Blog Entry

Kaberle heads list of free agents still unsigned

Posted on: July 4, 2011 1:37 pm
Edited on: July 5, 2011 12:55 pm
 

NHL free agency is unilke any other sport's. Within the first few hours -- first day at the latest -- the majority of the free agents, let alone impact players, are off the market. But not all of them.

Atop the list of players still looking for work is Tomas Kaberle. A bit maligned in Boston for the team's power-play struggles, it's not as if Kaberle isn't still good at what he does. Last season for the he had four goals and 43 assists.

It is still no foregone conclusion that he won't be back in Beantown next year. Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli said before free agency opened that Kaberle would test the waters, but that they would continue negotiations.

Or perhaps he could be on the radar of the Rangers down the coast. New York still needs a little bit of help on the back end and Kaberle could be a nice fit. If he doesn't make sense cap wise (the Rangers have $15 million but multiple restricted free agents left to sign) then they could stick with Bryan McCabe at a cheaper rate.

Regardless, there is still some useful talent to be had. Here's a look at the best available.

Forwards

Jason Arnott: He's a bit long in the tooth, but Arnott can be a solid veteran center for any team in the market. Scored 17 goals with 14 assists last season between New Jersey and Washington.

Jamie Langenbrunner: It will be interesting to see what role teams think Langenbrunner can fill at this point. Saw a drop of 19 points between 2009-10 and 2010-11.

Antti Miettinen: He has a little bit more youth than most of the players still up for grabs and he can provide some decent scoring. Last season with the Wild he had 16 goals, the season before he had a career-high 20. However, he could be KHL-bound.

Vaclav Prospal: Prospal played only 29 games last season due to injury, but was pretty darn productive in that time for the Rangers when the 36-year-old had nine goals and 14 assists.

Sergei Samsonov: Samsonov found a little spark after being traded to Florida at the end of last season, tallying three goals and 11 assists in 20 games for the Panthers. There is probably a home on a third line somewhere for him.

Teemu Selanne: The suspense here isn't where he will play, it is if he will play. Selanne will sign with the Ducks if he decides he'll play another season, if not it's off to the world of retirement. Still very productive with 31 goals and 49 assists last season.

Cory Stillman: Like many of the guys on the list, he is a veteran with plenty of experience but can still wield the stick a little. Stillman had 12 goals with 27 assists last season between Carolina and Florida.

Nikolai Zherdev: Zherdev has youth on his side compared to the rest here at just 26 years of age. Didn't have an incredibly productive year (and played just 56 games) with Philly last season, but with an increased role he could show more of the form that saw him score 23 and 26 goals the previous two seasons.

Defensemen

Scott Hannan: Hannan is a solid own-end defenseman who will find a home somewhere for teams looking to lock down in the back end. Because of his lack of offense (one goal, 10 assists last season) he should come at a pretty cheap price for whoever signs him.

Tomas Kaberle: After spending 11 seasons in Toronto, Kaberle could be joining his third team in three years if he doesn't return to Boston. He is still young enough (32) that he can get a pretty nice contract from some team.

Bryan McCabe: One of the better power-play captains a few years ago, McCabe still does a good job commanding the special teams. He won't command anywhere near the same contract he's coming off of and should be an affordable offensive option. Still very possible he could return to the Rangers.

Brent Sopel: Like Hannan, he's more of a defenseman's defenseman, a guy that will block shots and do his best to keep the puck out of the net. Teams interested in him won't be in the market for a top-four defenseman, but that doesn't mean he has no value, his plus-6 last season in 71 games for the Habs evidence.

Goaltenders

Ray Emery: I thought Emery might be one of the goalies teams would target, but now he and the rest of the guys on this list are left in a tough spot as the goaltender market dried up pretty quickly and the need isn't big. But Emery should find a home.

Pascal Leclaire: Leclaire could be out of luck for NHL jobs, perhaps waiting until the middle of the year when some team is looking for depth. The concern with him is the injury history as he has struggled to stay healthy for his whole career.

Marty Turco: After years as the starter in Dallas, Turco has now been pretty much relegated to a backup, playing last season behind Corey Crawford in Chicago. Could be a midseason acquisition for teams searching for some depth and experience.

By Brian Stubits

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnhl and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.


