2004 FREE AGENTS
Here’s a list of the notable unrestricted free agents this summer, and a little speculation as to who might want them and where they might end up.
Glen Murray (81GP 32G 28A 60PTS +17 56 PIM)
Glen Murray has turned into an “A-Line Sniper” during his last three seasons on Boston. Being Joe Thornton’s right hand man sure doesn’t hurt things either. Murray has a hard, accurate shot, and is fairly consistent offensively. He has deceptive speed for a big man, and is difficult to move from the in front of the net. Murray will be looking for a contract in the neighborhood of $6 million. With a long lock-out looming, the already stingy Boston Bruins will not likely make a significant offer. Teams that would be interested in acquiring Murray however are: LA, Toronto, Montreal & Philly.
Craig Conroy (63GP 8G 39A 47PTS +13 44 PIM)
On paper, the average hockey fan would read Craig Conroy’s stats, and say he’s a pretty good player, with pretty good numbers, however, Conroy is much more than that. He is a pillar in the Calgary locker room. A genuinely nice guy, who is a heck of a hockey player at both ends of the rink, and a born leader in the locker room. His stock has risen greatly over the last 2 seasons. His services will be in high demand all over the league come July 1, including Calgary. Conroy will have to be paid less than what he would recieve on the open market, to remain a Flame. That being said, teams such as Phoenix, Toronto, Atlanta and Florida will be seriously inquiring.
Teemu Selanne (78GP 16G 16A 32PTS +2 32PIM)I am usually the last guy to use stats to prove my opinions about a hockey player, but 32 points in 78 games, by Selanne standards, is no good. Top that by playing with long time friend and former line mate Paul Kariya, Joe Sakic, Milan Hejduk, Peter Forsberg and Alex Tanguay; nobody could have seen this coming. Selanne was not the gem that the Avs thought they had. He didn’t ever find an identity or fit comfortably into a role in Colorado. Too much firepower and too much star power is my opinion. He will not be back in Colorado. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him end up in Buffalo, Ottawa or back in San Jose.
Paul Kariya (51GP 11G 25A 36PTS -5 22PIM)
Kariya’s year was filled with injuries and sub-par play. Don’t fet however, because there is still an amazing hockey player in him somewhere. The only guarantee is that we won’t see him in Colorado next season. Possible destinations include San Jose, Toronto, Dallas or LA.
Brendan Shanahan (82GP 25G 28A 53PTS +15 117PIM)
Shanny has been an elite power forward for years. He has an amazing one-timer, and is as tough as nails. The only downfall is that he is slowing down in the later years of his career, but he makes up for it by excellent positioning. Detroit will resign him. I can’t see him going anywhere.
Chris Pronger (Group II)
Eric Brewer (Group II)
Joe Thornton (Group II)
That’s it…what do you guys think is going to happen this summer?