UFA Summer Preview

Looking ahead to July 1st we could have a really exciting summer. There are some key UFA’s available and I expect a lot of movement. Here is a preview of some of the bigger names.

I would like to hear which players you would want your team to target and how much you would pay for them.1. Jay Bouwmeester

Towering defensman will be a hot ticket. There’s a good chance he will leave the Panther’s and I wouldn’t be surprised if he got over 20 offers.

2. Marion Hossa

Red Wings sniper notched 40 goals this year. The 31 year old talked about his next contract being his “last one” and hinted that he’d be looking for a long term deal. If he can’t be extended by the Red Wings his phone will be ringing off the hook in July.

3. Daniel and Henrik Sedin

81 points a piece this year! These two have been really consistant over the past several seasons always posting up over 70 pts. I don’t see them splitting up, and their combined salaries could be up around $11-14 million. That kind of cap hit could take several teams out of the equation. Staying in Vancouver is a possibility.

4. Marian Gaborik

If he gets and stays healthy, this guy will be the prize of this years UFA pool. But there is that risk with Gaborik because of his medical record. Still a potential 90+ point guy, and a game breaker. Gaborik is one of the game’s elite talents. He turned down 8 years and over $60 million from Minnesota last fall, which could mean he wants out of Minnesota. Some speculate he didn’t get along with Lemaire which could have something to do with his not signing the extension. So we’ll see…

5. Martin Havlatt

Hawks leading scorer posted 78 points this season. This guy is just 27, and like Gaborik is lethal when healthy. Lots of talent and should be a beauty if he hits the open market.

6. Scott Niedermyer

If he decides to leave Anaheim, Scotty has proven he is still an elite player. The future hall of famer would bring a great player on and off the ice along with so many other intangeables to any team that signs him.

7. Mike Cammalleri

Has scored a total of 118 goals in his 4 post-lockout seasons. (Averaging 29.5 per season). He’ll be 27 in June. Size is a concern but he is not a soft player and should cash in big. Oh, and he’s a filthy sniper.

8. Mattius Ohlund

32 year old defensman is a bear. Big, grizzled, veteran defensman will attract lots of interest if Vancouver doesn’t get a deal done before July 1.

9. Alex Kovalev

Gamble. Here’s a guy who was a top 10 scorer in the league last season, and played like border line 2nd liner this season. Kovalev has the tools to be a great scoring threat, but at age 36 he might need to go somewhere that he doesn’t have to be “the guy”. He could be a great signing for the right price, provided he delivers.

10. Nik Antropov

Big body. Amazing skater…. 😉 Nik is a legitimate 25-30 goal man and is a quality guy for standing in front of the net, grabbing rebounds or tipping pucks, and providing a screen. Could be a boost for a team with a weak power play who need someone to provide that traffic in front. Nik is also a solid two-way player and has an award winning smile.

10. (tie) Brian Gionta

Small speedy winger has a lot of offensive tools. Its not unlike Lou Lamerello to let guys like this walk when they want that big pay raise, and I could definitely see him testing the UFA waters.

Here’s some other’s I won’t place them in any order:

Keith Tkachuk

I don’t think he’ll leave St.Louis, but you never know. Keith was a monster for the Blues in the playoffs even though he was held scoreless and they were swept. He was throwing huge hits, winning most of his draws, and just being Keith out there. You heard his name more than anyone’s except Luongo in that series. I think the veteran who is on the home stretch of a cupless career could look to sign at a moderate salary with a legitimate contender in the hopes of winning a cup.

Viktor Kozlov

34 year old. Great big body with soft hands. Due to age, he would be best suited for a 1 to 2 year deal, 3 years at most. Could bring some secondary scoring to a team needing one more guy. (Similar to Montreal’s reasoning for bringing in Lang last fall). Viktor can still score highlight reel goals, as witnessed in game 6 of the first round.

Mike Knuble

36 year old Knuble, is a consistant secondary scorer. A big body guy who likes to play physical and be that solid support winger for any top line forward.

Chris Neil

30 year old is a tough guy and a yapper. Quality role player. Not a lot of offensive skills, he typically doesn’t score a lot but there is reason to believe there will be lots of interest out there based on his presence on the ice.

John Madden

36 year old checking centre will probably stick with the Devils. But if not, he’d be a quality pick up for a team looking for a reliable defensive forward, and a veteran leader.

