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|HPT Power Rankings: Top 15 remaining free agents|
|Written by Blake Benzel|
|Monday, 09 July 2012 10:46|
While the Minnesota Wild have drawn Zach Parise and Ryan Suter to the State of Hockey, along with the venom of the jilted fans, there are still some prized free agents to be had. But how do those remaining free agents stack up? Let’s take a look.1) Teemu Selanne, RW (82 GP, 26 goals, 40 assists, 66 points) – The common thought is that the Finnish Flash will either retire or return to the Anaheim Ducks. Then again, the common thought last season during free agency is that Jaromir Jagr would return to the Pittsburgh Penguins and we all saw how that worked out.
2) Shane Doan, RW (78 GP, 22-28-50) – Doan has waited patiently for the Phoenix Coyotes’ ownership struggles to work themselves out and won’t make a decision until they do. If things work out in the desert, Doan is expected to sign back with the Coyotes – the franchise with which he has spent his entire career. If things don’t work out for the Coyotes, Doan will probably still be in line for a big payday.
3) Alexander Semin (pictuerd), LW (77 GP, 21-33-54) – While it might be surprising that a three-time 30-plus goal scorer wouldn’t have people knocking down his door, Marc Crawford’s analysis – calling Semin a coach-killer – could be all anyone needs to know about the enigmatic winger. If Crawford’s mindset is that of the other teams in the league, Semin could be waiting a while to find out where his services may be needed.
4) Andrei Kostitsyn, LW (72 GP, 16-20-36) – Keep in mind that Kostitsyn was once a rising star in the Montreal Canadiens’ organization before falling out of favor. Despite a rough season in his 2011-12 campaign, Kostitsyn could flourish under the right circumstances and, at 27 years old, he still has some gas left in the tank.
5) Petr Sykora, RW (82 GP, 21-23-44) – After spending a year overseas, Sykora returned to the New Jersey Devils and was surprisingly productive. At 35, there could be questions about his continued productivity, but Sykora displayed a deft scoring touch in a limited role.
6) Jason Arnott, C (72 GP, 17-17-34) – If a team is looking for depth up the middle, Arnott could very well be its man. At 37, his best years are behind him, but he can still be a productive member of a team – especially one that might need some veteran leadership.
7) Kyle Wellwood, C (77 GP, 18-29-47) – If a team is looking for a center – or a punchline for fat jokes – Wellwood could be the man. At 28, Wellwood had a career season for the Winnipeg Jets last year and could provide a team with a serviceable second-line center if the fit is right.
8) Matt Gilroy, D (67 GP, 3-17-20) – At 27, Gilroy might not be the best defenseman remaining, but he is one of the most intriguing. Capable of being a top-four defenseman, Gilroy has terrific offensive skills, but he’s yet to find a place in the NHL where he can see regular minutes. His youth and his skill set, though, should be more than enough for a team to take a flyer on him.
9) Tim Stapleton, C (63 GP, 11-16-27) – Stapleton might be small, but he plays a lot bigger than he is and he’s got some skill to boot. He’s not going to light the world on fire, but the 29-year-old is coming off of a career season and has posted strong statistics at every level. There’s no reason to think that, at 29, he’s already peaked.
10) Jaroslav Spacek, D (46 GP, 5-10-15) – If there was a guarantee that Spacek would be healthy, he would likely be a lot higher up this list. As it stands, however, the 37-year-old has played over 75 games only once in his last six seasons. When healthy, though, he can be counted on for 40-plus points and 20-plus minutes a night.
11) Carlo Colaiacovo, D (64, 2-17-19) – Colaiacovo could end up being a steal for someone who needs a veteran defenseman. At 29, he’s put up decent numbers in the past and is a solid second or third pairing option on defense. He can play in all situations and can be good in every zone, a plus in the league these days.
12) Dominic Moore, C (79 GP, 4-21-25) – Moore turns 32 in August, and has never put up big numbers, but he’s a solid depth player who can contribute on a checking line and on the penalty kill. He’s also just a couple seasons removed from an 11-point playoff performance with the Tampa Bay Lightning, which could factor into some people’s decisions.
13) Pavel Kubina, D (69 GP, 3-12-15) – He’s getting a bit long in the tooth, but Kubina could be a solid depth defenseman somewhere in the league. He’s a big body, he’s got a cannon shot and he’s a smart player, all three of which are always in demand.
14) Tomas Holmstrom (pictured), LW (74 GP, 11-13-24) – Homer may not be the 20-plus goal scorer he used to be, but he can still provide solid minutes – especially to a team needing help on the power play. He’s still got the ability to camp out with his rear on the goalie’s head and he can be a fourth-line, power play specialist if need be.
15) Kurtis Foster, D (51 GP, 4-10-14) – In the right situation, Foster can be highly productive. He’s got a cannon shot and can play a solid, physical game. He put up big numbers in ’09-’10 and the potential is always there for him to do it again.
You can follow us on Twitter @HockeyPrimetime or Blake @bcbenzel
Photos by Getty Images