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:

FORWARD

  1. 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
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

DEFENCE

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Nick Boynton: there really isn't anyone better than him left.

GOALIE

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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!

Kyle Busch

www.twitter.com/KyleBusch11

9 Comments

Rob McGowan's picture

I think you're wrong with Jack Hillen. If he were to prove that he can play, it would have been with the Islanders considering the amount of injuries they had and how they are quick to give playing time to players that need room to grow. With depth on D, they didn't need to keep experimenting with him. It seems, especially at his size, that he is only a reliable sixth defenseman (and there is nothing wrong with that).

George Prax's picture

I don't think I would put John Madden that high. He can still be useful, but he's too old and too slow at this point to make an impact. Miike Grier should be on the list instead of him, or even potentially Rob Niedermayer.

Kyle Andrew Busch's picture

I think I have some bias against Niedermayer, my brother didn't like him as a Ducks fan. I guess that line of him with Pahlsson and Moen made him look better than he was. As for Hillen, Rob's the Isles expert. I just put what I've heard. And Grier IS underrated, which is why I totally forgot him.

George Prax's picture

As someone who's watched Moen play for two years now, I can tell you that it wasn't Moen making him look better, and as good as Pahlsson was I doubt he could carry two players without some reciprocity. If anyone was the broken cog on that line it was Moen (not really trying to bash Moen, he's good, just not as good as his earlier career might show).

Patrick Storto's picture

I think Dumont has lost his ability, at 33 years old, he's on the decline, I don't think a change of scenery will do much unless he's playing with talent that's going to inflate his numbers.

I wouldn't even take Wellfed on the Marlies.

Kyle Andrew Busch's picture

Usually 33 is when you start the decline, but only in some cases. I think most of these guys it's just a matter of the right situation.

Chuck Gaston Jr's picture

I forgot McCabe was still out there. The wings should be all over him. His point play will help alot with the loss of Rafalski. Forward wise, I think they should stand put (except running Hudler out of town). I wouldn't be shocked if they saved some cash this season and go all out with a better class next season. Also, saving up for the trade deadline is never a bad idea.

Phil T's picture

Brian McCabe #1? May God have mercy on our souls.

Kyle Andrew Busch's picture

Meh, no one else there lol