Unrestricted Free Agency: D-Day or Z-Day?

Unrestricted Free Agency: D-Day or Z-Day?

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Photo: Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Ah, July 1st. The day we celebrate our nation’s birth by tracking NHL free agent signings.

The Maple Leafs enter UFA Day with 14 million and change in cap space, but I wouldn’t expect them to spend too much of it today, as all indications remain that Burke will do his heavy lifting via trade.

While Burke has made it clear he won’t be in the mix for the two big fish in Parise and Suter in any meaningful way, one thing that may be on the mandate for Burke today is the addition of size up front (and possibly a right handed defenceman).

This is a somewhat scary proposition. Burke should have fresh memories of the dangers of overpaying a lower roster player if you don’t get it right, given he bought out Colby Armstrong yesterday. (FTR, the 50 games of the 2010-11 Armstrong showed us what Burke thought he was getting for 3 years… unfortunately, Armstrong’s injury proneness prevented any chance of that happening). The reality of July 1st is that GMs knowingly accept overpayment to varying degrees, and overpayment on a role player is the type of high risk-low reward situation Burke needs to steer clear of.

Burke will hopefully steer clear of adding size just for the sake of it, and by that I mean a replaceable energy player at an inflated price. Almost always in the mania of July 1, silly justifications are made for giving good money to a player that simply doesn’t deserve the coin and could probably be replaced adequately from within.

When Burke does add more size up front, it will likely be in the form of a player who can play respectable minutes and offer something in terms of secondary scoring. A name like Dustin Penner, with whom he and Carlyle have a history after sharing a Cup with him in Anaheim, immediately pops to mind. Burke must be careful here, too; it’s tough to put a number on a guy who made some key contributions in his second Cup win of his career, but put up only 17 points in 65 games during the regular season. Penner’s been chronically inconsistent over 82 game schedules, and this has to be particularly concerning for the Leafs as we are not thinking beyond merely making the playoffs in the first place.

This is still a once 30+ goal scorer who is a big man to boot. Where the approrpiate price point is with Penner is the tough part to decipher. Penner has the added bonus of being 29 and still having ample experience to drawn on, and of course he put up 29 goals in his first full season in the NHL under Carlyle.

Shane Doan will be testing unrestricted free agency, although his preference is to remain with the Coyotes if possible. For a team lacking a leader at the forward position, Doan is a 35-year-old veteran with 50-60 pt ability and is a warrior on the boards with his solid 6’1″, 230 pound frame.

With the Leafs missing out on Schultz and moving Schenn, they could also be looking for a righthanded defenceman today (Phaneuf, Liles, Gunnarsson and Gardiner are all lefties). I imagine it falls lower on the todem pole of needs, and it may be a need they chose to fill internally with a number of depth options including Korbinian Holzer (if he is signed). With Schenn gone and all of Gunnarsson, Liles, Gardiner and Franson still in the picture, the Leafs could use some added snarl back there as well.

Here are lists of the available UFAs courtesy of The Globe and Mail:

FORWARDS:

Rank Name Team GP Ice time Points
1 Zach Parise NJ 176 20.6 157
2 Shane Doan PHX 233 19.4 165
3 Teemu Selanne ANA 209 17.8 194
4 Ray Whitney PHX 237 18.3 192
5 Alex Semin WAS 215 18.0 192
6 PA Parenteau NYI 183 17.9 128
7 Jaromir Jagr PHI 73 16.3 54
8 Olli Jokinen CGY 243 18.2 165
9 Dustin Penner LA 228 17.1 126
10 Ryan Smyth EDM 231 18.9 146
11 Jiri Hudler DET 154 14.7 87
12 Steve Sullivan PIT 205 16.5 121
13 Andrei Kostitsyn NSH 212 15.7 114
14 Paul Gaustad NSH 216 15.2 74
15 Peter Mueller COL 101 14.2 53
16 Petr Sykora NJ 96 15.3 47
17 Jason Arnott STL 208 16.0 111
18 Jamie Langenbrunner STL 221 17.3 117
19 Jochen Hecht BUF 168 17.1 79
20 G. Latendresse MIN 105 14.8 55
21 Alexei Ponikarovsky NJ 220 14.8 98
22 Lee Stempniak CGY 223 16.3 114
23 Mikael Samuelsson FLA 203 16.7 134
24 Daniel Winnik SJ 238 15.5 68
25 Travis Moen MON 208 14.5 51
26 Ruslan Fedotenko NYR 219 14.4 75
27 Kyle Wellwood WIN 187 14.3 85
28 Kristian Huselius CBJ 115 17.7 86
29 David Moss CGY 154 13.8 56
30 Jordin Tootoo NSH 182 12.1 64
31 Brad Boyes BUF 230 15.8 120
32 Joey Crabb TOR 115 13.3 41
33 Jay McClement COL 242 15.7 66
34 Taylor Pyatt PHX 223 13.8 73
35 Torrey Mitchell SJ 198 12.5 53
36 Daymond Langkow PHX 149 17.3 68
37 Brian Rolston BOS 215 16.3 95
38 Andrew Brunette CHI 242 15.8 134
39 Niklas Hagman ANA 224 14.8 94
40 Dominic Moore SJ 225 15.3 85
41 Tanner Glass WIN 218 11.0 37
42 Brandon Prust NYR 233 11.3 60
43 Gilbert Brule PHX 139 13.5 60
44 Brendan Morrison CHI 179 15.6 96
45 Adam Burish DAL 141 13.1 37
46 Tim Stapleton WIN 114 10.6 36
47 Radek Dvorak DAL 215 15.9 75
48 Jeff Halpern WAS 212 13.3 61
49 Steve Bernier NJ 159 13.2 43
50 Eric Fehr WIN 156 11.7 62
51 John Mitchell NYR 146 12.9 42
52 Tom Kostoplous CGY 239 12.4 51
53 Arron Asham PIT 180 9.7 51
54 Marco Sturm FLA 159 14.9 58
55 Scott Parse LA 73 10.9 30



DEFENCEMEN:

Rank Name Team GP Ice time Points
1 Ryan Suter NSH 231 25.2 122
2 Matt Carle PHI 244 22.8 113
3 Justin Schultz N/A
4 Jason Garrison FLA 189 21.4 59
5 Dennis Wideman WAS 233 23.8 115
6 Bryce Salvador NJ 161 19.6 23
7 Michal Rozsival PHX 201 20.7 57
8 Pavel Kubina PHI 224 20.4 76
9 Sami Salo VAN 164 20.5 60
10 Sheldon Souray DAL 101 21.2 34
11 Carlo Colaiacovo STL 196 18.1 77
12 Filip Kuba OTT 190 22.4 76
13 Adrian Aucoin PHX 221 21.6 59
14 Greg Zanon BOS 219 20.9 30
15 Bryan Allen CAR 228 18.9 44
16 Brett Clark TB 228 18.8 66
17 Cory Sarich CGY 195 16.8 30
18 Joe Corvo BOS 209 22.3 83
19 Scott Hannan CGY 237 20.7 39
20 Francis Bouillon NSH 191 18.9 32
21 Hal Gill NSH 219 18.4 33
22 Jaroslav Spacek CAR 179 19.5 52
23 Mike Lundin MIN 135 20.9 27
24 Aaron Rome VAN 148 16.0 19
25 Colin White SJ 204 18.3 22
26 Kent Huskins STL 157 16.9 39
27 Matt Gilroy OTT 194 16.1 46
28 Milan Jurcina NYI 155 18.3 35
29 Marc-Andre Gragnani VAN 67 16.0 18
30 Radek Martinek CBJ 87 21.1 20
31 Sheldon Brookbank ANA 186 14.9 23
32 Matt Carkner OTT 160 15.4 21
33 Chris Campoli MON 187 18.2 50
34 Bruno Gervais TB 174 17.0 36
35 Kurtis Foster MIN 196 17.0 78



GOALTENDERS:

Rk Name Team Wins Save percentage Potential

destination

1 Martin Brodeur NJ 99 .910 NJ
2 Johan Hedberg NJ 53 .915 NJ, PHI, NYR
3 Scott Clemmensen FLA 31 .912 PHI, NSH, NJ, FLA
4 Martin Biron NYR 29 .905 NYR, PHI
5 Dan Ellis ANA 37 .904 NSH, PHI
6 Jonas Gustavsson TOR 39 .900 WIN, NSH, DET
7 Chris Mason WIN 51 .905 NSH
8 Dwayne Roloson TB 60 .904
9 Al Montoya NYI 18 .905
10 Brent Johnson PIT 29 .907

Alec Brownscombe is the founder of MapleLeafsHotStove.com, where he has written daily about the Leafs since September of 2008. He was also the editor of the 2009-12 Maple Leafs Annuals. You can contact him at [email protected]
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