NHL Free Agency: 10 Top Centers That Are Still Available
The free agent period is almost two weeks old, and after the initial flurry on the first couple of days, things have gone awfully quiet since.
However, despite what you might be hearing of late, Ilya Kovalchuk isn't the only player left on the market. There are still numerous players without a contract, and a lot of familiar faces that haven't decided what they want to do.
Let's quickly take a look at the top 10 centers that are still out there.
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Kyle Wellwood, 27
The 27-year-old showed a lot of promise a few years ago when he posted 42 points in only 48 games for the Toronto Maple Leafs during the 2006-07 season.
He hasn't come close to that number since, as he hasn't been able to crack the 30-point barrier the last three years, including two seasons spent with the Vancouver Canucks.
However, Wellwood has not seen a lot of ice, and he has still managed to average 16 goals for the last two seasons, so there is no reason he can't land with a team in at least a fourth-line role, or a club that needs help down the middle.
Minnesota and Buffalo immediately come to mind.
Mike Comrie, 29
There was a point in time when Comrie was considered a very desirable commodity.
The soon-to-be 30-year-old has already been in the league for nine seasons and has a pair of 30-goal campaigns to his name.
However, injuries and inconsistencies have dogged him throughout his career, as he has already played for six teams, including two where he came back for a second tour of duty.
Last season with the Oilers, Comrie only played in 43 games because of injuries but still was able to notch 13 goals. He is the perfect second-line/third-line tweener to have in your lineup.
It wouldn't be surprising to see him return to Edmonton, however. A team could always justify signing him for off-ice marketing as well. Don't forget, Hilary Duff is a part of the package.
Jeff Halpern, 34
Several years ago, Halpern was considered one of the best third-line centers in the game, and cracked the 40-point barrier three times in six seasons with the Capitals.
He then signed with the Stars in the summer of 2006, and things just didn't work out as much, as the veteran was part of the package in March 2008 that went to the Lightning for Dallas to land playmaker Brad Richards.
Injuries hurt him in Tampa, but he was acquired at the trade deadline last season by the Los Angeles Kings, but didn't make much of a difference in a fourth-line role.
Still, the veteran brings grit and leadership, and those are intangibles that a Stanley Cup contender could always use in some shape or form.
John Madden, 37
Dominic Moore, 29
It's hard to believe Moore has been in the league since 2003-04, but he hasn't had much of a chance with any of the seven teams he has played for so far, except for a couple.
After not passing the 20-point mark or scoring even 10 goals in a season, Moore had a breakout of sorts with the Leafs back in 2008-09 when he notched 41 points in 63 games. He was traded at the deadline to the Sabres that year, but didn't do much there, with only four points in 18 games.
Last season, he started the year with the Panthers, but ended up getting moved to the Montreal Canadiens, where he played the last few months of the season on a 40-point pace again. He then played a vital role as the third-line center in the Habs' run to the Eastern Conference Finals.
Considered to be in the prime of his career, somebody will grab Moore before training camp starts and hope the 40-point potential is there.
Mike Modano, 40
Patrick O'Sullivan, 25
It's hard to believe O'Sullivan is even on this list. A few years back, he was considered one of the better youngsters in the league who possessed breakout potential.
However, to this point, the only thing that broke is the wallet of the teams he has played for. Last month, the Edmonton Oilers traded the 25-year-old to the Phoenix Coyotes, who subsequently bought him out.
Last season, he was the worst plus/minus player in the entire league, finishing with a -35 rating. However, he is still young enough that a team should take a chance on him, even if it's a one-year deal.
Don't forget, just three seasons ago O'Sullivan scored 22 goals and finished with 53 points. The talent is there, but it's the desire and motivation that has been questioned.
Last month's debacle probably served as a wake up call, so he's a worthwhile player to take a gamble on.
Eric Belanger, 32
Pavol Demitra, 35
The Slovak might be 35, but he is still one of the smoothest players in the game with the puck. Like always, injuries have been the biggest problem. In the last six seasons, he has passed the 70-game mark only once.
Last season's 28 games marked his worst injury-marred campaign yet. However, the previous seven seasons, he was good for at least 50+ points per year. He was also dominant at the Olympics in Vancouver, so he still has some game left in him.
There's a possibility the veteran might head to the KHL, but a team like the Penguins should try to lock him up cheap if they can for one last go-round.
Brendan Morrison, 34
You would think a guy who put up 42 points and finished +23 would have a job, but that has not been the case for the veteran Morrison.
During his time in Vancouver, there was a point where the veteran didn't miss a game in six seasons and was averaging at least 60 points while playing with Markus Naslund and Todd Bertuzzi.
Those days are long gone, but the 34-year-old did show he had something left in the tank, as he filled the second-line role for most of the year for the Washington Capitals.
A return to DC is still a possibility, but he'll definitely find a team one way or another by training camp.