For every team but Detroit and Pittsburgh, the summer of 2009 has already begun—and with their 3-2 series lead, it looks like Detroit has a good chance of making more arrangements for Lord Stanley's Cup to be traveling this summer.
There are some big names on the market, and despite a miserable economy, there are a lot of teams that could shape and/or lose their future this summer.
So, let's take a look at the top 20 players entering unrestricted free agency in the NHL this summer.
NOTE: I'm not ranking goalies in this list, as it's hard to compare how goaltenders rank next to skill position players.
I'll bring you a list of goalies later.
He'll be only 29 years old this coming season and is coming off a solid 82-point season.
Of the Sedin twins, he's more of a scorer, tallying nine goals more than Henrik this past season. Both are big, physical players (they're both in the neighborhood of 6'1" and 190 pounds) who skate well and can handle in traffic.
Daniel's going to get himself a nice payday this summer.
He'll be 29 years old this season and is coming off a stellar season in which he scored 82 points...stunningly the same as his brother Daniel.
He made $3.575 million in 2008-09 and would have been looking at a substantial pay raise if not for the economy.
Odds are that he'll be wearing the same sweater as his brother next season.
The only question is the logo on its chest.
After a disappointing 2007-08 season, Cammalleri moved from Los Angeles to Calgary and bounced back with a career season. At just 27 years old, there's a lot of good hockey left in him.
He scored 82 points this season with 39 goals.
The biggest question with him is his size; he's listed at just 5'9" and 185 pounds.
After a couple of injury-plagued seasons in Chicago, Havlat was finally healthy and responded with solid numbers.
He established himself as a good scorer during the regular season and took it up a notch in the clutch this spring, as he led the young Blackhawks to the Western Conference Finals.
He scored 77 points this past season, 29 on goals, and was a remarkable +29 for the season.
At just 28 years old, there's a good chance he'll be at or near the top of most teams' shopping lists.
The multimillion dollar question for Havlat, and the Blackhawks, is if the team shows him enough money to keep him with their young team.
Hossa took a one-year deal to get a ring in Detroit, but instead watched his former team (the Penguins) celebrate a Stanley Cup championship.
At 30 years old, he's been an elite scorer in the league and has now shown a willingness to become a role player to win a ring.
He scored 71 points for the Red Wings this season while making $7.45 million. While the economy might force a pay cut for him, Hossa will likely get more than one year on his next contract.
Bouwmeester was a popular name around the trade deadline this spring because he's a big, physical defender who had one of his better scoring seasons.
He'll be 26 years old this season, and at 6'4" and 215 pounds, he is a matchup headache for any team.
He scored 42 points in 2008-09.
He'll be 30 years old in November and is coming off a season in which he played in only 50 games, but Tanguay was still very productive when he was on the ice.
Tanguay scored 41 points, 16 on goals, and was +13 in his 50 games in 2008-09, but he likely won't get much of a raise from the $5.375 million be made last year.
Antropov is young (turns 30 in February), big (6'6" and 230 pounds), and can score (59 points with 28 goals).
He also made only $2.15 million last year, meaning he won't come terribly expensive either.
As with Havlat in Chicago, the big question with Antropov is if the New York Rangers feel like he's part of the future, or if they start over completely.
Cole will turn 31 in November and is coming off a season in which he was more of a leader on the ice than his numbers would indicate.
He scored 42 points on 18 goals while making $4 million in 2008-09.
At 6'2" and over 200 pounds, Cole's size will make him a popular target in the second tier of wings in this summer's free agency group.
Gaborik was hurt almost all of last year, playing in just 17 games, but he has shown the ability to be an elite scorer.
He posted 23 points in his limited action last year; he scored 83 the previous season.
The tricky question with the former overall No. 3 draft pick is whether or not he'll want to see a similar salary to the $7.5 million he made for those 17 games last year.
He'll be 28 in February, so he could be a wild card on the market.
Still certainly not ancient at just 33 years old (in November), Sykora deferred to young stars Sydney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin in Pittsburgh this season and still scored 46 points.
He made $2.5 million last year and might follow the lead of former teammate Hossa in looking for a ring rather than staying in a secondary role in Pittsburgh.
Yeah, there's some gray in his playoff beard this year, and he made some pretty significant coin the last few years ($6.75 million last year), but Niedermayer can still play.
He scored 59 points in 2008-09 and played in all 82 games.
He'll be 36 this coming season and will undoubtedly be asked to take a pay cut wherever he lands, but Niedermayer will be a valuable addition of skill and leadership.
Williams had two homes in 2008-09, but combined between Columbus and Atlanta, last year was one of his finest seasons.
He scored 47 points in 80 games and, perhaps equally important, made only $2.2 million last year.
He could be an inexpensive addition this summer.
Bergeron will turn 29 in October and is coming off a solid season in Minnesota, scoring 32 points from the blue line.
Considering he made under $1.7 million last year, he could be a nice addition to a second or third line.
Pahlsson had a few issues, one of which was a bout with mono this season that cost him 17 games and significant physical conditioning time while he was on the ice.
He was still a solid contributor, especially after Anaheim dealt him to Chicago at the deadline. Though he ended the season with just 18 points, he's more of a defensive center that's known as a faceoff specialist.
Pahlsson will turn 32 in December and made only $1.4 million last year, making him a good role player to potentially be added this summer at a minimal cost.
Winchester is a young, big player coming off a tiny contract ($600,000) that could combine to make him a very popular player this summer.
Standing 6'5" and weighing 230 pounds, the skills to score 21 points are an added bonus for a guy that will likely be seen as a physical presence to a third or fourth line.
Leopold earned only $1.5 million last year and had a solid season in Calgary and Colorado, scoring 24 points.
He'll turn 29 in August and played a physical blue line in this spring's playoff series against Chicago, which might make him a cost-effective addition for a team looking for defensive depth.
Malhorta is another center that will be 29 years old this coming season and will score in the neighborhood of 30-35 points a season.
Standing 6'2" and weighing 215 pounds, his size will make him attractive as a third line center.
A defender standing 6'0" and weighing 220 pounds is something lots of teams will have an interest in.
When you add that he scored 20 points last season, he'll have a fair number of suitors.
Morris turns 31 in August, and his -10 rating might be a concern in light of his $3.95 million salary last year.
C'mon...somebody's gotta give Cheli a shot at playing until he's 90.