Skip to content

Still need free agent pickups? Buyer beware as free agent crop is awfully thin now

Jul 7, 2011, 8:45 AM EDT

Alex Kovalev Getty Images

It’s nearly been a week since free agency began to officially kick off the NHL offseason. After all the signings we’ve had since last Friday, chances are if you haven’t found what you’ve needed for your team you might be out of luck. If you’re wondering who else is still out there, CapGeek has been doing a good job of keeping their lists updated as to who your team might be interested in.

Of course, if your team is in dire need of help virtually anywhere around the ice, they might be in some big trouble. As for who the best of the rest might be, we’ll take a look at each set of positions (forwards, defensemen, goalies) and show you who the next wave of guys to sign might end up being.

Forwards

Depending on what your needs are, you could still find a little bit of what you’re after. If you need depth scoring and perhaps an aging veteran to spice things up there’s no one better to pick than Alex Kovalev. He’s 38 years-old and coming off a season that saw him split time with Ottawa and Pittsburgh scoring a total of 16 goals adding 18 assists.

source: Getty ImagesIf Kovalev doesn’t do it for you, there’s always the slightly younger Sergei Samsonov. Last season, Samsonov split time with Carolina and Florida scoring a total of 13 goals with 27 assists. Through his whole career he’s been a 40-point player so if you need a little scoring on your third line, go for it. The other more interesting skill forwards to be had include: Cory Stillman, Vinny Prospal, Nikolai Zherdev, and Rob Schremp.

If you’re in need of a speedy winger that can help kill penalties, Fredrik Sjostrom is available as is Steve Bernier. If you’d rather have a physical winger guys like Mike Grier, Brad Winchester, Ethan Moreau, and Eric Boulton. If you’d rather sign an older center who may just have a year or two left in them there’s always Mike Modano, Kris Draper, Brendan Morrison, or John Madden.

Then again, if signing agitators and fighters is what your team needs look no further than Jarkko Ruutu, Eric Godard, or Cam Janssen. With Godard you get a guy that will come off of the bench to defend your goalie in a fight and with Janssen he’ll make sure to book his fights in advance on Twitter.

The selections here aren’t mind-blowing, but if depth is what you need then you’re in luck. There’s also Teemu Selanne who’s technically a free agent but if he doesn’t play for Anaheim, he’s probably not playing in the NHL ever again. Sorry Winnipeg.

Defensemen

source: Getty ImagesIf you’re in need of a top flight defenseman, you’re better off trying to swing a trade elsewhere. If you’re looking for a second or third pairing guy then there’s a few choices that could pan out well and play in certain roles well. If your team needs another power play quarterback type Bryan McCabe is available. Other offensive-like guys are Anton Stralman and Sami Lepisto who were both set free from Columbus.

Defensive defensemen are key as well and should a team need a guy that can body up reasonably well and play sound defensively former Caps defenseman Scott Hannan or Habs blue liner Brent Sopel could work out well. Hannan is a bit more physical while Sopel will also double up and block shots as well. Former Predators defenseman Shane O’Brien could fit the bill for that role as well although his penchant for bad penalties could scare teams off.

Paul Mara could also be a nice complimentary defensive role player, especially if you’re in need of a guy to get in Alex Ovechkin‘s business often. Other names to be found here: Anssi Salmela, Freddy Meyer, Karlis Skrastins, Steve Eminger, Jason Strudwick, and Mike Lundin.

If your team is in need of guys that have wild last names, defense is where it’s at with both Jeff Woywitka and Severin Blindenbacher both formerly with Dallas.

source: Getty Images

Goalies

Here’s where things get dicey, there’s not many guys left if you want someone with NHL experience. Of those available you have your choice between a guy who’s still young but injury prone in Pascal Leclaire, feel-good veteran in Ray Emery, perennial backup favorite Ty Conklin, and elder statesman Chris Osgood.

Failing that a team could try to keep Marty Turco away from being a TV star or could think that Joey MacDonald did enough with Detroit last season to earn a backup job.

As it is, most jobs are spoken for in goal both in starting and backing up and Detroit is the one high profile spot remaining and that could be down to Ty Conklin or another year on pins and needles with Osgood.

Latest Posts
  1. On ‘score effects,’ and the challenges of playing with the lead

    Apr 24, 2014, 12:33 PM EDT

    Ryan Johansen, Artem Anisimov, Marc-Andre Fleury, Brooks Orpik, Tanner Glass, Craig Adams AP

    Seems like a good thing to write about after last night’s game in Columbus.

  2. Mason will start for Flyers in Game 4 vs. Rangers

    Apr 24, 2014, 12:26 PM EDT

    Philadelphia Flyers goalie Steve Mason reaches for the puck during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the San Jose Sharks, Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Tom Mihalek) AP

    His first start of the series.

  3. MacKinnon: Avs ‘shut ourselves down’ in Game 3, not Wild

    Apr 24, 2014, 12:20 PM EDT

    NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 04: Nathan MacKinnon #29 of the Colorado Avalanche in action against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on February 4, 2014 in New York City. The Rangers defeated the Avalanche 5-1. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) Getty Images

    “They played hard, but for us it was more what we weren’t doing than what they were doing.”

  4. Bertuzzi to make series debut for Wings in Game 4

    Apr 24, 2014, 11:43 AM EDT

    Detroit Red Wings v Toronto Maple Leafs Getty Images

    Detroit hosts Boston at the Joe tonight.

  5. Bergeron, Kopitar and Toews named Selke finalists

    Apr 24, 2014, 11:31 AM EDT

    ToewsBergy Getty Images

    Toews won it last year, Bergeron the year before that.

  6. Report: Zetterberg to return to Detroit lineup tonight (Update: Game-time decision)

    Apr 24, 2014, 10:31 AM EDT

    Henrik Zetterberg Getty Images

    Would be his series debut, and first game since the Sochi Olympics.

  7. Bickell elevating his game in the playoffs

    Apr 24, 2014, 9:01 AM EDT

    St. Louis Blues v Chicago Blackhawks Getty Images

    “I think he likes the big stage.”

  8. PHT Morning Skate: Sharks go for the sweep

    Apr 24, 2014, 8:04 AM EDT

    San Jose Sharks v Los Angeles Kings - Game Three Getty Images

    Elsewhere, Detroit will play Boston and Colorado will face the Wild.

  9. Hitchcock knows how Quenneville felt as Blues take their own tough losses

    Apr 24, 2014, 1:59 AM EDT

    St Louis Blues v Nashville Predators Getty Images

    The Blackhawks gave the Blues a taste of their own medicine.

  10. Kane’s OT goal ties Blackhawks – Blues series at 2-2

    Apr 24, 2014, 12:52 AM EDT

    Ryan Miller, Andrew Shaw, Alex Pietrangelo AP

    Another memorable moment for the American star.

  11. Stars chase Andersen, tie series with Ducks 2-2

    Apr 23, 2014, 10:50 PM EDT

    Anaheim Ducks v Dallas Stars - Game Four Getty Images

    Just a nightmarish evening for Anaheim.

  12. Penguins blow three-goal lead, Columbus evens series

    Apr 23, 2014, 10:12 PM EDT

    Lee Stempniak, David Savard Lee Stempniak, David Savard

    Pittsburgh once again can’t hold a team to less than three goals.

Featured video

Chances Blue Jackets bounce back?
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. D. Backes (3198)
  2. T. Oshie (2522)
  3. M. Duchene (2488)
  4. B. Bishop (2295)
  5. S. Mason (2255)