2016 NHL Free Agency: Every Team's Best Remaining Option on the Open Market

Steve Macfarlane@@MacfarlaneHKYFeatured ColumnistJuly 8, 2016

2016 NHL Free Agency: Every Team's Best Remaining Option on the Open Market

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    Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

    So much money was spent so quickly in NHL free agency this year it almost feels like it was a one-day flash sale. Other moves are trickling in, but it's been relatively quiet since the barrage that began July 1.

    The pickings are already relatively slim, but there are some bargains to be had. Many teams have made their big moves, but others are waiting in the weeds for the best possible deals. Even some of the best teams have some gaps to fill, and the summer will pass quickly.

    The best of the rest will not be idle for long, so once teams sort out their salary-cap situations and assess what they may have internally, more signings will soon follow.

    Click ahead for the best available fit for each of the 30 teams.

Anaheim Ducks: Brandon Pirri

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    What Are Their Issues?

    The Anaheim Ducks lost David Perron (St. Louis Blues), Chris Stewart (Minnesota Wild) and Jamie McGinn (Arizona Coyotes) in free agency and let 25-goal scorer Brandon Pirri become a UFA when they chose not to make a qualifying offer. That's a lot of solid forward depth to replace, including a top-line player in Perron, who had great chemistry with Ryan Getzlaf. Incoming former Calgary Flames buyout Mason Raymond is probably not that guy.

    The team has a stellar young defensive group but an aging core of forwards with a narrowing window to win. More scoring depth is a critical need.

    Who Is Available?

    Pirri is one of the most puzzling names on the market. The Ducks picked up the 25-year-old for a sixth-round pick (cheap) but then let him go for nothing despite the fact he's averaged almost 25 goals per 82 games played in his brief NHL sample size of 166 regular-season contests.

    The Ducks might have been intimidated by his arbitration eligibility or have other concerns about his all-around game when they chose to let him walk. Still, he has flashed good offensive ability and may thrive given another opportunity.

    Will It Happen?

    It depends on the details of his departure and what other deals may be thrown at him in free agency. The Ducks do have some stellar linemates they could promise an opportunity with.

Arizona Coyotes: Shane Doan

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    What Are Their Issues?

    The Arizona Coyotes have addressed their defensive group this offseason with the addition of Alex Goligoski at the top and depth with Jarred Tinordi and Jamie McBain. Up front, there are a few great prospects and young stars on the rise but only two veteran forwards over 30 under contract: Antoine Vermette and Brad Richardson.

    The Coyotes scored the seventh-fewest goals last year with 208. Growth from Max Domi and Anthony Duclair and the graduation of Dylan Strome should help, but the team needs more scoring and leadership.

    Who Is Available?

    The Coyotes' longtime captain, Shane Doan, is no longer under contract, but general manager John Chayka is still expected to re-sign the franchise's leading scorer, per NHL.com. Doan is coming off a big year, with his 28 goals last season the most he has netted in a campaign since he scored 31 in 2009, but he also leaned on a career-high shooting percentage, so a dip is likely.

    Will It Happen?

    According to Sarah McLellan of the Arizona Republic, Doan is apparently just waiting for the first phase of Chayka's offseason plan to end before the final numbers on a deal can be agreed. The captain is still a key piece for the rebuilding squad.

Boston Bruins: Kris Russell

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    What Are Their Issues?

    Zdeno Chara is no longer the dominant Norris Trophy version of himself, the Boston Bruins bought out former defensive stalwart Dennis Seidenberg to make room for the Torey Krug contract extension and the rest of the group is essentially made up of aging journeymen, such as the 35-year-old John-Michael Liles. 

    The back end is in need of an upgrade. So far in free agency, the Bruins have focused on the forwards with the big-ticket additions of David Backes and fellow center Riley Nash. 

    Who Is Available?

    Boston has missed out Keith Yandle, Dan Hamhuis, Brian Campbell, Tom Gilbert and Jason Demers, leaving the team with a much less intriguing group to choose from in free agency. Kris Russell is a polarizing player loved by folks who enjoy a rearguard willing to sacrifice his body to block shots but hated by the analytics crowd for his awful possession play.

    Apologies to the Russell haters, but he is the best fit of those remaining on the open market.  

    Will It Happen?

