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Five interesting players still on UFA market

Sep 1, 2014, 10:46 AM EDT

Ilya Bryzgalov Getty Images

We’re into September now, so naturally the list of noteworthy unrestricted free agents has gotten pretty thin, but there are still some players that might sign contracts just before, during, or even after training camp that are still worth keeping an eye on.

In that spirit, here are five guys that might still make an impact in 2014-15 despite going unsigned in July and August:

Dustin Penner — His value has dropped substantially since the Edmonton Oilers inked him to a controversial five-year, $21.25 million offer sheet, but he’s still just 31 years old (32 on Sept. 28) and might be able to play a supporting role. He had some success doing just that in Los Angeles and aided them in their 2012 Stanley Cup championship. He had also looked good at times playing with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry last season before Anaheim traded him to Washington. There were rumors recently about him joining Philadelphia’s training camp on a tryout basis, but Flyers GM Ron Hextall denied those reports.

Scott Gomez — There’s no question that Gomez isn’t the offensive threat that he once was, but the 34-year-old forward might still be able to serve as a capable bottom-six forward. His ability to mentor young players has also been praised in the past, with Sharks bench boss Todd McLellan referring to him in 2013 as a third or fourth coach.

More recently he played for Florida and spent a fair amount of time as a healthy scratch. He considered retirement, but instead accepted a training camp invite with New Jersey. He’s on this list though because he hasn’t signed with the team and there’s no guarantee that he will.

Martin Brodeur — He’s one of the greatest goaltenders of all-time, but at the age of 42 the demand for his services has obviously decreased dramatically. At this point, teams are pretty much set as far as their goaltending tandems go, with the exceptions, like Anaheim, mostly interested in having internal options compete in training camp. That being said, the landscape is always one major injury away from changing and Brodeur is open to the idea of signing during the season if he can’t work anything out ahead of time.

Daniel Alfredsson — Alfredsson is a bit of a different case because part of the issue is that he’s not sure whether or not he wants to return. He’s been training over the summer, but hasn’t decided if he feels like he can contribute at the age of 41. If he ultimately decides that he wants to return for one more season, then he’s expected to approach the Detroit Red Wings and at that point, it will be up to the team to decide if they want to re-sign him to add another veteran presence and offensive depth or if they want to keep the roster spot open for one of their young forwards.

Ilya Bryzgalov — Like Brodeur, Bryzgalov is stuck in a situation where there aren’t many goaltending opportunities out there, but the two netminders don’t have much else in common. Bryzgalov is a far more polarizing figure due to his tenure with Philadelphia, but he’s coming off of a decent season with Edmonton and Minnesota. He would love to re-sign with Minnesota, but the Wild already have Niklas Backstrom and Josh Harding under contract and possess the rights to free agent Darcy Kuemper. As is the case with Brodeur, Bryzgalov might not find an opening in the NHL until there’s a goaltending injury.

  1. rbbbaron - Sep 1, 2014 at 10:57 AM

    Isn’t Derek Morris still available? As a serviceable right-handed blueliner that on most rosters could play on the second-pairing, I’d say he’s more relevant than Gomez. Holland apparently thought two more years of Quincey @ 4.25mil was a better bet, so now Dallas would be the logical place for him to land (especially now that he’d probably come at a cheaper price).

    • mackattack29 - Sep 2, 2014 at 11:16 PM

      Would be a nice pick up for the Avs. But that would mean losing one spot for either Redmond, Elliot, or potentially Bigras if he kills it in camp.

  2. mcphillthy - Sep 1, 2014 at 11:02 AM

    Hahahaha. Bryz is homeless in the NHL. I love it. I wonder who he is begging for a job right now. I hope Minnesota signs him. The fans up there think he will be good in net. Hahahaha. Happy labor day. Go beg for work, bryz

    • timmyp716 - Sep 1, 2014 at 11:34 AM

      I wouldn’t consider being paid $1.6 mill till 2027 a bad situation. It’s probably more than you or I will see in a life time.

      • 950003cups - Sep 1, 2014 at 12:05 PM

        He may be begging to get ice time. But he’s been set up nicely by your very own GM and/or owner.

