NHL Trade/Free Agent Talk: 13 Players You'd Be Shocked Are on the Market

Charlie WeinmanContributor IIIMay 31, 2011

NHL Trade/Free Agent Talk: 13 Players You'd Be Shocked Are on the Market

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    The final round of the Stanley Cup Finals start tomorrow night and once that exciting series is over, the NHL offseason begins. 

    After the horn blows in the last game of the series, free agents on the market can start to expect phone calls from teams that would love to add their skill to their squad.

    This offseason features players that you would be surprised to hear are on the market. Rather they have been with their team for a very long time or have been one of the top players on their team, they are on the market and have the chance to play elsewhere.

    Here are 13 players that you are going to be shocked to hear are on the market.

Thomas Vokoun

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    Tomas Vokoun has been with the Florida Panthers since 2007. After four full seasons as the Panthers' number one goalie, Vokoun is one of the league's most underrated players.

    When you think of some of the best goalies in the NHL, Vokoun's name is rarely mentioned. Look at the two starting goalies in this year's finals. Roberto Luongo and Tim Thomas are known for being two of the top goaltenders in the league. Stats show that Vokoun can be compared with them.

    In his career, Luongo has a goals against average of 2.53 and a save percentage of .919. In Thomas' career, he has a goals against average of 2.50 and a save percentage of .922.

    Now look at Vokoun's stats. In his career, he has a save percentage of .917 and a goals against average of 2.56. Vokoun has proven that he can be compared with some of the best in the league.

    Right now, the Panthers have one of the top goalies in the league. It is surprising that they may let him test the market.

Teemu Selanne

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    Teemu Selanne will be 41 years old when next season starts. The Anaheim Ducks star has been with the team for many years, but his most recent stint in Anaheim started back in 2005. 

    First of all, it is surprising that the soon-to-be 41-year-old is considering giving it another season. If Selanne decides to play next season, it is surprising that the Ducks would let him go.

    Besides Corey Perry, Selanne led the Ducks in points and goals. He has shown Anaheim that regardless of his age, he can still be one of the best players not only on the team but in the entire league.

    Selanne has now had three straight seasons of scoring at least 25 goals and it is very surprising that the Ducks would let him test the market if he decides to play next season.

Niklas Lidstrom

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    Like Selanne, Lidstrom will be over 40 years old when next season stars. 

    Lidstrom entered the league the year I was born, in 1991. First of all, it is unbelievable that Lidstrom is still capable of playing this great game. Second of all, it is crazy that Lidstrom is still putting up the numbers that he has been doing. 

    Lidstrom has spent his entire career in Hockey Town and it will truly be shocking to see him in another team's uniform next season. 

    Last season at 40 years old, Lidstrom ranked second among defensemen in points and fifth in goals.

    Lidstrom has been one of the top defensemen in the league his entire career and him testing the market would be the most shocking of all.

Ed Jovanovski

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    Ed Jovanovski has been with the Phoenix Coyotes since 2005. Since then, he has established himself as one of the most consistent defensemen in the NHL.

    Ed is not known to score on offense like Lidstrom. He is known to control the defense and keep opponents from scoring.

    Fans love when their team signs players who can score. But fine defensive players like Jovanovski are key players on teams and it will be a surprise if Phoenix decides to part ways with the veteran.

Brad Richards

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    Brad Richards is one of the best forwards in the NHL. He has been with the Dallas Stars since 2007. Since he arrived in Big D, Richards has been the best player and has impacted the Stars' organization greatly. 

    Last season Richards scored 28 goals and finished with 77 points, where he ranked 10th in the NHL. 

    Richards is one of the biggest free agents on the market this offseason and Stars' fans all over are going to be sad when he leaves, if he does. The fans of Dallas have to be shocked that they have not re-signed their All-Star.

Steven Stamkos

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    Even though he is a restricted free agent, it has to be a shock to any NHL fan that the Tampa Bay Lightning have not signed Steven Stamkos.

    Stamkos is not only the best player on the Lightning, he is arguably the best player in the league. 

    The 2010 Rocket Richard winner is consistently in the talks for MVP and is always in the top of the ranks in scoring and points. 

    This past season, Stamkos scored 45 goals and finished with 91 points. He also was a key player in the postseason for the Lightning as they made it all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals. 

Ilya Bryzgalov

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    Like Vokoun, Bryzgalov is also one of the better goalies in the league but is also underrated.

    Last season Bryzgalov tied for second-most wins with 37. He also finished in the top 10 with a save percentage of .921.

    Bryzgalov has been with Phoenix since 2007. It will be a surprise if Phoenix decides to let him go because Ilya's shoes are going to be hard to fill. The good news is that if Ilya leaves, there will be very good goalies on the market to be a replacement.

Eric Brewer

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    Eric Brewer was traded to Tampa Bay from St. Louis on this season's deadline day.

    Like Stamkos, Brewer was another key player for the Lightning throughout the playoffs.

    Blues fans were shocked when Brewer was traded, and whoever lands Brewer next season will be very happy because they are getting a very quality defenseman.

Zach Parise

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    It is a shock to see Zach Parise on the market because he has been with New Jersey since 2005, the year he entered the league.

    This season, Parise was sidelined the entire season after only 13 games because of a knee injury.

    Parise is a fan favorite in New Jersey. When healthy, Parise scores many goals and puts up close to 90 points. Parise became a fan favorite in America when he had a great tournament during the 2010 Winter Olympics.

    I was truly shocked to see Parise on the market list and I am sure the New Jersey will hate to see him go.

Shea Weber

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    Shea Weber has established himself as one of the best defensemen in the game since he entered the league in 2005. He has spent his entire career in the Music City.

    The last three seasons, Weber has scored over 16 goals and put up at least 43 points.

    His contract is up after six seasons with the Predators and it is shocking that the Preds did not re-sign him. 

Simon Gagne

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    After 10 seasons with the Flyers, Gagne just finished his first season with the Eastern Conference runner-ups. 

    Last season in Tampa, he scored 17 goals and finished the season with 40 points. He was another soon-to-be free agent for the Lightning who contributed greatly in the playoffs. He scored five goals and tallied seven assists in the 15 playoff games the Lightning played.

Alex Kovalev

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    Kovalev played only played 20 games for the Penguins. He scored only two goals and tallied five assists in the regular season. During the playoffs, Kovalev scored only one goal and only assisted one goal.

    It has been reported that the Penguins will not offer Kovalev a contract for next season.

    The shocking part of this has nothing to do with Kovalev. But with the Penguins not resigning Kovi, they could be making the shocking move of re-signing Jaromir Jagr.

Tim Connolly

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    Connolly has played in Buffalo since 2001.

    The speedster has been a consistent scoring threat his entire career with the Sabres. 

    Now after eight seasons with the Sabres, he is on the market and it is shocking that he is available for other teams.

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