Things have quieted down on the free agent front, but there are still some pretty good names out there.
C Steve Ott:
Ott, the former captain of the Buffalo Sabres, finished last season with the St. Louis Blues, but was not re-signed. He makes a very good 3rd-line center, providing decent offense and packed with physical, intimidating play. Teams such as the Canadiens and the Hurricanes could really use him. He would add size to a team, which is something the Canadiens need. He also adds leadership and depth, which is something the Hurricanes have lacked, although they have improved that with their recent additions.
LW Dany Heatley:
Dany Heatley came off a poor season with the Minnesota Wild, but could still be a force. He can score 30 goals and also brings size. Rumors of teams interested include the Jets, Devils, and the Canes. Each team could use some offense, and, like I mentioned, the Canes need size, and a 6’4″, 221lbs player fits that need just as much as Ott. I’m not sure how reliable those sources are, though, especially about the Canes’ interest.
RW Devin Setoguchi:
Devin Setoguchi is also coming off a poor year, but he makes a good second-line forward. He has been able to score 20+ goals in a season, and I think he’s someone the Capitals could use. It would provide them with at least the same amount of goals as Grabovski tallied last season with them, probably more.
LW Dustin Penner:
Dustin Penner adds good depth in scoring and would be a good fit in any team that needs size and offense in the bottom six.
C Mike Ribeiro:
Ribeiro was bought out by the Arizona Coyotes last month. It wasn’t for his play, though; it was for his off-ice behavior, which is probably why he’s still out there. He is a good playmaker, notching 31 assists last season. It will be interesting to see who will take a chance on him.
C Derek Roy:
Derek Roy has declined offensively the past couple seasons. He still has the potential to produce, though, and is very skilled and has good on-ice vision.
RW Lee Stepniak:
Lee Stepniak is a solid bottom-six forward. He is able to provide depth both offensively and defensively. He could fit any team that needs to retool their bottom-six, also being able to play alongside high-quality players.
D Michael Del Zotto:
Michael Del Zotto would be a good fit for anybody who needed to solidify their top 6 on defense. He had an off year last season, but, when he’s on top of his game, he can provide scoring on the back end and quarterback a powerplay. I’ve heard many teams are interested and he should make a decision in the next couple days.
RW Brenden Morrow:
Brenden Morrow now would make a great 3rd-line forward on any team and would provide scoring depth. He would also bring leadership to a group, which is why I think a young team could use him. He is probably going to end up signing with a contending team, though, to try and win a Cup as he nears the end of his career.
G Martin Brodeur:
The best goaltender in NHL history is still on the market. At his age, he would have to settle for being used as a backup. He is not as strong as he used to be, but he still plays very well, and I am a bit surprised I haven’t heard anything about any interest in him. I would suspect there would be some out there and he will play one more year. It will seem a bit awkward to see him in a different jersey.