NHL Free Agency and Trade Rumors: Top 10 Defenseman on the Market

Ian HanfordFeatured ColumnistJuly 14, 2011

NHL Free Agency and Trade Rumors: Top 10 Defenseman on the Market

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    The NHL offseason is getting into full swing.

    Players are accepting contracts with new teams, and some are choosing to stick with their current squads.

    Some players will also be traded for various reasons.

    Offensive players will be moved, but stalwart defensemen will also find new homes before next season.

    Here are the ten best defensemen currently on the trade and free agent market:

Keith Yandle

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    The Phoenix Coyotes and defenseman Keith Yandle are negotiating a new contract, according to ESPN.

    However, trade rumors concerning Yandle are not all that old. The Boston Bruins and New Jersey Devils have both been speculated as interested candidates.

    Yandle is a solid defenseman. He is very capable of starting for nearly every team in the league.

    On an offensively starved Coyotes team, I could even see a deal surrounding Devils winger Zach Parise and Yandle.

    It does appear Yandle will remain in Phoenix, but once the rumors start, you just never know.

Zach Bogosian

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    Zach Bogosian is staying with the Winnipeg jets according to Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff.

    Bogosian is a top talent. Combined with Dustin Byflugien, the Jets have a top shelf defensive pairing for many years to come.

    He is a free agent this offseason, but both sides are working on a deal to keep Bogosian in Winnipeg.

    However, for the right deal Bogosian could be available. He would be a tremendous pickup for one lucky team.

Mike Komisarek

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    Toronto Maple Leafs' defenseman Mike Komisarek could be on his way out of Toronto.

    With the addition of Cody Franson on defense for Toronto, Komisarek now becomes expendable.

    Komisarek is a veteran and still has the ability to still be a good stay-at-home defenseman. He could provide balance to a young team, or add a veteran to a team looking to contend next season.

    Because of his ability, Komisarek will require money. In a trade, the other team would need to have the cap room. The Maple Leafs could also let Komisarek walk and take the cap hit.

Shea Weber

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    According to ESPN, Shea Weber will not be coveted this offseason. But because of Weber's talent, he is already one of the most talked about players around the league.

    ESPN also mentions the Detroit Red Wings as being specifically interested after this coming season.

    Weber is a top talent. He plays strong defense, checks hard, and has a laser-like slapshot from the point. He is a two-way defenseman who is just now entering his prime.

    Niklas Lidstrom has to retire sometime for the Red Wings. Weber could be an excellent replacement if a deal cannot be worked out between the Nashville Predators and Weber before the end of next season.

Jeff Finger

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    Jeff Finger could also be a victim of the Toronto Maple Leafs' overcrowded defense this offseason.

    Finger is due over three million dollars next season. He may not be worth that much to the Maple Leafs front office, as he is probably the eighth defenseman on that team currently.

    Rather than send Finger to the AHL again next season, they could ship him out to a team looking to add a sixth defenseman.

    Finger may not have big numbers, but he is a quality veteran. He could add depth to a playoff team.

Bryan McCabe

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    Bryan McCabe is another interesting name on the market, according to FOX News.

    While it is not clear where McCabe will wind up next season, someone will be getting a quality puckmover on the blue line.

    McCabe is capable of running the point on the powerplay, and he also possesses the veteran savvy to play tough defense.

    McCabe will be starting with someone next year. The only question is where.

Drew Doughty

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    According to ESPN, a new deal will take place between the Los Angeles Kings and Drew Doughty. But it could take awhile.

    Doughty is a bright star on defense.

    He can play both ways, and is just entering the best years of his career.

    Doughty will not be cheap, but he is well worth the money for the Kings.

    If they cannot reach a deal, maybe another team will step in and make Doughty a deal he simply cannot refuse.

Matt Carle

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    The Philadelphia Flyers inked Ilya Bryzgalov to a new contract to begin this offseason with a bang.

    With veterans Jeff Carter and Mike Richards out of the mix in Philadelphia, no one is safe.

    Matt Carle could be a trade chip for the Flyers at some point.

    He is very talented and would fetch a nice package in return for his services.

    Now that Richards and Carter have been moved, a deal for Carle seems less likely. However, crazier things have happened.

Filip Kuba

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    According the the New York Post, the New York Rangers have interest in veteran defenseman Filip Kuba.

    Kuba could be a nice addition to the Rangers defense as they continue to build around the blockbuster signing of forward Brad Richards.

    Kuba would also come at a much cheaper price than fellow veteran Bryan McCabe.

    He does not possess superior talent, but Kuba is solid in all facets of defense.

    Instincts and checking are two qualities Kuba possesses. He will be a solid depth defenseman for a contending team in 2011.

Chris Campoli

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    Chris Campoli's future with the Chicago Blackhawks is up in the air. According to ESPN, the Blackhawks would like to keep Campoli, but salary could be an issue.

    With the signing of Steve Montador, the prospect of Campoli testing the waters of free agency appear brighter.

    Campoli is an offensive-minded defenseman. He excels carrying the puck through space, and is also a solid puck distributor.

    If the Blackhawks cannot replace him another team will surely pounce on him.