    Bruins writer Joe Haggerty of CSNNE.com wrote the Bruins were kicking tires on Russell, although Haggerty is not particularly happy about the idea after Russell reportedly turned down an offer from the Toronto Maple Leafs worth north of $4 million per year over four seasons. 

Buffalo Sabres: Jimmy Vesey

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    What Are Their Issues?

    The Buffalo Sabres are dealing with the tiring off-ice issues of Evander Kane and are getting closer to August 15, the official free-agency date for prospect Jimmy Vesey, who refused to sign with the Nashville Predators and saw his rights traded to the Sabres for a third-rounder in June.

    The Sabres have been trying to sell Vesey on the team ever since.  

    Who Is Available?

    Vesey is going to listen to offers on August 15 and only then choose his destination. The Harvard star and Hobey Baker Award winner is 6'3" and very skilled. The combination of his size, speed and soft hands is what has made the 23-year-old such a hot commodity weeks before he is even available.

    Will It Happen?

    The Sabres made the deal thinking the idea of playing with former teammate Jack Eichel would entice him into signing, but that hasn't happened. That doesn't mean the lure of the up-and-coming team and a familiar face won't eventually pay off for Buffalo.

Calgary Flames: Alex Tanguay

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    What Are Their Issues?

    The Calgary Flames defense is a huge strength, with Mark Giordano, Dougie Hamilton, T.J. Brodie and Dennis Wideman providing an impressive and mobile top four core. 

    With goaltending solved via a draft-day trade for Brian Elliott and the July 1 signing of Chad Johnson, the Flames have one more area of need: depth at forward—preferably someone capable of a top-six role. They added free agent Troy Brouwer and traded for Alex Chiasson with the hope one or both of them can play big roles, but adding another player to the mix would increase the competition.

    The biggest issue facing the Flames, however, is their salary-cap situation. Although they have upward of $14 million available, most of that will be gobbled up in order to extend the deals of young stars Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan. That means any additional signings would have to provide under-the-radar value. 

    Who Is Available?

    Alex Tanguay has had some success in two stints with the Flames and might provide a nice top-nine option at a bargain price if he is still available later this summer. The 36-year-old performed well with Arizona after he was traded at the deadline following a rocky start with the Colorado Avalanche. He finished with 13 points in 18 games with the Coyotes.

    Will It Happen?

    The Flames may be done based on their salary issues—at least until they know exactly what the cost will be for the long-term retention of their best forwards. If there is room, though, the Flames will look for bargains with size or youth and upside.

Carolina Hurricanes: Jiri Hudler

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    What Are Their Issues?

    The Carolina Hurricanes defense is one of the best up-and-coming groups in the league, but the team was one of just six in the NHL to score fewer than 200 goals last season (196). The Hurricanes finished behind both the Buffalo Sabres and Edmonton Oilers and ahead of only the Toronto Maple Leafs, Vancouver Canucks and New Jersey Devils.

    They've actively attempted to rectify that this offseason through the addition of Teuvo Teravainen via trade and the free-agent signing of Lee Stempniak. Those players could both slot into the top six, but adding another left-winger to the top two lines would allow Teravainen to slide back into the center position and offer the Hurricanes great depth and a competitive top-nine group. 

    Who Is Available?

    Right-winger Jiri Hudler is only one year removed from putting up career numbers (31-45-76) with the Calgary Flames, but he struggled this past season with the Flames and Florida Panthers, which has him in the bargain bin. He's probably the best offensive playmaker still available and would fit in with the Hurricanes' apparent desire to win.

    Will It Happen?

    If the Hurricanes are indeed committed to making a real run at winning the Eastern Conference sooner rather than later, they have the cap space to bring in one of the top remaining free agents or take on a larger salary by going the trade route.

Chicago Blackhawks: Joni Ortio

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    What Are Their Issues?

    Aside from limited salary-cap space dictating some of the moves they've had to make, the Chicago Blackhawks don't have any glaring deficiencies. The team solidified the top four on defense with a steal of a deal to bring back Brian Campbell and has a collection of some of the top forwards in the game.

    A replacement for Andrew Shaw that is not named Jordin Tootoo would be nice, adding some scoring along with the sandpaper, but prices might be too high on worthwhile additions.

