When the NHL's unrestricted free-agent period opens July 1, general managers will browse the market in search of players to bolster their lineups. Of the stars eligible for unrestricted free agency this summer, several can be classified as “high risk, high reward.”
Some are aging stars whose best seasons could be behind them. A few have injury histories that could adversely affect their performances. Others are still within their playing prime but have consistency issues.
Despite these risks, they also come with the promise of high reward. With the right teammates, a streaky scorer could gain consistency. An oft-injured player could still provide worthwhile depth for a playoff contender. A player struggling in a starring role on a weaker team could thrive in a supporting role elsewhere.
In today's salary-cap world, general managers must carefully weigh the risks and rewards of signing these players to lucrative contracts.
The following is a ranking of this summer's top 10 high-risk, high-reward NHL free agents, along with their potential destinations. Age, performance, injury history and previous salary factored into the compilation of this list.