Sykora was a great role player for the New Jersey Devils, after only signing a one year deal during training camp. He contributed 44 points in 82 games, primarily as a 3rd to 4th line forward. He found a spot on the second line power play, showing off his ability to move the puck effectively from the wings. He scored six game winning goals over the season, a testiment to his veteran saavy. Sykora, at 35, could still be a decent pickup for a team if he can produce similarly to how he did last season.
Campbell was a key part of the Blackhawks playoff run, known as an offensive scoring defenseman who can be a liability in his own zone. He was traded to the Panthers and saw a very productive season. He scored 53 points in 82 games, manning the point well. In the post-season, he contributed 5 points in 7 games. It is clear that Campbell can be a key contributor to NHL teams looking to add some firepower on the blueline. If he was willing to take a pay-cut, any NHL team would love to have him as a cheap 2nd line defenseman.
The wait was finally over for Shane Doan, finally winning a playoff series for the first time in his long NHL career. Although Doan is not going to produce 70 points per season anymore, he still can be a veteran presence with solid production on the ice. Last year, Doan scored 50 points during the regular season, adding 9 more in the post-season. His leadership would be a key asset for any team going forward. It seems like a multitude of teams are in hot pursuit for him, including the Red Wings, Penguins, and Sharks, but I’d still put Phoenix as the odds on favorite.
By the end of season, it just seemed that Alexander Semin no longer could deal with the Washington Capitals. Semin, at 28, is in the middle of what many consider one’s prime years of hockey. He has 4 seasons of 30+ goals, accounting for over 40 goals in one of those seasons as well. Semin is the most prolific scorer in the remaining bunch of NHL unrestricted free agents. However, many question his attitude and desire to play defense. He has also been extremely inconsistent over the past few years, showing signs of both greatness and mediocrity. This player is a very risky sign but a team could see a very high reward if they get Semin in the right state of mind.
Andrei Kostitsyn is still young at 27, but became a major distraction for the Nashville Predators during the post-season, at the time when they least needed it. Kostitsyn has scored 20 or more goals in 3 seasons, and it would seem that with a stable team he could produce at this level again. Expect Kostitsyn, placed in the right situation, to produce around 45 points with 20+ goals, and to contribute on the defensive end. However, much like Semin, Kostitsyn is an extremely risky pick up, but the reward could be too inticing to pass up.
Carlo Coliacovo is probably one of the top two defensemen left on the open market, along with Brian Campbel. Coliacovo, when healthy, mans the point on the power play extremely well. He contributed with 8 power play assists last season. Coliacovo is a solid defenseman that many teams, for the right price, could use. The major downside is that he is labeled as somewhat of a finesse player who is consistently hit with the injury bug. Look for him to up his point total if he does not resign with the Blues, possibly in the 30 to 35 point range. If he resigns with the Blues, his point totals would stay low due to the Blues defense first system.