NHL Free Agency Deadline: Last UFA's Standing
We are well past the free agency period, and this year, there was a large amount of players up for grabs. Most of the big names have been signed and locked up, some for a ridiculously long time (Marian Hossa may be playing when his first born is ready for the draft).
So you have to wonder:
Who is left?
I stumbled across a list of the top 38 UFAs out of what was perceived to be the 100 most coveted UFAs, and I feel the need to re-post it here on B/R.
|Rank||Name||Position||Age||Team||Salary Cap Hit*|
|9||Derek Morris||D||30.8||New York Rangers||$3.917|
|13||Brendan Shanahan||LW||40.4||New jersey||$0.8|
|20||Andy Hilbert||C||28.4||New York Islanders||$0.675|
|22||Michael Grier||RW||34.5||San Jose||$1.775|
|23||Michael Sillinger||C||38||New York Islanders||$2.2|
|25||Blair Betts||C||29.4||New York Rangers||$0.615|
*all salary amounts are in millions.
A couple of eye-poppers there, don't you think?
There are several players who had ridiculous salaries last year, only to not be signed this year, indicating a significant drop-off.
Out of the list, here is who I feel would be an absolute steal:
At 40-years-old, you can get him for last year's price. A one-year deal at just under $800,000 would be a nice pickup for someone of his talent and age. A veteran of the times, he is sure to add some spark to any team.
This guy had his best season before, Buffalo was knocked out of the playoffs a few years back. He is the type that needs a solid center to feed him the puck, but his speed and eyes on the ice should be coveted by any team looking for a pretty solid second line winger. He might have been overpaid last year at close to $3.5 million, but don't expect him to wait until training camp starts before he is inked.
This is interesting, considering Montreal picked him up just last year for a first round pick. He may be recovering from a significant injury, but at 30 you have to assume he's got a few good years left. His dismal debut with Montreal will lead to a salary cut no matter where he signs, but not by much, thanks to his output before the 2008-09 centennial season with the Canadiens.
You'd think with a lot of teams in both conferences looking for a solid and consistent performance between the pipes, this guy would have been picked up already.
Philadelphia and Buffalo have been able to count on Biron numerous times in the past and his numbers which always seem to go up (.908, .918 and .915, respectively from 2006-07 up until today). There has even been chatter about Biron headed to the KHL.
With numbers like his, and a significant increase to the offensive punch of all teams in the NHL, why is no one picking up a veteran goaltender?
At least there weren't 500 stories over the summer (so far) about whether he will do as he did last year. We know with the new contracts Vancouver signed with the Sedin twins that there isn't much cap room to pay out another $8.5 million for his services, so where he will go is entirely up to him.
Thank goodness we haven't been bombarded with stories about him by TSN.
After freshly winning the cup with Pittsburgh, and scoring that goal in game five, you would think Pittsburgh would try to keep him, even at his current salary or maybe at a discount. Some players have been known to do this, especially to remain with a cup contending team, but you can count that out for Petr. Numerous stories and sources say he is done with Pittsburgh, the reason being he and new head coach Dan Bylsma just haven't connected.
Another solid NHL goaltender. Fernandez has shown he can handle the starting position, but his previous salary shows he won't come cheap. Obviously, Tim Thomas took the number one job from Fernandez, and that drop in playing time will obviously force him to take a hit under $4 million per year at whatever length of a contract. One thing is for certain, there is always a home for a decent goaltender in the NHL.
All in all, there are still some bargains and discounts out there. I wouldn't mind seeing Radek Bonk back with the Canadiens, personally, or at his price, Peca on a third line with some offensive grit.
By now, these free agents are getting nervous that the offer sheets haven't been rolling in, so don't be surprised if you hear an announcement of the addition of Martin Biron at $2.5 million per year for 3 years or Alex Tanguay signed to a 4 year, $15 million contract.
These players will sign, and at a lower price they could very well be on your team as well.
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