NHL Free Agency 2011: 25 Bold Predictions for the NHL Free Agent Season

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NHL Free Agency 2011: 25 Bold Predictions for the NHL Free Agent Season
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

With the Stanley Cup Playoffs nearly halfway done, and a cup Champion only a month away from being crowned, many NHL teams are already preparing for what is to be a busy free agent season.

Unrestricted Free Agency is set to be a very interesting class, as it is littered with quality top four defencemen all across the board.

Where the interesting part of free agency could come in is with the Restricted Free Agents. Many teams have a good amount of cap space such as the Atlanta Thrashers, Florida Panthers, Toronto Maple Leafs and Los Angeles Kings and GM's who aren't afraid to ruffle a few feathers to get the man they want.

These are my predictions of what may happen this offseason. You may think, "hey, they can't afford to do that!", but in fact, teams can go over the cap as long as they are under it by the time the season rolls around.

If I say player X and Y will sign with team Z, but team Z only has 10 million in cap space, there's no doubt they'll be over. Here, I might just include a few surprise wrinkles into my slideshow. Hope you enjoy.

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