Needless to say, this has been a different kind of year. The unrestricted free agent market opened on October 9th, and 10 days later, there are still a large quantity of quality unrestricted free agents available to purchase hat are still very interesting for any NHL formation.
The big names on the market such as: Taylor Hall, Alex Pietrangelo, Torey Krug and Evgeni Dadonov are among the important players who have found their teams. But when you look at the list of remaining free agents, we notice a lot of them are still as free as a bird in the air.
When looking at this whole analysis, we need to look at the teams who can still pay these players to a decent contract. these teams still have cap space remaining and can dip in the pool of UFA’s to satisfy their needs. Those teams are:
Philadelphia Flyers ($4.8 million)
Carolina Hurricanes ($5.1M)
Chicago Blackhawks ($5.2M)
Colorado Avalanche ($5.9M)
Boston Bruins ($6.7M)
Dallas Stars ($6.7M)
New York Islanders ($8.9 million)
New York Rangers ($10.9M)
Florida Panthers ($11.6M)
Columbus Blue Jackets ($12.9M)
Nashville Predators ($12.9M)
Los Angeles Kings ($13.6M)
Buffalo Sabres ($13.6M)
New Jersey Devils ($18.3M)
Detroit Red Wings ($18.7 million)
Ottawa Senators ($20.7M)
A couple things to keep in mind is that those teams may have imposed their own spending salary cap knowing he next season may be played without any fans in the seats, so gate revenues and no season ticket holders while spending will still go on. Small market teams like Carolina, Florida, Ottawa and Columbus are all teams who must watch their spending carefully. The other factor to consider some teams will require to get to the salary floor established by the NHL so their spending will just enough to get there and have all their roster player signed up.
Next we need to look at the best players available. There are a lot of them, so we won’t go into great detail on each one of them but these players can sure help a team get that edge for a playoff spot or as a contending team. Here is our summary.
1. Mike Hoffman (RW)
Clearly the best of the pool who’s left. A good scorer of 30 goals that should be paid for dearly.
2. Mikael Granlund (C)
He is no longer the player who has had two consecutive seasons with more than 65 points but may help a team with depth.
3. Alex Galchenyuk (LW)
Four teams in three years. But still an interesting production rhythm.
4. Anthony Duclair (LW)
A fast skater with great skills 40 points in 66 games… With a lot of ice time.
5. Carl Soderberg (C)
Consistently over 40, 45 points per season.
6. Derick Brassard (C)
He struggled in 2018-2019, but recovered with 32 points in 66 games this year. Could be a great addition as a third line center.
7. Dominik Kahun (LW)
Not qualified on the contract expired after scoring 4 points in 6 games in Buffalo. Third team in three years…
7. Andreas Athanasiou (C)
Not qualified contract wise by the Oilers. Had a considerable impact in Detroit.
9. Erik Haula (C)
He will be on his fourth team since 2019. 55 points (29 goals) in his first season in Vegas, quieter since.
10. Conor Sheary (LW)
The return to Pittsburgh didn’t last long. Less than one point per two games.
11. Dominik Simon (RW)
Another player released by the Penguins. 22 points in 64 games in 2019-2020.
12. Ilya Kovalchuk (LW)
It won’t give you a season of 82 effort games. But on occasion, it can be a spark plug.
13. Corey Perry (RW)
A 35-year-old veteran who no longer skates exceptionally well, but can help out.
14. Michael Frolik (RW)
14 points in 47 games in 2019-2020… Gonna have
1. Sami Vatanen (LD)
Traded to the Hurricanes, he will never have played a regular season game in a Canes uniform. Good offensive defenseman often affected by injuries.
2. Travis Hamonic (RD)
Offensively, very disappointing. Prone to injuries.
3. Madison Bowey (RD)
Released by the Wings at age 25. 17 points in 53 games in 2019-2020.
4. Michael Del Zotto (LD)
Only 30 years old, often injured, very fickle, often changes address.
5. Zdeno Chara (LD)
43 years old, a lot of experience… But does he want to come back with a team other than the Bruins?
1. Craig Anderson (G)
Negative record… But in Ottawa. Probably a good #2 to consider.
2. Jimmy Howard (G)
2 wins, 25 losses last year. Not his best season…
3. Michael Hutchinson (G)
More games in the AHL than with the Avalanche. More games in the AHL than the NHL in 2017-2018 and 2018-2019
4. Cory Schneider (G)
He has gone more than a year without an NHL win. However, there is a rumor linking him to the Islanders.
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