Looking at the best available free agents, including Mikhail Grabovski, Jaromir Jagr and Milan Hejduk.
SPORTSNET.CA: Luke Fox ranks the “best of the rest” of the NHL’s unsigned unrestricted free agents. Making the cut are Jaromir Jagr, Tim Thomas, Damien Brunner, Ilya Bryzgalov, Teemu Selanne and Mikhail Grabovski.
NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: Jason Brough lists Jagr, Grabovski, Mason Raymond, Brunner and Ron Hainsey as those UFAs who could form part of a “second wave” of free agent signings.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The depth in talent of this year’s free agent class was the shallowest in years even before last Friday’s frenzy of signings. Still, some decent second-tier talent is available. Things have been quiet since Friday, but I daresay over the next several days most, if not all, the players noted above will be signed. As for Selanne, he shouldn’t even be on this list. It’s always Anaheim or nothing for him and I expect the Ducks will sign him again to another one-year deal.
TORONTO STAR: Kevin McGran reports Mikhail Grabovski’s agent believes the Maple Leafs mishandled his client, and claimed several teams were expressing interest in him.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think the reason Grabovski’s still available is a combination of his recent wedding and the shock of the Leafs unexpectedly buying him out prior to the start of the UFA period. Now that he’s had several days to collect his thoughts, Grabovski could sign with another NHL team by week’s end.
SPORTSNET’s Chris Johnston reported yesterday Jaromir Jagr’s camp believe the Montreal Canadiens no longer have serious interest in their client.
DENVER POST: Adrian Dater reports long-time Colorado Avalanche forward Milan Hejduk could sign with another NHL team if there’s interest in the 37-year-old. The Avalanche have informed Hejduk’s agent the winger no longer fits into their plans.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hejduk’s offensive production has significantly declined over the past two years. It’s possible another team could sign him, but I have my doubts.