    The franchise is in need of a No. 3 goaltender to start in the American Hockey League and join the NHL team on an emergency basis if something were to happen to Corey Crawford or Scott Darling.

    Who Is Available?

    Joni Ortio was once thought to be the goalie of the future for the Calgary Flames but was not qualified after being part of last year's awful rotation. Ortio is only 24 and has been a solid AHL player. He is fresh off a two-year deal that was one way in the final season and paid him $600,000 per year. With his experience, price tag and age, he'd be a great fit.

    Will It Happen?

    There are more experienced NHL goalies, but their price would be higher and there is little upside. Ortio represents a low-risk, high-reward option.

Colorado Avalanche: Kyle Quincey

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    What Are Their Issues?

    The Colorado Avalanche seem to be taking the approach of trusting the core to grow and are doing only minor tinkering, as Terry Frei recently suggested in the Denver Post.

    Meanwhile, they're in another battle with one of their best players, heading toward arbitration with defenseman Tyson Barrie, according to Greg Wyshynski of Yahoo Sports. A trade could come at any moment, or the Avs could wait until after the arbitration contract is up to part ways. That's just one piece of a suspect defense, however, and the team traded away Nick Holden and lost Zach Redmond in free agency as well.

    They brought in Patrick Wiercioch and Fedor Tyutin but could use another defenseman who might be able to slot into the top four.

    Who Is Available?

    Kyle Quincey averaged nearly 20 minutes with the Detroit Red Wings last season, and although the 6'2", 216-pounder hasn't done much offensively since he left the Avs in a trade back in 2011-12, Quincey is a good puck-mover who could play a top-four role at even strength as well as penalty-killing minutes.

    Will It Happen?

    The Avalanche will have to wait and see what's left in the coffers after offering new contracts for Barrie and fellow restricted free agents Nathan MacKinnon and Mikhail Grigorenko. Those three could eat up most of the money available under the salary cap.

Columbus Blue Jackets: Barret Jackman

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    What Are Their Issues?

    The Columbus Blue Jackets' biggest issue is the lack of a good fit for the No. 1 center, but they won't find that in the current crop of free agents. The team grabbed Pierre-Luc Dubois third overall in June's draft and quickly signed him to an entry-level deal, so the forward may have a shot at the NHL as early as this season.

    Defensively, the team bought out Fedor Tyutin, leaving Jack Johnson as the veteran presence on the back end. Someone over the age of 30 who can play some regular minutes and provide leadership would be a strong addition.

    Who Is Available?

    Barret Jackman is a physical presence who doesn't have to be in the lineup each and every night but could still have a positive impact on the many young blueliners the Jackets have coming up the ranks. The Nashville Predators bought him out after one year of a two-year deal worth $4 million.

    Will It Happen?

    Money is tight, and the Blue Jackets may want to give their young prospects more time to show they deserve a regular spot. Still, it would be a bit surprising if no veteran addition is made with no defensemen yet to reach the age of 30.

Dallas Stars: Radim Vrbata

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    What Are Their Issues?

    A porous defense and inconsistent goaltending cost the Dallas Stars a spot in the Western Conference Final this year. The changes already made on the back end are fairly extensive, but are they enough? The Stars traded away the rights to then-pending UFA Alex Goligoski, then lost Jason Demers in free agency. They will likely not be signing UFA Kris Russell, either. 

    The Stars did bring in Dan Hamhuis—one of their trade-deadline targets—on a two-year deal worth $3.75 million a season and appear set on the eight NHL deals they have in place there.  

    They are stuck with their goaltending tandem unless they can swing a trade. More depth at forward is always welcome, and there is room for more following the departures of Colton Sceviour and Vernon Fiddler.

    Who Is Available?

    Right-winger Radim Vrbata could slot in on the second line alongside Jason Spezza and enjoy more success than he had last season with the Vancouver Canucks, with whom he spent most of the campaign with Bo Horvat or Jared McCann as his centers and finished with a paltry 13 goals. In his first season with the Canucks, he enjoyed most of his time with the Sedin twins or Nick Bonino and had a 31-goal season. 

    In the right situation, he could be a 20-goal scorer again. Spezza is the kind of center who can make that happen.

    Will It Happen?

