NHL Free Agents 2013 Tracker: Rumors and Destinations for Top 50 Players

Nicholas GossCorrespondent IJuly 5, 2013

NHL Free Agents 2013 Tracker: Rumors and Destinations for Top 50 Players

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    The normally calm offseason NHL waters are bubbling and foaming at the start of free agency.

    As teams look to improve their lot for 2013-14, players are searching for the best financial deals as they take the next step in their careers. There are no absolutes, but if you hear a player say that his signing was not about the money, it almost certainly was.

    While this year's class of unrestricted free agents lacks elite, franchise-cornerstone-caliber talent, there are plenty of veteran players who could provide valuable depth for playoff contenders.

    Let's take a look at the latest buzz surrounding the top 50 free agents on the market.

     

    Note: Check back to this article daily for updates as signings become official and new rumors emerge. All salary information via CapGeek. All quotes obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted.

1. Vincent Lecavalier, Center (Signed, Flyers)

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    Latest Buzz

    Vincent Lecavalier has signed a five-year, $22.5 million contract with the Philadelphia Flyers, according to TSN's Darren Dreger.

     

    2013 Stats

    39 GP, 10 G, 22 A, 5 PP, +/- -5

     

    Why He's an Asset

    Lecavalier will bring some much-needed size and offensive skill to the Flyers' group of centers. He also gives the team another valuable weapon on the power play with his powerful slap shot.

    As a former Stanley Cup champion and captain, the 33-year-old forward will also provide Philadelphia with a wealth of playoff experience and strong leadership skills.

2. Jarome Iginla, Right Wing (Signed, Bruins)

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    Latest Buzz

    TSN's Bob McKenzie has reported that the Boston Bruins and Jarome Iginla have reached an agreement on a contract.

     

    2013 Stats

    44 GP, 14 G, 19 A, 6 PP, +/- -5

     

    Why He's an Asset

    Iginla is a top-six winger and a productive goal scorer with 13 20-plus-goal seasons in the last 14 years. He's capable of impacting games physically as a power forward while also making a difference on the power play with his goal scoring and playmaking skills.

    The 36-year-old veteran is also one of the game's best leaders and is highly motivated to win the first Stanley Cup of his legendary career.

3. Danny Briere, Center (Signed, Canadiens)

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    Latest Buzz

    The Montreal Canadiens announced the signing of Danny Briere on Thursday afternoon via the team's official Twitter account. It's a two-year, $8 million deal, according to Renaud Lavoie of RDS.

     

    2013 Stats

    34 GP, 6 G, 10 A, 3 PP, +/- -13

     

    Why He's an Asset

    Briere would be the perfect addition to a playoff contender that needs a reliable scorer and veteran leader. The 35-year-old's playoff resume includes 109 points (50 goals, 59 assists) in 108 career postseason games.

    In a second-line center role, Briere would excel as a playmaker on a team that utilizes an uptempo style of hockey. He's a great skater, his wrist shot is very accurate and his ability to make plays and score power-play goals is quite valuable.

4. Mike Ribeiro, Center (Signed, Coyotes)

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    Latest Buzz

    According to Renaud Lavoie of RDS, the Coyotes have signed Ribeiro to a four-year contract worth $5.25 million per season.

     

    2013 Stats

    48 GP, 13 G, 36 A, 6 PP, +/- -4

     

    Why He's an Asset

    After Danny Briere, Mike Ribeiro is the best second-line center on the free-agent market. He's a major force on the power play with a league-leading 27 points and 21 assists in the shortened 2013 season.

    In addition to his ability to tally 50-75 points per season, Ribeiro also has 49 games of playoff experience on his impressive NHL resume.

5. Nathan Horton, Right Wing (Signed, Blue Jackets)

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    Latest Buzz

    TSN reporter Bob McKenzie says Nathan Horton has inked a seven-year, $37.1 million contract with the Columbus Blue Jackets.

     

    2013 Stats

    43 GP, 13 G, 9 A, 0 PP, +/- 1

     

    Why He's an Asset

    Horton has become one of the NHL's best playoff performers with 36 points (15 goals, 21 assists) in 41 career playoff games, all of which were played over the last three years as a member of the Boston Bruins.

    He also played a major part in the Bruins' Stanley Cup championship in 2011 by scoring the game-winning goal in Game 7 of the first round versus Montreal and the conference finals against Tampa Bay.

