Feeding Frenzy! The Top 20 NHL Free Agents Of 2009

Sheldon MohammedContributor IJune 30, 2009

DETROIT - JANUARY 17:  The Sedin brothers Daniel #22 and Henrik #33 of the Vancouver Canucks chat prior to a faceoff in a game against the Detroit Red Wings on January 17, 2008 at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan. The Wings defeated the Canucks 3-2 in a shootout. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

20. Chris Niel, RW (Senators)

It doesn't sound like negotiations are progressing in the right direction for the Ottawa Senators, prompting speculation that Chris Neil will hit the open market as an unrestricted free agent. Interested Teams: Toronto, Detroit.

19. Mikael Samuelsson, RW (Red Wings)

If the Red Wings re-sign Hossa, they won't have the funds to keep Samuelsson around, making him available likely to the highest bidder.

Samuelsson's in line for a raise, and he'll get it. He's a winner, and a playoff contender could certainly benefit from having him. Interested Teams: Atlanta, Buffalo.

18. Erik Cole, LW (Hurricanes)

I expect the Carolina Hurricanes to re-sign Erik Cole, but he'll need to take a pay cut in order for that to happen.Cole's return to Carolina helped the entire team, especially young superstar Eric Staal.

They work well together, and the Hurricanes recognize that. Interested Teams: Boston, Carolina.

17. Nik Antropov, C (Rangers)

Nik Antropov did a solid job for the New York Rangers, but they might not have the money to keep him around long-term. Antropov will likely hit the free agent market fishing for offers. Interested Teams: New York, St.Louis.

16. Todd Bertuzzi, RW (Flames)

Bertuzzi wants to re-sign with the Flames, and at his price tag, there's a good chance Calgary takes him up on that.

He's not the same player he was five years ago, but he's worked in Calgary and he won't be expensive to re-sign. Interested Teams: Calgary, San Jose.

15. Alex Kovalev, RW (Canadiens)

Kovalev and the Canadiens will start discussing a new contract very shortly, despite rumors indicating that an offer has already been presented, that was news to Kovalev's agent. The Habs wouldn't mind keeping him, but they could use his salary to go after another big-name free agent. Interested Teams: Montreal, Washington, New York.

14. Derek Morris, D, (Rangers)

The Rangers liked what they saw in Morris after acquiring him at the trade deadline, but the veteran defenseman has also expressed his interest in playing for Phoenix next year... providing they're still there. Interested Teams: New York, Phoenix, Wahsington, Toronto, Florida, Buffalo, Minnesota.

13. Saku Koivu, C, (Canadiens)

Might this be the year the Canadiens say "au revoir" to their captain? The Habs look to be heading in a different direction, and Saku Koivu's tenure in Montreal might be over. Koivu's said he'd love to stay, if the situation was right, but reports suggest he'll end up in Minnesota with his brother. Interested Teams: Montreal, Los Angeles, Minnesota.

12. Brian Gionta, RW (Devils)

Gionta put up another solid season in 2008-09, but he'll likely have to take a pay cut next year. The Devils are interested in re-signing him, but it looks like he'll test the free agent waters next month. Interested Teams: New Jersey, New York, Calgary, St. Louis.

11. Mattias Ohlund, D (Canucks)

It doesn't look like the Canucks will be bringing Mattias Ohlund back next season, according to reports. With a fairly limited number of talented defensemen available this summer, Ohlund should get a solid multi-year contract somewhere. Interested Teams: San Jose, Montreal, Ottawa.

10. Nikolai Khabibulin, G (Blackhawks)

Certainly the best goaltender available, Khabibulin proved he's still extremely capable of holding the fort as a premier No. 1 goalie in the NHL. He wants to stay in Chicago and the Blackhawks seem set on trying to get a new contract worked out. Interested Teams: Chicago, Washington, New York Islanders.

9. Alex Tanguay, RW (Canadiens)

Montreal is loaded with top-tier free agents, and the one they really want to keep might be Alex Tanguay. Very productive, Tanguay is a skilled scorer the Habs desperately need. After all the turmoil in Montreal this year, the Habs need to retool and keeping Tanguay might be key. Interested Teams: Montreal, Washington, Anaheim.

8. Jay Bouwmeester, D (Panthers)

As expected, the Florida Panthers traded Bouwmeester. The destination (Calgary) was unexpected, and the Flames want him locked up before July 1. Interested Teams: Calgary, Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, Boston, Colorado, Edmonton.

7. Mike Komisarek, D (Canadiens)

The Canadiens cannot afford to let Komisarek go without replacing him, especially after the Habs lost Sheldon Souray and Mark Streit to free agency in back-to-back years. 

Komisarek's agent and the Habs will try to work out a deal before July 1, but he might be set on testing the market. Interested Teams: Toronto, Chicago, Colorado, New Jersey, Dallas.

6. Martin Havlat, RW (Blackhawks)

All signs point to Martin Havlat staying in Chicago. Blackhawks GM Dale Tallon continues to negotiate with Allan Walsh, Havlat's agent, and it looks like they're inching closer to a deal. 

Havlat wants to stay in Chicago and might be willing to take a 'hometown' discount. Interested Teams: Chicago, Pittsburgh.

5, 4. Daniel Sedin, LW, Henrik Sedin, C (Canucks)

One thing is certain... Daniel and Henrik Sedin will be playing on the same team once the puck drops on the 2009-10 season. Which team that may be remains to be seen. The Canucks definitely want to keep these two dynamic twins, but so far it looks as if they will test the waters once the free agent doors open.

With Brian Burke's connection to these two, the Maple Leafs will certainly be watched once the calendar turns to July 1.

Though, it's not set in stone that Toronto goes after the Sedins. The Sedins could be the most interesting story to watch this summer. Interested Teams: Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal.

3. Mike Cammalleri, RW (Flames)

A great sniper, Cammalleri will receive plenty of calls this July. The Flames would love to get him locked up, and despite reports suggesting otherwise, but it seems as if Cammalleri's set on testing the open market and weighing his options. Interested Teams: Toronto, Minnesota, Calgary, Boston.

2. Marian Hossa, RW (Red Wings)

There are conflicting reports regarding Hossa's future in Detroit. One day, the two sides aren't close to a new deal. Another day, they are.

Based on our sources, the Wings and Hossa's agent still have a lot of work to do. One thing is certain: He'll hit the open market and weigh his options. Interested Teams: Montreal, Edmonton, Boston.

1. Marian Gaborik, RW (Wild)

The hot topic of the 2009 summer within the NHL, Marian Gaborik will command plenty of interest once July 1 rolls around. Teams may be hesitant to give Gaborik a long-term contract, so he may have to settle for a 2- or 3-year deal for now.

But, stranger things have happened. Interested Teams: Montreal, Vancouver, Dallas, Edmonton, Toronto.


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