This year's NHL unrestricted free-agent market could be a busy one. Commencing July 1, several notable stars will become available to the highest bidder. Ryan Miller, Marian Gaborik, Thomas Vanek, Jarome Iginla, Paul Stastny and Andrei Markov highlight this summer's list of potential unrestricted free agents.
Adding to the anticipation of a frenzied bidding period is the projected rise in the salary cap. Currently at $64.3 million, The Sporting News' Sean Gentille (citing The New York Times' Jeff Z. Klein) reports NHL commissioner Gary Bettman recently speculated the cap could reach $70 million for 2014-15. The increase will ensure the top free agents receive expensive new contracts.
Not every NHL team will succumb to auction fever for the best available stars. Some small-market, cost-conscious clubs simply can't afford to, while others prefer pursuing less-expensive options. This summer's free-agent bargain hunters will take into account factors such as age, skill level and current salary.
The following is a ranking of this summer's 10 pending unrestricted free agents with the best potential value.