    As a top-tier power forward with an impressive shot and great size, Horton is one of the few first-line forwards available in this year's free agent class.

6. Stephen Weiss, Center (Signed, Red Wings)

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    Latest Buzz

    TSN's Bob McKenzie reported that Stephen Weiss has completed a five-year, $24.5 million deal with the Detroit Red Wings. This move adds much-needed depth down the middle for Detroit. Earlier in the day, the Red Wings signed Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson.

     

    2013 Stats

    17 GP, 1 G, 3 A, 1 PP, +/- -13

     

    Why He's an Asset

    Despite missing most of last season with a wrist injury, Weiss is one of the most gifted playmakers available. He's a consistent offensive player with six straight 40-plus-point seasons before 2013 and four or more power-play goals in six of his last eight seasons.

    As a legitimate second-line winger in the prime of his career, Weiss would be a great fit on a contending team that needs a playmaker with skill, speed and a high hockey IQ.

7. Daniel Alfredsson, Right Wing (Signed, Red Wings)

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    Latest Buzz

    According to TSN's Darren Dreger, via ESPN's Pierre LeBrun, Alfredsson has ended his tenure in Ottawa by signing a one-year contract worth $5.5 million with the Detroit Red Wings.

     

    2013 Stats

    47 GP, 10 G, 17 A, 3 PP, +/- 1

     

    Why He's an Asset

    Alfredsson is a great captain and a 40-65 point scorer despite being 40 years old. During a conference call on Thursday, Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli explained what makes the Senators captain a great free agent target.

    "Well he’s a veteran, he’s a terrific leader, he’s a terrific players and he does anything to win. He’s strong on the puck, he’s got a terrific shot, he has a lot of good things about him."

8. Damien Brunner, Right Wing (Unsigned)

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    Latest Buzz

    Damien Brunner is an unrestricted free agent, and the Detroit Red Wings have not re-signed him as of July 5. TSN's Pierre LeBrun has reported that the 27-year-old will test free agency.

     

    2013 Stats

    44 GP, 12 G, 14 A, 3 PP, +/- -6

     

    Why He's an Asset

    Brunner had a tremendous rookie season after joining the Red Wings from Switzerland. He's a versatile player capable of producing offensively as a center or a winger. His playmaking skills, vision and ability to protect the puck are all excellent.

    His nine points in 14 games during the 2013 playoffs also confirmed that he's capable of shining when it matters most.

9. Rob Scuderi, Defenseman (Signed, Penguins)

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    Latest Buzz

    TSN's Bob McKenzie has reported that the veteran defenseman has signed a four-year, $13.5 million deal with the Pittsburgh Penguins. This is a huge blow for the Kings, who were counting on having him back.

     

    2013 Stats

    48 GP, 1 G, 11 A, 0 PP, +/- -6

     

    Why He's an Asset

    Scuderi is a shutdown defenseman capable of logging 20-plus minutes per game against the opposing team's best scorers. He blocks shots, excels on the penalty kill, provides great leadership and sets an example for younger players with his professionalism. The 34-year-old also has plenty of postseason experience and is a two-time Stanley Cup champion.

10. Mark Streit, Defenseman (Signed, Flyers)

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    Latest Buzz

    Darren Dreger of TSN reported that 35-year-old defenseman Mark Streit signed a four-year, $21 million contract with the Philadelphia Flyers.

     

    2013 Stats

    48 GP, 6 G, 21 A, 3 PP, +/- -14

     

    Why He's an Asset

    Streit is one of the best offensive defensemen in the NHL and will provide consistent scoring from the Flyers blue line next season. His ability to move the puck quickly and precisely helps the team's breakout and evades the opponent's forecheck.

    In addition to his playmaking skills and ability to quarterback a power play, Streit also brings impressive leadership skills to Philadelphia as a long-time captain with the New York Islanders.

11. Valtteri Filppula, Center (Signed, Lightning)

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    Latest Buzz

    TSN's Pierre LeBrun, via ESPN's Pierre LeBrun, is reporting that Filppula has signed a five-year contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning worth $25 million.

     

    2013 Stats

    41 GP, 9 G, 8 A, 3PP, +/- -3

     

    Why He's an Asset

    Filppula is a highly-skilled forward with exceptional playmaking sills, impressive puck-handling ability and good speed. He's also a force on the power play with an accurate wrist shot and ability to make precise passes. 

    The Finnish center also has 109 career playoff games on his resume, in addition to two Stanley Cup Final appearances in 2008 and 2009 with Detroit.

