Monday, June 10, 2013

2013 NHL Free Agents - Top Three Defenseman

Even though it's widely thought that this year's free agent crop will not be the deepest in recent history, there are still some high quality players available.  Of the available defensemen, here are your top three:

  1. Update:  Mark Streit signed a four-year deal with the Philadelphia Flyers as of June 18.  Mark Streit, 35 - After not being able to come to terms with the New York Islanders, Mark Streit will hit the free agent market in early July.  The talented defenseman from Switzerland notched 27 points in the lockout shortened season, averaging over a half point per game from the point.  He made $4.1 million per season in his 5 season deal with the Islanders.  He's obviously looking for more money than that per season, and he will most likely get it.  Just not from the New York Islanders.  
  2. Ryan Whitney, 30 - Although he may not have had his best performances in the past two seasons with the Edmonton Oilers, Whitney still has the stuff to significantly contribute on the blue line at the NHL level.  The fifth overall pick in the 2002 NHL draft can score, and will score, at one of the better rates among NHL defenseman.   He may not be looking at a marked pay increase in his next contract, but an NHL team will certainly enlist his services.   
  3. Marek Zidlicky, 36 - Zidlicky was a key piece of the New Jersey Devils defense corps that nearly won the Stanley Cup in 2012.  The native of Czechoslovakia has averaged over a half point per game for his career.  For teams needing more of a scoring presence from their defensemen, Zidlicky can provide a boost from the point.  With a lowered cap for next season, Zidlicky may need to take a bit of a pay cut if he's looking for more than a one or two year contract.  

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