    • mcphillthy - Sep 1, 2014 at 12:52 PM

      Oh no doubt he is set for life with what the flyers will be paying him for the next 20 years but it’s still great to know that his humongous big ego is probably very deflated right now. Do they even accept the American dollar in his home country anymore?!
      Gimme some more thumbs down…. It keeps me going

    • crazyhorse2609 - Sep 1, 2014 at 2:18 PM

      Don’t worry mcphillthy, he’s laughing right back at you.

    • clarke16 - Sep 1, 2014 at 3:38 PM

      McDumphuckles is back! How’s your petunia, ‘phuckles? :)

    • isithockeyseasonyet - Sep 1, 2014 at 4:08 PM

      I seriously hope mcphilthy is not a flyers fan, reason people hate us is too many bozos like this dude. I would hate us too if I were a rival team fan and knew people like mcpolesmoker existed

      • phillyphanatic77 - Sep 2, 2014 at 7:04 AM

        It seems every fanbase on this site has one or two like mcphillth. I really wish he wasn’t representing our city or fans but unfortunately idiots like this exist and rarely shut up.

      • mcphillthy - Sep 2, 2014 at 11:03 AM

        Actually this particular idiot only trolls about bryzgalov. The teat is strictly hockey talk

    • bobc74 - Sep 1, 2014 at 6:07 PM

      Maybe he’ll have to shack up with those “bears in the Russian forests”.

  3. lowenni - Sep 1, 2014 at 11:05 AM

    @mcphillthy, shut up. It’s not Bryz’s fault your GM signed him to an outrageous contract that is pretty hard to live up to unless you’ve consistent been one of the best goalies in the NHL. Bryz wasn’t, and that’s just the way it was. No need to be a classless fan and bash the fact he’s out of work–A) he did a serviceable job last year and will find work and B) stuff like what you just said is why people don’t like Philly fans. You don’t have to like him or root for him, no reason to wish the worst on him though. Get some class

    • courtjester1234 - Sep 1, 2014 at 11:43 AM

      @iowenni, nah bro YOU SHUT UP. we had to put up with this whining baby for two years. at every turn when thing didn’t go the way he wanted he acted like a dik. ill never forget that tool bags reaction when he was told he wouldn’t start the winter classic. he couldn’t face the fact he was being out played by a kid no knew at the time. also his teammates in Minnesota were trying to be nice by not talking trash about him,just as his former teammates in Philly did.and as a fan I can call it how it is. the only thing “professional” about him was somehow he made it into professional hockey, otherwise he is an oxymoron of the word. and stop hating the Flyers just because its Philly. it really shows a maturity level that a 6th grader has surpassed. as a hockey fan you suck

      • areaman714 - Sep 1, 2014 at 12:03 PM

        The defense playing in front of Bryz in Philly was, to put it nicely, not very good. I am surprised a Philly fan would not be able to watch and comprehend game action outside the crease.

      • stakex - Sep 1, 2014 at 12:25 PM

        No one hates the Flyers because they play in Philly. They hate the Flyers because far too many of their fans are like you and mcphillthy.

      • lowenni - Sep 1, 2014 at 12:32 PM

        I won’t even grace you with a full response, courtjester. Your username serves you well because you really are just a joke, like a court jester, when it comes to being a hockey fan. You and your friend mcphillthy should go back and watch some tapes of the 2011-12 season and watch how your defense played in front of bryzgalov.

      • mcphillthy - Sep 1, 2014 at 12:59 PM

        The guy gave up on plays then blamed his defense. He is a premadonna and a cancer. Yeah he fleeced Philly with his deal but it’s not my money so I don’t care. What I care about is him blaming everyone else for his horrible playing and his mistakes.
        Yes Philly had a horrible defense but bobrovski looked just fine making those same routine saves bryz let in. Hate all you want but you’re not the one who had to watch him and his BS for two seasons. There is a reason he is not signed yet.
        He is a team cancer. Hell…. Even edmonton didn’t want him.
        Lol. You people never cease to amaze me with your stupidity. Lolol
        Go bryz, go!!!

      • anthj99 - Sep 1, 2014 at 1:06 PM

        “NAH BRO YOU SHUT UP” and then you proceed to talk about Bryz and his 6th grade maturity level? Hilarious.

