Who’s Left in Free Agency?

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UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS

NOTE: This list is purposely not comprehensive since it does not include players that I believe will either retire (Mark Recchi), or play in Europe (Alex Kovalev, Alex Frolov, Nikolai Zherdev, etc). Players recently departed across the Atlantic include Antti Miettinen (KHL – Russia) and Jeff Tambellini and Rob Niedermayer (Switzerland).

Rank Name Pos Age
1 Scott Hannan D 32
2 Brendan Morrison C 35
3 Bryan McCabe D 36
4 J.P Dumont RW 33
* Chris Drury C 35
* Cory Stillman LW 37
John Madden C 38
Brad Winchester LW 30
Frederick Sjostrom RW 28
Kyle Wellwood RW 28
Chris Clark RW 35
Mike Grier RW 36
Andrew Murray LW 29
Brent Sopel D 34
Jeff Woywitka D 27
Steve Eminger D 28
Shane O’Brien D 28
Ruslan Salei D 37
Karlis Skratins D 37
Marty Turco G 36
Ty Conklin G 35
Ray Emery G 28

Not much talent left. Hannan used to be a very good shut-down defenceman, but he’s probably more suited to a depth role now. Morrison is still a serviceable 2nd line centre, but he wouldn’t be an upgrade for many teams. McCabe still has a big shot and can help a team on the powerplay. Dumont was a very good winger a few years ago (65 points just 2 years ago), but Nashville bought out his contract a few weeks ago after a miserable 2010-2011 season. He might still get a cheap 1 year deal somewhere, or he might have to go play in Europe to continue his career. Drury may be headed for retirement due to a degenerative knee condition, at nearly 38 years of age, Cory Stillman may also be ready to pack it in. All the others listed are depth forwards and defencemen, and backup goaltenders. I don’t think he’ll land a *one-way deal, but I also listed the pride of Selkirk Mb, Andrew Murray.

*NHL contracts are either one-way or two-way deals. Two-way deals pay different amounts depending on whether a player plays in the AHL or the NHL. For instance,¬†a fairly common deal for an established pro who’s not quite good enough for the NHL, but very good in the AHL is a $525,000 NHL salary, with a $105,000 AHL salary. (Tom Pyatt signed this deal a few days ago)

The only free agents remaining that interest me for the Jets are Brendan Morrison and Freddy Sjostrom. Morrison would be a nice fit at centre and could play on the 2nd or 3rd line, taking some pressure off Alexander Burmistrov. Sjostrom is a reliable checking winger who would play on the 3rd line and the penalty kill.