NHL Players Still Looking For a Contract

Mike Burse@Burse21Correspondent IJuly 7, 2009

NEW YORK - JUNE 28: First overall 2009 NHL draft pick John Tavares of the New York Islanders watches batting practice before the New York Mets play the New York Yankees on June 28, 2009 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

While the New York Islanders are happy with their offseason to date, there are still many teams out there trying to sign more help for the coming season. Here is a look at some of the players left waiting for a contract to play in the upcoming season:

Mathieu Schneider B-


Can still be an effective point man on the power play, but he is a complementary piece of the puzzle at this stage of his career. Will not carry a team, but will provide the team with valuable experience and powerplay points. In 2008-2009 through 67 games he put up 9 goals and 23 assists for 32 points.


Marc-Andre Bergeron C+


Is an offensive weapon, as he has a hard shot from the point, which is effective on the power play. Although as a defensive option his size does allow him to be pushed around in his own zone from time to time. A player made very much in the mould of Schneider without the hall of fame skill and credentials. Still, he is an effective player to have on the roster if used in the right situations.


Sergei Zubov B


One of the top puck moving defensemen of his era, but he is approaching the end at the age of 38. He would be a valuable contributor on a contending team, but he will no longer be able to handle number one defender minutes. Best to play him 5 on 5 and on the powerplay, so as not to wear him down over the course of the season.


Joe Sakic A+ (If healthy)


One of the best players to have stepped on the ice in the NHL. His wrist shot is still lethal when he is healthy. But after a couple of injury-plagued seasons does his body have anything left in it? Does he want to go back to a rebuilding Colorado franchise for his final season? I believe he will be back for another season to provide leadership to the 2010 Canadian Olympic Team. I am not so sure that he will be suiting up for the Avalanche when October comes around.


Saku Koivu B+


Has been rumoured to be considering playing in the Finnish Elite League next season. Also there are many rumours of him joining his brother Mikko in Minnesota. One thing is for certain whomever gains his services for the coming season will be getting a player that gives everything that he has in his tank. He will likely put up a 60-70 point season if he has skill line mates.


Alex Tanguay B


He is a solid second line winger that can fill in on the top line in the event of an injury. Should not be called upon to lead a team in scoring though. He is a 50-70 point player depending on who he plays with.


Maxim Afinogenov B-


Maxim is an electrifying player that lost his way in Buffalo. He could stickhandle around people in a phone booth, and has tremendous speed. He does not have much finish the last couple of years but he is a solid complementary scorer. He could be counted on for 50-60 points if coupled with skilled line mates.


Petr Sykora B-


Has a streak of ten years of 20 or more goal seasons and he is only 32 years old. Would be a solid addition to a contending team in need of secondary scoring. Do not expect him to exceed 30 goals and 50 points though.


Mats Sundin B-


Once a consistent point per game player age seems to have finally caught up with Mats. If he comes back look for him to be a 50-60 point second line centre man on a contending team.


Who would you sign if you were an NHL General Manager?