The latest on notable available free agents, plus updates on Derek Stepan, Brian Boyle and Adam Henrique.
USA TODAY: Kevin Allen recently observed ”Daniel Cleary, Ryan Whitney, Brenden Morrow, Ron Hainsey, Simon Gagne, Brad Boyes, Tom Gilbert, Ian White, Damien Brunner and David Steckel” are among the notable players still available in the UFA market.
NATIONAL POST: Sean Fitzgerald recently built a team with the best available UFAs, with Ilya Bryzgalov as his starting goalie, Ron Hainsey and Filip Kuba his starting defense, with center Brad Boyes, left wing Mason Raymond and right wing Teemu Selanne as his starting forward line.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Looks like an expansion team lineup. Of those listed by Fitzergerald, Selanne will either sign with the Ducks or retire, and is expected to reach a decision this coming week. The main reason many of these players remain unsigned is the significant decline in the salary cap. As Allen noted, most of those players on his list would’ve been re-signed by now.
OTTAWA SUN: cited an interview with NY Rangers GM Glen Sather by the Edmonton radio station Team 1260, in which he stated his intent to re-sign RFA Derek Stepan to a short-term rather than a long-term deal. Sather also admitted he received inquiries about big-bodied forward Brian Boyle, but intends to retain him.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sure, Sather has a reputation for re-signing RFAs to “bridge contracts” (hello there, Michael Del Zotto), but he also re-signed Ryan McDonagh to a six-year, $28.2 million extension. Like Stepan, McDonagh was coming off an entry-level contract.
Stepan, meanwhile, finished fourth in team scoring twice and last season was the Rangers leading scorer, which likely has him thinking he’s earned a lucrative long-term deal. He’s got little leverage other than to threaten a contract holdout, a tactic which rarely works in today’s salary cap era, especially given the Rangers tight budget for the upcoming season.
As for Boyle, no surprise teams are interested in him, likely due in part to the Blueshirts limited cap space.
NJ.COM: Rich Chere reports New Jersey Devils GM Lou Lamoriello said he’s still working on getting RFA Adam Henrique re-signed before training camp opens next month. Lamoriello also doesn’t anticipate issuing any training camp invitations to UFAs.