“Speedin” Stevie Sullivan aka “Sully”

I love Sully! This guy can fly and score goals too. He recovered after having not played for over a year and scored at a decent pace for Nashville at the end of the season. He’s 34 years old, and because of health he could be a guy worth taking a chance on for a lot of teams. Watch for him to be a steal somewhere at around $2-3 million and put up over 60 points.

Saku Koivu

Long time Habs captain could be on the way out. If so, there will be interest in the feisty centre who can provide secondary scoring and solid defensive play.

Todd Bertuzzi

Bert can still play. I think Calgary will try to bring him back, he seems to be a good fit there, but if he hits the market he’ll bring some size and skill to any teams line up.

Jere Lehtinen

Long time Star could stick with Dallas. He’s a great player, but health has been a concern in recent years and he’s now 36. Still, the former Selke winner could be a big boost at a reasonable price to some team in need of a winner.

Francois Beauchemin

Quality d-man. Might want out of Anaheim with the arrival of Ryan Whitney. However depending on Scott Niedermyer’s future with the team Beauchemin might want to stay. This guy could actually be one of the best signings in the offseason.

Max Afinogenov

I know, he’s flakey. But super speedy and lots of talent. I actually think he could be a gamble worth taking for the right team. Aknowledging Sergei Samsonov’s solid play with the Hurricanes, there is reason to believe that Maxim’s time in the NHL isn’t done.

Goalies available include ‘Bulin and Ferndandez, along with a bunch of backups.

So there you have it, hope y’all enjoyed. I can’t wait for the draft and July 1st. Enjoy the playoffs and let me know who you think you might want to see your team sign, or where some of these other guys might fit in.

50 Responses to UFA Summer Preview

  1. the_word says:

    I'd take Francois Beauchemin and his two Stanley Cup rings.

  2. cam7777 says:

    i want the leafs to go after really any of the available free agent defensemen – bouwmeester, niedermayer, komisarek, beauchemin…all would be great additions.  im especially fond of scott niedermayer.

    i hope anaheim picks up saku koivu.  he could really fulfill his potential and win a cup in the twilight of his career in anaheim.  he and selanne would provide a solid veteran secondary offensive threat.  if niedermayer leaves, the team could still easily afford a great left-winger for the pair, or trade Giguere.  loving anaheim right now, want to see them help out teemu's line.

    i have a feeling kozlov will stay on with the caps.  philly is talking as if it will be no problem to resign knuble (despite their obvious cap issues) so i think they have some deals starting to heat up….

    wouldnt mind seeing sullivan in TO again, for the right price….

  3. Rico420 says:

    All in the "most unlikely catagory" but these moves would be interesting to say the least.

    Gaborik –  not IF but WHEN the Isles take Tavares this summer they're going to be looking for someone to play with him and Gaborik could be the best player to fill the void that's been missing since Ziggy Palffy was moved off to L.A. – plus I could see Snow ponying up some money to bring him to the Island.

    Sedins – I personally think they'll be back in Vancouver but for arguement sake say they do leave – Los Angelas would be a pretty good fit for the twins and Kopitar makes an ideal triplet.

    Hossa – already turned down a blank cheque with Edmonton last year and seems to really be focused on winning a Stanley Cup – I think Detroit will make up one of those creative contracts and Hossa will resign with the Wings.

    Niedermayer – One of three spots I can see – Home (Vancouver) second home (Anaheim) Original Home (New Jersey)

    Komisarek – Another guy the Islanders might take a chance on – local boy playing for his hometown team – they have the cash to make it happen – though I can't see him leaving Montreal either.

  4. hockeylegend488 says:

    i see burke trading big time this year. I predict he'll deal kaberle and schenne to tampa for the 2nd, and somehow he will end up giving some kinda conditional pick to the islanders to know who they will draft.

    With a large hole in the D, i could see him trying to not move schenne and in fact giving the 7th to aquire that second.

    Also see the leafs as one of the most successful teams when it comes to contract day. Arguably they have the most to prove and the money to do it so wouldnt be surprised if boowmeester was offered a top heavy contract simular to briere did. Also pitching at Saku Koivu and max afineganov

  5. JannettyTheRocker says:

    For the Oilers, here's what I'm hoping they do :

    1) Sign either Marian Hossa or Marian Gaborik to a multi-year deal.

    2) Make a trade with Anaheim for JS Giguere.

    3) Now this one's a dream/fantasy, but make a trade with the Avalanche for Ryan Smyth. Our team misses his heart and determination.