    If it does, it would be because Vrbata is willing to take a big pay cut from the $5 million he made this year and chooses the Stars based on his potential linemates. Given the way he played the Canucks at the trade deadline by giving a small list of contenders he'd agree to be traded to, per Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Sun, Vrbata is fine with taking his time.

Detroit Red Wings: Justin Schultz

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    What Are Their Issues?

    The Detroit Red Wings lost their top star when Pavel Datsyuk decided to go back to Russia to finish his hockey career at the end of last season, but they've been active on the forward front in free agency. The Wings have added centers Frans Nielsen and Steve Ott, re-signed Darren Helm and taken a flier on former 20-goal scorer Thomas Vanek after he was bought out by the Minnesota Wild. 

    It hurts that Teemu Pulkkinen will miss the start of the season after shoulder surgery, per Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press, but they have a massive number of signed forwards and need to focus on the back end.

    Five guys are on one-way deals, and the team is working with RFA Danny DeKeyser on an extension. DeKeyser has filed for arbitration, according to MLive.com's Ansar Khan. They'd prefer to land a top-three defenseman via trade, per Gregg Krupa of the Detroit News, but the Red Wings may be able to grab some value with the right choice through free agency.

    Who Is Available?

    Justin Schultz is a right-shooting defenseman with some offensive upside and a Stanley Cup run with the Pittsburgh Penguins after being traded by the Edmonton Oilers at the deadline. He had back-to-back 30-point seasons with the Oilers before this year and is just 26.

    Will It Happen?

    The Red Wings are already tight to the cap before Petr Mrazek and DeKeyser's salaries are added. They will get relief from Johan Franzen's long-term injured reserve status when the season begins but may still need to lose the contract of goalie Jimmy Howard in any way possible to make any additions.

Edmonton Oilers: James Wisniewski

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    What Are Their Issues?

    Big changes have taken place with the Edmonton Oilers, and head coach Todd McLellan told Rob Tychkowski of Postmedia he's happy with the direction the squad is headed. There is toughness, grit and determination with the addition of prized free agent Milan Lucic, and the surprise availability of Finn Jesse Puljujarvi at No. 4 in the draft allowed them to move out a top-tier forward to address their biggest need.

    They did that to a certain degree with the trade of Taylor Hall to the New Jersey Devils for defenseman Adam Larsson. The 23-year-old rearguard can play big minutes in a shutdown role, but another top offensive defender is something the team has in mind via trade, according to David Staples of the Edmonton Journal.

    If a trade doesn't materialize, there are a some potential fits in free agency.  

    Who Is Available?

    Right-hander James Wisniewski had 51 points for the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2013-14. The 32-year-old has had a disappointing couple of seasons since, though, playing in 69 games two seasons ago with the Jackets and Anaheim Ducks and just a single contest last year because of injury troubles before being bought out by the Carolina Hurricanes in June. He did put up 34 points in those 70 games despite not being fully healthy.

    Will It Happen?

    It sounds like there may be significant competition for Wisniewski's services, but the fit with Edmonton does seem ideal in the short term. It all depends how dedicated the Oilers are to a trade, although the cap space is there for both.

Florida Panthers: Dennis Seidenberg

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    What Are Their Issues?

    The Florida Panthers have been taking care of business this offseason, locking up their key players to extensions, with Reilly Smith, Vincent Trocheck and Aaron Ekblad all signing new deals. They also brought in the potential heir to goalie Roberto Luongo in free agent James Reimer and signed Keith Yandle and Jason Demers to boost the blue line. 

    This team has youth and depth at every position. If there's one area you can never have too much of the latter, though, it's on defense. The team is without a veteran stay-at-home presence following the departure of Willie Mitchell.

    Who Is Available?

    Dennis Seidenberg was bought out by the Boston Bruins, but he has championship pedigree as a Cup winner in 2011 and averaged nearly 20 minutes of ice time last season. He should come fairly cheap and offers some key leadership characteristics a young team could benefit from.

    His trade from Florida to Boston was a key ingredient in the Bruins' most recent title.

    Will It Happen?

    The Panthers may well be done making moves this offseason, and no one would fault them for that given the great decisions they've made so far.

Los Angeles Kings: David Jones

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    Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

    What Are Their Issues?

    The Los Angeles Kings lost Milan Lucic to the Edmonton Oilers but signed Teddy Purcell as a Plan B. Advantage Oilers.

    Still, the Kings have been busy adding defensive depth in Zach Trotman and Tom Gilbert, also bringing in forward Michael Latta and backup goalie Jeff Zatkoff.

    What's left? Less than $1 million in salary-cap space. That's an issue that can't be overcome without other moves being made first.

    Who Is Available?

    If money wasn't an issue, the Kings would have aimed higher on the defensive front and wooed someone such as James Wisniewski. Because it is an issue, perhaps someone such as winger David Jones would be an option if they found a taker for one of their forwards—like former captain Dustin Brown. Jones had 14 goals in 67 games with the Calgary Flames in 2014-15.

    Will It Happen?

    The Kings are probably done on the signing front until or unless something happens on the trade front.

Minnesota Wild: Cody Hodgson

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    What Are Their Issues?

    The Minnesota Wild have already aggressively dipped into the free-agent market this offseason with the additions of center Eric Staal, power winger Chris Stewart and depth goaltender Alex Stalock, as well as re-signing backup Darcy Kuemper. They have a strong group of defensemen and a deep pool of forwards but could use some more youth up front with their top-end players all over 30. 

    Who Is Available?

    The Wild could afford to take a chance on 25-year-old center Cody Hodgson, who has bounced around the NHL since the Vancouver Canucks took him in the first round in 2008. He started last season with the Nashville Predators before they sent him to the minors, but it wasn't so long ago Hodgson had a 20-goal, 44-point season with the Buffalo Sabres in 2013-14. 

    Will It Happen?

    Realistically, the Wild are probably done unless they move out one of their newly signed goaltenders or a veteran forward with a bigger price tag. The salary-cap space is tight ($5 million) with defenseman Matt Dumba needing a new contract as an RFA. 

Montreal Canadiens: Marc-Andre Gragnani

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    What Are Their Issues?

    Scoring has been the biggest problem for the Montreal Canadiens of late, and they went out and made a bold move early in free agency with the addition of Russian Alexander Radulov, who has been in the KHL since the 2011-12 season. Radulov is extremely talented, and his addition could pay off in a big way if he can continue his scoring ways during his second stint in North America. 

    Defensively, they swapped P.K. Subban for Shea Weber, which they believe will make them better in their own zone. In goal, they inked a solid backup in Al Montoya. 

    A bottom-dollar depth defender might be all the Habs can afford to bring in at this point that makes any sense for their roster. 

    Who Is Available?

    Marc-Andre Gragnani is a veteran defenseman who had a nice season in Albany, New York, after returning from Switzerland. Hewas even called up on an emergency basis to play four games with the New Jersey Devils. He had one goal and 31 points in the AHL this season. 

    Will It Happen?

    Considering the dire straits of the Habs' salary-cap situation ($1.4 million projected cap space), it's unlikely. Buf if they can afford anyone, it's a guy such as Gragnani for depth in the system.

Nashville Predators: Jhonas Enroth

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    What Are Their Issues?

    Having reached the second round of the playoffs last season, the Nashville Predators are looking pretty good. They're a good possession team with arguably the best young defensive group in the league, even without former captain Shea Weber. 

    More scoring should come with the growth of some of their younger forwards. 

    The one area that held them back was the goaltending. Pekka Rinne wasn't his All-Star self all year long and had some down moments in the playoffs as well. The Preds should be able to address that with a free agent who could push for a little playing time and keep Rinne on his toes. 

    Who Is Available?

    Jhonas Enroth is coming off a one-year deal with the Los Angeles Kings that paid him $1.25 million in 2015-16. He's a capable backup who put together some nice save percentage numbers over the years with a bad Buffalo Sabres franchise and had an impressive .922 in 16 games with the Kings. 

    Will It Happen?

    Enroth was unhappy with his playing time in California, per the Los Angeles Times (h/t Mike Halford of NBC Sports), so Nashville might be an ideal landing spot for the 28-year-old. Rinne has dealt with injuries the last few years, and the Preds will probably play it safe with his starts.

New Jersey Devils: Kris Russell

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    What Are Their Issues?

