Andrei Kostitsyn scored 16 goals last season and 20 the year before. (Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images)
There has been little activity in the UFA market since the signings from the first few days two and a half weeks ago.
The reason, of course, is the lack of quality depth in this year’s free agent pool and with the big names like Zach Parise and Ryan Suter now gone, there’s not much left to entice most teams.
Here’s a look at some of the best options still available in this summer’s thin free agent market.
Upside: Doan is respected around the league for his physical play, consistency, experience and leadership. He would be a terrific addition to any NHL team.
Downside: At 35, he doesn’t have many quality years left. He would prefer to re-sign with the Phoenix Coyotes on a multi-year deal and appears willing to wait for a resolution to their ownership situation. As many as 16 teams have reportedly expressed an interest in him.
Upside: He’s 28 and still in his prime. Semin is better defensively than his critics would have you believe and possesses strong offensive skills, having netted 54 or more points in four straight seasons. He’s just two years removed from his career-best 40-goal, 84-point season.
Downside: He has a reputation among NHL GMs for being lazy, selfish, enigmatic and a dressing room cancer, which is hurting his market value. He’s believed to be seeking a two-year, $10 million contract, but could be forced to accept a one-year deal if he wants to play in the NHL next season.
Upside: Had 63 points in 74 games with a bad Blue Jackets team two years ago and, before that, three seasons of at least 56 points split between Columbus and Calgary.
Downside: Injuries limited him to only 41 games the past two seasons. At 33, his best years are probably behind him.
Upside: Only 27 and has three seasons with 20 or more goals and 41 or more points since 2007-08. Kostitsyn could be a good pickup for clubs in need of second-line scoring depth.
Downside: Inconsistency and an aversion to physical play are the main criticisms of Kostitsyn’s game. His one-game playoff suspension by the Nashville Predators for breaking curfew with teammate Alexander Radulov did his reputation no favors.
Upside: The 29-year-old Colaiacovo would be of interest for teams seeking more offense from their blueline. Established himself as a good, puck-moving defenseman during his four seasons with the St. Louis Blues.
Downside: He’s been plagued by injuries throughout his career and has never played more than 73 games in a season. At times has faced criticism over his shaky defensive play.
Upside: The 33-year-old Rozsival was a solid second-pair defenseman with the Phoenix Coyotes. He blocked the third-most shots of all Coyotes during the regular season and second-most during the post-season.
Downside: His 30-to-40-point years are well behind him and injuries have prevented him from playing a full season the past two years.
Upside: At 6-foot-4 and 258 pounds, Kubina is a physically imposing defenseman. He was fourth on the Tampa Bay Lightning last season in blocked shots prior to his trade to Philadelphia. Still possesses a booming blast from the point.
Downside: His offensive production has declined steadily since 2008-09, so he’s deployed in more defensive roles now. Time appears to be catching up to the 35-year-old after 13 NHL seasons.
Upside: Though well-travelled, the 31-year-old Moore has established himself as a solid checking-line center. He rises to the occasion during the post-season and would be an affordable addition for teams in need of penalty killing depth.
Downside: Don’t expect much in the way of offense. His career-best 41-point performance in 2008-09 with the Maple Leafs was an anomaly.
Upside: After the Chicago Blackhawks buried him in Europe the past two seasons to free up salary cap space, Huet is determined to return to the NHL and prove himself a worthy starter. He could be worth the gamble for a team that lacks goaltending depth.
Downside: He’s been away from NHL action for two seasons, which could have an adverse effect on his skills.
Upside: The 32-year-old Ellis considers himself well-suited for backup duty. Having earned $1.5 million last season, he would be an affordable, short-term acquisition.
Downside: Ellis’ inconsistency is why he’s played for three teams since 2009-10. He saw only 10 games as a backup behind Jonas Hiller in Anaheim last season.
Rumor Roundup appears Monday-Friday only on thehockeynews.com. Lyle Richardson has been an NHL commentator since 1998 on his website, spectorshockey.net, and is a contributing writer for Eishockey News, Kukla's Korner and The Guardian, Charlottetown.
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