12. David Clarkson, Right Wing (Signed, Maple Leafs)

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    Latest Buzz

    Darren Dreger of TSN has reported the details of Clarkson's contract with the Leafs, tweeting: "7 years, $36.75 for Clarkson and Leafs. Ltd no-trade and no-move clause." 

     

    2013 Stats

    48 GP, 15 G, 9 A, 6 PP, +/- -3

     

    Why He's an Asset

    Clarkson is a goalscoring power forward who plays a physical game and isn't afraid to battle for pucks in the dirty areas. He's also become a valuable forward with the man advantage with 14 power-play goals in the last two seasons.

    The 29-year-old winger would be a great fit on a contending team's second line as a player whose size, skill and grit makes him difficult to play against.

13. Mike Smith, Goaltender (Signed, Coyotes)

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    Latest Buzz

    The Phoenix Coyotes announced on Monday that starting goaltender Mike Smith had been re-signed to a new six-year contract.

     

    2013 Stats

    15-12-5, .910 SV%, 2.58 GAA, 5 SO

     

    Why He's an Asset

    Smith is a dependable goaltender who has proven to be a wonderful fit in Coyotes head coach Dave Tippett's defensive style of hockey. He enjoyed his best NHL season in 2011-12 when he led the Coyotes to the team's first ever Western Conference Final appearance with a 9-7 postseason record, a .944 save percentage and a 1.99 GAA.

14. Andrew Ference, Defenseman (Signed, Oilers)

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    Latest Buzz

    Andrew Ference has signed a four-year deal with the Edmonton Oilers. He will earn $3.25 million per year, according to TSN's Bob McKenzie.

     

    2013 Stats

    48 GP, 4 G, 9 A, 0 PP, +/- 9

     

    Why He's an Asset

    Andrew Ference is a tremendous leader and a defenseman who coaches can rely on during important situations. In the 2013 Eastern Conference Final, the 34-year-old played a big part in holding Sidney Crosby to zero points through four games.

    As a defensive defenseman who's willing to block shots, kill penalties and go to the dirty areas to win puck battles, Ference is one of the top UFA blueliners on the free agent market.

15. Tim Thomas, Goaltender (Unsigned)

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    Latest Buzz

    Tim Thomas took the 2013 season off despite being under contract with the Bruins. The 39-year-old veteran is reportedly interested in coming back to the NHL, per TSN's Pierre LeBrun. He also reported that "three teams have reached out to Tim Thomas camp so far..."

     

    2011-12 Stats (Did not play in 2013)

    35-19-1, .920 SV%, 2.36 GAA, 5 SO

     

    Why He's an Asset

    If Thomas returns to the NHL, it's unlikely that he will play at a Vezina Trophy level again, but he would still be able to lead a playoff contender on a deep postseason run. Few players display a better intensity level than the 39-year-old veteran, who has a Stanley Cup and a Conn Smythe Trophy on his resume.

    Thomas thrives when people criticize his ability to perform or overcome difficult challenges, and if he does return, you can bet that he will be highly motivated to win another championship. 

16. Niklas Backstrom, Goaltender (Signed, Wild)

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    Latest Buzz

    Michael Russo of the Star Tribune has reported that veteran goalie Niklas Backstrom will return to the Wild on a three-year, $10.25 million contract.

     

    2013 Stats

    24-15-3, .909 SV%, 2.48 GAA, 2 SO

     

    Why He's an Asset

    Backstrom tied for the league lead in wins during the 2013 season, and his impressive performance in the second half of the year was a huge reason why the Wild earned a playoff spot.

    The 35-year-old is an experienced netminder who displays a calm, confident demeanor in net and often bails out his defensemen with clutch saves. He's failed to win 20 or more games in just one of his last seven NHL seasons.

17. Pascal Dupuis, Right Wing (Signed, Penguins)

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    Latest Buzz

    The Pittsburgh Penguins re-signed first-line winger Pascal Dupuis to a four-year contract worth $15 million, according to Renaud Lavoie of RDS.

     

    2013 Stats

    48 GP, 20 G, 18 A, 2 PP, +/- 31

     

    Why He's an Asset

    Pascal Dupuis has developed some brilliant chemistry on the Penguins' first line alongside superstar center Sidney Crosby and gritty winger Chris Kunitz.

    As a hard-working forward who battles for loose pucks in the dirty areas, crashes the net regularly, kills penalties and is consistently productive offensively, re-signing Dupuis was a smart move by Penguins general manager Ray Shero.

