NHL Rumors: Latest on Top Free Agents Still Looking for New Homes

Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistJuly 3, 2014

NEWARK, NJ - APRIL 13: Goaltender Martin Brodeur #30 of the New Jersey Devils looks against the Boston Bruins at the Prudential Center on April 13, 2014 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Andy Marlin/NHLI via Getty Images)
Andy Marlin/Getty Images

We've all been there. Everybody else is getting a date to the dance while you're coming to terms with the fact that your Saturday night will entail binge-watching the most recent season of Sherlock.

So you know what some of the NHL free agents are going through.

Although the free-agency period is only a few days old, almost every big name has already been scooped up. The negotiating window opened last week, which helped pave the way for many of Tuesday's and Wednesday's deals.

The three players below, though, are still on the market.


Martin Brodeur

NEWARK, NJ - APRIL 13:  Martin Brodeur #30 of the New Jersey Devils salutes the fan while leaving the ice following a 3-2 victory over the Boston Bruins at the Prudential Center on April 13, 2014 in Newark, New Jersey. There has been speculation that this
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Time moves on, and Martin Brodeur is figuring that out the hard way. Despite being one of the greatest goaltenders in NHL history, the 42-year-old remains without a team.

By now, there's little in the way of star power available in the free-agent market. Almost every top player has already agreed to terms on a new deal.

And then there's Brodeur.

Still being unemployed has done nothing to break his resolve, though, per ESPN.com's Katie Strang:

Brodeur is currently evaluating a few different options, but is content to wait longer than originally anticipated if the right fit does not present itself, a source told ESPN.com.

How long exactly? It may behoove Brodeur to wait until training camp, when an untimely injury could prompt a team to seek immediate help. And maybe there is still a chance (albeit very slim, we would think) that he goes back to New Jersey. After all, Scott Clemmensen was signed to a one-year, two-way contract, and who knows how Keith Kinkaid will fare as backup to Cory Schneider?

ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun reported that the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Pittsburgh Penguins signaled their interest, but that's as far as things have gotten:

Sooner or later, Brodeur will find a new team. Perhaps, as Strang posited, it will be around training camp, when somebody's hand is forced.


Tomas Vokoun

BOSTON, MA - JUNE 07: Tomas Vokoun #92 of the Pittsburgh Penguins tries to make a save as the puck goes off the crossbar in the third period against the Boston Bruins in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Final during the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs at TD
Alex Trautwig/Getty Images

Another goaltender without a job is Tomas Vokoun. A blood clot cost him the whole of the 2013-14 season, but with a clean bill of health, he's available to the highest bidder.

According to Chris Johnston of Rogers Sportsnet, the 38-year-old has some offers on the table:

Rogers Sportsnet's John Shannon also reported that Vokoun had at least one concrete contract offer but was planning on making a decision Wednesday:

At time of writing, Vokoun was still without a team. The blood clots will be a bit scary as long as he's playing, but it would seem that they don't pose an immediate problem.

Not many teams are looking for a goaltender at this stage of the offseason, but the 15-year veteran should find a new home fairly soon.



Steve Ott

ST. LOUIS, MO - APRIL 03: Steve Ott #29 of the St. Louis Blues skates against the Buffalo Sabres during an NHL game on April 3, 2014 at Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Mark Buckner/NHLI via Getty Images)
Mark Buckner/Getty Images

Some team might want to sign Steve Ott before he starts beating up general managers because of it. Ott has a reputation for being an enforcer/annoying pest, but he's a necessary evil for most teams.

His ability to play on both ends should make him fairly marketable, but he has yet to sign.

The Buffalo Sabres, for whom Ott played in 2012-13 and part of 2013-14, are taking themselves out of consideration, per Lauren Brill of News 4 Buffalo WIVB:

Michael Russo of the Star Tribune in Minneapolis-St. Paul reported that the Toronto Maple Leafs may be interested, however:

ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun -- the great Pierre LeBrun, I may add -- reports the Wild has shown interest in Steve Ott, the former Dallas Stars agitator/smack talker and Sabres captain who was dealt with Ryan Miller to St. Louis last season. He once fought Cal Clutterbuck twice in the same game after Ott ran Josh Harding either that game or the game before, I can't remember (video of that incident on bottom of blog). Ott can play center and wing and kills penalties.

Toronto has also shown interest in Ott, I have heard.

Perhaps Ott's style has turned off potential suitors, but there's no question players like him have a role in the league. He's one of those players you hate to play against but tolerate when he's on your team.