Despite being known as the league’s whipping boy, the Southeast Division is still home to some prominent potential 2009 unrestricted free agents – especially if Florida’s Jay Bouwmeester gets to arbitration.
In Part 2 of my six-part summer look at the top three potential UFAs on each club when July 1, 2009 rolls around, I’ll concentrate on the Sunbelt (and Washington). For shots and giggles, reverse alphabetical this time ‘round.
You can read last week’s Pacific Division roundup HERE.
Sergei Fedorov ($4 million ’08-09 salary)
No way the then 39-year-old gets $4 million a season again…unless it’s from a Kontinental club.
Viktor Kozlov ($2.5 million)
Despite surpassing the 60-point plateau only once, someone will offer big bucks for the 6-foot-5 pivot.
Brent Johnson ($825,000)
Serviceable backup wins more than he loses (99-88-23) and has a career save percentage on the happy side of .900.
Other ’09 UFAs - Donald Brashear, John Erskine, Alexandre Giroux, David Steckel.
TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING
Filip Kuba ($3 million)
This man among boys on Tampa’s blueline is more about preventing rather than scoring goals.
Michel Ouellet ($1.3 million)
Only 26, the former Penguin has the potential to be a perennial 20-goal scorer.
Olaf Kolzig ($1.5 million)
Long in the tooth already, if he helps get the Lightning back in the playoffs another team will come calling.
Other ’09 UFAs - Gary Roberts, Mark Recchi, Chris Gratton, Jason Ward.
Nick Boynton ($2.95 million)
The Sunshine State squad would lose half its haul from the Olli Jokinen trade if Boynton bolts next summer.
Radek Dvorak ($1.6 million)
His second stint in Florida could come to an end if some team figures the speedy Czech can regain his 30-goal touch from 2000-01.
Cory Murphy ($875,000)
Brought over last season after six European campaigns. Size will always be a question mark, but his power play prowess makes him an asset.
Other ’09 UFAs - Craig Anderson, Chad Kilger, Ville Peltonen, Karlis Skrastins, Richard Zednik.
Dennis Seidenberg ($1.2 million)
When Seidenberg’s your No. 1, needless to say don’t have many ’09 UFAs.
Josef Melichar ($1 million)
When Melichar’s your No. 2, needless to say don’t have many ’09 UFAs.
Chad LaRose ($875,000)
When Bayda’s your No. 3, well, you get the idea.
Other ’09 UFAs - Trevor Gillies, Wade Brookbank, Ryan Bayda
Jason Williams ($2.2 million)
Signed for one year in Atlanta, the kid from my hometown knows how to find the net.
Niclas Havelid ($2.9 million)
Swedish blueliner will quietly have more than 600 games of experience by season’s end.
Eric Perrin ($750,000)
Averaged better than a point every two games in 2007-08; sure to get a nice raise.
Other ’09 UFAs - Ken Klee, Brad Larsen, Marty Reasoner, Joe Motzko
Edward Fraser is the editor of thehockeynews.com. His blog normally appears Fridays.
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