The NHL’s unrestricted free agent crop of 2010 is not a particularly strong one. Patrick Marleau and Thomas Plekanec make up two of the strongest forwards available, while Nik Lidstrom and Evgeni Nabokov are two of the strongest players available on the back end.
It is the belief of most prognosticators that Marleau, Lidstrom, and Nabokov will all re-sign with their current clubs, with Plekanec being the most likely to move on.
Given the suspected lack of movement and the belief that the 2010 unrestricted free agent crop will be very average overall, it may be wise for teams to save their cap space for 2011—or so you’d think.
When you look at the overall picture for 2011 UFAs, it mirrors 2010 very well—great talent at the top, but not much depth. That said, the 2011 crop has some very impressive names available at the top of the list—many of which will be pursued aggressively by many NHL GMs.
With that in mind, let’s look at 10 UFAs for the summer of 2011.