Best of the Rest
With the huge sprint that started when the clock hit July 1st, a lot of players have landed in new situations or simply resigned with their respective teams.
But there are still a bunch of players that are still waiting for a call from an NHL general manager with a contract offer. Maybe, simply a tryout offer. Just something, even someone saying they are interested!
And it's not like the guys left over are pushovers, there is a bunch of them that are grizzled veterans that teams need in the playoffs. Some guys might sign for cheap, just for another chance to play again.
Here are the best of the rest by position:
- John Madden: he worked out in New Jersey and Chicago, winning some Stanley Cups and filling a role that most teams struggle to find; a guy with heart and soul come crunch time. Minnesota was a failure, but look for him to bounce back with a playoff team for cheap
- J-P Dumont: you don't just score 20 goals for six seasons and just lose you ability to do it. You just need a change of scenery (even though you might turn out like Jonathan Cheechoo). Dumont would fill a scoring void for some bottom feeder teams, given he's in the right situation.
- Cory Stillman: he could potentially be this season's Mark Recchi. If he signs with a contender, he can provide leadership and some grit for a Cup run. Gut instinct? His old digs in Tampa Bay.
- Kyle Wellwood: I saw this guy the other day (he's from Windsor) and he looks fit as can be. I know people poke fun at him around here, but Wellwood did enough in San Jose to earn a spot somewhere next season. He was the only Shark that stood out in San Jose's Game 6 loss in Detroit. He should sign for pennies, but it doesn't mean he won't be a factor offensively.
- Jarkko Ruutu: given that I tend to hate this guy, he still gets his job done, and he does it well. He has good hands for a scrapper (have you seen some of his shootouts?) and if he doesn't get an NHL job it will likely be back to Finland.
- Bryan McCabe: all he needs is a set-up man on the opposite side or another big shot and he's all set. I can't see him signing a monster deal either, so he'll need to take a pay cut.
- Scott Hannan: he didn't turn out to be a scorer, but he is a valuable third pairing defenceman. He can hit hard and that's all you need those guys to do.
- Brent Sopel: his Stanley Cup experience should be enough to land a job, plus his greasy hair and weird looking pants. And his creepy looking beard/stache. I'd sign him just to have that guy in the room you can constantly chirp.
- Jack Hillen: he's young and looking for a home. Be it a two way deal, Hillen will develop to more than what he was in New York.
- Nick Boynton: there really isn't anyone better than him left.
- Ray Emery: you can bet that I wanted Detroit to take a run at him. He is a wildcard. You could get the Emery from his Senators days, or from his later Senators days, or Philly or Anaheim last year. He's a roller coaster, but it looks like it's on the way up right now.
- Ty Conklin: should most likely end up in Detroit. I would be shocked if he didn't. Joey MacDonald isn't a typical backup (although he played very well when called upon last year). He played in Detroit in 2009 and is familiar with the pressure. He played good as well.
- Marty Turco: I would use him as a player-coach wherever he lands. Pair him with a young goalie like he had with Corey Crawford and lookie here; a Calder Trophy worthy season!
And if all else fails, they can all do a Tomas Vokoun and call Florida for a big contract so they can get to the cap floor. Everyone wins!