NHL Free Agents 2013: Predicting Where Top Veterans Will Land
While most of the top NHL free agents of 2013 have found new homes, there are still some top veterans on the market.
These veterans can help take a team to the next level, as well as bring leadership and experience to the dressing room.
Where will some of the top veterans land? Read on to find out.
At least three teams have expressed interest in free-agent goaltender Tim Thomas, according to Pierre LeBrun of ESPN:
Three teams have reached out to Tim Thomas camp so far...— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) July 3, 2013
It's not yet clear which teams have expressed interest, although Tim Panaccio of CSN Philly reports that Thomas has expressed interest in the Philadelphia Flyers.
Thomas took last year off, but in the 2011-12 season, he posted a 35-19-1 record, with a 2.36 goals-against average and a .920 save percentage.
It's impossible to know if the 39-year-old Thomas will return to his previous form where he was one of the best goaltenders in all of hockey.
However, goaltending-starved teams, like the Flyers and the Edmonton Oilers, could benefit from at least seeing if Thomas has anything left in the tank. Look for Thomas to end up on one of those two teams.
Douglas Murray is a physical defenseman who has yet to find a new home.
Adrian Dater of the Denver Post reports that Murray could be a fit in Colorado:
I doubt Avs will be players on free agent day, but likely will try to sign one D. Wonder if Douglas Murray could someone Roy would like— adater (@adater) July 2, 2013
The Avalanche need upgrades on defense, as they gave up 3.1 goals-per-game, which was 27th in the league. Murray, who is a stay-at-home defenseman, could provide needed minutes on the blue line.
He's also a ferocious hitter as he laid out 89 last year and 126 the year before.
Murray was solid for both the San Jose Sharks and Pittsburgh Penguins last year. He would instantly become the best defenseman for the Avalanche, who notably passed on top defensive prospect Seth Jones in the draft.
Jan Hejda would team up with Murray to create a decent first-pair for the Avs, something they haven't had since the days of Adam Foote.
Murray is a perfect fit for the Avs, and it would not be surprising to see a deal get done soon.
The Detroit Red Wings have expressed interest in Brenden Morrow, according to Nick Kypreos of Sportsnet in Canada:
Morrow was as productive in the playoffs as the Pittsburgh Penguins. He scored just two goals in 14 games, but that could be in part due to the fact, as per Pierre LeBrun of ESPN, he was playing with a split knee cap:
Morrow camp patiently taking calls... wants to play on a contender. Played with a split knee cap in playoffs which hurt his productivity— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) July 5, 2013
At his best, Morrow is an energetic, heart-and-soul player who can create offense from the third line. He can play in all situations and is an excellent forechecker.
If he is fully recovered from his injury, Morrow is easily capable of netting 20 goals.
If he were to sign with the Detroit Red Wings, he would add to their already impressive depth. The Red Wings are stacked with veteran talent, and a grinding player like Morrow would fit right in.
It's a perfect move that could put the Red Wings over the top.
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