Comments

Since: Apr 22, 2008
Posted on: July 5, 2011 8:06 am
 

Kaberle heads list of free agents still unsigned

Jaromir Jagr



Since: Oct 21, 2006
Posted on: July 5, 2011 12:33 am
 

Kaberle heads list of free agents still unsigned

Jager has been a Flyer for a few days now. 



Since: Jul 4, 2011
Posted on: July 4, 2011 11:41 pm
 

Kaberle heads list of free agents still unsigned

Why no mention of Jarimir Jager's mullet as being an autonomous free agent?  It's nearly 40, but has some goals left in it.



Since: Oct 20, 2006
Posted on: July 4, 2011 10:04 pm
 

Kaberle heads list of free agents still unsigned

Kaberle was bad for the Bruins ? How many games did he play for them ? You can't learn a team's playbook in less than 3 months . Granted  he can't rush the puck anymore  , but , he can still play defense , and still QB the PP .And that's why the Bruins got him . The question about him though , is  what team is going to pay him for that ? He is going to drop his asking price , is the second question . The Sabres are looking for a QB for their PP , but I think they would be better if they went after Sopel . He would be better on  their own end and sending Mayers on the run with a long pass . But , that's me . They need a center for Vanek . I like Roy , but he's not a true centerman . He isn't big enough , and that's the only thing that's a knock on him . He's a better wingman . I don't  think that Arnott  can fit into the Sabres , maybe last year . They got younger , a bit . And they need to stop looking at Grier , Niedermayer or any other of the players over 35 years old . They want to build a Cup team in three years , signing players at that age , they won't last that three years . That's the bottom line of that . They have a team that , with the kids right now , have two years of experience  now , they need players at the age of 28 -30 range , not the end of their careers .



Since: Jan 20, 2008
Posted on: July 4, 2011 8:47 pm
 

Kaberle heads list of free agents still unsigned

im also a huge Bruins Fan, But i think they should try to resign kaberle if they can get him for a decent contract. Now i was one of the guys screaming for the first three rounds of the playoffs saying i wanted his minutes cut and so on.....  But i think if he can start with this team from training camp he will be able to produce alot better then he did. Remember he came from a team that plays a offense system to a team that plays a defensive system. It will be a good move for him to come back here next year.



Since: Feb 5, 2009
Posted on: July 4, 2011 8:08 pm
 

Kaberle heads list of free agents still unsigned

Selanne needs to sign with the Winnipeg Jets...
End out a fine career where it all started.



Since: Jul 20, 2010
Posted on: July 4, 2011 6:50 pm
 

Kaberle heads list of free agents still unsigned

LOL as a ranger fan, I hope glen sather will not give him a 6 year deal like he did with wade redden.



Since: Feb 11, 2008
Posted on: July 4, 2011 5:26 pm
 

Kaberle heads list of free agents still unsigned

Nikolai Zherdev is the sterotypical Russian forward. Tons of skill with the puck, and the ability to score 30+ goals a season, seemingly at will. But a lack of two way play, any presence of physical play is non-exsistant, and there just seems to be  sense of entitlement with Nik.

That being said he could be a big time goal scorer if he's put in the proper situation with a couple older Russians to mentor him, and teach him how to behave properly. I think that the (my) Senators should make a play for the big Russian. Pairing him with Nikita Filatov and youngster Peter Regin could see them all establish themselves as bona-fide NHL scorers.
The Senators have a highly respected Russian in Sergei Gonchar on the roster to help mentor them, and they would be given every opportunity to get 15+ Minutes per game and prove their worth.

As much as I hated Bryan McCabe when he played with the Leafs, his booming shot from the blueline back in the day was always something I hated to see come flying at the net. The Sens power play ranked 15th last year, and giving Eric Karlsson two options - Gonchar/McCabe either or- to feed the puck to on the top unit.
At the very worst having him run the second PP unit wouldn't hurt too much if he were paired with Filip Kuba.



Since: Oct 8, 2006
Posted on: July 4, 2011 2:58 pm
 

Kaberle heads list of free agents still unsigned

I'm a huge Bruins fan and watched every B's playoff game and Kaberle was/is horrendous. We were actually praying they wouldn't dress him for the playoffs. He can't move the puck, get off a clean shot or play "D". Anyone that throws any money at him will be flushing their dough down the toilet.


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