NHL Free Agents: 22 Big Names That'll Be Looking for a Team Next Summer

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NHL Free Agents: 22 Big Names That'll Be Looking for a Team Next Summer
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

As trade rumors continue to heat up heading towards Christmas and then the Winter Classic on Jan. 1, the focus in many rumors are "rental players."

Guys that are in the final year of their contracts are popular trade candidates because the team receiving them has limited financial exposure. Certainly restricted free agents have a larger number of options than unrestricted free agents, but players with a number of years and big dollars left on their current deals are, often times, harder to move.

What follows is a look at 22 players that will be unrestricted free agents in the summer of 2012. Because of the control teams have over restricted players, the odds are longer that those players will be looking for a team.

Here are some names to watch before the trade deadline and in free agency next summer.

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