18. Patrik Elias, Center (Signed, Devils)

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    Latest Buzz

    Dave Pagnotta of The Fourth Period has reported that the "Devils have re-signed Patrik Elias to a 3-year, $16.5 million contract." Elias has been with the Devils his entire career, so it's no surprise that he's signed another contract that will likely allow him to finish his career with the team.

     

    2013 Stats

    48 GP, 14 G, 22 A, 5 PP, +/- 5

     

    Why He's an Asset

    Prior to the shortened 2013 season, Elias had tallied 45 or more points in 13 straight seasons. He's one of the most consistent wingers in the NHL and brings strong leadership to a young Devils team.

19. Tyler Bozak, Center (Signed, Maple Leafs)

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    Latest Buzz

    TSN's Pierre LeBrun reports that the Leafs have signed Bozak to a five-year, $21 million extension.

     

    2013 Stats

    48 GP, 12 G, 16 A, 4 PP, +/- -1

     

    Why He's an Asset

    Bozak is best suited as a second-line center with his impressive vision, passing skills and power-play ability. He also brings great speed to the lineup and is responsible defensively. Bozak is capable of accruing 45-plus points for the next five years as he continues to improve in his prime.

20. Michael Ryder, Right Wing (Signed, Devils)

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    Latest Buzz

    Rich Chere of the Star-Ledger has reported that the Devils and Michael Ryder have reached a two-year deal worth $3.5 million per season.

     

    2013 Stats

    46 GP, 16 G, 19 A, 8 PP, +/- 2

     

    Why He's an Asset

    Ryder is capable of excelling in a second- or third-line role on the wing. He's a quality goal scorer with a quick release, good speed and a high hockey IQ. The veteran forward also has an impressive playoff resume with 21 goals in 75 career postseason games. Ryder played a significant role on the Bruins' Stanley Cup-winning team in 2011.

21. Mikhail Grabovski, Center (Unsigned)

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    Latest Buzz

    According to TSN's Pierre LeBrun, the Toronto Maple Leafs bought out center Mikhail Grabovski's contract on Thursday. He is one of the top forwards available in the 2013 UFA class.

     

    2013 Stats

    48 GP, 9 G, 7 A, 0 PP, +/- -10

     

    Why He's an Asset

    Grabovski had a disappointing regular season with the Leafs in 2013, but he did improve in the playoffs. At his best, the 29-year-old is a second-line center who makes his wingers better with quality playmaking skills and impressive speed. Grabovski is also a reliable faceoff man who plays with a high intensity level.

22. Ray Emery, Goaltender (Signed, Flyers)

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    Latest Buzz

    TSN's Pierre LeBrun has reported that the veteran goaltender has signed a one-year, $1.65 million deal with the Philadelphia Flyers. If things work out, expect a multiyear deal to follow.

     

    2013 Stats

    17-1-0, .922 SV%, 1.94 GAA, 3 SO

     

    Why He's an Asset

    Emery is a confident goaltender who would excel as a starter given his 2013 success and wealth of playoff experience. He still has good athleticism at age 30 and controls rebounds very well. A team that is a goaltender upgrade away from being a playoff contender or making a deep postseason run would be wise to consider signing Emery as a UFA.

23. Ryane Clowe, Left Wing (Signed, Devils)

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    Latest Buzz

    The Star-Ledger's Rich Chere has reported that the Devils have signed Ryane Clowe to a five-year contract that will pay him $4.85 million per season. That's a lot of term for a player who battled multiple injuries last season.

     

    2013 Stats

    40 GP, 3 G, 16 A, 1 PP, +/- 1

     

    Why He's an Asset

    Clowe is a veteran winger who will provide his new team with physical play, special teams skill and exceptional leadership. He battles well in front of the net to score dirty goals, and he protects the puck well with his impressive size and strength. The 30-year-old forward would be best suited in a third-line role.

    Clowe has also tallied 46 points in 70 career playoff games, and he's quite motivated to win the first Stanley Cup of his career.

24. Viktor Stalberg, Left Wing (Signed, Predators)

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    Latest Buzz

    The speedy winger has signed a four-year, $12 million deal with the Nashville Predators, according to TSN reporter Bob McKenzie.

