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Top 30 Unrestricted Free Agents 2021

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2020-21 cap hit: $9,538,462

Hard to believe he’s concluding his 13-year, $124-million pact. It’s finally time. Ovechkin has already expressed his desire to finish his NHL career as a Capital and then play his final pro-hockey season with his hometown club: Dynamo Moscow of the KHL. We know he’ll be back with the Caps next season. It’s just a matter of whether he signs a short- or long-term deal. As Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported a couple weeks back, most people around the league believe the Ovechkin extension is already “in the drawer.”

2020-21 cap hit: $5,750,000

In the past four seasons, no defenseman has scored more goals than Hamilton – despite him missing significant time with a broken leg last season. The old guard may not like his body language or off-ice interests – LOL, says the new guard – but he’s a top-tier puck mover and play driver who has great size and a right-handed shot. He has begun the negotiation process with multiple teams and would have a shot to command an AAV north of $8 million on the open market. It’ll come down to whether he chases the money or prefers a comfortable situation playing on a Stanley Cup contender in Carolina.

2020-21 cap hit: $5,571,429

Landeskog is the anti-Hamilton in that old-school hockey thinkers love Landeskog. Some league executives still talk about how impressed they were with his scouting interviews leading up to the 2011 draft. He’s a revered, heart-and-soul captain who blends top-line scoring touch with bruising physical play. He recently expressed his “disappointment” that he’s so close to making it to market. That certainly doesn’t sound like someone who has a handshake deal in place for after the expansion draft. The Avs would be ill advised to let their captain make it to free agency and incite a bidding war.

2020-21 cap hit: $8,000,000

Hall’s one-and-done Sabres tenure played out as a true worst-case scenario, but the home stretch and playoffs in a Bruins uniform were vital to restoring his value as he found a nice groove playing on the second line with David Krejci and Craig Smith. Given Hall's upside and that he remains on the right side of 30, he’ll have suitors if he goes to market. He’s already been “linked to the Toronto Maple Leafs,” if you believe that’s anything more than just posturing from agent Darren Ferris, but Hall is more likely to take a discount, stay in Boston and pursue a championship.

2020-21 cap hit: $3,333,333

Talent was never in question for Grubauer. He delivered a tremendous “put it all together” season for the Avalanche and has the fifth-highest save percentage in NHL history among goalies with at least 100 games played. The key was to prove he could stay healthy and, while he did land on the COVID-19 list, he avoided injury in 2020-21. With Landeskog a UFA and RFA blueliner Cale Makar needing an extension, the question is whether Grubauer priced himself out of Colorado with a season in which he finished third in the Vezina Trophy vote.

2020-21 cap hit: $2,250,000

Hyman produced at a career-best rate just in time for his next contract. He is an even-strength scoring dynamo who contributes in many different situations. His numbers get puffed up playing with great scorers, sure, but he fills an important role on those lines with his puck-retrieval skills. Playing on such a high-profile team, he’s maxed out his value to the point he might command $6 million or more per season. The gap between his asking price and what the Leafs are willing to pay is large enough that Toronto has granted Hyman’s agent Todd Reynolds permission to approach other teams about acquiring Hyman's negotiating rights before July 28.

2020-21 cap hit: $3,083,333

Danault is one of the top two-way forwards in the business, capable of shutting down elite forwards while still driving the play on a scoring line. He reportedly turned a six-year, $30-million offer from the Habs before the 2020-21 season but, with his offense disappearing, he may want to ask if that deal is still on the table. He showed during Montreal’s run to the Stanley Cup final that he’s still a crucial part of the team's puzzle, erasing opponents’ top forwards. He expressed after the season that he understands how he fits into the lineup now.

2020-21 cap hit: $3,750,000

Seventh in points among NHL defensemen since his breakout 2013-14 campaign. Barrie, a power-play specialist, was set up nicely to post massive contract-year numbers in Edmonton, and that’s exactly what’s happened. But do the Oilers need to bring him back? They were already a powerhouse power-play team before he signed, and he’s a bit of a drag on their defensive play. They’ve also just committed an additional $5.5 million in cap space to Keith.

2020-21 cap hit: $1,800,000

Coleman can play center or the wing, he kills penalties, he forechecks aggressively and, don’t forget, on a team that needs him to play bigger minutes, he can score 20 goals. The only problem is that, after playing an important role on consecutive Stanley Cup champions in Tampa, his value has exploded to the point it may require an overpay to land him.

2020-21 cap hit: $7,250,000

Brings so much experience in the regular season and playoffs as the Bruins' longtime No. 2 center, and he showed how impactful he can still be once they gave him proper second-line wingers to play with this past season. The Bruins are waiting to see if Krejci decides to return to the Czech Republic for 2021-22. If he plays in the NHL next season, it’s likely for Boston.

2020-21 cap hit: $5,350,000

Schwartz is ready to cash in as a top-six forward who doesn’t excel in any one area but does a lot of things well and is tenacious for his size. It’s just never a given that Schwartz plays a full schedule, however. He’s missed double-digit games in four of his past six seasons.

