NHL Free Agency: The Three Biggest Winners so Far

Todd CordellCorrespondent IJuly 18, 2010

NEWARK, NJ - MARCH 12: Zybnek Michalek #4 of the Phoenix Coyotes moves the puck against the New Jersey Devils on March 12, 2009 at Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.  (Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)
Paul Bereswill/Getty Images

I know free agency is still going on and there are a lot of good players left so these picks will probably change. Here is my list of the three biggest winners so far.

New Jersey Devils

The Devils added two very good defenseman in Anton Volchenkov and Henrik Tallinder. As all of you know, Volchenkov is a big, hard-hitting defenseman who will block any puck coming his way and will give a 110-percent effort night in night out.

As for Tallinder, they brought him in to be another steady veteran defenseman and help out the younger players. Most people overlook the fact that Tallinder played with Tyler Myers a lot last season with the Sabres and was really a key factor in Myers' quick and steady development. If prospect Alex Urbom does make the team, they are hoping Tallinder will mentor him as he did Myers.

The Devils also went out and got a legitimate backup goaltender for Marty Brodeur in Johan Hedberg. Hedberg is expected to play between 15-20 games with the Devils, and with Hedberg, they know if Brodeur gets injured or needs some rest they have a reliable option in the crease.

Pittsburgh Penguins

Though the Penguins lost one of the best players in this year's free agent market in Sergei Gonchar, they have replaced him with Paul Martin and Zbynek Michalek. With Martin you are going to get a very steady two-way defenseman who can play in all situations. In Michalek they got an Anton Volchenkov-type defenseman but with more offensive upside. On a very good Penguins team you could probably expect around 30 points from Michalek as well as a ton of blocked shots.

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

Ottawa Senators

Though they have only added one player it was a huge one. Sergei Gonchar instantly upgrades their blueline and powerplay.

Gonchar was a great signing for many reasons, one of which is he can help mentor Erik Karlsson. He can also take some pressure off his shoulders as Karlsson would have been expected to be the main contributor offensively on the blueline. The Senators are also hoping that Gonchar will get on Kovalev and help motivate him into becoming the player he can be.

This concludes the three biggest winners of free agency so far, enjoy!

This article and more can also be found at MTRmedia.com

For the latest news and rumors follow me on twitter @ToddNHL