Saturday, June 23, 2007
Top 6 NHL Free Agents
Right now, all of the NHL's teams have lots of spots because of players lost to free agency. Even with all of the signings that are going to happen in the next few days, there will probably be over a hundred players going into the free agent market. But I narrow them down to the top 6. 3 forwards, 2 defenceman and 1 goalie.
(LW) Ryan Smyth - After many years as an Oiler in the city of champions, Smyth finally had an all-star year. But at the trade deadline, he was dealt to the New York Islanders to help them get to the playoffs. He did help them as they took the 8th seed in the Eastern Conference. He finished the season with 36 goals and 68 points. Now, without a contract, Smyth is one of the top forwards on the free agent market and will probably be signed to a contract worth $6-7 million. But the Islanders may be able to re-sign him, so if he is your key free agent that you want to sign, maybe start talking with him now.
(RW) Keith Tkachuk - Tkachuk spent most of last year playing with the St. Louis Blues . But at the trade deadline, he was shipped off to the Atlanta Thrashers to help with a playoff run. Although the Thrashers went out pretty early, he contributed great as he was a scoring threat and a physical presence. He scored 27 goals and 58 points in the regular season. Tkachuk is getting older though,s so I predict he will go for $3-5 million with a short-term contract. The Thrashers have not publicly expressed that they want to re-sign Tkachuk, so put him on your wish-list.
(C) Daniel Briere - Briere is one of the best players of the new NHL. He spent the entire '06-07 season with Buffalo, going deep into the playoffs. They went to the Eastern Conference Finals, but were then knocked out by the Senators. He scored 32 goals and a whopping 95 points and is by far the best centre in the free agent market. The Sabres though may want to re-sign either him, or Chris Drury. Buffalo only has room for 1 of those players. If Briere does go out into free agency, he will be getting $6-7 million with a long-term contract.
Sheldon Souray - The skilled defenceman from the Montreal Canadeins had a huge year last season. He added some spark to the Canadiens (who missed the playoffs for the 1st time in a while last year) on the powerplay. He became the Bryan McCabe of the '06-07 season. He was 2nd on the Canadiens in goals with 26 and was 2nd on the team in points. Montreal has not expressed publicly that they want to sign him, so he will probably be on the market. He will go for $5-7 million with a short-term contract.
Roman Hamrlik - After being signed to a big contract with Calgary 2 years ago, Hamrlik played averagely this year. He had 7 goals and 38 points, but can play better. The Flames just got Arian Aucoin in a trade, so they have no need for Hamrlik. He will probably try to get back on his game with a short-term contract worth $ 1-3 million.
Curtis Joesph - Cujo may be a little passed his prime, but he is still a solid goalie. Playing for a bad team last year, he had a GAA (Goals Against Average) of 3.19. He is the perfect goalie for any team looking for a short-term commitment with a goalie. He will probably go for a short contract because of his age and be paid around $2-3 million.
Those are my top 6 free agents.