The Three Best Centres in This Year's NHL UFA Class

Todd CordellCorrespondent IMay 14, 2010

SAN JOSE, CA - MAY 08:  Patrick Marleau #12 of the San Jose Sharks in actionl against the Detroit Red Wings in Game Five of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2010 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at HP Pavilion on May 8, 2010 in San Jose, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

There is not a huge list to choose from, but in my mind, these are the three best centres in this year's UFA class.

1. Patrick Marleau 

Due to the Sharks limited cap space, and the playoff performance by Patrick Marleau, the Sharks will have a very tough time retaining his services and he could find himself in the open market come July 1st. Patrick would be a great add for any team looking for a number one centre as he can skate, score, and will take pride in his defensive game.

Approximate asking price: 6-7 Million per season

Most likely to sign with: Kings, Islanders, or re-sign with San Jose

2. Tomas Plekanec 

Tomas had a great regular season and proved that he could be a number one centre on most teams in the NHL. Due to the Canadiens limited cap space and the fact that Jaroslav Halak is due for a big raise, Tomas might not be back next year. Tomas could be a great add for any team looking for a play-making centre.

Approximate asking price: 5-6 million per season

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Most likely to sign with: Islanders, Avalanche, Blue Jackets, or re-sign with Montreal

3. Matthew Lombardi

Matthew is one of the most under-rated players in the NHL today. He is one of the fastest skaters in the NHL and can play very good on both ends of the ice.

Due to the situation in Phoenix and Coyotes GM Don Maloney not knowing how much cap space he will have to deal with, Matthew could be getting a lot of phone calls come July 1st. Lombardi would be a great add for any team looking for a good responsible two-way centre.

Approximate asking price: 3-4 million per season

Most likely to sign with: Leafs, Canadiens, Devils, Oilers, or re-sign in Phoenix

I would love to hear your thoughts so feel free to comment.

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