     

    2013 Stats

    47 GP, 9 G, 14 A, 0 PP, +/- 16

     

    Why He's an Asset

    Stalberg is a speedy winger with impressive playmaking skill and the ability to create scoring chances with his vision and high hockey IQ. He would be a great third-line forward on a team needing bottom-six scoring and additional power-play depth.

    Stalberg tallied a career-high 43 points (22 goals, 21 assists) during the 2011-12 season but didn't receive the ice time required to build on that success in 2013. If given the proper amount of playing time, Stalberg would be a consistent 40-60-point scorer.

25. Derek Roy, Center (Signed, Blues)

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    Latest Buzz

     Aaron Ward of TSN has reported that former Canuck center Derek Roy has signed a one-year, $4 million contract with the St. Louis Blues.

     

    2013 Stats

    42 GP, 7 G, 21 A, 2 PP, +/- 4

     

    Why He's an Asset

    Roy would be a quality third-line center on a contending team lacking playmaking skill and leadership. He's capable of scoring 10-plus goals and adding 20 or more assists in a non-lockout season while also excelling on faceoffs. Roy has also averaged 16.2 power-play points per season in his nine-year career.

26. Anton Khudobin, Goaltender (Signed, Hurricanes)

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    Latest Buzz

    TSN's Darren Dreger reported that Carolina has signed Bruins backup goaltender Anton Khudobin to a one-year deal worth $800,000.

     

    2013 Stats

    9-4-1, .920 SV%, 2.32 GAA, 1 SO

     

    Why He's an Asset

    Khudobin proved that he has the ability to be a No. 1 goalie in the NHL during the shortened 2013 season. He was consistent with the Bruins and made a number of big saves to help the team win games, especially late in the regular season when Boston was struggling to score more than two goals per game. Khudobin is a mentally strong goalie with good athleticism and intensity.

27. Bryan Bickell, Left Wing (Signed, Blackhawks)

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    Latest Buzz

    Chris Johnston of Sportsnet.ca has reported that Bryan Bickell has re-signed with the Chicago Blackhawks for four more years and $16 million.

     

    2013 Stats

    48 GP, 9 G, 14 A, 0 PP, +/- 12

     

    Why He's an Asset

    Bickell developed impressive chemistry with first-line forwards Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane during the Blackhawks' championship run last season. He ranked second on the team with nine goals during the playoffs and provides Chicago with some much-needed grit, toughness and size in the top six.

28. Brenden Morrow, Left Wing (Unsigned)

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    Latest Buzz

    Nick Kypreos of Sportsnet has reported that Detroit has "interest in [Penguins'] Brenden Morrow."

     

    2013 Stats

    44 GP, 12 G, 13 A, 2 PP, +/- -3

     

    Why He's an Asset

    Morrow is not the same offensive player he used to be, but the veteran winger is still capable of tallying 40-55 points in a top-six or third-line role. He plays a power forward type of game, wins puck battles, excels on the penalty kill and provides excellent leadership as a long-time captain.

29. Teemu Selanne, Right Wing (Unsigned)

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    Latest Buzz

    On Sunday, the Anaheim Ducks tweeted that general manager Bob Murray "did not have an update on Teemu Selanne, but said they would talk again now that the draft is finished."

     

    2013 Stats

    46 GP, 12 G, 12 A, 3 PP, +/- -10

     

    Why He's an Asset

    Despite being 43 years old, Selanne was still a reliable offensive player. He's capable of scoring 20 goals in an 82-game season and creating many quality scoring chances for teammates with his playmaking skills. The veteran forward also provides great playoff experience and the ability to mentor young players. 

    The future Hall of Famer is also a valuable part of the Ducks' power play last season, tallying three goals and four assists with the man advantage.

30. Ron Hainsey, Defenseman (Unsigned)

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    Latest Buzz

    According to Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun, "There has been a lot of interest in Winnipeg Jets defenceman Ron Hainsey over the last two days."

     

    2013 Stats

    47 GP, 0 G, 13 A, 0 PP, +- -8

     

    Why He's an Asset

    Hainsey is a quality defensive defenseman with impressive size (6'3", 210 pounds) who plays a gritty, physical style of hockey. He's capable of logging 20-plus minutes each game and would fit in a second or third-pairing role on a playoff contender.

31. Jaromir Jagr, Right Wing (Unsigned)

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    Latest Buzz

    Jaromir Jagr's agent Petr Svoboda said three teams are interested in his client. Svoboda did not identify the three teams in an interview with the Associated Press that was posted on NHL.com, but it appears the Montreal Canadiens are one of them. Svoboda said Friday that he had conducted talks with the Montreal general manager Marc Bergevin and "the decision is now up to the Canadiens."

