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Ten best remaining free agents

The Hockey News

The Hockey News

Last Friday's frenzy of free agent signings significantly depleted an already weak market for talent.

Several recognizable names still remain for bargain-hunting GMs. Here's a list of the 10 best remaining free agents.

Ilya Bryzgalov

Bought out of his “humungous big” contract with the Philadelphia Flyers, the 33-year-old goaltender could regain his once-stellar form in a smaller NHL market. His agent reportedly spoke with eight teams before free agency opened. Rumors linked him to the Edmonton Oilers, New York Islanders and Florida Panthers.

Mikhail Grabovski

The last-minute contract buyout by the Toronto Maple Leafs stunned Grabovski, leading to an expletive-laden interview accusing Leafs coach Randy Carlyle of misusing him. Grabovski's agent claimed “several teams” had expressed interest in the client. Signing with a KHL team is also a possibility.

Jaromir Jagr

His glory days are well behind him, but Jagr showed enough flashes of his former brilliance during the playoffs to remain an attractive free agent target. The Montreal Canadiens were interested, but decided to pass, while his agent denied having talks with the Buffalo Sabres. He's also been linked to the Carolina Hurricanes.

Tim Thomas

After sitting out last season, the former Boston Bruins starter is prepared to make a comeback. Three teams reportedly contacted his agent last week to express interest in the two-time Vezina Trophy winner. The Flyers were believed to be among them, but having brought back Ray Emery, they're no longer in the goalie market.

Ron Hainsey

His offensive numbers have declined, but he's still a very effective defensive blueliner. Hainsey was linked to the Detroit Red Wings before the start of free agency, but with their limited cap space, he's unlikely to land there. He could be of interest to the Oilers, Islanders and Avalanche.

Brenden Morrow

His skills are declining, but the 34-year-old left winger is still a figure of interest in the free agent market. The Canadiens and Red Wings could be pursuing him.

Dustin Penner

The LA Kings have limited cap space and a few restricted free agents to re-sign, leaving Penner the odd man out. There was speculation the Edmonton Oilers, who dealt Penner to the Kings at the 2011 trade deadline, could bring him back, but their acquisition of David Perron rules that out.

Daniel Cleary

An effective two-way winger for the past eight seasons, the Red Wings want to re-sign Cleary, but they're squeezed for cap space and have several restricted free agents to re-sign. He's willing to wait, but could move on for the right offer.

Mason Raymond

TSN's Darren Dreger reported “multiple teams” had interest in Raymond, who hasn't been the same since suffering a back injury in the 2011 Stanley Cup final. He was believed to be close to signing with Calgary last weekend, but his agent said there’ve been no talks with the Flames. 

Damien Brunner

Despite Brunner's promising debut season, the Red Wings couldn't afford to re-sign him. It's believed he's seeking a multi-year deal between $3- and $3.5-million per season. Dallas Stars GM Jim Nill, who was the Wings assistant GM last season, could be interested in the 27-year-old right winger.

Rumor Roundup appears weekdays only on Lyle Richardson has been an NHL commentator since 1998 on his website,, and is a contributing writer for Eishockey News and The Guardian (P.E.I.).

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