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What’s left in the UFA Bargain Bin?

Jul 14, 2012, 7:32 PM EDT

Getty/Gregory Shamus Getty Images

Almost of all the big-name unrestricted free agents have been scooped up, but the bargain hunting season is just getting underway. Things kicked off with the Florida Panthers inking Peter Mueller to a one-year, $1.725 million deal while Wojtek Wolski signed a one-year, $600,000 deal with the Washington Capitals.

Players like that come with less than ideal pasts, but that’s what makes them so cheap in the first place. They might turn out to be the steals of the free agent period or wasted money — but it’s hard to call bargain bin signings true gambles given that the teams are only making short-term commitments at relatively low prices.

Here’s a list of some of the remaining unrestricted free agents that will likely be scooped up for similar contracts:

Andrei Kostitsyn — Obviously, the notion that the Nashville Predators could turn around Andrei Kostitsyn’s career like they did for his younger brother, Sergei Kostitsyn, didn’t work out.

Kostitsyn actually did have some on-ice success in Nashville, but that was drowned out by the curfew controversy.

Still, he has the potential to be a top-six forward next season.

Petr Sykora — Sykora was a pleasant surprise last season, earning a contract with the Devils out of training camp and scoring 21 goals and 44 points in 82 games.

He’ll turn 36 years old on Nov. 19, but he’s still a decent secondary scorer and capable of helping out with the man advantage. Plus, he’s played in 133 postseason contests and has been on two Stanley Cup winning teams, so he’s got the experience to help guide a younger team.

Carlo Colaiacovo — He’s only reached the 70-game milestone once and that was back in 2008-09. Colaiacovo can’t seem to get through a season without suffering a noteworthy injury and on top of that, he struggled last season with just 19 points in 64 contests.

Still, when he’s healthy he’s a top-four caliber defenseman and there are a lot of teams hungry for one of those. He’s still just 29 years old, so he’s got a lot of hockey left in him and it’s not hard to imagine him bouncing back. Maybe he’s holding out for a long-term contract, but if he can be had for a bargain bin price, then it would be hard to fault any team for grabbing him.

  1. jacketsfan7 - Jul 14, 2012 at 9:37 PM

    I think coliacovo is a decent d man , maybe the blue jackets can use him

    • cardsandbluesforever - Jul 16, 2012 at 6:58 PM

      coliacovo is terrible. highly injury prone and plays like crap when he’s not riding the IR seat.

      theres a reason we didnt resign him. if we do end up signing him it will be dirt cheap.

  2. tomnickle - Jul 14, 2012 at 9:39 PM

    Peter Mueller qualifies as a bargain but Kristian Huselius doesn’t qualify as a potential bargain?

    86 points in his last 103 games on a bad Blue Jackets team.

    • tomnickle - Jul 14, 2012 at 9:40 PM

      Sorry, make that 113.

  3. shredhead91 - Jul 15, 2012 at 12:56 AM

    I think that Kostitsyn would be a great addition to the Flyers 1st 2nd or even 3rd line. He’d provide solid secondary scoring and with our offensive-minded physical playing style that Lavi runs, I think he would flourish and produce. Dude can shoot, hit and even pass and with young skilled players around him, it might spark his inner greatness & allow him to redeem himself. For around 2.4 mil a season, id love to see AK46 in Orange & Black. DO IT HOMER!!!

  4. finfan88shark - Jul 15, 2012 at 1:36 AM

    Bargain basement shopping………Doug Wilson’s favorite time of the year, shopping at the dollar store. The Sharks will probably be signing two or three players in the next few weeks now. Bargains galore for Wilson.

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