and the Detroit Red Wings this past weekend.
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