Tyson Barrie, D, Toronto Maple Leafs
Acquired in a trade with the Colorado Avalanche on July 1, 2019, Barrie scored 39 points (five goals, 34 assists) in 70 games with the Maple Leafs and saw his role on the power play decline (12 power-play points after having 25 last season). The five goals were his fewest in a full NHL season, but the 29-year-old scored double-digit goals in five of the previous six seasons. He has scored 346 points (80 goals, 266 assists) in 554 regular-season games and 14 points (one goal, 13 assists) in 26 Stanley Cup Playoff games.
Possible landing spots: Winnipeg Jets, Vegas Golden Knights, Pittsburgh Penguins, Montreal Canadiens, Florida Panthers, Buffalo Sabres, Vancouver Canucks
Zach Bogosian, D, Tampa Bay Lightning
After the Sabres terminated Bogosian’s contract on Feb. 21, the Lightning signed him to a one-year, $1.3 million contract two days later. The right-shot defenseman had two assists in eight games with Tampa Bay after scoring five points (one goal, four assists) in 19 games with Buffalo. In the playoffs, his first trip in his 12-season NHL career, the 30-year-old had four assists in 20 games and averaged 17:40 of average time on ice per game. A physical presence (6-foot-2, 200 pounds), Bogosian has scored 196 points (53 goals, 143 assists) in 644 games.
Possible landing spots: Lightning, Maple Leafs, New York Rangers
Zdeno Chara, D, Boston Bruins
The 43-year-old made it clear after the Bruins were eliminated by the Lightning in Eastern Conference Second Round that he wants to come back to Boston next season. The question is whether the Bruins want their captain back. General manager Don Sweeney and president Cam Neely have been tepid in their comments, but the Bruins remain the most likely home for Chara, who scored 14 points (five goals, nine assists) in 68 games this season along with two assists in 13 playoff games. In 22 NHL seasons, he has scored 656 points (205 goals, 451 assists) in 1,553 games; his minutes and role have been diminished in recent seasons, but he remains a capable shutdown defenseman and a weapon on the penalty kill.
Possible landing spots: Bruins
Evgenii Dadonov, F, Florida Panthers
Dadonov has 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 this season. The 31-year-old has spent his entire six-season NHL career with the Panthers — before and after his stint in the KHL — and has scored 202 points (91 goals, 111 assists) in 280 games. Dadonov made his postseason debut in 2020 with one assist in four games.
Possible landing spots: Panthers, Canucks, San Jose Sharks, Canadiens, New Jersey Devils, New York Islanders, Golden Knights, Washington Capitals
Erik Haula, F, Florida Panthers
The two-way center provides some defense to go along with a bit of scoring. He has been hampered by injuries the past two seasons, scoring 24 points (12 goals, 12 assists) in 48 games with the Carolina Hurricanes and Panthers this season, and seven points (two goals, five assists) in 15 games with the Golden Knights in 2018-19. But in 2017-18, when Vegas went to the Stanley Cup Final, Haula scored an NHL career-high 55 points (29 goals, 26 assists) in 76 games. The question is whether he can get healthy. The 29-year-old has scored 175 points (85 goals, 90 assists) in 405 games and 23 points (10 goals, 13 assists) in 48 playoff games.
Possible landing spots: Edmonton Oilers, Sabres, Detroit Red Wings
Mike Hoffman, F, Florida Panthers
The top goal-scorer among UFAs this season, Hoffman scored 59 points (29 goals, 30 assists) in 69 games. The 30-year-old has scored 359 points (172 goals, 187 assists) in 493 games for the Ottawa Senators and Panthers and 19 points (10 goals, nine assists) in 29 playoff games, including five points (three goals, two assists) in four games with Florida this postseason. Last season, his first in Florida, Hoffman scored an NHL career-high 70 points (36 goals, 34 assists) in 82 games. He has scored at least 22 goals in each of the past six seasons.