    The New Jersey Devils had two 30-goal scorers but were dead last in the NHL with 182 goals for last season. However, they made a huge move to bringing in former first-overall pick Taylor Hall in a trade for defenseman Adam Larsson. They also re-signed their own free agent forwards with potential in Kyle Palmieri, Beau Bennett and Devante Smith-Pelly

    On the defensive side of things, GM Ray Shero brought former Pittsburgh Penguins defender Ben Lovejoy in as a free agent but is still likely looking for an top-four player on the blue line to help cover the loss of Larsson. 

    Who Is Available?

    Kris Russell's name comes up again as one of the better defenders available in terms of shot-blocking and defensive-zone play. He's actually a pretty good puck-passer as well, and if given time on a second power-play unit, he is capable of producing scoring chances with his shot. 

    Will It Happen?

    The Devils have little in the way of experienced defensemen, which is why Lovejoy was brought in. Russell is similar in style, and the two could complement the group together as the veterans. The Devils have the cap room ($13.25 million) to pay whatever Russell's market price is.

New York Islanders: Josh Jooris

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    What Are Their Issues?

    The New York Islanders have a terrific defensive group and made some significant free-agent additions already with winger Andrew Ladd and former John Tavares linemate P.A. Parenteau. They added grit and versatility with former Washington Capitals winger Jason Chimera and re-signed up-and-comer Shane Prince

    Any additional moves would involve a younger player who could play a third-line role with upside for future seasons when some of the older support players have moved on. 

    Who Is Available?

    Josh Jooris was a popular young member of the Calgary Flames the organization let go because of arbitration rights this summer. The 25-year-old is gritty and hard-working and managed 16 goals and 37 points in 119 games over two seasons with the Flames.

    Will It Happen?

    The Isles still have to work out a new deal for Ryan Strome and may want to wait until that is done before making any additions. And they do have some great prospects coming up the pipeline in the next year or two, so any newcomer would be a luxury as opposed to a need.

New York Rangers: Christian Ehrhoff

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    What Are Their Issues?

    The New York Rangers are in a bit of a desperate salary-cap situation, with Chris Kreider, Kevin Hayes and J.T. Miller about to eat up most of the remaining space ($12.4 million). 

    Ideally, they would add a puck-moving defenseman to replace Keith Yandle, whose rights they traded to the Florida Panthers before free agency began. 

    Who Is Available?

    Christian Ehrhoff just turned 34 and could be added for extremely cheap in order to extend his NHL career. He was a 30-plus-point player as recently as 2014 with the Buffalo Sabres before his production fell off a cliff during stints with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Los Angles Kings and Chicago Blackhawks. 

    If you used him primarily as a power-play presence, however, he could be useful.

    Will It Happen?

    Probably not. The Rangers are more likely to find a partner to make a blockbuster trade with than to dip back into the free-agent market. They signed Michael Grabner and Nathan Gerbe as speedy forward depth insurance players soon after free agency began.

Ottawa Senators: Matt Carle

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    Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

    What Are Their Issues?

    The Ottawa Senators have a good group of top players both on defense and up front but could use depth in both areas. 

    Negotiations with blueliner Cody Ceci have not been going well, according to the Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch, so the defensive side of things is more pressing. The Senators are in need of another body capable of playing in the top four. 

    Who Is Available?

    Matt Carle will be paid much less than the $5.5 million salary bought out by the Tampa Bay Lightning this year. He still offers value, though, and may be one of the more underrated players of the free-agent group because of a bad season that followed a mediocre campaign that followed what was actually a pretty good one. 

    Carle had 31 points in 82 games for the Lightning in 2013-14 but dipped to 18 points in 59 games two seasons ago before imploding with nine in 64 contests last year as he was in and out of the lineup. The 31-year-old may be able to redeem himself with the Sens.

    Will It Happen?

    The team has some money to spend ($12.9 million in projected cap space) and could be a real playoff contender, so getting depth on defense is a priority.

Philadelphia Flyers: Brad Richards

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    What Are Their Issues?

    Defensively, the Philadelphia Flyers have a tremendous number of great prospects coming through. 

    Forward depth is the biggest area of need. They did add some sandpaper to their bottom line with the signing of Dale Weise but could probably use a skilled third-line center to bring out the best in guys such as Matt Read and Scott Laughton. 

    Who Is Available?