     

    Latest Buzz

    It was expected that the Boston Bruins would not re-sign veteran winger Jaromir Jagr, but after Nathan Horton told the team he was exploring free agency, it wouldn't be surprising if the Original Six club made an offer to keep him.

    General manager Peter Chiarelli told reporters during a conference call on Wednesday that re-signing Jagr is something that the team "may revisit."

     

    2013 Stats

    45 GP, 16 G, 19 A, 6 PP, +/- -2

     

    Why He's an Asset

    Despite the fact that he's 41 years old, Jagr is still a quality playmaker in a second or third line role. He protects the puck very well, and his passing skills are still sharp.

    He also brings valuable playoff experience to his team and has the ability and willingness to teach and mentor younger players. Any team that needs to upgrade its power play should consider signing Jagr.

32. Ilya Bryzgalov, Goaltender (Unsigned)

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    Latest Buzz

    Ilya Bryzgalov was bought out of his contract with the Philadelphia Flyers last week after signing a nine-year deal worth $51 million prior to the 2011-12 season. He will become a UFA on July 5.

     

    2013 Stats

    19-17-3, .900 SV%, 2.79 GAA, 1 SO

     

    Why He's an Asset

    Bryzgalov was a quality goaltender with the Anaheim Ducks and Phoenix Coyotes before signing his mega deal with the Flyers. Philadelphia is a very difficult city for goaltenders because of the intense pressure and expectations placed on their shoulders by the fans and media.  

    In a quieter market with a chance for a fresh start, Bryzgalov would be able to let his talents do the talking and prove that he's capable of performing much better than he did in Philly.

33. Michal Handzus, Center (Signed, Blackhawks)

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    Latest Buzz

    Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun has reported that the Blackhawks have re-signed Handzus to a one-year deal worth $1 million.

     

    2013 Stats

    39 GP, 2 G, 6 A, 0 PP, +/- -2

     

    Why He's an Asset

    Handzus is best suited as a third-line center with his two-way game, but he's also capable of second-line ice time if needed. The veteran forward has a wealth of playoff experience and would provide strong leadership to his new team.

    Handzus uses his impressive size, strength and skating ability to win puck battles, establish traffic in front of the net and excel on faceoffs. He's also likely to tally 15-25 points next season.

34. Saku Koivu, Center (Signed, Ducks)

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    Latest Buzz

    According to Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register, the Ducks have re-signed Koivu to a one-year contract.

     

    2013 Stats

    47 GP, 8 G, 19 A, 4 PP, +/- -4

     

    Why He's an Asset

    Koivu is still a productive second-line center at age 38 because of his playmaking skills, high hockey IQ and ability to protect the puck well. The veteran forward is still capable of tallying 35-50 points on a playoff contender, in addition to providing great leadership and tons of playoff experience.

35. Clarke MacArthur, Left Wing (Signed, Senators)

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    Latest Buzz

    Clarke MacArthur has signed a two-year, $6.5 million contract with the Ottawa Senators, according to TheFourthPeriod.com.

     

    2013 Stats

    40 GP, 8 G, 12 A, 2 PP, +/- 3

     

    Why He's an Asset

    MacArthur is a fine third-line winger who would add important scoring depth to a contending team as a player capable of tallying 25-45 points per season. He's also skilled enough to find the back of the net and create quality scoring chances on the power play.

36. Danny Cleary, Left Wing (Unsigned)

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    Latest Buzz

    Danny Cleary has not been signed to a new contract by the Detroit Red Wings and is free to join other clubs as a UFA. Ansar Khan of MLive.com has reported that the veteran forward is seeking a four-year contract.

     

    2013 Stats

    48 GP, 9 G, 6 A, 5 PP, +/- -6

     

    Why He's an Asset

    Cleary is no longer a top-six forward but he would be a quality depth forward for a team looking to upgrade its scoring production on the third or fourth line. He's still capable of tallying 20-30 points in an 82-game season while also providing valuable playoff and Stanley Cup-winning experience.

37. Douglas Murray, Defenseman (Unsigned)

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    Latest Buzz

    Chris Johnston of Sportsnet.ca recently shared his thoughts on the veteran defenseman's future in Pittsburgh, tweeting "it looks like the [Penguins] three big trade deadline acquisitions will all hit free agency: Jarome Iginla, Brenden Morrow, Douglas Murray."