2020-21 cap hit: $4,650,000

Averaged 30 goals per 82 games in his first five seasons as a Devil. That appears to be Palmieri’s ceiling, but it’s a highly useful ceiling. He endured a bad year, but it was likely the product of (a) playing with less help in New Jersey before his trade to the New York Islanders and (b) an unlucky shooting percentage of 6.5. Perhaps that’ll make him a bargain signing this off-season. His goal-scoring place in the 2021 playoffs pro-rated to his usual 30 goals per 82 games, FYI.

13. RYAN SUTER, D, 36
2020-21 cap hit: $7,538,462

Upon learning of his shocking buyout, Suter hung up on Minnesota Wild GM Bill Guerin, but Suter should be back on the phone soon fielding offers from contenders. He’s not the all-around dominator he was in his prime, especially on the defensive side of the puck, but he could still provide useful middle-pair help on a contender and might only cost half his Minnesota AAV.

2020-21 cap hit: $6,000,000

Saad is attractive for teams wanting him to fill the same role he did in Colorado this past season: a win-now piece, responsible at both ends of the ice, fast, able to play in the middle six and contribute decent goal totals. He got 16 this season in 43 games while playing just 14 minutes or so per night, but that’s a trap: his shooting percentage was unsustainable at a league-leading 22.1, almost double his career mark of 11.9.

2020-21 cap hit: $4,000,000

Wow. What a year. Martinez, who has profiled as more of a two-way defenseman for most of his career, produced by far the best offensive numbers of his career just in time for a new contract. A personal-best season at 33 makes him a risky signing at 34 if any suitor is banking on repeat numbers.

16. TUUKKA RASK, G, 34
2020-21 cap hit: $7,000,000

The rise of prospect Jeremy Swayman pushes one of Rask and Jaroslav Halak out. Odds are it’s Halak. Rask only wants to play in Boston and won’t return to game action until winter 2022 after undergoing hip surgery. He’ll thus never come cheaper. Disclaimer: he’d be ranked at least 10 spots higher on this list if he was healthy.

2020-21 cap hit: $4,166,666

Gradually, Larsson has realized his promise as a defensive defenseman, and he delivered the best season of his career in 2020-21, playing an ornery game, sacrificing his body. The Oilers might be best off keeping him. He’s become an important player for them. He’s a strong bet to re-sign, but it’ll likely happen after the expansion draft at this point since the Oilers no longer have an available protection spot to use on him after acquiring Keith.

2020-21 cap hit: $5,500,000

He was entrenched in the Columbus community thanks to his charity work and role as Blue Jackets captain. Does that mean he’ll return there after his stint as a trade-deadline rental with the Leafs? It depends on how badly Foligno craves a Stanley Cup run, as Columbus appears to be trending toward a rebuild.

2020-21 cap hit: $3,750,000

Granlund may never reach the ceiling he was projected to have when he ripped up the Finnish Liiga a decade ago, but that’s OK. He’s still a skilled top-six forward who makes an underrated defensive impact. His most useful trait is his versatility. He can play any forward position if needed.

2020-21 cap hit: $5,300,000

The idea of Habs GM Marc Bergevin “having to choose” between Danault and Tatar is a distant memory. Tatar endured the worst season of his career and only dressed for five playoff games. With Montreal extending coach Dominique Ducharme’s contract, that’s it for Tatar as a Hab. Each game he sat in the playoffs felt like it eroded a few more bucks off his value. It was terrible timing from his perspective, but it could make him a nice bargain. He was an elite play driver for multiple seasons playing with Danault and Brendan Gallagher. Tatar is hardly finished.

2020-21 cap hit: $4,250,000

He’s big, rugged, shoots right-handed and was generally underrated as a shutdown defenseman, having spent his career in a relatively small market before Columbus dealt him to Tampa Bay at the deadline. He got better as the playoffs progressed and proved to literally be a “guy you win with.” He's far less under the radar with the championship glow on him now.

2020-21 cap hit: $5,475,000

He’s durable, he plays 22 minutes a night, he moves the puck pretty well…he’s just a safe veteran pickup at this stage of his career, even if it’s on a short-term deal.

23. MIKE REILLY, D, 28
2020-21 cap hit: $1,500,000

Reilly was a bright spot on a rebuilding Ottawa Senators team this past season, forming a net-positive pair with rookie Artem Zub, and Reilly was an extremely useful trade-deadline acquisition for the Bruins as a left-shot puck-mover. He felt more like a fringe NHLer a few years ago but has established himself as a legitimate UFA target.

2020-21 cap hit: $6,500,000

Getting long in the tooth, but he still has a skill set plenty of teams need: intelligent, good on faceoffs, can center a scoring line and, as he’s shown this year, can transition successfully to the left wing as well.

2020-21 cap hit: $2,137,500

Sometimes big defensemen take longer to find themselves in the NHL, and Oleksiak, who carries first-round draft pedigree, fits the bill. He was much improved in his second stint with Dallas, using his strength effectively while also showcasing good mobility for a man his size.

