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Well here it is mid June, were getting close to the draft which might mean a couple of trades but more important it's getting close to July 1st. This might be some fans favorite time of the off season. It could even be their favorite time of the year because right now every fan feels that their team has a chance to make the necessary changes to have a shot at hoisting the cup next year in June.

So what does your team need to do first sign a free agent goalie like Gigure or Hasek? Maybe they need a center, they can chose from Gomez, Briere or Drury. How about on the wings Smyth, Blake, Hartnell, Kariya and Bertuzzi? They might fill the hole nicely. Even on defence teams will be throwing big amounts of money at Souray, Hannan, Rafalski, and Timonen.

Before you get too excited by some of the names I mentioned above( and yes there are plenty of other good free agents available besides these guys as well) you might wanna ask yourself " how close is my team to being a true contender?" or "How far away is my team from being a true contender?" I would be the first to endorse the signings of several of these players depending of course on the money. The only problem is you might not wanna start losing all that cap space just yet.

While it is still a long ways away, the 2008-2009 group of free agents might provide your team with young star power a lot of teams need. Although it's a long shot that most of these players will be available come July 1st 2008 take a look at who could be had and how old they will be next year.

PLAYER NAME + AGE
Jarome Iginla 29
Miikka Kiprusoff 30
Robyn Regehr 27
Joe Thorton 27
Patrick Marleau 27
Brian Campbell 28
Marian Hossa 28
Dany Heatley 26
Wade Redden 30
Dan Boyle 30
Lubomir Visnovsky 30
John Michael Liles 26
David Legwand 26
Jochen Hecht 30
Kevin Bieksa 26
Chris Kunitz 27
Damond Lankow 30
Mike Fisher 27
Michal Rozival 28
Ryan Malone 27
Matt Cooke 28

Plus there are some noteworthy guys over thirty like Lidstrom, Zubov, Jason Smith, Sundin, Satan, Straka, Rolston and Demitra.

Now I wouldn't suggest holding off spending this year for next because I think it's safe to assume most of the players like Iginal, Thorton, Heatley and Kiprusoff etc. will resign deals early in the new year. It does make you wonder what could be available. I also have to point out there are some good 30 or under players this July first as well like Briere, Drury, Hartnell, Smyth, Souray, Gomez, Hannan, Handzus, Comrie, Sarich, and Fedotenko- these players could all help fill some needs but the idea of getting Heatley, Thorton, Iginla, Hossa, Marleau etc. would make for and exciting July 1st 2008 if they are UFA's.

Filed Under:   free agency   NHL   UFA   Eklund   rumour   Isles78  
June 13, 2007 7:59 PM ET | Delete
i know some of this years UFA's the Oilers are interested in are, Timonen-D, Hartnell-F, Handzus-F,and Gomez-F. there is also a rumor around here that the Oilers would like to trade for Redden, and might try to make changes via the trade route, as opposed to the UFA market!
June 17, 2007 5:55 AM ET | Delete
This free-agency crop is a shallow one, not to mention full of players who could just as easily be busts as sure-things. I mean, does anybody think Chris Drury is worth $7 million? So, yeah, I do think that signing short-term contracts or looking at next-years pool might be a smarter long-term move then blowing your wad on whoevers available now. I still hope Edmonton gets something big this summer, tho. :p
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