Corey Abbott

In The Crease

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The Last of the UFAs

Thursday, September 08, 2011


The dust has settled on the free agent frenzy and millions of dollars have been doled out in the process.  However, there are still some intriguing players available with training camps set to open next week.  Where they end up playing could become clearer just prior to the beginning of camp, but their destinations may come during the exhibition schedule or right before the regular season arrives as teams make final roster adjustments.  Here are some players who you could land NHL contracts in the next few weeks:

 

Teemu Selanne - RW - Selanne is the most high-profile free agent left unsigned.  He is considering retirement and is trying to work his way back from arthroscopic surgery on his left knee.  The 41-year-old veteran is interested in playing again, but he wants to make sure his knee can withstand the rigors of another year.  It is believed he will remain with the Anaheim Ducks if he chooses to return, where he notched 31 goals and added 49 assists in 73 games in 2010-11.  Selanne has elite-level skill and is dangerous on the power play, but he isn't expected to make his decision until training camp is about to start.  If he does play in 2011-12, and several indications seem to point that he will, then do not be surprised if he is utilized sparingly during the preseason just to give his knee some extra rest. 

Bryan McCabe - D - McCabe can produce points from the back end in a primary or secondary capacity for just about any team in the league.  Depending on where he lands, he can help the power play and log big minutes on the blueline.  When you couple that with his booming shot from the point and excellent leadership qualities it is hard to believe a team has not picked him up yet.  McCabe did struggle in 2010-11 with seven goals and 28 points in 67 games with the Florida Panthers and New York Rangers, but he was not placed in the best of situations in either of those environments.  He could bounce back this year if given the opportunity, which would make him a solid depth option in deeper leagues. 

Chris Campoli - D - The Chicago Blackhawks made Campoli an unrestricted free agent when they walked away from his arbitration award of $2.5 million.  He endured a tough start to the 2010-11 campaign with 14 points and a minus-3 rating in 58 games with the Ottawa Senators, but he was much better after being dealt to Chicago with seven points and a plus-3 rating in 19 contests.  In mid-August, he said he was garnering interest from other clubs and that he was not concerned about getting a job elsewhere.  He is capable of generating offense from the back end and his mobility is his best asset.  Campoli is hopeful that a fresh start in a new city can help him return to the form he displayed in his rookie year when he recorded 34 points in 80 games with the New York Islanders.  

Sergei Samsonov - LW - There's a chance Samsonov would have been re-signed by the Florida Panthers had General Manager Dale Tallon not jumped headfirst into the free agent pool and overhauled his roster with several new additions.  He registered three goals and 11 helpers in 20 games with the Panthers after being acquired from Carolina to finish the 2010-11 season with 40 points in 78 contests.  He has limited fantasy value, as he has been unable to maintain the success of his early NHL years, but he proved he can contribute offensively under the right circumstances.   

Jarkko Ruutu - LW - According to reports, Ruutu has been in talks with Metallurg Novokuznetsk about joining the KHL for the upcoming season.  However, he should draw interest from NHL clubs as well because of his ability to stir the pot.  Ruutu is an excellent agitator who occasionally crosses the line, but he is capable of playing a regular shift.  He racked up 97 penalty minutes and chipped in 12 points in 73 games with the Ottawa Senators and Anaheim Ducks last season.  Ruutu can benefit fantasy teams in need of time spent in the sin bin once he gets a shot with a new organization. 

Kyle Wellwood - C - Wellwood was unable to secure a spot with the San Jose Sharks following the 2010-11 season, but he earned 13 points in 35 regular season games and seven points in 18 playoff contests.  He is a good playmaker who can help make his linemates better, but it is hard to imagine him being higher than a third-line center.  The good news for him and perspective fantasy owners is that he can play well in that role if given the chance. 

Marty Turco - G - Turco was relegated to the bench in a backup role with Chicago last year after rookie Corey Crawford took over the starting job.  The Blackhawks chose not to re-sign the 36-year-old netminder after he struggled in 2010-11 with a .897 save percentage and a 3.02 goals-against average in 29 games played.  He could still draw interest as a veteran number two option and if one of the several teams that are playing young goalies gets impatient then he could receive a contract as well.     



Corey Abbott is an Associate Editor for Hockey on Rotoworld. Feel free to follow him Twitter @CoreAbbott.
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