We all know Shane Doan is the last of the big free agents available this summer, and the waiting game for his decision continues to roll.
Everybody seems to want a piece of him and the list of teams with interest, or rumored interest, or feel that they have a chance to sign him, seems to grow by the day: Philadelphia, New York, Montreal, Pittsburgh, Nashville, Montreal, San Jose, and, of course, a return to Phoenix.
And the list goes on, and on, and on.
But while all eyes remain on Doan and his decision, there are still a handful of free agents sitting out there that are worth looking at and could still help the team that eventually signs them. They may not be a blockbuster addition, but you still need depth and these guys might be able to offer some at a pretty reasonable price.
Here are five of those players...
Prior to last season Rolston was traded from New Jersey to the New York Islanders in a deal that had little to do with hockey and everything to do with the salary cap (even if neither team will admit it). The Devils were looking to dump a contract, the Islanders were looking to add money so they could reach the cap floor. The Rolston experiment on Long Island didn't really work out that well, and after recording nine points (four goals, five assists) he was traded to Boston for a couple of prospects. Almost instantly he season turned around and during the final stretch of the regular season he contributed 15 points in 21 games (while also posting decent possession numbers) for the Bruins. He's not going to be an answer for a team looking for a top-scorer, or maybe even a second-line scorer, but based on his play in Boston he still seems like he might have something left to offer a contender. He still has a huge slap shot that he loves to use any time he can.
2011-12 team: St. Louis Blues
2011-12 stats: 64 games, 2 goals, 17 assists, 19 points
2011-12 salary cap hit: $2.125 million
I mentioned Colaiacovo as a potential option for the Flyers after they missed out on Shea Weber. Even though he wouldn't make up for the disappointment of not getting Weber, he might be a solid replacement for Matt Carle, who they lost in free agency to the Tampa Bay Lightning. It's a little surprising that he's still available this deep into the summer. He spent last season playing on the St. Louis Blues top defensive pairing alongside Alex Pietrangelo, and had a pretty solid season. The biggest concern, of course, is that his play saw a drop off during the minutes that he wasn't paired up with what should be a future Norris Trophy finalist. Any team that gets him shouldn't be expecting a shutdown, big-minute anchor to their blue line, but he could still be a very solid second-or third-pairing defenseman that can move the puck and provide a little bit of offense.
2011-12 team: St. Louis Blues
2011-12 stats: 72 games, 17 goals, 17 assists, 34 points
2011-12 salary cap hit: $2.875 million
Arnott turns 38 in October so he's obviously at the end of his career, and clearly not the player he once was, but he's still offered some decent production in recent years and is coming off back-to-back 17-goal, 30-plus point seasons. He can still win some faceoffs (over 50 percent for the Blues last year) and like Rolston was able to post some solid possession numbers last year. Perhaps he could be a fit for a team like Vancouver now that it appears likely that Ryan Kesler will be out of the lineup until December.
2011-12 team: Tampa Bay Lightning, San Jose Sharks
2011-12 stats: 79 games, 4 goals, 21 assists, 25 points
2011-12 salary cap hit: $1.1 million
Somebody needs to sign Moore this summer because it wouldn't be an NHL season without him eventually being traded for a second-round pick (he's been traded for a second-round pick three times in his career, including this past season ... twice he's gone for a third-round pick). Moore has played for just about one-third of the NHL in his career, having suited up for nine different teams since entering the league during the 2003-04 season. He's not a guy you're going to build around or keep for the long haul, but he seems to be the type of defensively responsible, solid all-around forward that every contending team wants occupying their third or fourth line. He's still one of the best faceoff men in the league.
2011-12 team: New Jersey Devils
2011-12 stats: 82 games, 21 goals, 23 assists, 44 points
2011-12 salary cap hit: $650,000
I don't know that anybody expected much of anything from Petr Sykora when he arrived at New Jersey Devils training camp this past season on a tryout contract. The last time he played in the NHL, during the 2009-10 season as a member of the Minnesota Wild for 14 games, he didn't seem to have much left and then spent parts of two seasons playing in Europe. He returned to the NHL this past season and not only made the Devils roster coming out of camp, he also proved to be a pretty good bargain scoring 21 goals and adding 23 assists for the dirt cheap price of $650,000. He's always had a rocket of a wrist shot and a lightning quick release from the slot, and he showed last year that some of it might still be there.