Early Ranking of the Top Unrestricted NHL Free Agents in 2017

July 2nd, 2016 by Steve Macfarlane Leave a reply »
The 2016 NHL free-agent period became a Target at midnight on the eve of Black Friday. People were waiting outside the doors for days, with the frenzy resulting in millions of dollars being spent on shiny big-ticket items. 

The difference is few bargains are found on the first day of free agency. Teams pay top dollar for top talent—and that is relative to what's available on the market. 

A total of 120 unrestricted free agents were signed to new deals worth more than $450 million in total on July 1. That left the shelves pretty bare.

Among the best of the rest are wingers Jiri Hudler, P.A. Parenteau, Brandon Pirri, Shane Doan and Radim Vrbata and defensemen Kris Russell, Justin Schultz and James Wisniewski. Thrilling, we know. 

With most of the fun sucked out of this year's crop of free agents, we're looking ahead to 2017. Some big names such as Victor Hedberg have already been taken off the list because of extensions, but there remain some solid players entering the final year of their deals—including one of the league's best.

That kind of thing leads to the pressures of a contract yea ...

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