NHL rumors are at a 2014 high now that free agency has begun.
There's less talent in the free-agent pool than in previous years. This could force teams to be even more aggressive to improve their roster.
Here's the latest free-agency buzz from around the league.
New York Rangers' Replacements
New York will be forced to replace a few contributors to its Stanley Cup Final run. Anton Stralman and Brian Boyle are free-agency bound. But according to sources, Larry Brooks of the New York Post reported the Rangers are already targeting their successors.
Stralman's replacement at defenseman could be the New Jersey Devils' Mark Fayne. Fayne isn't as talented as Stralman, but he wouldn't be a drastic downgrade.
While Stralman's plus/minus was 14 higher than Fayne's, Stralman played on a superior team. Fayne did finish the season with a shooting percentage over four times more efficient than Stralman's.
New York could also replace Boyle with another Devil, Ryan Carter. Neither transaction would improve the Rangers, but they'd prevent regression.
Another Devil's Departure
One of the greatest goalies of all time is a free agent, and he's looking forward to playing for a new team. That's what Martin Brodeur said this summer, according to Pierre LeBrun of ESPN.
I’m excited and intrigued to see some of the options [that] will be laid out in front of me. It’s something that’s new to me; it’s going to be fun ... For me, this is a year that’s going to be a challenge for me regardless of where I land, first because it’ll be in a different organization, second because it’ll be a new [role]. It’s something where I think I’m just going to really enjoy the game and not worry about carrying a team. I’m just going to be a piece of the puzzle for a team, hopefully.
Louis Jean of TVA Sports reported that several teams have already shown interest in Brodeur.
Among the interested teams in Brodeur: Chicago, Boston, Pittsburgh & Toronto. Brodeur wants to go to a contender.— Louis Jean (@LouisJean_TVA) June 28, 2014
Brodeur may be 42 years old and he may have been forced to split time with Cory Schneider last season, but he still finished with the 25th most wins in the NHL and 24th lowest goals-against average. He's done leading teams to championships, but he could be a valuable backup on a contender.
Jarome Iginla to the Minnesota Wild?
Only three skaters in the NHL finished this season with a better plus/minus ratio than Iginla. He's kind of valuable. Minnesota didn't miss the playoffs by much, and he could be what it needs to take the next step as a team.
Michael Russo of the Star Tribune reported that, according to sources, the Wild have indeed contacted Iginla's representatives. Russo explained why Iginla re-signing with the Boston Bruins isn't inevitable: "Iginla wants to return to Boston, but the Bruins would need to clear cap space to re-sign him. That hasn’t happened, meaning unless Iginla is patient and waits them out, he may need to move on."
Iginla scored 61 points during the regular season and seven in the playoffs. Even at 37 years old, he'd be a huge boost for a Minnesota team that finished 24th in goals per game this year.
David Daniels is a columnist at Bleacher Report. He tweets, too.