    • mcphillthy - Sep 1, 2014 at 1:04 PM

      Why start being classy when everyone already has a predetermined mindset of how Philly fans are? Usually I don’t share the hate but I hate bryz more than I hate any player in the NHL. I hate Crosby but will always respect his game.
      I will forever enjoy watching bryz struggle and I will forever be the first to laugh at him and you can always be the first one to give me a thumbs down for it. I appreciate you being a groupie for my hate comments. Keep the thumbs down rollin and I’ll keep on trollin.
      Go bryz, go!!!

      • areaman714 - Sep 1, 2014 at 1:54 PM

        You were six feet under three posts ago. There is no need to keep digging.

      • skusterbeck - Sep 1, 2014 at 2:57 PM

        Why is it that all goalies seem to suck when they play for Philly but are good goalies before and after they get traded away from Philly? It happens every time they get a quality goaltender, their skills all of a sudden disappear. Then they go to another team and they play really well again. It’s because no goalie wants to play in front of the classless, disgusting Philly fans. They would beat their own mothers if she played goal poorly for their team. Those fans are all sick. I’ve been to hundreds of games at my home arena and never had a problem with any other teams fans, just the trash that comes from Philly. 5 Philly fans tried to start a fight with me by pouring a beer on my wife’s head during a preseason game. Just classless idiots. Would you want to play for a bunch of classless idiots? I wouldn’t. Neither do most NHL goalies.

      • dueman - Sep 1, 2014 at 4:49 PM

        skusterbeck – Acting just like mcphillthy and courtjester1234 doesn’t make you, or your point look better. Instead, you just dropped down to their level. In fact, you actually sound so much like mcphillthy that I think that you might actually be him, just trying to justify his last idiotic comment….

      • phillyphanatic77 - Sep 2, 2014 at 7:23 AM

        Skusterbeck, your theory that good goalies magically stink when they get to Philly and then are good again after they leave is uninformed drivel. It’s the idiotic stereotype that people who don’t actually pay attention to the sport spout off with. Has Bryz magically returned to his Phoenix days simply by leaving here? Bc to me it looks like he had a 3+ GAA and a .908sv% with the Oilers. His GAA got way better with Minny but his sv% was still only .911. Nowhere close to the .920s he put up with Tippets SYSTEM. Are you gonna give Bob as an example? Bc he had a great rookie year here and it was clear he atleast had elite physical ability. He just got caught up in the Bryz drama. Beyond that, I’d say most goalies the Flyers have had recently actually had more success here than elsewhere… Marty Biron had his best years here. Leighton, Boucher, Esche, Niittymaki, Cechmanek, Hextall… all successful here, mostly mediocre elsewhere. Even Ray Emery was solid his 1st time around before his hip stopped working.

        See people like you see the revolving door in net and think it’s automatically bc the Flyers don’t support their goalies… but that’s way off. Like I said above, the Flyers have had many productive netminders over the years, they just haven’t had that consistent franchise guy.

    • phillyphanatic77 - Sep 2, 2014 at 7:10 AM

      He’s a troll! Don’t even try to reason with him or assume that he represents Flyers fans. We dislike Bryzgalov in this city (which is totally justified), but most don’t wish him the worst. If he gets a job, good for him. If he doesn’t, it’s no sweat off my back. Bryz is the past and most Flyers fans would rather forget completely about him rather than dwell on the catastrophe that was his tenure here. We have a goalie that we like now and thats what matters to rational fans.

  4. greej1938l - Sep 1, 2014 at 11:11 AM

    Yeah…what’s you’re deal with Bryz. I think he’s hilarious. His teammates loved him in Minnesota. I feel he can still be serviceable

  5. spence24 - Sep 1, 2014 at 11:16 AM

    Didn’t Gomez sign in New Jersey?

    • thesportsjudge - Sep 1, 2014 at 11:31 AM

      No, just a tryout, I think.

  6. budzo83 - Sep 1, 2014 at 11:32 AM

    He doesn’t have a contract, just a PTO

  7. anthj99 - Sep 1, 2014 at 1:01 PM

    Don’t forget Ville Leino. Guy’s gonna score 30 goals this year.

  8. blomfeld - Sep 1, 2014 at 1:23 PM

    Penner, Gomez, Brodeur, Alfredsson, Bryzgalov ? …


    Friends, there’s a ‘reason’ why these five individuals are looking for work. And if PHT is ‘hesitant or afraid’ to say what that is then fair enough. However I will not be so hesitant by saying that all five of these players are ‘mentally’ unbalanced. Yes sir ! That and that alone is why these men are looking for work today, no two ways about it …

    • skusterbeck - Sep 1, 2014 at 3:00 PM

      That could be true. All 5 of these guys can be poison in the dressing room. Maybe not Brodeur so much but I do think the other 4 are too much of a risk to take a chance with. Good point.

