As we push further into this disgustingly humid summer (I’m a winter person), there are still large UFAs remaining. I’m not going to spend all day talking about all God(s) knows how many UFAs so let’s talk about a small few:
- Dion Phaneuf (34, D)
- 67 GP, 1 G, 5 A, -21, 14:59 ATOI, $7,000,000 Cap Hit
- Patrick Marleau (39, LW/C)
- 82 GP, 16 G, 21 A, -6, 16:20 ATOI, $6,250,000 Cap Hit
- Derick Brassard (31, C)
- 70 GP, 14 G, 9 A, -19, 14:59 ATOI, $5,000,000 Cap Hit
- Joe Thornton (39, C)
- 73 GP, 16 G, 35 A, +8, 15:32 ATOI, $5,000,000 Cap Hit
- Justin Williams (37, RW)
- 82 GP, 23 G, 30 A, -4, 17:26 ATOI, $4,500,000 Cap Hit
- Jake Gardiner (28, D)
- 62 GP, 3 G, 27 A, +19, 21:12 ATOI, $4,050,000 Cap Hit
- Thomas Vanek (35, L/RW)
- 64 GP, 16 G, 20 A, +6, 14:06 ATOI, $3,000,000 Cap Hit
- Ben Hutton (26, D)
- 69 GP, 5 G, 15 A, -23, 22:21 ATOI, $2,800,000 Cap Hit (No QO)
- Brian Boyle (34, LW/C)
- 73 GP, 18 G, 6 A, -14, 12:44 ATOI, $2,550,000 Cap Hit
This is just a few of the UFAs, you can see all of them here, but these are the ones that have really stuck out.
When it comes to players like Marleau, Phaneuf, Thornton, or Williams: they’re all up in age so it’s a 50/50 for a resign or retire. I doubt that Williams, as I’ve explained, and Thornton, also explained, are unlikely to retire this season but I wouldn’t be surprised if Marleau and Phaneuf hung up the skates. I think Patty still has some years left in him but, unless he returns home to San Jose, there’s nowhere he can fit in. Phaneuf hit a fast decline over the past seasons as the game is changed but who knows, maybe somewhere will sign him.
Brassard, Vanek, and Boyle still have talent left in them to give even though they’re not among this era of Hockey Robots (TM). Their cap hits are manageable and they can fill in the gaps where you may be down a player.
Gardiner is stuck in Limbo right now. As much as some Leaf fans want him gone, it was evident that the team struggled without him late last season. BUT with the whole “Mitch Marner Pulling A Nylander”, he’s caught until the team can see if they even have the cap space for him. Gardiner definitely is a benefit to the team but they’re prepared with new defenseman Tyson Barrie if he has to go. His it is still unclear what his future is until the Marner situation is resolved.
Hutton got lost in Vancouver last season but he’s a beneficial, young defenseman who is apart of the Hockey Robots (TM) Era. I hadn’t heard too much about him (I also don’t follow the Pacific too heavily) but he did pretty well for himself last season. He didn’t get a qualifying offer from Vancouver. A big hitter at 6’2″, 206 LBS, he’ll land somewhere that needs the big defenders.
I feel like there are still a lot of guys left on the table at this stage of the off season. Of course so many of them are up there in age so GMs are going to hesitate to add them to the rosters but some of them still have gas in the tank.