  6. mojo19 says:

    I wouldn't mind seeing Sully come back too. Like 2 years $2-2.5 per season range. But at the same time, he kind of fits the mold of the speedy, smaller kind of winger that we already have (Hagman, Blake, Stempniak)

  7. mojo19 says:

    lol that's cute. But I think you're thinking of Brett Lebda. He's the hard nosed d-man poised to win his 2nd cup. Nope Beauchemin will still be at one. But unfortunately Lebda isn't a UFA 🙁

  8. cam7777 says:

    but like i said, i’d be surprised if anyone but hagman is back from that group. in which case, sullivan might be a nice speedy replacement for blake and stempniak. i think it will take more to land him on a short term deal though. look at tim connolly. granted, connolly probably has better potential, but still, im thinking it takes 7 or more over 2 years to land Sullivan.

  9. cam7777 says:

    oo, i didn't even catch that little jab.  ducks will prevail over the wings, and if they don't, detroit will be worn down and tired, and fail to go the distance….

  10. TheLeafNation91 says:

    I would like the Leafs to throw some money at Komisarek, he and Schenn could make a young, talented duo on the blue line. Keeping Kubina will have that big shot, and maybe train Stralman some more to run an offence, or White could possibly do it. Than Kaberle could be traded, for some forward help, prospect wise.

  11. dizon says:

    I'll take back Antropov and his award winning smile.

  12. pezzz123 says:

    Komisarek is sooooo overrated, if you're throwing more than 3 million at him it's ridiculous. He's no more than a #4.

  13. habswinthecup-again says:

     Giguere has a no trade clause in his contract, the only one I believe ever given by Burke because of the health of Giguere's son.

  14. habswinthecup-again says:

     Get a brain pezz!

  15. Kramer says:

    The Leafs should ignore the cap and sign every free agent. What's the NHL gonna do?  Sue me.

  16. JannettyTheRocker says:

    My train of thought is that Jonas Hillier has taken over the starter's job, so Giguere may want to move on and find another team where he can be the starting goalie. The Oilers may want to forget about Dwayne Roloson, and make an offer to Anaheim to pickup Giguere, if he's willing to waive his no-trade clause. There's nothing saying he won't, and he can bring his son to Edmonton during the season. Just a thought.

  17. pezzz123 says:

    oh yeah sorry, I forgot he's a good #1 excellent at moving the puck. Get real now, if he's not hitting or blocking shot, he's a useless player. And he's not doing either now.

  18. ranger_fan says:

    I would try and dump Redden (tough task) or Gomez and try to see if I could get Gaborik at a decent price. The Rangers have been a healthy team and it may be there training staff that could help Gaborik.

    I HOPE Slats doesn't sign Gianta to get Gomez going or the Rangers could be in deep crap if that doesn't work out.

  19. ranger_fan says:

    I'd let Tampa give the Isles a 3rd round pick to draft Hedman, so Tavares is available and trade either:
    Staal, 19th overall, Anisimov (or Grachev) OR
    Del Zotto/Sanguinetti, Dubinsky, 19th and 47th and 2010 1st rounder FOR Tavares. I think I have you beat.

  20. hockeylegend488 says:

    ryan smyth has a no trade clause too

  21. mojo19 says:

    No more than $3 mil a year for Sullivan, he's a risk cuz of his injuries. Two years $6 mil, if he doesn't like it or there are better offers out there then let him walk, but I don't know.

    Don't forget he's 34, Connolly is like 28 or something. But you're right I don't think Stempniak will be back but Blake and Hagman will. Blake's contract was front heavy, so he will be moveable after this year, especially if he puts up good numbers again.

  22. Kramer says:

    Bettman is gonna sabotage the deal with the Coyotes. There's a conspiracy to keep teams out of the white north. They're gonna say that Balsillee has dandruff and can't move the team.

  23. reinjosh says:

    actually i agree (and im serious) that BEttman will try
    but Jim will get
    ***** the nhl

  24. cam7777 says:

    Probably easier to move Drury than Gomez though.  Send Drury to Colorado.  His contract is short enough that they might take him while they go through a rebuild.

    To the Colorado Avalanche:
    Chris Drury
    To the New York Rangers:
    Brett Clark, Ruslan Salei

    salary dumps for both teams, except the Avs get a player they don't mind, and the Rangers get two players they will almost certainly waive, or let go at the end of the year (but at least they're off the books). 

