Friday, June 7, 2013

2013 NHL Unrestricted Free Agent Notes: Trades, Bickell and Gonchar

Adam Proteau states in a new article that the 2013 NHL free agent class is lacking in comparison to previous years.  Part of the reason for this is the large contracts given out in recent times, extended over many seasons (think Roberto Luongo, Ilya Kovalchuk and Rick DiPietro).  It's also mentioned by Proteau, that this will lead to a higher rate of trades in the off-season.
Bryan Bickell of the Chicago Blackhawks has played himself into excellent position as an upcoming unrestricted free agent, writes Adam Gretz at  With eight goals in 16 playoff games, he's nearly matched is 48-game regular season goal total of nine.  Bickell will certainly be a hot commodity in this year's free agent class.  But there is great risk for teams in signing a player who has contributed in the playoffs well above their regular season production rate.

Where will the Ottawa Senators' veteran defenseman, Sergei Gonchar, wind up as an unrestricted free agent this off-season?  Per Bruce Garrioch in an Ottawa Sun article, Gonchar is considering signing with Metallurg Magnitogorsk of the KHL for more than $7 million per season.  The 39-year old defender earned $5.5 million per season as part of a three-year deal with Ottawa according to records at

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