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:

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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.

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New Orleans 28 FINAL
Carolina 10
Tampa Bay 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland
Arizona 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Dallas
Philadelphia 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Houston
NY Jets 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Jacksonville 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
San Diego 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Washington 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota
St. Louis 11/2/14 3:05 PM
San Francisco
Denver 11/2/14 3:25 PM
New England
Oakland 11/2/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Baltimore 11/2/14 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Indianapolis 11/3/14 7:30 PM
NY Giants
Washington 105 FINAL
Orlando 98
Detroit 91 FINAL
Minnesota 97
New York 95 FINAL
Cleveland 90
Utah 102 FINAL
Dallas 120
Oklahoma City 90 FINAL
LA Clippers 93
Boston 3 FINAL(OT)
Buffalo 2
Winnipeg 1 FINAL(SO)
New Jersey 2
Los Angeles 0 FINAL
Pittsburgh 3
Chicago 5 FINAL(SO)
Ottawa 4
Philadelphia 3 FINAL
Tampa Bay 4
Arizona 1 FINAL
Florida 2
San Jose 3 FINAL(SO)
Minnesota 4
Anaheim 0 FINAL
St. Louis 2
NY Islanders 0 FINAL
Colorado 5
Montreal 2 FINAL(OT)
Vancouver 3
(2) Florida State 42 FINAL
Louisville 31
Troy 10 FINAL
Ga Southern 42
Cincinnati 7:00 PM
Tulane
Tulsa 7:02 PM
Memphis
Air Force 11/1/14 10:30 AM
Army
ULM 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Texas A&M
(19) Oklahoma 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
Northwestern 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Iowa
(24) Duke 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Maryland 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
Wisconsin 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
Rice 11/1/14 11:00 AM
FIU
(21) East Carolina 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Temple
UCF 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Connecticut
Boston College 11/1/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
North Carolina 11/1/14 11:30 AM
Miami-Florida
Washington 11/1/14 12:00 PM
Colorado
Central Mich 11/1/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
Western Mich 11/1/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Western Ky 11/1/14 2:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
NC State 11/1/14 2:00 PM
Syracuse
Virginia 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Georgia Tech
Purdue 11/1/14 2:30 PM
(17) Nebraska
BYU 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Middle Tennessee
(10) TCU 11/1/14 2:30 PM
(20) West Virginia
Indiana 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 11/1/14 2:30 PM
(9) Georgia
Georgia State 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Appalachian St
Kentucky 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Kansas 11/1/14 3:00 PM
(12) Baylor
Texas State 11/1/14 3:00 PM
New Mexico St
Houston 11/1/14 3:00 PM
So Florida
USC 11/1/14 3:30 PM
Washington St
Arkansas State 11/1/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
South Alabama 11/1/14 4:00 PM
Louisiana
New Mexico 11/1/14 4:30 PM
UNLV
UAB 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
(4) Auburn 11/1/14 6:00 PM
(7) Ole Miss
Old Dominion 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Vanderbilt
Colorado State 11/1/14 6:00 PM
San Jose St
Arkansas 11/1/14 6:15 PM
(1) Miss State
Stanford 11/1/14 6:30 PM
(5) Oregon
Tennessee 11/1/14 6:30 PM
So Carolina
Texas 11/1/14 6:30 PM
Texas Tech
Southern Miss 11/1/14 7:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
(6) Notre Dame 11/1/14 7:00 PM
Navy
Oklahoma State 11/1/14 7:00 PM
(11) Kansas State
Illinois 11/1/14 7:00 PM
(13) Ohio State
(14) Arizona 11/1/14 9:30 PM
(25) UCLA
California 11/1/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
San Diego St 11/1/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Wyoming 11/1/14 9:45 PM
Fresno State
(18) Utah 11/1/14 10:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Utah State 11/1/14 10:00 PM
Hawaii
Bowling Green 11/4/14 7:00 PM
Akron
Toledo 11/4/14 7:00 PM
Kent State
Buffalo 11/5/14 7:00 PM
Ohio U
Northern Ill 11/5/14 7:00 PM
Ball State
(22) Clemson 11/6/14 6:30 PM
Wake Forest
Sporting Kansas City 1 FINAL
Red Bull New York 2
Hamilton 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Winnipeg 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Toronto 11/2/14 11:00 AM
Montreal
Ottawa 11/7/14 6:00 PM
Toronto
Calgary 11/7/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Montreal 11/8/14 3:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 11/8/14 6:00 PM
Saskatchewan
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