As we close in on the end of an only moderately crazy July 1st, there are quite a few names that remain from our Top-50 Free Agents list. Here are some of the best of what remains in the back half of our Top 50:
Johnny Oduya (#32) – A reunion with Chicago was not overly successful after he was traded to the Blackhawks in February. So far, there is little noise about where the 35-year-old defenseman will go. It’s still possible that Chicago plans to add him to their roster, but after a disappointing campaign, perhaps he will have to wait till someone comes calling. Of course, Stanley Cups and playoff experience are quite valuable, so his name should surface soon.
Jarome Iginla (#33) – Los Angeles has already told Iginla that they don’t want him back, so where does that put the 40-year-old winger who scored 14 goals between the Avalanche and the Kings? It seems the veteran forwards are getting the least attention by NHL teams. Could returning home to Calgary for one final run be in the cards for him?
Daniel Winnik (#36) – Winnik has played for seven teams so far in his career and is looking for a chance to stick with one team. The 32-year-old center has quietly put together one of his best seasons with a career-best 12 goals with the Capitals. However, he hasn’t received much interest on the first day of free agency. Could Washington get him on the cheap?
Shane Doan (#38) – Four teams have shown interest in Doan, according to arizonasports.com’s Craig Morgan. While he doesn’t mention any of the four teams, he adds that Doan will take some time to think about it, so we may not hear much from the 40-year-old forward for another few days. His experiences in Arizona should prove an enormous amount of leadership towards almost any team.
Brian Gionta (#39) – All signs point to Gionta not returning to Buffalo. It looks as if the new brass there might want to move on and hand their captaincy to some younger players. So where does that leave the 38-year-old, yet still productive center? Waiting.
Jiri Hudler (#40) – At 33, Hudler is quite young, but injuries have mounted for the veteran and there has been little call after the first day for the veteran center. However, despite missing more than half the season, the veteran still scored 47 goals in the two years previous. While no one has stepped forward, there should be teams ready to take a chance that he will return to form this year.
P.A. Parenteau (#41) – The 34-year-old has bounced around a lot over the last few years and might have to find a new team once again. While a reunion with Nashville is certainly possible, Parenteau only played 13 games (playoffs included) for Nashville for a total of one assist.
David Desharnais (#42) – Once thought of as a legitimate candidate to be taken by the Vegas Golden Knights in the expansion draft, Desharnais is also looking for work and may have to look to other teams for his chance, although their quite a few ahead of him on this list.
Matt Cullen (#43) – You would think that the trend of veteran forwards would continue here, but the rumor is that Cullen is considering retirement and, if not, would likely be brought back by Pittsburgh. Despite 31 points last year for the Stanley Cup champions, Cullen might be done at age 40.
Ales Hemsky (#44) – It’s still early, but there are indications that Hemsky might be given the opportunity to return to Dallas. The veteran dealt with injuries and missed all but 15 games. If proven healthy and the Stars still have openings after all their moves in the last week, Hemsky could come back on a one-year deal.
Viktor Stalberg (#45) – Rumors persist that Ottawa wants to bring the speedy wing back, but it would have to be short-term after playing 18 regular season and 17 playoff games and finishing with just two goals and four assists combined.