NHL Free Agency: 10 players to watch this week as teams jockey for closely competitive league

  • Article by: LARRY LAGE , AP Hockey Writer
  • Updated: July 3, 2013 - 2:55 AM

The puck has dropped on NHL free agency with a two-day negotiating window before players — other than those whose contracts were recently bought out — can sign Friday.

Here's a look at 10 free agents to watch after Vincent Lecavalier took himself off the market by signing with the Philadelphia Flyers and Pascal Dupuis chose to stay with the Pittsburgh Penguins instead of finding out Wednesday what he would have been worth to other teams:

___

1. Danny Briere. Like Lecavalier, the 35-year-old forward can sign as soon as he wants after he was bought out by his former team. The Flyers let him go with two years left on his $52 million, eight-year deal. Briere scored just six goals in 34 games during the lockout-shortened season, but he's two years removed from a 34-goal, 34-assist year.

2. Jarome Iginla. He didn't help his stock with four goals in 15 playoff games for the Penguins. Several teams, though, may be happy to add a 36-year-old player with 530 career goals — ranking third among active players — and a good reputation on and off the ice.

3. Ilya Bryzgalov. The Flyers said it was a "costly mistake" when they bought out the 33-year-old only two years into a $51 million, nine-year contract. Before a shaky season, he was 111-56-23 during the previous three seasons for Philadelphia and Phoenix. He ranks ahead of the other available goalies: Evgeni Nabokov, Ray Emery and Tim Thomas.

4. Mike Ribeiro. He averaged more than a point per game in his only season with Washington after averaging about 70 a season over the previous five years in Dallas. The Capitals wouldn't give the 33-year-old center the long-term deal he wanted, but another team probably will soon.

5. Nathan Horton. If Horton didn't have a history of concussions, he would be higher on this list. He showcased his health and skills with seven goals and 19 points for the Eastern Conference-champion Boston Bruins after he had 17 points in the playoffs for them two years ago.

6. Andrew Ference. Teams don't let great players become free agents, and seldom allow even good defensemen to hit the market. The 34-year-old Ference, though, was deemed expendable by Boston and becomes the best blue-liner available.

7. Patrik Elias. The New Jersey Devils are still trying to strike a win-win deal with the 37-year-old center in part because he has played his entire career with the franchise. Other teams, though, are allowed to begin making their pitches to the dependable veteran on Wednesday.

8. David Clarkson. A year after losing Zach Parise in free agency, the Devils were also hoping to bring back Clarkson. He scored a career-high 30 goals a year ago and had 15 during the shortened season, making the 29-year-old forward an attractive option all around the league.

9. Valtteri Filppula. The Finnish forward has shown flashes of promise — scoring 23 goals during a 66-point season a year ago — but scored just nine times and had a mere eight assists during the shortened season. He contributed only six points in 14 playoff games in what might've been his last run with the Detroit Red Wings.

10. Jaromir Jagr. The 41-year-old proved he can still play and showed he doesn't have to score to contribute, going 22 games without a goal in the postseason for the Bruins while making plays that didn't show up on the scoresheet. The NHL's active goals and points leader will likely have little trouble getting a one-year deal.

Other players to keep an eye on: Rob Scuderi, Ryane Clowe, Brenden Morrow, Toni Lydman, Michael Ryder, Stephen Weiss, Damien Brunner, Nabokov, Emery and Thomas.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Seattle
Toronto 104 FINAL
Indiana 91
Cleveland 103 FINAL
Detroit 95
Milwaukee 109 FINAL
Miami 102
Memphis 109 FINAL
Dallas 90
Chicago 113 FINAL
Golden State 111
Washington 98 FINAL
LA Lakers 92
NY Rangers 1 FINAL
NY Islanders 4
Arizona 3 FINAL(SO)
Philadelphia 4
Winnipeg 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh 5
Washington 3 FINAL
Columbus 4
Tampa Bay 2 FINAL
Carolina 4
Dallas 2 FINAL
Montreal 3
Detroit 5 FINAL
Florida 4
Colorado 3 FINAL(OT)
Nashville 4
Buffalo 1 FINAL
Calgary 4
Minnesota 2 FINAL
Edmonton 1
Anaheim 4 FINAL
Vancouver 0
Ball State 47 FINAL
Akron 59
Northern Ill 46 FINAL
Bowling Green 56
Western Mich 71 FINAL
Buffalo 77
Ohio 40 FINAL
Eastern Mich 76
Xavier 66 FINAL
Georgetown 53
Vanderbilt 62 FINAL
Georgia 70
West Virginia 65 FINAL
Kansas State 59
Central Mich 53 FINAL
Kent State 63
Saint Josephs 48 FINAL
La Salle 53
Nebraska 44 FINAL
Michigan 58
Miami-Ohio 65 FINAL
Toledo 70
Tulsa 62 FINAL
Tulane 55
George Washington 48 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 72
Pittsburgh 67 FINAL
Virginia Tech 70
Indiana State 78 FINAL
Evansville 89
Tabor College 53 FINAL
Oral Roberts 94
Florida 52 FINAL
Alabama 50
Tennessee 64 FINAL
Arkansas 69
Texas A&M 71 FINAL
Auburn 61
Baylor 53 FINAL
Oklahoma State 64
DePaul 0 Postponed
Providence 0
Michigan State 0 Postponed
Rutgers 0
Wyoming 44 FINAL
Utah State 56
Fresno State 47 FINAL
San Diego St 58
UNLV 67 FINAL
Nevada 62
SD Christian 54 FINAL
CS-Bakersfield 79
Colorado State 78 FINAL
Boise State 82
Temple 71 FINAL
UCF 54
Campbell 42 FINAL
Presbyterian 51
Coastal Carolina 65 FINAL
High Point 73
Gardner-Webb 49 FINAL
Radford 59
UNC-Asheville 58 FINAL
Liberty 62
Winthrop 63 FINAL
Longwood 62
Columbia International 33 FINAL
Charleston Southern 74
Tulane 63 FINAL
Houston 46
(3) Baylor 89 FINAL
TCU 67
Navy 49 FINAL
American Univ 59
Valparaiso 42 FINAL
Illinois-Chicago 60
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: What chance does the Wild have of making the playoffs?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close