We’re approaching the eve of NHL training camps and there looks to be a handful of player-team matches waiting to be made.
Some teams clearly have openings on the third and fourth lines, other teams have plenty of cap space remaining. And several dozen unrestricted free agents with NHL experience are looking for work.
Hey guys, let’s all get together and work a deal. Many of these guys can be had for the minimum wage of half a million or so. That makes my cut of four percent times 10 players look pretty good.
I’m not including certain UFAs on this list. We all know too much about Mats Sundin and it appears as though Teemu Selanne, Peter Forsberg, Chris Chelios and Patrice Brisebois will rejoin their 2007-08 teams before too long:
10. Nolan Pratt, 32, D. Nothing flashy, but can eat up 10-12 minutes a game.
9. Stephane Yelle, 34, C. Great on faceoffs, can block shots and play a shut-down role.
7. Jeff Hamilton, 30, C. Can produce if given top-six linemates and minutes.
7. Geoff Sanderson, 36, LW. His touch has dried, but the speed can still be effective.
6. Bryan Smolinski, 36, C. Not nearly as quick or productive anymore, but very crafty.
5. Martin Gelinas, 38, LW. Well-conditioned winger is happy and capable in any role.
4. Richard Matvichuk, 35, D. Once a big shut-down artist, he has some gas left in the tank.
3. Jassen Cullimore, 36, D. His big wingspan is still an important NHL commodity.
2. Glen Murray, 35, RW. Bought out by the B’s, will provide ‘O’ if he can stay healthy.
1. Brendan Shanahan, 39, LW. On the right team in the right role, he’ll still score 25.
The THN.com Top 10 appears Wednesdays only on thehockeyenews.com.
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