  25. ranger_fan says:

    I intend to keep our captain for the remainer of his contract. If the Rangers ever land a scoring threat, Drury could be a valuable second line center. I don't want Clark or Salei but I do want Drury.

    Gomez has enough interest because his contract was front loaded and has a unique skill set. Vancouver certainly could be a destination for him. Oil too.

  26. HockeyThoughts says:

    As I Habs fan I'd love to see us land Bouwmeester so we can get our PP back on track. I'd try to dump Hamrlik to free up some space cap wise (as he makes 5.5 mil each year for the next two seasons) and to make room for some younger players. I'd pay Jay Bo 6 – 6.5 mil / season and lock him up for 4 to 5 years.

    Sticking with the Habs, TSN reported that Montreal was one of three teams the Sedin twins would consider if they don't resign with the Canucks. I'd obviously love to see that to. I'd pay 7 – 7.5 mil / season and lock them up for 3 to 4 years.

    I could see Hossa ending up in Edmonton if they can strengthen their goal tending. Maybe they'd sign the Bulin wall? Afinogenov would be a good fit on the Oil to I think. He's speedy and can score.

    I wouldn't be surprised if Gaborik ended up on the Island. They need some big name talent and they aren't afraid of signing retarded contracts. Same with maybe Kovalev and Bert to.

    I wouldn't touch Havlatt as he is made of glass. Although if you signed him to a one year deal, it'd be a contract year so he'd play well and be injury free for some reason…….

  27. futurebruin says:

    Despite their obvious cap issues, I would love to see the Bruins go after a point scoring forward.  Maybe someone like Knuble would help or even a steal like Gionta.  I would like to see them get Hossa but as we all know he is out of the question due to his high price.  Seeing as they probably will lose a descent D-man or two, like Hnidy or Montador or both, I could see them chasing someone like Bouwmeester or even Niedermayer.  I don't know it's just my personal thoughts.

  28. reinjosh says:

    they are going to have to incredibly creative and lucky to pull something like that off
    not going to happen unless kessel or krejci
    or bergeron

  29. LEAFS_54 says:

    kessel for kaberle:) then the bruins can sign gionta or knuble and they will have addressed everything. maybe the leafs throw in a 3rd rounder or take on a cap hit.

  30. mojo19 says:

    Because Gomez has a front loaded contract, he could be moved to a team that has a self-imposed cap. So a team like Nashville, let's say their owners set their own budget at $49 million for player salaries, they could pick up Gomez and not worry that his cap hit is $7.3, and only pay him like 5 or whatever. Maybe not this year, but maybe in a year or 2 he could be dealt.

  31. mojo19 says:

    me too (I HEART 80)

    But everyone has to agree that the Red Wings got completely *****ked by that quick whistle on what should have been an obvious goal by Hossa.

  32. mojo19 says:

    YES! Re: Ziggy Palffy. I said the same thing in an earlier article about a week ago.

    Gaborik is a stud and the Islanders should make a huge pitch.

  33. cam7777 says:

    it's not really all that front loaded.  the contract doesn't become more affordable for another 3 years.  i think gomez might have one of the worst contracts in the league for what he provides.  he signed that deal when many thought the NHL was moving in a small speedy direction.  it has become clear in the last two seasons however, that size down the middle matters.  7.357 is too much to devote to one guy with an impending cap crunch coming right away.

    the only way for that team to dump salary is to resort to buyouts, or trade the players that might actually garner interest.

    im sure that the rangers wouldn't have interest in clark or salei, but with the 7 million saved on drury, they could easily dump those two and go after a big free agent to shore up the offense (gaborik, etc..).  it's addition by subtraction.

    i can't imagine any one in the league taking gomez, redden or rozsival though, unless there are even worse contracts to take back in return…

  34. mojo19 says:

    Bouwmeester or Niedermyer no chance.

    I don't think they'll be spending, frankly I could see them dumping Sturm for a pick and using the $3.5 mil to save for their own RFA's.

  35. cam7777 says:

    that is called karma.  the ducks have been raped by the officials all year long, while the wings have been in the old boys club with the stripes since the lockout.  things turned around for the ducks at the most oppurtune moment.

  36. cam7777 says:

    i think the bruins will definitely look to move bergeron, sturm, and even wheeler before they deal kessel.