26. RYAN MURRAY, D, 27
2020-21 cap hit: $4,700,000

Tough year for all Devils players, but Murray is still relatively young for a UFA, has a recent history as a respectable defensive defenseman and can skate. On a better team, he could be a handy middle-pair option.

2020-21 cap hit: $6,350,000

Given his strained relationship with the new Panthers regime, Yandle clearly wasn’t part of the franchise’s long-term plans, and he wasn’t about to do Florida a solid and waive his no-movement clause before the expansion draft, so the buyout makes sense. He’s not what he was in his prime, but if he’s used for sheltered third-pair duty and power-play work, he could still be a relative bargain. Think 2019-20 Kevin Shattenkirk.

2020-21 cap hit: $925,000

He brings the penalty-killing acumen, physicality and intangibles of linemate Coleman without the offensive upside. Every championship team needs a Goodrow type to go to war with, but teams have to understand they’re buying high right now.

2020-21 cap hit: $850,000

Driedger’s small sample size makes him paradoxical. There’s risk for a player with 34 career starts. But the lack of data means a team could get a massive bargain on a netminder with a .929 career save percentage. He could be a flash in the pan, but he could be a budding star. He’s worth the dice roll as part of a platoon at the very least. Could he be Kraken material?

2020-21 cap hit: $4,000,000

Hoffman’s defensive shortcomings in 5-on-5 play are beginning to overshadow his goal-scoring skills, and he was healthy-scratched at times in St. Louis, but he still scored at a 27-goal pace if pro-rated to 82 games. He can bulge the twine as a power-play specialist, but he’s a risky team-chemistry fit.
Other prominent 2021 UFAs to watch:

Mattias Janmark, Zach Parise, Alexander Wennberg, Petr Mrazek, Jake McCabe,
Nick Bonino, Jonathan Bernier, Ryan Getzlaf, Brandon Montour,

Derek Forbort, Joel Armia, Mike Smith, Damir Zhafyarov, Dmitrij Jaskin,
Jani Hakanpaa, Alexander Edler, Frederik Andersen, Jaroslav Halak, Erik Haula,
Zdeno Chara, Nikita Gusev, Casey Cizikas, Tyler Bozak, Bobby Ryan,
Travis Hamonic, Joe Thornton, Erik Gustafsson, Sami Vatanen, James Reimer,

Eric Staal, Devan Dubnyk, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Jason Demers, Alex Galchenyuk,
Ian Cole, Marcus Johansson, Jordan Martinook, Travis Zajac, Alex Chiasson,

Luke Glendening, Linus Ullmark, Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, Jordan Oesterle, Antti Raanta,,
Mathieu Perreault, Jimmy Vesey, Ryan Dzingel, Brandon Sutter, Derek Stepan,

Josh Leivo, Derek Ryan , Corey Perry, Artem Anisimov, Michael Frolik,
David Rittich, Laurent Brossoit, Zach Bogosian, Dmitry Kulikov, Jon Merrill,

Riley Nash, Travis Boyd, Tucker Poolman, Jordie Benn, Derick Brassard,
Michael Bunting, Patrik Nemeth, Kurtis Gabriel, Marcus Sorensen, Tomas Nosek,

Brock McGinn, Cedric Paquette, Vinnie Hinostroza, Michael Del Zotto, Andrew Cogliano,
Erik Gudbranson, Sean Kuraly, Cody Ceci, Marc Staal, Darren Helm,

Andy Greene, Mikko Lehtonen, Evan Rodrigues, Frederick Gaudreau,

Merci Ulysse !  C'est excellent !  Où as-tu pris cette liste ?  Est-ce que tu vas l'ajuster au fur et à mesure qu'ils vont signer quelque part ?

Excellente job !

Doc Holliday:
Thanks Ulysse

Selon Lebrun, il semble pratiquement acquis que Danault va tester sa valeur sur le marché, ca va être intéressant de voir quelle est sa valeur et pour quel club (rôle).  J'ai un feeling que Detroit va faire un pas pire push pour lui.  Difficile de prédire la fin de cette histoire mais Berg a pas tant l'habitude d'entrer dans la surenchère (en fait selon Lebrun on est dans un scénario à la Markov/Radulov, ie "take it or leave it") et si Danault a le feeling qu'un autre club lui démontre plus d'intérêt que ce qu'il perçoit de Montreal, les carottes seront peut-être cuites...  MAIS...  un push de dernière minute venant de Molson n'est pas a écarter non plus (quoique dans la situation contractuelle de Bergevin, Molson ne veut probablement le faire chier en faisant de l'ingérence...).

Blake Coleman pourrait être un prix de consolation intéressant, bien qu'il n'a pas beaucoup joué au centre dans les dernières et n'est définitivement pas une machine de maj.


--- Quote from: Rejcaj on July 16, 2021, 07:09:22 AM ---Merci Ulysse !  C'est excellent !  Où as-tu pris cette liste ?  Est-ce que tu vas l'ajuster au fur et à mesure qu'ils vont signer quelque part ?

Excellente job !

--- End quote ---
non non c'est pas ma job lolllll

je trouvais ça intéressant à partager

Si Daneault et Drouin partent...qui MB engagera pour être le Québécois de service ?


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