May 3, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Kings center Jeff Carter (77) and St. Louis Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo (27) battle for the puck in game three of the 2012 Western Conference semifinals at the Staples Center. The Kings defeated the Blues 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE

Best Players For the Money in the Central Division

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The most expensive players are not always the best, and sometimes top players can be had for just the change between the seats. Most of the time these are young players or have recently re-proved themselves. They don’t stay at these prices for long, but while they do they provide a great boost at a small price for their team.

April 20, 2012; Nashville, TN, USA; Detroit Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard (35) lets a shot go into the goal against the Nashville Predators during the first period in game five of the 2012 Western Conference quarterfinals at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Don McPeak-US PRESSWIRE

5. Jimmy Howard, Detriot Red Wings- 2.25 mil through 2012/2013. Howard was solid in the net all year for the Red Wings at a reasonably low price, his playoff performance however left something to be desired.

4. Viktor Stalberg, Chicago Blackhawks- .875 mil through 2012/2013. Stalberg produced 22 goals and

April 14, 2012; Glendale, AZ, USA; Chicago Blackhawks left wing Viktor Stalberg (25) handles the puck during the first period against the Phoenix Coyotes in game two of the 2012 Western Conference quarterfinals at Jobing.com Arena. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-US PRESSWIRE

43 points last year for less than 1 million dollars.

3. Alex Pietrangelo, St. Louis Blues- 3.167 mil through 2012/2013. Over 3 mil may not seem like a bargain but Pietrangelo is the best defensemen on the Blues and one of the top 5 in the NHL. A great player on both ends of the ice, last season he recorded 12 goals and 39 assists.

2. Cam Atkinson, Columbus Blue Jackets- .875 mil through 2012/2013. Atkinson was one highlight of the Blue Jackets miserable season last year. After tearing it up in the AHL he got his promotion and scored 7 goals and 14 points in the final 27 games. He is young and could be even better this year.

1. Kevin Shattenkirk, St. Louis Blues- 1.3 mil through 2012/2013. The Blues are lucky to have a solid

April 30, 2012; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk (22) takes a shot against the Los Angeles Kings during the second period in game two of the 2012 Western Conference semifinals at Scottrade Center. Mandatory Credit: Scott Rovak-US PRESSWIRE

offensive minded defensmen like Shattenkirk for such a low price. Arguably the Blues second best defensemen and one of the top 5 or 6 in the division, Shattenkirk recorded 9 goals and 34 assists last season.

Honorable mention: Brian Elliott, St. Louis Blues, 1.8 mil through 2013/2014. Last years biggest bargain got a large raise but is still a good value for a goalie who led the league GAA, and Save Percentage even though he is a back up.

 

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Tags: Alex Pietrangelo Brian Elliott Cam Atkinson Central Division Jimmy Howard Kevin Shattenkirk St. Louis Blues Viktor Stalberg

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