It has been four weeks since 2012 NHL free agency opened and still many players remain un-signed. While the Phoenix Coyotes are still waiting on Shane Doan, another free agent is likely to be signed regardless of Doan’s decision.
Earlier this week, I examined the top seven remaining free agents and the likelihood of them signing with the Coyotes. Today, I will examine a player who was not on that list, a player who scored no points last season, a player many people forgot exists; that player is Kristian Huselius. Yes, you read that correctly, Kristian Huselius.
Now, I realize that many of you reading this are thinking something along the lines of, “who is that?” or “I thought he was dead or in Russia.” but neither of those are the case. Huselius has been plagued by injury the last two seasons having only played 41 combined games. Over the last two seasons, Huselius has suffered through hip surgery and a torn groin. Despite his extended absence, the NHL should not forget the offensive talents he displayed before missing games. Before his injury-shortened 2010-2011 season, Huselius scored at least 20 goals in seven of his eight NHL seasons. He even scored 14 in just 39 games during the injury-shortened season of 2010-2011. Excluding his two game season last year, Huselius has averaged 21 goals and 29 assists over his first nine seasons. In his last season of full health, 2009-2010, Huselius accumulated 63 points.
Huselius, 33, has yet to be cleared to play but should be ready for the start of the season. Huselius will be had at a discounted rate due to his injury history. Signing Huselius is risky, but he averaged 78 games per season before the two injuries and has the great offensive ability that the Coyotes sorely need.
The Coyotes have had success with ex- Columbus Blue Jackets in the past. As you can see in the picture above this article, Huselius has played with current Coyotes center Antoine Vermette in the past. Huselius has also played with other Coyotes players such as defenseman Rostislav Klesla, forward Raffi Torres, and forward David Moss. The Coyotes should take a chance on Huselius because if he stays healthy for most of the season, he will be the steal of this year’s free agent class.