Updated lists of this summer’s best remaining UFAs, including those who might be a good fit with the Boston Bruins.
SPORTSNET: Luke Fox updated his ranking of the 15 most valuable UFAs available. Defensemen Cody Franson, Christian Ehrhoff and Johnny Oduya top the list, followed by notables like forwards Alexander Semin, Curtis Glencross, and Jiri Tlusty.
It’s rumored Franson seeks a deal comparable to Montreal’s Jeff Petry (six years, $33 million). Oduya could reach a decision today as to where he’ll sign. Semin is reportedly fine with accepting a one-year contract.
There was speculation the Florida Panthers and Toronto Maple Leafs “kicked the tires” on Glencross. Tlusty hasn’t ruled out returning to the Carolina Hurricanes. The Edmonton Oilers reportedly had interest in former Washington Capitals center Eric Fehr.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Franson’s dreaming if he thinks he’ll get a deal comparable to Petry now. There aren’t enough teams with available cap space willing to invest that much for that long in any of the remaining players on the UFA market. The Blackhawks want to bring back Oduya but they’re pressed for cap space. He’s been linked to the Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres and Dallas Stars.
For an affordable salary, a team might be willing to take a chance on Semin on a one-year deal. With the Panthers recently acquiring Reilly Smith from Boston, I don’t think they have interest in any of the remaining UFAs. The Oilers recent acquisition of Mark Letestu likely means they’re not adding another center like Fehr.
NBC SPORTS: Ryan Dadoun listed Franson, Semin and Ehrhoff, along with defenseman Marek Zidlicky and winger Brad Boyes, among the interesting names still available.
CSNNE.COM: Joe Haggerty believes the Boston Bruins stand a fair chance of landing Franson. If so, they’ll have to move veteran blueliner Dennis Seidenberg, which Haggerty feels isn’t impossible and would clear room for the younger rearguard. He also feels Mike Santorelli or Eric Fehr would be more affordable options than current Bruins center Chris Kelly, but the latter would have to be taken off the roster and there’s no certainty of that happening.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’m not convinced moving Seidenberg is as easy as Haggerty suggests. He’s an aging blueliner who noticeably slowed last season following knee surgery. He’s also carrying a full no-trade clause, though he did say he was willing to waive it if asked by Bruins management. Seidenberg’s also earning a $4-million annual cap hit.