    Brad Richards is still available after producing 10 goals and 28 points in 68 games with the Detroit Red Wings this season. The 36-year-old has Stanley Cup experience and is still able to make some slick passes despite his advancing age. In the right role, he could be a key contributor. 

    Will It Happen?

    Before making any moves, the Flyers need to deal with a handful of restricted free agents, including Brayden Schenn and top prospects Nick Cousins and Jordan Weal. There may not be much left over with which they could use to dive into the free-agent pool.

Pittsburgh Penguins: Matt Cullen

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    What Are Their Issues?

    The Pittsburgh Penguins are already over the salary cap, although that number will come down when forward Pascal Dupuis is moved to the long-term injured reserve list in the fall. The team could also trade away goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury for some relief after Matt Murray showed he's more than capable of taking the top role during the Stanley Cup run. 

    Defensive depth might be the team's biggest need. They lost Ben Lovejoy to the New Jersey Devils and may not bring back Justin Schultz as the seventh man in the hopes younger guys such as Derrick Pouliot and David Warsofsky take a step forward in their development. 

    The best fit, though, in terms of money and value, is a familiar name on the fourth line. 

    Who Is Available?

    Matt Cullen is the Penguins' best fit in free agency. Their cap situation and the fact Cullen might be shopping around after winning the Cup and heading into what is almost definitely his final season in the NHL could put the move on hold for a while.

    Cullen, however, was an important piece of the championship team. He is great in the faceoff circle, and with 16 goals last season, he showed he is capable of moving up and down the lineup when needed. 

    Will It Happen?

    Chances may seem slim the two sides will come together, but he didn't sign until August last year. The Pens may give him his best chance at a final Cup in his final year.

San Jose Sharks: Ben Scrivens

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    Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

    What Are Their Issues?

    There aren't many holes in the San Jose Sharks lineup after the team went to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time as a franchise this year. They already improved the forward group with the signing of Mikkel Boedker. And they made a crafty move in picking up depth defenseman David Schlemko too. 

    The big hole is in goal. Martin Jones established himself as an outstanding starter in the league, especially in the playoffs as he helped guide them into the championship series. Behind him, though, the Sharks lost backup James Reimer to the Florida Panthers. 

    Who Is Available?

    Ben Scrivens didn't have a great season with the Bakersfield Condors and St. John's IceCaps in the AHL and Montreal Canadiens in the NHL, but with a stable environment and clear role with the Sharks, he could return to form as a backup goaltender. The 29-year-old played 57 games for the Edmonton Oilers two years ago and had a save percentage north of .910 in three of the four seasons prior to 2015-16. 

    Will It Happen?

    If it's not Scrivens, it could be Anders Lindback or Karri Ramo—although Ramo's injury may prevent teams from signing him until he's back to 100 percent. There's no doubt the Sharks will be picking up a goalie at some point this summer. 

St. Louis Blues: Brad Boyes

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    Paul Vernon/Associated Press

    What Are Their Issues?

    The St. Louis Blues have had a bit of a rough offseason, losing two gritty top-line forwards in captain David Backes and winger Troy Brouwer, as well as center Steve Ott. The team added winger David Perron, who combines some edgy play with great scoring ability, but St. Louis could use another top-nine forward to make up for the significant losses.

    Who Is Available?

    Brad Boyes is well past his best days, when he was a member of the Blues for the first time, but the 34-year-old still has some offensive ability. With the right linemates in some sheltered time on a third line, he could be a great secondary scoring source.

    Boyes had a 24-point season in 60 games with the Toronto Maple Leafs last season after netting 35 goals and 74 points in 138 games with the Florida Panthers across the previous two campaigns.

    Will It Happen?

    The Blues are reportedly getting Vladimir Sobotka back from the KHL, per ESPN's Pierre LeBrun, so he could be the answer to the addition to the top nine.

Tampa Bay Lightning: Evgeny Medvedev

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    Tom Mihalek/Associated Press

    What Are Their Issues?

    The Tampa Bay Lightning don't have any issues thanks to locking up both Steven Stamkos and Victor Hedman to long-term deals. Next up is Nikita Kucherov, who is a restricted free agent in line for a massive raise.

    If there is a need organizationally, it may be on the back end, where Jason Garrison and Braydon Coburn are both 31 and starting to see their performances decline a little.

    Who Is Available?

