It’s time to take a look at cheap NHL free agents still available on the market. We know some of the bigger names left on the free agent market. You have Mike Hoffman, Mikael Granlund, Sami Vatanen, and Zdeno Chara to name a few.
However, in this new post-COVID NHL economy there are a lot of bargain bin finds to be had.
NHL free agents still available for cheap
Looking at the UFA list there seems to be a bargain at every position. Let’s identify a few that NHL teams may purchase after all the salary arbitration eligible RFAs are signed.
#1 Ilya Kovalchuk, LW (37 years-old)
Ilya Kovalchuk played last season for $700,000 and may do so again for a contender. Yes, his best days are behind him but Kovalchuk could be a lynchpin for a contender’s third line and second PP unit.
In 46 games last season, he notched 10 goals and 26 points. He returned from the KHL with the LA Kings in the 2018-19 season and scored 16 goals with 34 points in 64 games. He’s certainly someone you can take a low risk flyer on.
Update: Rumors has it the Montreal Canadiens may be interested in a return.
#2 Derick Brassard, C (33 years-old)
Big game Brass will become Big Bargain Brass for the team willing to give him a 1 year deal at $1 million. He scored 32 points in 66 games last season but really showed something for the surprising Islanders in return to play.
In 18 games this summer, Brassard notched two goals and eights points. He helped the Islanders get to the Eastern Conference Final. If you are looking from some bottom six clutch, Brassard is your guy.
Update: He could be a candidate for a PTO with the Rangers.
#3 Travis Hamonic, RD (30 years-old)
Travis opted out of return-to-play due to family concerns. The Calgary Flames have opted to let him walk for unrestricted free agency. He is a defensive-minded rearguard that can help as a second or third pair righty.
His last deal was for $3.857 and this one could be considerably less. In this market, Hamonic may have to settle for a one-year deal at around $1 to $1.5 million.
#4 Corey Perry, RW (35 years-old)
Perry showed he still had something left in the tank and helped the Dallas Stars get to the Stanley Cup Final. He did so on a one year deal for just $1.5 million and he likely will sign for something similar again.
The big power-forward scored 21 points in 57 games last season. He also added 9 points in 27 RTP games this summer. He would be a nice third line add for many teams.
Update: Perry and the Stars may work out a return, but Ottawa is very interested.
#5 Andreas Athanasiou, C (26 years-old)
Here’s a bargain 26 year-old center the Oilers did not qualify. Athanasiou is a two-way player who scored 26 points in 55 games. A great third line center. Hard to tell where he could land at this time, so he could be waiting around for awhile. The Senators seem happy to be signing guys, so who knows.
#6 Craig Anderson, G (39 years-old)
Anderson has been the backbone for a very bad Ottawa Senators franchise for a long time. On most nights, the Senators would’ve been blow out of the water if not for this 17 year veteran.
If teams are looking for a solid net minder who can still stop the rubber, Anderson is your man. Another 1 year at $1 million deal is all it would take.
#7 Carl Soderberg, C (35 years-old)
Last season Soderberg put up decent numbers for the Arizona Coyotes. The 6-3″ pivot notched 35 points in 70 games while averaging 15 minutes a game.
Teams looking for a third or fourth line center that can be tough in the defensive zone should look at Carl. His last deal was for $4.75M and he won’t see that again. A one year at $1M deal makes sense for a lot of teams.
Update: Soderberg may wind up going to play in Europe.
#8 Conor Sheary, LW (28 years-old)
The diminutive winger plays an aggressive style that could help a team’s bottom six. Conor Sheary’s production has dipped ever since 2016-17 where he scored 53 points in just 61 games.
At this point when you look at the field, he’s not going to get anywhere close to $3 million per season. That’s what his last deal paid and he’s should get a one year deal to prove his worth in 2021.
#9 Michael Grabner, RW (33 years-old)
The man keeps himself in amazing shape and has rockets for legs. The big questions is will Grabner come back to the NHL next season? Currently he is in Europe and assessing the situation with COVID-19 in North America.
Grabner only scored 8 goals in 46 games for the Yotes last season but could help a team at $1 million. If there are teams look for PK help and speed on their bottom six, give Grabs a ring.
#10 Andy Greene, D (37 years-old)
The word out in the rumor mill is the Islanders would like to try and re-sign Andy Greene. At 37 years-old, he can certainly hold the fort on the bottom pair of a defense. He scored 14 points in 63 games while starting 60% in the defensive zone.
He just came off a deal with a $5 million AAV and will likely sign a one year deal around the $1-1.5 million mark. Certainly a nice value add for anyone looking to stabilize their defense.