I can't remember a more important July 1st than the one four days from now. Are you excited? Anxious? Nervous? You should be.
There has been a lot of good chatter around here with varying opinions of upcoming Free Agents. I thought it might be worth your time to do a little recap of who might be available. NHL.com picked what they thought was the top dozen Free Agents come July 1st.
Make the jump and join the conversation.
1. Zach Parise - not much else needs to be said about this guy. Only that he's still playing the P.C. "I want to stay in Jersey" game. We can't really say that Lou Lamierello won't throw in a ridiculous contract offer after the whole Kovalchuck debacle a few summers ago. We'll just have to wait and see...
2. Ryan Suter - again, can't say much that hasn't already been said. It's pretty clear that he's on his way out of the town that Carrie Underwood built. It would be a nice signing if not only to stick it to some uppity Predator fans that started coming out of the woodwork this spring (literally).
3. Alex Semin - fake twitter accounts aside...most experts agree that Semin is one of the most talented hockey players in the world today. But motivation/personality issues has some of us thinking he wouldn't be a good fit with Mike Babcock's style. Maybe if "Seminem" does end up living on 8 Mile, we could get something out of him that Washington always dreamed of.
4. Jason Garrison - this kid is a 27 year-old 6'2 and 220 lbs defensemen who scored 16 goals from the blue line last season for the Florida Panthers. If for some reason, Detroit can't nab Ryan Suter - I would be happy to welcome this guy in to play the 2nd or 3rd D spot.
5. Jaromir Jagr - moving on....
6. Justin Schultz - we've pretty much covered this guy already. I'll just say 'see Jason Garrison for my thoughts...though Schultz would probably have a tougher time cracking the top four right away.
7. PA Parenteau - this little winger (6', 190 lbs) put up 120 points in the last two seasons combined on Long Island. Depending on what kind of contract he is expecting, he could provide decent 2nd or 3rd line production on Detroit...but will probably try and be a top line guy on a weaker team.
8. Matt Carle - another 27 year old defenseman with huge potential. I don't expect Philadelphia to let him go without a major fight...considering their ape of a captain may never play again and their #2 defenemen is a an aging softy who is over-paid (by a lot).
9. Ray Whitney - played with Detroit once before...but was a huge disappointment. At 40 years old - this ain't happening.
10. Shane Doan - this guy is a fool if he doesn't re-sign with Phoenix or take his show back to Winnipeg...unless (of course) he wants to actually be on a contender to win the Cup.
11. Dustin Penner - an interesting notion, bringing Penner to Detroit. Sure, he's had some run-ins with pancakes...but he's a proven play-off performer and was instrumental in both Cup runs with Anaheim in 2007 and Los Angeles this year. At 6'4 and 242 lbs - he could bring some much needed size to the Red Wings forward core - but how much money does he think he's worth?
12. Olli Jokinen - from pancakes to waffles just like that. Jokinen was once a highly touted Free Agent who was once considered the best player in the NHL never to make the play-offs. He's bounced around a bit lately but has still put up decent numbers. He was getting paid $3 million at the end of his contract when he posted 23 goals and 61 points for Calgary...another dark horse candidate in my opinion (he's only 33 years old).
That's NHL.com's top dozen.
Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock...
I seriously wish it would just happen already. All the rumours and conjecture are driving me crazy. If you really want to maintain your sanity don't read Bleacherreport comments that's for sure.
July 1 is going to be nuts. Anyone read Bab's comments on how Brunner has been pencilled in for a top 6 role? What does that mean for Nyquist?
@DetCapC19 In a perfect world it means that, once the frenzy is over, Detroit is going to have one helluva top nine. I can see Brunner taking Hudler's spot, Nyquist playing with Datsyuk and "?" while Franzen on the third with Helm and Cleary or something like that.
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I seriously can't wait for July 1. I keep impulsively checking every hockey website to see if I've missed anything.