      • blomfeld - Sep 1, 2014 at 5:00 PM

        It is true friend, as all of these players are over the hill, bitter, toxic ‘do not enter’ hazardous waste sites. Even Brodeur who despite being a decent enough person, would still be way too risky to touch given the hatred that he must be now carrying inside after being usurped so ‘utterly’ by Cory Schneider (ie: world’s # 5) …

  9. LampyB - Sep 1, 2014 at 1:37 PM

    Jesus, instead of blaming a terrible GM for putting together an awful roster philly fans place blame on a player. Grow up, every player on the ice is just a piece of the puzzle. Your team sucks because mgmt sucked, and on top of this philly’s fans make the situation look even more retarded from the outside.

  10. norvturnersneck - Sep 1, 2014 at 2:21 PM

    Not that interesting. All are old and not able to stay up to speed with some of the younger players.

  11. ronniethec - Sep 1, 2014 at 3:11 PM

    Wow. Some people hate the flyers? I am shocked! They are such a lovable team. The play such a disciplined game. Don’t take many penalties. Never have been a dirty team. Had the player that was the best example of good sportsmanship. Hint: number 16. And their fans are the nicest in the league. We all love the flyers!

    • blomfeld - Sep 1, 2014 at 5:15 PM

      John Ferguson: hey Bobby, why don’t you go and give #17 a little ‘tap’ on the ankles eh ?

      Bobby Clarke: sure boss … whatever you say ! :)


      Well said Ron ! Suffice it to say that if the Flyers are pigs, then Bobby Clarke is the dirtiest of them all !

      • clarke16 - Sep 2, 2014 at 12:14 AM

        Yup. Thanks Blom. Bobby Clarke–what a player. They just didn’t make ’em any better! :)

  12. endusersolutions2013 - Sep 1, 2014 at 8:49 PM

    Don’t know why folks are so hard on Bryz (I’m unaware of the particulars about his time in Philly). But he camem through OK for the Wild last year. With their other goalie injuries, if he did not deliver acceptably, Wild don’t beat the #2 WC team in the playoffs.

    I’d actually have liked to see the Hawks give him a 1 year as a backup so that Raanta needs starting in the AHL. But they don’t have any cap room. When the Bulie Sieve proved to be a disaster, Raanta was called up, and did no get many starts January on.

  13. mnwildandcaps8 - Sep 1, 2014 at 10:26 PM

    @courtjester1234 I would like to see the proof that every player in the Wild locker room were just being nice and not trash talking him. Bryz said he loved it here and his teammates and I can believe it.

  14. ronniethec - Sep 2, 2014 at 1:01 AM

    Clarke was:
    A very good hockey player
    A good team mate
    A fan favorite
    A very dirty hockey player
    A hockey player who let his team mates do his fighting
    A jerk
    A Flyer

  15. cyggyx1 - Sep 2, 2014 at 8:41 PM

    First, I’m on the side of the philly bryz haters for this. Toughen up nancy boys. We are ‘fans’ of hockey. Not of ballerinas. As a fan, on a website, I can talk all the trash I want. This is what we ‘fans’ do. If you can’t take good harmless ribbing and trash talk, go sit at the freakin Opera. Bryz didn’t act like a dik here in Anaheim, but it was a clear case of Inflated Cranium Syndrome after he left. The only proven cure is humility. If fans or rivals want to talk trash, let em, it’s the right of the fan/rival to do so. There is no ‘Class’ in trash talk. If thats what you expect, then i suggest buying your tampons at Sams Club in bulk.
    To you who said this commenter ‘trolls’ Brzy threads, So F’n what. What’s it to you how, when or what he comments on? Maybe he enjoys getting under the skin of penguin fans or wild fans. I’d consider him negligent in his duties as a fan if he didn’t. haha

  16. mackattack29 - Sep 3, 2014 at 7:47 PM

    I like the Flyers but after reading through these comments…. man…. those fans are not a bright bunch. At least that’s how you guys portray yourselves.

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