    A player such as Kris Russell would cost be too much money for the Bolts, but a likely bargain such as James Wisniewski could pay off for the Lightning. Ultimately, though, it might be a true depth addition such as Evgeny Medvedev that would work best. Medvedev is 33 but just finished his first NHL season with the Philadelphia Flyers after a career in the KHL. He had 13 points in 45 games with the Flyers.

    Will It Happen?

    The Bolts are one of the only teams in the NHL that can probably completely rest on its laurels at this point of the offseason.

Toronto Maple Leafs: James Wisniewski

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    Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

    What Are Their Issues?

    The Toronto Maple Leafs are in full rebuilding mode but have brought in veterans Roman Polak and Matt Martin to add some toughness to the group of youngsters. To provide more competition among the defensive group, the Leafs could look to add another body or two.

    Who Is Available?

    Wisniewski is a good one here in addition to a couple of other teams. It's rare you have a chance to land a top-four guy for what should be a pretty reasonable value. Leafs Nation writer Jeff Veillette laid out a pretty nice case for why Wisniewski is still a top- or second-pairing defensemen by possession numbers.

    Will It Happen?

    The Leafs have plenty of money to spend and may want to surround new franchise player Auston Matthews and the team's other top prospects with as many good veterans as possible so they get a taste for winning sooner rather than later.

Vancouver Canucks: Kris Versteeg

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    Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

    What Are Their Issues?

    The Canucks lost defenseman Dan Hamhuis in free agency but appear to be sticking with the youth movement on the back end, with GM Jim Benning telling Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province the team is seeking a forward with some grit and scoring power.

    Given they lost out in the Milan Lucic sweepstakes, that makes sense as an element the team wants to add.  

    Who Is Available?

    Left-winger Kris Versteeg doesn't have much in the way of size, but he has the nasty edge and scored a combined 15 goals in 77 games with the Carolina Hurricanes and Los Angeles Kings last season. He hasn't been a 20-goal scorer since 2012 but still offers double digits in the category and could approach 40 points in a top-six role.

    Will It Happen?

    The Canucks have little in the way of salary-cap space ($4.2 million), so it could depend on Versteeg's demands coming off a contract that paid him $4.4 million a year. 

Washington Capitals: Nicklas Grossmann

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    Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

    What Are Their Issues?

    Aside from some playoff demons, there is nothing glaring on the Washington Capitals roster to fix. There is depth up and down the lineup and serious skill at the top end of every position. Where the Caps might be able to gain is a little more security on the back end through a stay-at-home defenseman who won't hurt the salary cap much.

    Who Is Available?

    Nicklas Grossmann is a slightly younger version of the 35-year-old Brooks Orpik. At 30, Grossman provides a strong defensive presence and could fit in as a bottom-pairing guy or rotational blueliner. He played 58 games for the Arizona Coyotes last year after featuring in almost 150 games over the two previous seasons with the Philadelphia Flyers.

    Will It Happen?

    A big arbitration case will take place for RFA Marcus Johansson this summer, and before that is resolved, don't expect the team to make any more moves. Defenseman Dmitry Orlov could eat up the rest of the cap space as the other top RFA on the team.

Winnipeg Jets: Jakub Nakladal

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    Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

    What Are Their Issues?

    The Winnipeg Jets' biggest issue last season was goaltending, with Ondrej Pavelec becoming an anchor. The team has a couple of internal candidates to take over the top job, however, in Connor Hellebuyck and Michael Hutchinson. 

    The defense is stacked with talent, and the Jets were gifted with the second overall pick to land Finn Patrik Laine, who should jump right in this year and solidify the top six on a team that looks playoff-bound again.

    In short, the team has no glaring needs but would take a value depth player if available.

    Who Is Available?

    Former Calgary Flames prospect Jakub Nakladal is a big-bodied blueliner who showed some real NHL potential in 27 games in the bigs and another 35 in the AHL last season. He scored twice and had five points with the Flames and posted 14 points with the Stockton Heat.

    Will It Happen?

    The Jets have to negotiate new deals for Mark Scheifele and Jacob Trouba, which will likely handcuff them within the budget if not the salary cap.

    All stats per NHL.com, signings from the NHL Free Agent Tracker unless otherwise noted and salary information per General Fanager.