It’s that time of year again for all of you big NHL fans as you hope your team signs some big name free agents and you also hope none of your favorite players are lost in the process. Some of the big names are off the board already as teams threw millions of dollars at them to get them signed quickly, but that does not mean there are not some big names still out there waiting to be signed. Here is a list of the top remaining unsigned NHL players.
Sean Bergenheim, Minnesota Wild
This 5’11”, 200 pound winger out of Finland is 31 years old and still has a lot of upside. He was a big disappointment after being traded to Minnesota at the end of last year and did not produce a single point in in the playoffs but that is not indicative of the type of numbers this fast winger is capable of putting up. Before he was traded to Minnesota he produced 18 points in 39 games for Florida. The former first round draft pick of the New York Islanders has averaged over 10 goals in each of the seasons that he has been healthy. Look for somebody to take a chance on him soon and get rewarded for doing that.
Christian Ehrhoff, Pittsburgh Penguins
Erhoff was a steady blueliner who saw over 20 minutes of action each game before he suffered an injury last year. He is not a big point producer as his 14 points in 59 games last year shows but he is more than reliable at keeping the other team’s best players from scoring. If he can get back to his old form, he has had three seasons where he has produced over 40 points. At the age of 33 most teams are not willing to sign him to a long term deal but he can be an asset to any team that needs a rental player for a year to help them get to the playoffs.
Brad Boyes, Florida Panthers
Before you get ready to buy a new jersey if you’re a Brad Boyes fan, you should be aware there is a chance he will resign with the Panthers. The success the team had last year when they almost made the playoffs was due in part to the leadership of this veteran player. The 33 year old winger’s point production has slipped over the last few years but he is still more than capable of producing a 15 goal or more season. He has also always been a good two way player that works hard at both ends of the ice and leads by example; that can be more valuable than points if he gets in a situation where he is surrounded by younger players that can learn from him.
Alexander Semin, Carolina Hurricanes
Nobody knows quite what they will get if they sign Semin, that may be the main reason why the talented winger has not found a new home yet. He was a huge disappointment after signing a big contract a few years ago with the Carolina Hurricanes and they bought out the remainder of his contract after the season instead of taking a chance that he will turn his game around. What people are forgetting is that the highly skilled player has been a steady 20 goal plus performer throughout his NHL career. Those who know him best are concerned with his work ethic but no one questions the talent that the swift skating right wing still possesses.
Chris Stewart, Minnesota Wild
Stewart seems to be the type of guy that everybody is looking for at the trade deadline but nobody is eager to sign before the season starts. That is a bit surprising since the gritty winger has shown signs of being a steady two way performer over his career and he is not afraid to stick up for his teammates if the need arises either. Although he will probably never hit the 28 goal plateau in his career again, there is no reason that he can’t be counted on to put 15 or so goals into the back of the net this season. Look for somebody to sign him sooner than later.
It will be interesting to see who gets signed and who still remains unsigned over the next few weeks. One thing is for sure, just like every year, there will be some big surprises along the way as teams and players each decide who the best fit is for them.