My Predictions For 3 Remaining UFA's

Danny MelilloContributor IAugust 26, 2010

ST. LOUIS - MARCH 21:  Paul Kariya #9 of the St. Louis Blues  shoots the puck against the Nashville Predators at the Scottrade Center on March 21, 2010 in St. Louis, Missouri.  The Predators beat the Blues 3-2.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

Well, this is my first article for this site. Tell me what you guys think!

There are many talented players that are still unsigned. In this article, I analyze three talented forwards and predict where they will continue their careers.

Lee Stempniak-

 Throughout his professional career, Lee has been two things: Injured and inconsistent. He’s had struggles staying on the ice, and while healthy he’s had struggles on the ice. If you look at his stat line, you will notice significant drops and rises from his production. For example, in the 2006-07 season, he scored 27 goals for the Blues. The following season, he only potted 13. Just this past season, he scored 14 goals in 62 games for the Maple Leafs, but after being flipped to the Coyotes at the deadline he netted 14 more goals in only 18 games. Now, there are two teams where I think he would be a good fit. One is the Pittsburgh Penguins.  He shouldn’t be too expensive, and is certainly a much better option than Bill Guerin at this point. He is much faster, and much younger. He could hit 30+ goals by playing on either Crosby’s or Malkin’s wing, and he would be rewarded next summer with more money than he could fetch this summer. A second team that would be a good fit for Lee is a team that has been linked to him, that is the Atlanta Thrashers. While, in my opinion, he wouldn’t be able to replicate Afinogenov’s numbers from last year, he could certainly come close. He is definitely capable of putting up 50+ points, and they certainly have the cap space to fit him.

Marek Svatos-

There are several teams that could use the 28 year old Slovak, but one team seems like the most logical destination. That team is the New York Islanders. It is unlikely that Svatos receives an offer before training camp starts in a couple of week, but he will probably be invited to attend several camps, and almost certainly the Islanders will be one of the teams sending him an invite. GM Garth Snow has publicly stated that any player still unsigned is invited to attend his camp, and if Marek wants a realistic shot at a contract, he’ll decide to try-out for the Islanders. He is virtually guaranteed to be one of the 12 best forwards in their camp. The Islanders have experience inviting and signing a camp-attendee. Richard Park earned a contract from them after attending their camp.

Paul Kariya-

The Buffalo Sabres could use the 6-time all-star to play on the left side of their 2nd line. He’d look good next to Tim Connolly or Derek Roy.  While the Sabres aren’t exactly a team that is starved for offense (they finished 10th in the league for goals per game), a little more offensive depth would be nice to have come playoff time. Already a team stocked with veterans, one more wouldn’t hurt at all. Many writers have Paul Kariya going to Anaheim (to play on side of Koivu and Selanne) but I really don’t see that going over too well with their fans, after he deserted them for no real reason. They were competitive (coming off a recent cup-run) AND they offered more money than Colorado. IF he were to return to Anaheim, he’d some questions to answer from the fans regarding his past.