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


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:


RankNameTeamGPIce timePoints
1Zach PariseNJ17620.6157
2Shane DoanPHX23319.4165
3Teemu SelanneANA20917.8194
4Ray WhitneyPHX23718.3192
5Alex SeminWAS21518.0192
6PA ParenteauNYI18317.9128
7Jaromir JagrPHI7316.354
8Olli JokinenCGY24318.2165
9Dustin PennerLA22817.1126
10Ryan SmythEDM23118.9146
11Jiri HudlerDET15414.787
12Steve SullivanPIT20516.5121
13Andrei KostitsynNSH21215.7114
14Paul GaustadNSH21615.274
15Peter MuellerCOL10114.253
16Petr SykoraNJ9615.347
17Jason ArnottSTL20816.0111
18Jamie LangenbrunnerSTL22117.3117
19Jochen HechtBUF16817.179
20G. LatendresseMIN10514.855
21Alexei PonikarovskyNJ22014.898
22Lee StempniakCGY22316.3114
23Mikael SamuelssonFLA20316.7134
24Daniel WinnikSJ23815.568
25Travis MoenMON20814.551
26Ruslan FedotenkoNYR21914.475
27Kyle WellwoodWIN18714.385
28Kristian HuseliusCBJ11517.786
29David MossCGY15413.856
30Jordin TootooNSH18212.164
31Brad BoyesBUF23015.8120
32Joey CrabbTOR11513.341
33Jay McClementCOL24215.766
34Taylor PyattPHX22313.873
35Torrey MitchellSJ19812.553
36Daymond LangkowPHX14917.368
37Brian RolstonBOS21516.395
38Andrew BrunetteCHI24215.8134
39Niklas HagmanANA22414.894
40Dominic MooreSJ22515.385
41Tanner GlassWIN21811.037
42Brandon PrustNYR23311.360
43Gilbert BrulePHX13913.560
44Brendan MorrisonCHI17915.696
45Adam BurishDAL14113.137
46Tim StapletonWIN11410.636
47Radek DvorakDAL21515.975
48Jeff HalpernWAS21213.361
49Steve BernierNJ15913.243
50Eric FehrWIN15611.762
51John MitchellNYR14612.942
52Tom KostoplousCGY23912.451
53Arron AshamPIT1809.751
54Marco SturmFLA15914.958
55Scott ParseLA7310.930


RankNameTeamGPIce timePoints
1Ryan SuterNSH23125.2122
2Matt CarlePHI24422.8113
3Justin SchultzN/A
4Jason GarrisonFLA18921.459
5Dennis WidemanWAS23323.8115
6Bryce SalvadorNJ16119.623
7Michal RozsivalPHX20120.757
8Pavel KubinaPHI22420.476
9Sami SaloVAN16420.560
10Sheldon SourayDAL10121.234
11Carlo ColaiacovoSTL19618.177
12Filip KubaOTT19022.476
13Adrian AucoinPHX22121.659
14Greg ZanonBOS21920.930
15Bryan AllenCAR22818.944
16Brett ClarkTB22818.866
17Cory SarichCGY19516.830
18Joe CorvoBOS20922.383
19Scott HannanCGY23720.739
20Francis BouillonNSH19118.932
21Hal GillNSH21918.433
22Jaroslav SpacekCAR17919.552
23Mike LundinMIN13520.927
24Aaron RomeVAN14816.019
25Colin WhiteSJ20418.322
26Kent HuskinsSTL15716.939
27Matt GilroyOTT19416.146
28Milan JurcinaNYI15518.335
29Marc-Andre GragnaniVAN6716.018
30Radek MartinekCBJ8721.120
31Sheldon BrookbankANA18614.923
32Matt CarknerOTT16015.421
33Chris CampoliMON18718.250
34Bruno GervaisTB17417.036
35Kurtis FosterMIN19617.078


RkNameTeamWinsSave percentagePotential


1Martin BrodeurNJ99.910NJ
2Johan HedbergNJ53.915NJ, PHI, NYR
3Scott ClemmensenFLA31.912PHI, NSH, NJ, FLA
4Martin BironNYR29.905NYR, PHI
5Dan EllisANA37.904NSH, PHI
6Jonas GustavssonTOR39.900WIN, NSH, DET
7Chris MasonWIN51.905NSH
8Dwayne RolosonTB60.904
9Al MontoyaNYI18.905
10Brent JohnsonPIT29.907