It has been 2 weeks since July 1 Free Agent Frenzy and most stars have signed new contracts but what about those players still looking for jobs. Letís take a look at the remaining top UFAs.
Petr Sykora showed signs that he could be a legit fantasy player scoring 72, 68 and 81 points during the 98-01 seasons however Sykora has never been able to match those numbers ever again. Sykora is showing that he is a decent 2nd line player who will get 50 points and can play on the second power play unit. At 33 year old he is on the downswing of his career but can still bring some scoring and veteran leadership to whoever signs him.
Mats Sundin has been a solid fantasy player scoring around or just over a point a game for most of his career. Missing training camp and coming in half way through the season hurt Sundin last year as it took him a while to get up to game speed. Now that he has announced that he will not play for Sweden at the Olympics look for him to retire or to sign with a team that has a legit shot at a Stanley Cup. Being 38 years old Sundin will not want to play for a team in a rebuilding process and with a full training camp could still provide any team with a solid season.
Robert Lang is another aging veteran (39 years old) who is entering the final few seasons of his career. Lang had 3 decent seasons and showed great chemistry with Jaromir Jagr, however Lang has not been able show that same chemistry with anyone else. Lang scored 39 points in 50 games last year and has some fantasy value in deeper pools but only if he signs with a team where he is the 2nd line center with power play time.
Alex Tanguay will provide secondary scoring and maybe more depending on where he ends up. Tanguay couldnít get it together in Montreal and a new team will give him a fresh start. Look for Tanguay to return to 70+ point form and will be a valuable asset in pools where you have positional requirements. Due to an off year in Montreal his fantasy owners may be sour on him and therefore come with a reduced price tag. Florida, Tampa Bay and Islanders have all been rumoured to be pursuing Tanguay.
Other top UFA forwards still on the market are Mike Comrie, Miroslav Satan, Brendan Shanahan and Maxim Afinogenov. Comrie has very little fantasy value left in him unless you are drafting in deep pools that dress 3 lines. Satanís fantasy value is at an all-time low as he played part of last year in the AHL. Shanahanís fantasy value will come in pools that have positional requirements. Afinogenov is rumoured to be off to the KHL and has never lived up to his potential in the NHL.
Mathieu Schneider has gone through a few injury filled seasons and at 40 years old his aging body may not let him play another full season. Schneider will bring Stanley Cup rings, veteran leadership and will provide decent numbers from and the 2nd power play unit.
Marc-Andre Bergeron is 29 years old and hasnít been able to play a full season yet in the NHL. Bergeron will give his new team 25+ points and someone who can run the 2nd power play unit. Bergeron will help fantasy teams in deep pools with multi-categories.
Sergei Zubov was a fantasy gem from the blue line for many years but the last two seasons have been disastrous for him as he only played in 56 games over that time frame. Zubov is 39 years old and if his body holds up could play 1 or 2 more seasons. It is pretty clear that Zubov wonít be back with the Stars next year. If he can stay healthy, Zubov should be able to put up 35-40 points and run the 1st power play unit.
Other top UFA defensemen still on the market are Derek Morris, Dmitri Kalinin, Philippe Boucher and Dennis Seidenberg. Now we are getting into solid NHL 3rd or 4th defensemen who hold little or no fantasy value.
Martin Biron is 32 years old and is looking for a starting role however there are not too many teams left that need to fill that spot. Biron put up decent numbers in Philadelphia however he wasnít a clutch goalie when they needed him to be and lost the starting job a few times throughout the year. Los Angeles is rumored to be interested in Biron, however if wonít except a back-up role then he may end up in the KHL.
Manny Legace has shown he can be a decent starter but at 36 years old he will have to be a back up if he wants to remain in the league. Last year was Legaceís first year without a shutout in the last 5 seasons.
Other top UFA goalies still left on the market are Martin Gerber, Olaf Kolzig, Fredrik Norrena or Manny Fernandez. All 4 of these goalies are 35 years or older and will play back-up roles with very little fantasy value next season.