As of 11:30pm, Jason Demers signed a five-year deal with Florida. This article was written prior to that contract being signed.
A variety of analysts weighed in on who they thought the best remaining free agents were on the unrestricted free agent market. USA Today’s Kevin Allen writes that defensemen Jason Demers, Kyle Quincey, Kris Russell, James Wisniewski and Justin Schultz are all names that should find a new (or possibly the same) home. Allen still believes that Demers was the best free agent defenseman on the market, but that his reported $5MM pricetag may be scaring teams away. Allen also lists forwards Jiri Hudler, Sam Gagner, P.A. Parenteau, and Matt Cullen as other intriguing options. Allen believes that although Hudler has shown a goal scoring knack, his age (32) may be a factor in his inability to land a deal.
- NHL.com listed their best of the rest, with many mirroring Allen’s list. However, they listed Patrik Elias, Tomas Fleischmann, Roman Polak, Brad Richards, Luke Schenn, Alex Tanguay, and Radim Vrbata as other options. Most intriguing was the inclusion of Elias, who at 40 years of age, is still looking to play. Though they listed Coyotes captain Shane Doan, it was speculated yesterday that he would be returning to the desert, and that a contract was close.
- Sportsnet’s Luke Fox also had a similar list to the aforementioned, though he added Brandon Pirri, and Dennis Seidenberg as two additional options. On Pirri, Fox believes that his 29 points along with his young age (25) makes him a smart addition. Fox calls Seidenberg a dependable stay at home defenseman, but one that won’t “wow” any potential suitors.
- Finally, Greg Wyshynski writes that any team who signs Russell is making a puzzling acquisition. Wyshynski wonders if Russell could get $5MM for blocking shots–and not much more. Last season, Russell had 19 points (4-15) in 62 games with Calgary and Dallas.