     

    2013 Stats

    43 GP, 1 G, 5 A, 0 PP, +/- -9

     

    Why He's an Asset

    Murray is a physically intimidating player with great size (6'3", 245 pounds) and strength. He would improve any team's penalty kill and provide valuable skill and depth to a blue line lacking defensive-minded defensemen. The 33-year-old is an ideal third-pairing defenseman for a playoff contender.

38. Evgeni Nabokov, Goaltender (Signed, Islanders)

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    Latest Buzz

    Evgeni Nabokov has re-signed with the Islanders. According to Arthur Staple of Newsday, Nabokov has signed a one-year, $3.25 million deal.

     

    2013 Stats

    23-11-7, .910 SV%, 2.50 GAA, 3 SO

     

    Why He's an Asset

    Evgeni Nabokov was one of the main reasons why the New York Islanders made the playoffs in 2013. He posted an impressive 23-11-7 record and showed flashes of the Nabokov that was leading the San Jose Sharks in his prime.

    Nabokov would be an upgrade to several teams looking for a new No. 1 goalie or a backup with lots of playoff experience (86 career postseason games).

39. Benoit Pouliot, Left Wing (Signed, Rangers)

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    Latest Buzz

    Renaud Lavoie of RDS has reported that the Rangers and Pouliot have reached an agreement on a one-year deal worth $1.3 million.

     

    2013 Stats

    34 GP, 8 G, 12 A, 0 PP, +/- 8

     

    Why He's an Asset

    Pouliot is a great skater who can score 15-20 goals in a normal 82-game season as a second-line winger or a bottom-six depth forward. He protects the puck well with his impressive size and would also add speed and quickness to a team's lineup.

    The former fourth overall pick is versatile enough to play in several different roles, including special teams, so it's expected that teams needing additional forward depth but don't have a lot of cap space will pursue him.

40. Mason Raymond, Left Wing (Unsigned)

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    Latest Buzz

    Mason Raymond has not been re-signed by the Vancouver Canucks and is expected to become a UFA when the free-agent market officially opens on July 5.

     

    2013 Stats

    46 GP, 10 G, 12 A, 4 PP, +/- 2

     

    Why He's an Asset

    Raymond, 27, would be a valuable depth forward on a team looking for more speed and scoring production on its third line. His playmaking skills and impressive vision also allow him to make an impact on the power play, where he has scored 20 goals since 2007-08. Raymond also has 65 games of playoff experience.

41. Dustin Penner, Left Wing (Unsigned)

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    Latest Buzz

    TSN's Ryan Rishaug is "hearing Bruins are kicking tires on Penner, Kings also talking to his camp."

     

    2013 Stats

    33 GP, 2 G, 12 A, 0 PP, +/- -2

     

    Why He's an Asset

    Penner is a good option for a team needing a third-line winger with good size, strength and the ability to play a power forward type of game. The 30-year-old forward would also provide his new team with strong leadership and plenty of playoff experience as a two-time Stanley Cup champion.

42. Eric Nystrom, Left Wing (Signed, Predators)

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    Latest Buzz

    Kevin Allen of USA Today has reported that "Nystrom is going to Nashville."

     

    2013 Stats

    48 GP, 7 G, 4 A, 0 PP, +/- -3

     

    Why He's an Asset

    Nystrom is the perfect third or fourth-line forward for contending teams that don't have a lot of salary cap space to acquire the necessary amount of depth for a Stanley Cup run. He plays a gritty game that includes strong defensive play and a willingness to block shots and win puck battles in the dirty areas. Nystrom is also capable of playing a prominent role on the penalty kill.

43. Marek Zidlicky, Defenseman (Unsigned)

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    Latest Buzz

    Rich Chere of the Star-Ledger has reported that "[Devils GM Lou] Lamoriello repeated he'd like to keep Marek Zidlicky. 'That's our intent. And he'd like to come back.'"

     

    2013 Stats

    48 GP, 4 G, 15 A, 1 PP, +/- -12

     

    Why He's an Asset

    Zidlicky is a solid two-way defenseman who provides consistent scoring from the blue line and can play a role on special teams. He's a quality power-play quarterback (11 power-play points in 2013) and starts the breakout with a good first pass out of the defensive zone. Zidlicky is also capable of logging 18-plus minutes per game against the opponents' best forwards.

44. Brad Boyes, Right Wing (Unsigned)

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    Latest Buzz

    Brad Boyes has not signed a new contract with the New York Islanders and will be eligible for unrestricted free agency on July 5.

