NHL Free Agents 2011: Alex Kovalev and 5 Free Agents Who Will Be Without a Team

Andre KhatchaturianCorrespondent IIIJuly 10, 2011

NHL Free Agents 2011: Alex Kovalev and 5 Free Agents Who Will Be Without a Team

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    For elite players in their prime, free agency is a great time. They break the bank and sign lucrative contracts that secure them financially for the rest of their careers.

    For others, especially veteran players at the end of the hill, it's a time where they ponder and think about retirement or desperately look for a team that will give them a one-year contract.

    Let's look at a few free agents that will be without a team when the season starts. 

Alexei Kovalev

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    With Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin hurt, Alexei Kovalev had a great opportunity to increase his stock value at the end of the season. However, in 20 games for the Penguins, Kovalev laid an egg with only two goals and five assists. 

    He absolutely disappeared in the playoffs, scoring only a goal and an assist in the Penguins' seven-game series loss to the Lightning.

    Although he showed more passion than usual for the Penguins in the last few months of the season, Kovalev is known for being lethargic and disinterested at times. The only way Kovalev will show passion is if he signs with a contender. No contender is going to want to have Kovalev, who will turn 39 this season, on their team. Kovalev will most likely not want to pay for a team that isn't a contender unless they pay him big. Quite frankly, he doesn't deserve the money.

    There are better players to overpay for. 

Michael Nylander

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    It's not often when a player that once made almost 5 million dollars per year go on loan to an NHL affiliate team. Nylander played for Florida's affiliate on loan from the Washington Capitals. He's now 38 and recovering from spinal fusion surgery.

    Nylander is all but done. He hasn't played in the NHL for a year and he only scored nine goals in the last season he played. No one knows how he will perform after spinal fusion surgery either.

    Might as well call it quits, Michael.

Mike Modano

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    Mike Modano's career accomplishments are stunning. He played 1,499 games and scored 561 goals and 1,374 points. He won a Stanley Cup with the Dallas Stars in 1999 and he is a sure-fire Hall of Famer. 

    However, now he is 41. He came off a 15-point season in 40 games with Detroit. This was probably his last stint in the NHL. 

    Modano won't give anybody a full season because of his age and he's not the player that he once was on the ice. Modano announced he will make his career decision in a few weeks, but it'll be wiser for him to retire.

    Although having the milestone of 1,500 games played under his belt will be quite special for him. 

Marty Turco

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    Turco was signed by the Chicago Blackhawks to help solve their void at goaltending after Stanley Cup winner Antti Niemi went off to San Jose.

    However, the 35-year-old goaltender struggled mightily. He went 11-11-3 with an .897 save percentage and a GAA over 3. 

    Corey Crawford took over the starting job during the season and it seems Chicago like him because of his youthfulness. 

    Turco, if signed, will probably have to be a backup goalie somewhere. However, this is an offseason where the goalie market is pretty strong. There are guys like Pascal Leclaire who are still available. It'll be very hard for Turco to find a job this summer.