Top 15 NHL unrestricted free agents, latest on the Canucks and more in your NHL rumor mill.
Top 15 NHL unrestricted free agents.
SPORTSNET: Luke Fox recently published an updated list of this summer’s top-15 NHL unrestricted free agents. From top to bottom, they are:
Minnesota Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk, Nashville Predators center Mike Ribeiro, Washington Capitals defenseman Mike Green, Nashville Predators defenseman Cody Franson, Boston Bruins forward Carl Soderberg, New York Rangers winger Martin St. Louis, Chicago Blackhawks forward Antoine Vermette, Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Paul Martin, Anaheim Ducks winger Matt Beleskey, Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Christian Ehrhoff, San Jose Sharks goalie Antti Niemi, Washingotn Capitals winger Joel Ward, Anaheim Ducks defenseman Francois Beauchemin, Los Angeles Kings’ winger Justin Williams and Winnipeg Jets winger Michael Frolik.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think Drew Stafford should be on this list instead of Frolik, and Jeff Petry over Ehrhoff. A case can be made to include Ottawa’s Andrew Hammond, but he’s only had a two-month NHL career. Other than that, we can quibble over the placement of the rest but I agre they’re among the top UFAs this summer.
Latest on the Canucks.
THE PROVINCE: Ed Willes believes something’s gotta give on the Vancouver Canucks blueline this summer, especially given GM Jim Benning’s willingness to ask players to waive their no-trade clause, plus his intent on re-sign free agent rearguard Yannick Weber. Willes believes the Canucks have sufficient depth in goal and prospects to put together a decent package for a top-four defenseman.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kevin Bieksa and Dan Hamhuis each have no-trade clauses and a year remaining on their respective contracts. One of them could be moved this summer, perhaps to free up cap space to add a younger top-four defenseman.
Three teams pursuing Boston University’s Matt O’Connor.
NBC SPORTS: cites a report from TVA Sports’ Louis Jean claiming Boston University goaltender Matt O’Connor is in talks with the Ottawa Senators, Vancouver Canucks and New York Rangers.