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Big names available for free agent Tuesday

Teams can make a move to better themselves for 2008-2009

July 1st is the opening day for all unrestricted free agents to test the market for teams who will pay big money for their services. There are many great players that may have either been rented for playoff use or dumped by their team for salary reasons. This makes things interesting for those teams who are in desperate need for top players.

This Tuesday will be a true “frenzy” with the following players being sold like an auction prize.



Marian Hossa came at a cost of $7 million last year and finally proved that he can play in the post season. He was hurt for a tiny portion of the season and his 66 points in 72 games are not that bad for any team. Hossa is an excellent #1 forward with his fancy hands but he now only wants to play on true Stanley Cup contenders. The downside of this player is that he will be looking for more money.

Sean Avery is the best unrestricted free agent out there this year. His agitation, work ethic and role on a team are second to none. Last season he only played 57 games for the New York Rangers but every time he was on the ice, everyone knew. Avery can get any player off their game while attracting penalties. When he scores, it is usually a huge marker. Last year he only made $1.9 million. Without a doubt he wants more money and he damn well deserves it.

Brian Campbell will be the most bidded defensemen on Tuesday. He was rented by the Sharks for the playoffs this season, but they lost early in the NHL Playoffs again. Every team can use his smooth-skating blue liner with power play smarts to bolster their core. Campbell was very inexpensive last season, only costing $1.75 million. He will be looking for a long term contract with a young team. Campbell likes being a teacher, motivator and the elder of a team.

Mats Sundin will finally test the market after what seems forever in Toronto. He has been the poster boy for the Maple Leafs franchise for over a decade and now seeks the Cup. Priority #1 for him is a contending team, not the money. Sundin has spoken personally to the Montreal Candiens but may want to play with his fellow Swedes in Detroit. He may be one of the few players who is willing to take less than the $5.5 million that he made last year for a run at Lord Stanley's Cup.

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Markus Naslund has not been the same without Todd Bertuzzi and vise-versa. He has contemplated retirement a few times already to keep a stable residence for his children. I highly doubt he will get $6 million like in 2008 but it is unsure if will take a pay cut. This may be the last year that Naslund is referred to as a #1 forward. After a terrible year of only 55 points, while playing in all 82 games, a change of scenery is needed. Why not Atlanta?

 

Valuable forwards:

  • Kristian Huselius

  • Andrew Brunette

  • Vaclav Prospal

  • Pavol Demitra

  • Brian Rolston

  • Darcy Tucker

Sign these defensemen:

  • John-Micheal Liles

  • Wade Redden

  • Mark Streit

Sign these goalies:

  • Jose Theodore

  • Olaf Kolzig

Risky rewarding players?

  • Todd Bertuzzi - where did the 90 point seasons go?

  • Martin Straka – may get injured, may score 60 points

  • Rob Blake – cannot score like before but knows his role

  • Ladislav Nagy – can be flashy

  • Ray Emery - can play as a good back up, thinks he is #1

 

 

By Kevin Chaves
ProHockey-fans.com Staff Writer

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