  37. hockeylegend488 says:

    i say gagner and a second to pittsburgh for jordan stall

    then trade visnovsky to toronto for the 7th and a second rounder

    sign jay bo 7 years 44mil

    make a pitch to colorado for the 3rd pick for lets say souray and smid, cause they desperatly need defensive presence.

    oil would have 3rd pick, 7th pick , there 10th pick, few second rounders and jay bo and stall.
    and loose souray/visnovsky/gagner

  38. hockeylegend488 says:

    i see teh oilers locking up gaborik for some reason, and re signing dwyane roloson tho. i See them making afew big trades tho

  39. mojo19 says:

    That's classic Red Wing hater rhetoric. The Wing's aren't in "the old boys club" they draw lots of penalties because they're so skilled and so much better than everyone.

    Sorry, I'm a Leafs fan but let's be honest here.

    I admire everyone cheering for the underdog, typically i'd be right there with you, but I don't know anyone who likes the Red Wings. Everyone hates them so much, it makes it easy for me to start defending them. The more you defend a team (or a player) the more you like them.

  40. mojo19 says:

    I fully agree. I believe those three players would all clear waivers. But like you said there could be a trade out there for another bad contract.

  41. cam7777 says:

    okay, well, here in winnipeg, there’s nothing but red wings jersey’s on every where it seems. i can’t even enjoy a ricard’s white with a hint of citrus at my local watering hole without running into red wing’s jerseys.

    i just tend to agree with don cherry on this one, and i don’t care if it makes me a dinosaur. those guys, however skilled, play with no honor, and are an absolute bore to watch (unless they are playing an opponent that forces them to fight back, like Anaheim).

    but yes, my hatred for them is largely over-exagerrated and unnecessary; point taken. ha.

  42. the_word says:

    I wasn't going to bring this one up, we got away with one. Perhaps the refs were a little quick to blow the whistle after Franzen took liberties on Hiller in game one. What goes around comes around, I look at it as a wash.

  43. mojo19 says:

    Definitely not a wash. That quick whistle could have changed the whole series. grrrrr

  44. the_word says:

    A questionable major resulted in a goal, could have changed game one, a bad call took away a goal in game three.

    Frazen ran Hiller and then had to profile and pose with his glare at Hiller after the goal (again I respect that, its the playoffs after all). Franzen pants the refs on that play and gave reason for a quick whistle. None of the above was fair.

  45. mojo19 says:

    The quick whistle is the most glaring error and the only thing that can't be disputed. the end.

    Red Wings will come back though, I'm not worried.

  46. broc says:

    Would serve Wheeler right for refusing to sign with Phoenix, so he could go home to Boston. Wouldn't that turn his world upside down?

  47. wayne2 says:

    As a sens fan i realise we have cap issue and usualy big names end up in bigger market.This being said here's my list of possibilities:
    forward:Knuble,Sullivan and Kotalik(not on list) for secondary scoring.
    wishfull thinking:Camallari or Gionta
    In my dreams:Hossa
    wishfull thinking:Ohlund
    In my dreams:Bouwmeester

  48. mojo19 says:

    Even Beauchemin I think will command pretty big dollars. But I could see Ottawa grabbing him.

    I didn't put Ales Kotalik on the list because I don't think he's that great, there are a couple dozen guys of his calibre i could have included.

  49. Hatyfranco says:

    I have to side with pez on this one. He's too one-dimensional. When the defensive aspect of his game fails he has nothing to fall back on. This guy can't hit the net for the life of him, nor make the great first pass. Although some team will throw $5M at him for some unexplainable reason, I wouldn't give him anything above $3.5M. 

  50. THEGREATHAB says:

    As a Hab fan I think you missed one big name, Alex Tanguay.

    If I were Gainey I would Sign Tanguay.

    If I couldnt sign Komisarik,  I would go after J-Bo very hard.

    For a forwrd I would sign Gaborik , and let Kovalev go unless he gives a discount.  Also I would sign Koivu at a reduced price, or pick up Madden.

    Then the roster would look like this


    A Kostitsyn-Plekanek-Kovalev/Higgins

    S Kostitsyn-Lapierre-Higgins/Pacriotty


    Markov- Gorges

    Bouwmeester- Hamrlik

    O'Byrne – Cote/Subban/McDonough

    I dont think the Habs would have enough cap room to sign all of these guys, as their price will be inflated on July 1st. Also, even with this lineup we are missing a big center who can score.  So Bob should concentrate on trading for a big center who can score, and mabee picking up one or two of these guys.

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