NHL Rumors: Latest Buzz Surrounding Available Free Agents

Tyler BrookeSenior Analyst IIJuly 2, 2014

GLENDALE, AZ - MARCH 04:  Radim Vrbata #17 of the Phoenix Coyotes during the NHL game against the Vancouver Canucks at Jobing.com Arena on March 4, 2014 in Glendale, Arizona.  The Coyotes defeated the Canucks 1-0.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The free-agency period in the NHL has only just begun, but almost all of the big names have already been signed. Still, there are a few free agents available, and they're beginning to generate a bit of buzz as they continue to look for potential landing spots.

Most big names have already found new teams, including names like Paul Stastny, Ryan Miller and Jarome Iginla. While the rest of the free agents will begin finding their new teams over the next week or two, teams will also be looking to make trades to either clear up cap space or add key pieces for next season.

Having said that, here are some of the latest rumors around the NHL regarding available free agents.

Note: All contract and salary cap information provided by CapGeek.com.


Martin Brodeur Still Drawing Interest

Apr 13, 2014; Newark, NJ, USA; New Jersey Devils goalie Martin Brodeur (30) is honored by fans after his 3-2 win over the Boston Bruins at Prudential Center.  Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Even at 42 years old, Martin Brodeur has continued to play at a high level in the NHL. While his career may be nearly over, it appears that teams are still talking to the talented goalie, although the fact he's yet to sign anywhere could mean that he's ready to call it quits.

Brodeur has spent his entire 21-year career with the New Jersey Devils, but now that he's a free agent, he'll be heading elsewhere if he decides to keep playing since the team signed Scott Clemmensen, according to Rich Chere from The Star-Ledger.

ESPN's Pierre LeBrun tweeted that Brodeur's camp met with the Tampa Bay Lightning and Pittsburgh Penguins, but the 42-year-old plans to be patient and weigh his options.

During his time in the NHL, Brodeur has broken the records for regular-season wins, shutouts, saves and games played. In fact, with 688 career wins, he's the only goalie to ever record more than 600 victories. This past season wasn't his best, allowing 2.51 goals per game, but it still looks like he could play in front of the net for at least another year.

While Brodeur may be fine waiting, the truth is that teams are already starting to find their goalies. As SB Nation's Ted Starkey points out, there aren't a lot of spots left for the 42-year-old.

At this point, retirement may be more likely, but if the price is right, Brodeur may still be playing in the NHL next season.


Oilers Making Push for Olli Jokinen

Mar 27, 2014; San Jose, CA, USA; Winnipeg Jets center Olli Jokinen (12) controls the puck against the San Jose Sharks during the second period at SAP Center at San Jose. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

The Edmonton Oilers haven't gone to the playoffs since the 2005-06 season, and as they continue to try and rebuild, they are apparently interested in an established veteran to give them some leadership in the locker room.

One of the players the Oilers are apparently still trying to acquire is Olli Jokinen, the 35-year-old center who spent the past two seasons with the Winnipeg Jets. David Staples from the Edmonton Journal reported the team's interesting, saying:

This just in from TSN’s Bob McKenzie, news of the apparent interest of the Edmonton Oilers in free agent centre Olli Jokinen: 'Olli Jokinen is a name we’ve heard that the Edmonton Oilers are seriously kicking tires on. They’d like some strength and experience at that position.'

Even at 35, Jokinen was a productive scorer for the Jets, putting up 18 goals and 25 assists while playing in all 82 games. His shooting percentage even climbed up to 10.5 percent, which was the highest it's been since the 2008-09 season.

Adding Jokinen would make a lot of sense for the Oilers. Given his age, the team would likely be able to get him on a short-term deal for one or two years, using him on one of the back lines at center. The deal most likely wouldn't be huge, which is good news, as the Oilers have just $11.8 million in cap space and are likely hoping to add a few other names.

There likely aren't a lot of teams pushing hard for Jokinen, so expect the Oilers to land the 35-year-old in the near future.


Radim Vrbata Attracting Multiple Team

GLENDALE, AZ - APRIL 01: Radim Vrbata #17 of the Phoenix Coyotes skates up ice with the puck against the Winnipeg Jets at Jobing.com Arena on April 1, 2014 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images)
Norm Hall/Getty Images

Radim Vrbata has continued to play at a high level over the course of his career, and now that he's a free agent, there are plenty of teams that are trying to acquire the right winger.

Now, the 33-year-old has plenty of options, according to TSN's Aaron Ward, as there are reportedly five or six teams interested in signing him.

Among the teams pursuing Vrbata are the Phoenix Coyotes, the team he's been playing with six of the past seven seasons. Craig Morgan from FOX Sports tweeted that Coyotes general manager Don Maloney is still having conversations with Vrbata's camp.

This past season, Vrabata continued to find the back of the net, recording 20 goals along with a career-high 31 assists, but he scored on just 7.6 percent of his shots, the lowest mark since the 2008-09 season. However, according to Brad Ziemer from The Vancouver Sun, Vrbata is now the only remaining free agent that scored 20 goals this past season.

As one of the more underrated forwards, a team could be getting a steal if it were able to sign Vrbata to a short-term deal. However, whoever signs him will still need to give him a respectable contract, so we'll have to see which team will have the cap space to afford him.