Possible landing spots: Panthers, Oilers, Columbus Blue Jackets, Avalanche, Capitals, Jets, Islanders, Penguins
Jimmy Howard, G, Detroit Red Wings
Howard was 2-23-2 with a 4.20 goals against average and .882 save percentage this season, his worst full-season numbers in his 14 NHL seasons, all with the Red Wings. He’s 246-196-70 with a 2.62 GAA and .912 save percentage in 543 games (518 starts) in his League career and 21-26 with a 2.58 GAA and .918 save percentage in 48 playoff games (47 starts).
Possible landing spots: Canucks, Senators
Torey Krug, D, Boston Bruins
Krug is one of the top free agents on the market, an offensive threat who is one of the keys to the Bruins’ dynamic power play. The 29-year-old has strengthened his offensive game in recent seasons and brings leadership to the dressing room. Krug scored 49 points (nine goals, 40 assists) in 61 games this season, including 26 points (two goals, 24 assists) on the power play, and had six assists in 13 postseason games. In his nine NHL seasons, all with Boston, he has scored 337 points (67 goals, 270 assists) in 523 games and 52 points (11 goals, 41 assists) in 75 playoff games.
Possible landing spots: Bruins, Red Wings, Golden Knights, Avalanche, Panthers, Oilers, Calgary Flames, Arizona Coyotes, Rangers
Pat Maroon, F, Tampa Bay Lightning
The veteran left wing won the Stanley Cup in 2019 with the St. Louis Blues and again in 2020 with the Lightning, becoming the third player in the NHL expansion era to win the Cup in consecutive seasons with different teams. The 32-year-old scored 23 points (nine goals, 14 assists) in 64 games this season, and six points (one goal, five assists) in 25 postseason games. Maroon has scored 229 points (97 goals, 132 assists) in 513 games and 40 points (17 goals, 23 assists) in 98 playoff games.
Possible landing spots: Panthers, Bruins, Blue Jackets, Lightning, Oilers, Maple Leafs, Canucks, Rangers
Bobby Ryan, F, Ottawa Senators
The Senators bought out the remaining two seasons of Ryan’s seven-year, $50.75 million contract (average annual value $7.25 million) on Sept. 26. In 24 games this season, he scored eight points (five goals, three assists), taking a leave of absence in November to enter the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program, citing issues with alcohol abuse. Ryan has scored 555 points (254 goals, 301 assists) in 833 regular-season games and 32 points (18 goals, 14 assists) in 51 playoff games. The last time the 33-year-old topped 20 goals was in 2015-16 (22) and the last time he scored at least 30 goals was in 2011-12 (31), the last of four consecutive seasons he did so.
Possible landing spots: Sharks, Philadelphia Flyers, Blues, Devils, Avalanche, Bruins, Maple Leafs, Rangers
Kevin Shattenkirk, D, Tampa Bay Lightning
The defenseman signed a one-year, $1.75 million contract with the Lightning on Aug. 5, 2019, after having his contract bought out by the Rangers five days earlier. Shattenkirk scored 34 points (eight goals, 26 assists) in 70 regular-season games and 13 points (three goals, 10 assists) in 25 playoff games to help Tampa Bay win the Stanley Cup. The 31-year-old, an asset on the power play and in the dressing room, has scored 383 points (83 goals, 300 assits) in 679 regular-season games and 47 points (eight goals, 39 assists) in 85 playoff games.
Possible landing spots: Anaheim Ducks, Canucks, Lightning, Panthers, Devils, Sabres, Sharks
Wayne Simmonds, F, Buffalo Sabres
Since the start of the 2018-19 season, Simmonds has played for four teams — the Philadelphia Flyers, Nashville Predators, Devils, and Sabres — and could be headed to a fifth next season. This season, the 32-year-old scored 25 points (eight goals, 17 assists) in 68 games with the Devils and Sabres, after scoring 30 points (17 goals, 13 assists) in 79 games with the Flyers and Predators in 2018-19. From 2013-18, Simmonds had five straight seasons with at least 20 goals and scored at least 30 goals twice (32 in 2015-16 and 31 in 2016-17). Simmonds has scored 499 points (251 goals, 248 assists) in 909 regular-season games and 21 points (eight goals, 13 assists) in 44 playoff games.
Possible landing spots: Maple Leafs, Canadiens, Sabres, Oilers, Flames, Hurricanes, Sharks, Devils