by PuckStopsHere on 07/01/09 at 02:16 AM ET
I like to make an All Star Team of players who will be unrestricted free agents just before free agency begins in order to get a feel for the strength of the free agent market. Here is last year’s team. The most successful player on it this past season was Marian Hossa, who made the second team All Star this year and is a free agent again. Mark Streit of the New York Islanders is one of the few other success stories. Most of the players on the list are in decline and signed for contracts that are worth more than they will produce. This group of players signed for almost two times the salary cap and it is not clear that they would have been a playoff team. The exercise shows that, despite what the media often says, you cannot build a winner through free agency.
Here is this year’s team:
Mike Cammalleri Calgary Flames
Erik Cole Carolina Hurricanes
Marian Gaborik Minnesota Wild
Brian Gionta New Jersey Devils
Martin Havlat Chicago Blackhawks
Marian Hossa Detroit Red Wings
Saku Koivu Montreal Canadiens
Alex Kovalev Montreal Canadiens
Robert Lang Montreal Canadiens
Sami Pahlsson Chicago Blackhawks
Henrik Sedin Vancouver Canucks
Daniel Sedin Vancouver Canucks
Steve Sullivan Nashville Predators
Alex Tanguay Montreal Canadiens
Francois Beauchemin Anaheim Ducks
Mike Komisarek Montreal Canadiens
Derek Morris New York Rangers
Scott Niedermayer Anaheim Ducks
Mattias Ohlund Vancouver Canucks
Rob Scuderi Pittsburgh Penguins
Jaroslav Spacek Buffalo Sabres
Nikolai Khabibulin Chicago Blackhawks
Dwayne Roloson Edmonton Oilers
I expect this team might be a bit better than last year’s team. I expect that again they will sign for around double the salary cap and in a year should not look like a strong playoff team. In time I will check back and see their progress.
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