Almost a full month of NHL free agency has passed, and there’s a good amount of veteran talent available on the market. While most of the leagues big names and stars have already found new homes or re-signed, many veterans are waiting for a chance to make another stanley cup run and contribute in a lesser role. Here are the top three remaining free agents on the market.
1 – Shane Doan
2011-2012 Stats: 20 – 28 – 48
Doan is clearly the top free agent still left on the market. The seventeen-year veteran has been the cornerstone of the Phoenix Coyotes’ franchise since it inception in 1997. Since being named Captain in 2003, Doan has led the team in points each season. For many years, Doan was the only major talent on the Phoenix roster, as ownership problems prevented the Coyotes from surrounding Shane with a quality supporting cast. He remained a complete professional throughout the franchises’ struggles and stayed committed to Phoenix, as he has never requested a trade in seventeen seasons of work. Doan was finally rewarded for his commitment in 2010, when the Coyotes made their first playoff appearance in six seasons. He has led the franchise to three straight playoff berths, including last season’s run to the Western Conference Finals. Now, at age thirty-five, the longtime Coyote Captain may be best suited with a change of scenery. Almost every team in the league has contacted Doan’s representatives, as he could be a major role piece and locker room presence with a Cup contender.
2011-2012 Stats: 21 – 23 – 44
After a brief stint in Europe, Petr Sykora returned to the NHL lat season and played his role to perfection. Sykora secured his roster spot in New Jersey in training camp and definitely made the most of his opportunity. Peter DeBoer constantly shuffled the thirty-five year old winger throughout the lineup, but Sykora spent the majority of his ice time skating with the Devils’ second and third lines. He made major contributions on the offensive side of the ice, scoring 21 goals and assisting on 23 others. Sykora also added five points during the Devils’ Stanley Cup run. Sykora’s impressive 2011-2012 campaign proved that he can skate on an NHL roster and contribute offensively. Look for Petr to sign with a contender looking to add depth and championship experience to their roster.
2011-2012 Stats: 5 – 7 – 12
At 5′ 11” and 210 lbs, Jaroslav Spacek can definitely still lay the wood on the blue line. Although he may not provide the same offensive presence as he did in Buffalo and Montreal, Spacek still packs a powerful shot from the point. The aging defenseman will be able to provide some power-play production and help on special teams in general. At thirty-eight, Spacek is clearly cup chasing. He will most likely sign with a team looking to add a d-man for a third pairing or fit into a role on a power play package.