The NHL’s unrestricted free-agent market opens at noon ET on July 1. Here’s the latest lists and rumors involving this year’s notable UFAs.
2015 NHL unrestricted free agent lists.
TSN: Mike Green, Matt Beleskey, Michael Frolik, Cody Franson and Justin Williams are among the notables topping the list of TSN’s updated top-40 UFA list.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is undoubtedly one of the thinnest UFA markets in years. There’s some decent talent there but no genuine top-tier talent.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson lists the 10 UFAs to watch, particularly their potential destinations. He links Mike Green to the Detroit Red Wings, Justin Williams to the Pittsburgh Penguins, Joel Ward to the Montreal Canadiens, Francois Beauchemin or Cody Franson to the Edmonton Oilers and Karri Ramo to the San Jose Sharks or Philadelphia Flyers.
USA TODAY: Kevin Allen lists Antoine Vermette, Matt Beleskey, Cody Franson, Johnny Oduya and Mike Ribeiro on his “do not overpay” list.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Agreed. Vermette, Oduya and Ribeiro are aging players. While Ribeiro enjoyed a bounce-back performance last season, at 35 (and given his previous off-ice issues) he remains risky. Beleskey could be either a late-blooming scorer on a one-year wonder. Franson’s stock noticeably declined after he was dealt from Toronto to Nashville.
Updates on Brad Richards, Andrej Sekera, Karri Ramo and Cody Franson.
ESPN.COM: Pierre LeBrun reports Brad Richards would like to re-sign with the Chicago Blackhawks but he’s aware their salary-cap issues could prevent that from happening…After terminating Mike Richards’ contract, the Los Angeles Kings could have room to try and re-sign defenseman Andrej Sekera…Drew Stafford’s agent and Winnipeg Jets management are still negotiating in hopes of securing a new deal before July 1…The San Jose Sharks could be a destination for Calgary Flames pending UFA goalie Karri Ramo.
NBC SPORTS: Dhiren Mahiban cites sources claiming the Calgary Flames, San Jose Sharks, Pittsburgh Penguins, Dallas Stars and Toronto Maple Leafs (Franson’s former team) are among the clubs which contacted Cody Franson’s camp since Thursday.