A look at several notable NHL free agents whose big-league careers could be over.
SI.COM: Allan Muir recently looked at several notable free agents who may have played their final NHL games. Among the forwards: Devin Setoguchi, Ray Whitney, Todd Bertuzzi, Ryan Malone, Saku Koivu, Scott Gomez and enforcers Paul Bissonnette, George Parros, Kevin Westgarth, Zenon Konopka, Krys Barch and Michael Rupp. The defensemen include Douglas Murray, Francis Bouillon, Ed Jovanovski, Mike Komisarek, Sami Salo and Joe Corvo. Goaltenders include Tim Thomas and Tomas Vokoun.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Of the forwards listed by Muir, I believe all but Setoguchi and Bissonnette have played their last in the NHL. Setoguchi is only 27 and while he’s hasn’t turned into the first-line scorer he was originally expected to be, he could prove useful as a depth forward.
Since Muir’s article was published there are reports out of Washington claiming the Capitals are among five-six clubs interested in Bissonnette. The other forwards are well past their playing prime, while the other enforcers could struggle to find work.
Salo is the most skilled of the defensemen on Muir’s list but he’s also pushing forty and his performance noticeably declined last season. Bouillon and Corvo in recent years have been written off by some pundits yet managed to land with NHL teams, but their luck could finally run out this year.
Thomas’ age and Vokoun’s health issues could bring an end to their NHL playing careers.