By Ryan Gilbert @RiskyBryzness on August 23, 2014
There have been plenty of big signings and moves made this offseason. With the offseason coming to a close, there are still plenty of big names looking for a team. With a month to go before preseason games, the clock is ticking on these remaining free agents.
Tim Thomas’ best years might be behind him, but he could be of great use to many NHL teams. Thomas is a capable NHL backup, or even starting goaltender, for some teams. It wouldn’t surprise me if someone scooped him up before the season, or even during the season.
Raphael Diaz is still a young, impressionable defender looking to find a team to call home for this season. After starting his career in Montreal, Diaz was moved to Vancouver and then to the New York Rangers last season. A change of scenery with a sense of stability could do him good.
Ilya Bryzgalov was the talk of the league after his infamous comments during the 2011-12 season with the Philadelphia Flyers. After two disappointing years in Philadelphia, Bryzgalov had respectable numbers with the Edmonton Oilers and Minnesota Wild. Bryzgalov went 7-1-3 in the regular season for the Wild, and was a big piece of their playoff run. Bryzgalov deserves another chance and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him back with the Wild.
Jordin Tootoo has one of the best names, numbers and birthdays in hockey. He also is a pretty good player. It looks like Tootoo still wants to test the market more after rejecting a deal from Winnipeg and he could be a good fit on many NHL teams.
Andrei Loktionov is a “fancy stats” superstar. Although he doesn’t provide much offense in the points column, he is a great role player. He knows what he has to do and he gets it done which every NHL team could use.
Jamie McBain is an underrated defenseman in the NHL. He has averaged 20 minutes of ice time per game throughout his career in Carolina and Buffalo, but hasn’t really been given a chance on a good team. Given the right circumstances and workload, McBain will be a great asset to whoever signs him.
Saku Koivu is another grizzly veteran looking for a job in the new NHL. He spent most of his career with the Montreal Canadiens before signing with the Anaheim Ducks in 2009. Koivu still has a lot left in the tank and can be a great player for the right squad.
Dustin Penner struggled for the Washington Capitals after being traded there this past season. He scored just one goal and had two assists in 18 games. He is only 31 and his career might have already peaked, but this journeyman winger can provide a good offensive and defensive game for whoever signs him.
Martin Brodeur is regarded as one of the best goaltenders of all time. However, there is no doubt that he is past his prime. In seeing this, Brodeur has said that he is willing to become a backup goaltender for the right team. Brodeur might be over the hill, but just the presence that he can have on a younger goalie could do wonders.
Daniel Alfredsson is only still a free agent because he chooses to be. It is up to Alfredsson whether or not he wants to return to the NHL for yet another season. After turning his back on Ottawa last year to go to Detroit, it seems that Alfredsson is unsure if he wants to come back. However, if he does, he will be highly coveted and a great asset to any team’s top line.
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