Some interesting depth UFAs left:
Tomas Kaberle – the Bruins are reportedly trying to bring him back. Surprised how far he has fallen – playing in the playoffs as Boston’s sixth defenseman didn’t help his stock all that much. A number of teams out there could still use a puck mover. Perhaps he is sticking to a number and not willing to budge.
Nicklas Bergfors – still young at 24, could be a 50-60 point player in the right situation. Too early to write him off.
Anton Babchuk – Solid PP threat – played well in Calgary last year. Not the most mobile defenseman, but he has an absolute bomb of a shot.
Antti Miettinen – to be honest, I didn’t even know he was a free agent. Solid depth winger. Streaky producer, but brings speed and energy. Would look good on the third line of a contending team.
Bryan McCabe – perhaps one more year with a contender? Surprised Florida hasn’t offered him a four-year deal by now.
Jack Hillen – only 25, had 22 points last year. Could be a 30-35 point guy in a secondary offensive role. Moves the puck well.
JP Dumont – done in Nashville after only 19 points in 70 games. Is his career done? Still only 33. A contending team should give him a shot on a second line.
Anton Stralman – one goal for an offensive defenseman isn’t going to cut it. I could see him heading to Europe.
Steve Bernier – a far fall for the former 2003 1st round pick. When Florida doesn’t bring you back, it sure doesn’t bode well for sticking elsewhere in the league.
Scott Hannan – not much direct fantasy value, but indirectly would increase fantasy value of goalie where he signs. Strong defensively, lots of hockey left at only 32.
Zenon Konopka – PIM, PIM, and more PIM. There were a number of contenders interested in him last year at the deadline. Has been replaced on Long Island by Marty Reasoner.
Tyler Eckford – 25 year old Devils prospect who was let go by the team. Had 12 points in 37 games in Albany last year. Possesses some offensive upside. A sleeper to keep tabs on.
The Oilers signed Nugent-Hopkins to an entry-level contract. He’s unlikely to see NHL action until 2012-13, as he needs to add a significant amount of size/strength.
The Lightning took a gamble on Matt Gilroy – one year, $1 million. Gilroy may flourish under Guy Boucher – he isn’t very good in his own zone, but Boucher does a great job at placing players in roles where they can use their strengths effectively.
Some interesting restricted free agents out there – Wayne Simmonds, Zach Bogosian, Andrew Ladd, Keith Yandle, Troy Brouwer, and Brandon Dubinsky, among others.
Bob McKenzie reported yesterday that the Coyotes are at least likely to listen to offers for Keith Yandle. With Ekman-Larsson and Gormley in the pipeline, they may want to see if they can improve significantly up front or in goal. I don’t think trading your best player is the right way to get there, but as a Yandle fan I’d love to see him play in a bigger market.
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Buffalo fans, get forward to a lot of this for the next decade: