As July winds to a close, there is still a lot of good talent waiting for a phone call on the free agent market.
And there's a superstar wondering if he'll be allowed to play into his "Chelios Years."
For teams that are looking for that last missing piece, there might be a winner just waiting for a paycheck. For others, there might be some nice meat to fill out a roster.
Let's take a look around the NHL at the 10 best remaining free agents. For the record, Ilya Kovalchuk is NOT mentioned beyond this slide.
Moore had 28 points in 69 games last year with a cap number of just $1.1M. He's a little undersized (6'0", 195 lbs) for a center, but could be a decent addition for a team looking for someone to create opportunities for other players.
He could be a solid play for a team looking for depth up the middle, and could be a nice replacement for Mike Modano in Dallas.
Wellwood, 27, is one of the younger free agents on the market and scored 14 goals in Vancouver last year.
Coming off a year in which he had a $1.2M cap number, he could be an affordable addition to a team looking for a few potential goals from an inexpensive player. In comparison, Dustin Byfuglien scored 17 goals while making $3M last year.
For a team like the Avalanche or the Islanders that have some good young pieces but might look for a guy to take some salary, Wellwood could be a decent addition.
Ward is a big-time hitter who's willing to block shots like every defensemen in the league. He's older than Corvo, but does a lot more of the little things and is an exceptional penalty killer.
He would be a great addition for the Capitals or Kings as a fairly affordable option on the blue line.
People forget that Madden was a key part to the Blackhawks' championship run last year because of the big-time names like Toews, Kane, Keith and Hossa and the success of guys like Byfuglien and Bolland.
Madden quietly filled the gaps when Bolland missed almost 50 games after back surgery, winning over 50 percent of his face-offs and playing a key role on the Hawks' penalty kill group that was at or near the top of the NHL all year.
After winning his third Stanley Cup, Madden would be a great addition for a team looking for a solid checking line center.
The Washington Capitals would be a great team for another one-and-done deal for Madden.
MacArthur is an intriguing name to have on this list because he was a restricted free agent just one week ago. But when his case got to arbitration and the third party awarded MacArthur $2.4M, the Thrashers walked and the 25-year-old forward is now unrestricted.
The only negative is that MacArthur's people can now expect their client to be paid in the mid-$2Ms based on the arbitration ruling.
MacArthur might be a no-brainer for the LA Kings because he plays the left wing and that's what the Kings have been desperately trying to add this summer. Now that he's unrestricted, he might land in LA soon.
Coming off a season that saw him get replaced in Dallas despite posting a decent save percentage (nearly identical to Stanley Cup winner Antti Niemi), Turco is still looking for work at the end of July.
It appears Turco's demands of A) decent, $3M money and B) a multi-year deal, are going to need to change in this market, but he could still be a very serviceable starter for a contending team.
Depending on what happens with Niemi, Turco could find his way to Chicago if the Blackhawks need a starter.
He might drive people nuts, but Frolov was as productive as almost any forward remaining on the market. He had 51 points (19 goals, 32 assists) with a $2.9M cap number last year for the Kings, and could be a modest mid-level addition for a team looking to add scoring.
Frolov could be a nice addition for a team like the Oilers, who could look for someone other than Dustin Penner to put the puck in the net this year as their youngsters develop.
Coming off a 21-goal season, Ponikarovsky could be a good addition for a team looking for a veteran to benefit from skilled talent. He didn't work out as well as the Pittsburgh Penguins would have liked after they acquired him for a playoff run last year, but a full season surrounded by younger talent could get more out of the 30-year-old forward.
A team like the Kings, who are now desperately looking for a wing, might end up considering Ponikarovsky at some point. He might be more likely to end up with a team like the Islanders who need to add salary to make the floor. Ponikarovsky could bring some decent value back on the paper.
Afinogenov, 30, is coming off a strong season with the Atlanta Thrashers but will be another name added to the exodus out of the ATL. After scoring 24 goals and adding 37 assists last year for under $1M, Afinogenov stands to see the biggest raise on the market this year.
Because of his all-around game, Afinogenov is the best option on the open market for the Kings to land the forward they've been looking for. And, for a fraction of what his former teammate Kovalchuk is asking, Afinogenov could be a solid contributor in LA for a few seasons.
Stempniak enjoyed a renaissance last year after being dealt to Phoenix at the deadline, posting 14 goals and a plus-10 rating in 18 games with the Coyotes to end the season.
His 28 goals last year makes him the non-Kovalchuk leader on the list of remaining free agents, and he could see a nice paycheck for his bounce-back season last year.
The broken record suggests that the Kings could have a strong interest in Stempniak, but there are other options for him. The Rangers could look for another scorer around $3M, as could the Blues.