You could make an entire team out of the free-agent players still available. It’s not a very good team, mind you.
The 2016 edition of the
Free Agent Frenzy was just that, a frenzy. Most of the biggest names available went off the board within the first hour of the signing window opening on Friday. Of THN’s original list of the
Top 30 available free agents, only six remain. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t players still looking for work. There are dozens of players with NHL experience still out there for the taking. In fact, you could make an entire team out of the available players. It’s not a very good team, mind you. You won’t find many players here under 30, and for many their best hockey is behind them, and it’s certainly not a playoff team. Here’s what a team of available free agents would look like.
Brandon Pirri, LW: Good value to be found in the 25 year old who sneaky put up 14 goals in only 61 games last season with the Panthers and Ducks.
Brad Richards, C: He’s 36 and coming off a career-low 10 goals with the Red Wings — but he’s the best center out there, so he gets a spot on the top line.
Jiri Hudler, RW: He followed up his 31 goal year in Calgary in 2014-15 with just 16 this past season, but he would be on almost any team’s top six.
Lauri Korpikoski, LW: Recently bought out by the Oilers, maybe he find the goal-scoring touch he showed in Phoenix.
Patrik Elias, C: As mentioned above — there are very few centers to be had. So, we have to take a flyer on a 40 year old coming knee surgery.
Radim Vrbata, RW: He’s 35 but only one season removed from scoring 31 for the Canucks. He should find a real home soon.
Jimmy Vesey, LW: Has yet to play outside of the NCAA but his offensive potential has teams knocking down his door to sign him.
Matt Cullen, C: He’ll be 40 next season but the veteran has said he wants to play another season. He’s still productive, as shown by his 16 goals (and four more in the playoffs) and is perfectly suited to third-line center duty.
Shane Doan, RW: Another soon-to-be 40 year old, but he scored 28 goals this past season.
John Scott, LW: He’s was the All-Star Game MVP, dangit! Sign him up.
Jarret Stoll, C: He can still play on the fourth line, win faceoffs, and kill penalties.
Kris Versteeg, RW: He can still be counted on for about 15 goals and is good in his own end.
Kris Russell: He’s going to turn his shot-blocking prowess into a big payday, eventually.
Luke Schenn: This team is big on “shut down” defensemen, not so much on puck movers.
Kyle Quincey: Should be a depth guy but gets top four minutes on this team.
Justin Schultz: Here’s the resident offensive defenseman, and he got his first taste of the playoffs with the Penguins this season.
Dennis Seidenberg: Slowing down at (almost) 35 but can still log 20 minutes a night.
Matt Bartkowski: Totally solid, if unspectacular, mobile depth defenseman.
Karri Ramo: Probably don’t want to go into the season choosing between these two as your starting goalies, but here we are. Ramo gets the nod as 1A because of his body of work.
Jhonas Enroth: He will continue to be a solid backup and could steal the starting job. Then have it stolen back.
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