Most people may have forgotten, but the NHL free agency period is still rolling—or crawling for that matter—along.
While all eyes are still focused on where Ilya Kovalchuk will end up, there are still several players available who can help certain teams out in the locker room, as well as on the ice.
Veteran leaders are as important to most teams as their first line. The players on this list have been leaders in the NHL for years now and can still provide valuable insight for teams that have been relying on too much youth.
Here are five free agents who can help lead in the locker room.
At age 40, Selanne is not necessarily the ripest free agent available, but his successful career would make him a beneficial player in any locker room.
His best season was when he won the Calder Trophy as a rookie for the Winnipeg Jets during the 1992-93 campaign. Since then, Selanne has amassed 606 goals and 1260 points. He also has a Stanley Cup on his resume.
Teemu’s goal-scoring abilities are still in tact and his knowledge puts him in a very unique position to lead.
The former captain of the New York Islanders still has plenty of leadership left in the tanks to help out a young team in dire need of a wise veteran.
The Pittsburgh Penguins’ 2009 Stanley Cup Championship could not have been won without acquiring Guerin at the trade deadline. He had 15 points during the Pens’ Stanley Cup run, but also helped keep the team composed in the locker room against a much more experienced Detroit Red Wing squad.
Guerin can still produce at a reasonable pace, but he can do an even better job of leading.
At 35, Kariya is the youngest player on this list. Long-time line mate of Selanne, Kariya served as a captain for eight years with the Anaheim Ducks.
Also, unlike the other players on this list, Kariya has never won a Cup, but did reach the Cup Finals in 2003 with the Anaheim Ducks.
While his speed and scoring ability are nowhere near what they were when he won the Hobey Baker Award with the University of Maine in the early 90s, Kariya still possesses great puck control.