NHL Players Who Must Stand Out in Contract Years

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NHL Players Who Must Stand Out in Contract Years
Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Playing for a new contract is one of the most powerful motivators in sports.

This is especially true in the NHL, where owners open up their checkbooks every summer to sign, and in most cases overpay, the top free agents on the market.

The 2014 class of unrestricted free agents (UFAs) features a lot of star players (Joe Thornton, Dion Phaneuf, Henrik Lundqvist, etc.) who will likely earn a sizable contract regardless of how well they play next season. With that said, there are many players who won't earn a massive payday without a tremendous year in which they raise their performance to another level.

Let's look at some notable players who must stand out in the 2013-14 season to cash in as UFAs.

 

Note: All salary information via CapGeek.

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