     

    2013 Stats

    48 GP, 10 G, 25 A, 1 PP, +/- -6

     

    Why He's an Asset

    Playing with the Islanders in 2013 revived Boyes' career as he tallied 35 points in 48 games, which was 12 more than he scored in 65 games the year before. The veteran provides good versatility with his ability to excel as a playmaking center or a goal scoring winger. He's also a good leader and has a decade of NHL experience.

45. Jordan Leopold, Defenseman (Signed, Blues)

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    Latest Buzz

    The St. Louis Blues announced this week that the team and veteran defenseman Jordan Leopold reached a two-year contract.

     

    2013 Stats

    39 GP, 2 G, 8 A, 0 PP, +/- -8

     

    Why He's an Asset

    Leopold provides the Blues with veteran leadership, good defensive skill and strong penalty killing. He's a top-four defenseman who is responsible in his own end and also joins the rush to provide some offense with his powerful shot from the point. Expect him to tally 10-20 points next season from the St. Louis blue line.

46. Pierre-Marc Bouchard, Right Wing (signed, Islanders)

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    Latest Buzz

    Minnesota Wild winger Pierre-Marc Bouchard signed a one-year, $2 million contract with the New York Islanders, according to Aaron Ward of TSN. Bouchard is a depth player and not a star.

     

    2013 Stats

    43 GP, 8 G, 12 A, 0 PP, +/- 3

     

    Why He's an Asset

    Bouchard is a third-line winger who can be relied on to provide 20-40 points in a normal 82-game season. His veteran experience, leadership skills and team-first mentality would make him a valuable addition to a young team hoping to contend for a playoff spot in 2013-14.

47. Matt Cooke, Left Wing (Signed, Wild)

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    Latest Buzz

    Matt Cooke has signed a three-year deal worth $7.5 million, according to TSN's Pierre LeBrun.

     

    2013 Stats

    48 GP, 8 G, 13 A, 0 PP, +/- -2

     

    Why He's an Asset

    Cooke has not been suspended over the last two years, which shows that he is no longer the same reckless player that ended Marc Savard's career in the 2009-10 season. In addition to the grit he brings to the ice, the veteran forward is also a top-tier penalty killer and a player who could provide 25-40 points in an 82-game season.

48. Nik Antropov, Center (Unsigned)

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    Latest Buzz

    Nik Antropov has not been signed to a new contract with the Winnipeg Jets and is expected to test the free-agent market.

     

    2013 Stats

    40 GP, 6 G, 12 A, 2 PP, +/- 6

     

    Why He's an Asset

    Antropov has tremendous size and uses it to win puck battles, create a net-front presence and score dirty goals. He's best suited for a third-line role and capable of providing his new team with 25-45 points in the 2013-14 season.

49. Keith Ballard, Defenseman (Signed, Wild)

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    Latest Buzz

    Veteran defenseman Keith Ballard, who was bought out by the Vancouver Canucks this week, has signed a two-year deal with the Minnesota Wild, per the team. Michael Russo of the Star Tribune has reported that the contract is worth $1.5 million per season.

     

    2013 Stats

    36 GP, 0 G, 2 A, 0 PP, +/- -2

     

    Why He's an Asset

    Ballard wasn't a good fit in Vancouver, but returning home to Minnesota should allow him to play under less media pressure and focus on being the reliable two-way defenseman he's got the talent to play like on a consistent basis. His veteran experience and willingness to shoot the puck and create scoring chances in the attacking zone will make Ballard a quality third-pairing defenseman for the Wild.

50. Jose Theodore, Goaltender (Unsigned)

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    Latest Buzz

    Jose Theodore has not re-signed with the Florida Panthers and is expected to join a UFA class that doesn't feature any elite goaltenders.

     

    2013 Stats

    4-6-3, .893 SV%, 3.29 GAA, 0 SO

     

    Why He's an Asset

    Every team should have a veteran backup capable of winning games when the starter needs a rest. At this point in Theodore's career, he could excel in a backup role with a team that wouldn't need to rely on him to earn a playoff berth. He's a better netminder than his 2013 stats with the Panthers, the worst team in the NHL, would suggest. 

     


    Nicholas Goss is an NHL Lead Writer at Bleacher Report. He was also a credentialed writer at the 2011 and 2013 Stanley Cup Finals, as well as the 2013 NHL draft.