The two day negotiating window has opened for NHL free agency, and plenty of big names are lining the market.
The Philadelphia Flyers struck early with a five-year $22.5 million agreement with free agent center Vincent Lecavalier. Like many top names, Lecavalier was bought out by his old club, the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Many teams are buying out their top players in an effort to shore up cap space. New York Islanders goalie Rick DiPietro was placed on waivers, and cleared. New York will reportedly buy out his deal, according to CBS Sports, but it won’t count against its cap.
That move was a no brainer, considering the $4.5 million cap hit DiPietro represented, and his injury-riddled career. However not every move will be that easy for most teams.
Other players that were waived by their respective teams were Detroit’s Carlo Colaiacovo, Canucks defenseman Keith Ballard, and Buffalo forward Nathan Gerbe, as reported by the Associated Press on Wednesday.
Below are some of the best players that will keep coming up in reports over the next few days.
Jarome Iginla, RW
He had a poor showing in the playoffs with Pittsburgh, but Iginla is third among active players with 530 career goals. It’s important to remember Iginla only had 13 games under his belt with the Penguins before the playoffs. His vast experience and multi-dimensional game should garner a solid deal from a contender.
Danny Briere, C
The Flyers cut him loose after 16 points in 34 games this season. There shouldn’t be concerns about his age since Briere is only 35, and has usually followed up a clunker of a year with major scoring the next. In the 2008-09 season he notched 11 goals and 14 assists in 29 games, and came back the next year with 26 goals and 27 assists.
Daniel Alfredsson, RW
Alfredsson has played his entire 17-year career with Ottawa, but he’s getting calls from other contending teams like the Boston Bruins. According to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun, the Bruins have reached out and could make a serious play. Alfredsson showed no signs of slowing down in the playoffs, even at 40 years of age. He had four goals and six assists in 10 postseason games, and Boston is contending now while Ottawa is not.
Evgeni Nabokov, G
The Islanders let DiPietro go probably because Nabokov reportedly wants to stay in New York. His cap hit last season was $2.75 million and it was on a one-year deal. He’ll probably get a slight bump, but only if he agrees to another one-year contract. Nabokov is third in career wins amongst active goalies with 335.
Mike Ribeiro, C
Riberio’s wife was reportedly very angry that she may not have another year in Washington D.C. The 33-year-old was second on the team in points with 49, but his demands for a five-year contract scared off the Caps.
He might have learned his lesson and won’t demand that long of deal from the numerous teams that could use a solid second offensive option. Riberio has also been one of the most consistent and durable players over the last 10 years. During the last 10 full seasons, he’s contributed at least 53 points and played in a minimum of 74 games in nine of those 10 years.
Tuukka Rask, G
The newest report from CBS suggests Rask will re-sign with Boston somewhere in the neighborhood of eight years for $56 million. That could be a cap hit of $7 million a season. CBS points out that it’s a very long contract for a keeper, but Rask was tops among goalies in the playoffs with a .940 save percentage.