Some of the biggest names on the NHL unrestricted free agent market remain available after a busy first three days of signings. While the players and the teams take their time to measure their options and reassess, here’s a look at the best of who’s left:
Alex Pietrangelo, D, St. Louis Blues
After 12 seasons with St. Louis, Pietrangelo was not rushing into his decision, and a return was not ruled out even though St. Louis signed defenseman Torey Krug for seven years and $45 million. The 30-year-old Blues captain scored 52 points (16 goals, 36 assists) in 70 games last season and finished fourth in voting for the Norris Trophy as the best defenseman in the NHL. He scored six points (one goal, five assists) in nine postseason games. Pietrangelo has scored 450 points (109 goals, 341 assists) in 758 games, all with St. Louis, and 51 points (eight goals, 43 assists) in 92 postseason games.
Mike Hoffman, F, Florida Panthers
The top goal-scorer among unrestricted free agents, Hoffman scored 59 points (29 goals, 30 assists) in 69 games last season and has scored 359 points (172 goals, 187 assists) in 493 games for the Ottawa Senators and Panthers. In 29 Stanley Cup Playoff games, he has scored 19 points (10 goals, nine assists), including five points (three goals, two assists) in four games with Florida this postseason. In 2018-19, his first in Florida, Hoffman scored an NHL career-high 70 points (36 goals, 34 assists) in 82 games. He will turn 31 on Nov. 24.
Tyler Toffoli, F, Vancouver Canucks
Toffoli was a boost for the Canucks last season after being acquired from the Los Angeles Kings on Feb. 17. The 28-year-old scored 10 points (six goals, four assists) in 10 regular-season games, and despite dealing with a lower-body injury that caused him to miss 10 postseason games, scored four points (two goals, two assists) in seven games when the Canucks got within one win of the Western Conference Final. Toffoli, who won the Stanley Cup with the Kings in 2014, has scored 300 points (145 goals, 155 assists) in 525 NHL games with the Kings and Canucks and 25 points (11 goals, 14 assists) in 54 playoff games.
Evgenii Dadonov, F, Florida Panthers
Dadonov blossomed the past three seasons since returning to the NHL after playing five seasons in the Kontinental Hockey League. He scored 65 points (28 goals, 37 assists) in 74 games in 2017-18, 70 points (28 goals, 42 assists) in 82 games in 2018-19 and 47 points (25 goals, 22 assists) in 69 games last season. The 31-year-old has played his entire six-season NHL career with the Panthers — before and after his time in the KHL — and has scored 202 points (91 goals, 111 assists) in 280 games. Dadonov made his NHL postseason debut in 2020 with one assist in four games.
Sami Vatanen, D, Carolina Hurricanes
Vatanen scored 23 points (five goals, 18 assists) in 47 regular-season games with the New Jersey Devils last season before being sidelined with a lower-body injury and being traded to the Hurricanes on Feb. 24. Vatanen wasn’t healthy in time to play any regular-season games for Carolina, but the 29-year-old had three assists in seven postseason games. A proven top-four defenseman who plays in all situations, Vatanen has scored 194 points (45 goals, 149 assists) in 434 regular-season games and 26 points (six goals, 20 assists) in 51 postseason games during eight NHL seasons with the Anaheim Ducks, Devils and Hurricanes.
Mikael Granlund, F, Nashville Predators
General manager David Poile said Sept. 29 that the Predators would not re-sign Granlund. Nashville acquired him in a trade from the Minnesota Wild on Feb. 25, 2019, after he scored at least 67 points in two consecutive seasons for the Wild (69 in 2016-17, 67 in 2017-18), but he scored 35 points (18 goals, 17 assists) in 79 games after the trade and had one assist in four games in the 2020 postseason. The 28-year-old scored 352 points (111 goals, 241 assists) in 540 games with the Predators and Wild.
Alex Galchenyuk, F, Minnesota Wild
The Wild acquired Galchenyuk in a trade with the Pittsburgh Penguins on Feb. 10. He scored seven points (three goals, four assists) in 14 games for Minnesota and zero points in four postseason games. The 26-year-old scored 17 points (five goals, 12 assists) in 45 games with Pittsburgh prior to the trade.