Second Wave of Free Agency
Free agency isn't over just because most of the big names have found new teams. From the CP:
"The first week of free agency is 100 miles per hour," said agent Pat Brisson, who got Daniel Briere a big payday with Philadelphia on July 1. "After that you see a little decline. Things slow down a little. Some GMs may wait a little on some needs, see if the price comes down. On the flip side as a player, you have to be patient.
[Mike] Johnson is among a group of unrestricted free-agent forwards that also still includes Michael Peca, Eric Lindros, Alexei Yashin, Jason Allison, Anson Carter, Tony Amonte, Jeff Friesen, Josef Vasicek, Denis Arkhipov, Peter Bondra, Patrik Stefan, Petr Nedved, Martin Gelinas, Arron Asham, Chris Simon, Nils Ekman, Ronald Petrovicky, Ville Nieminen, Travis Green, Jeff O'Neill, Jan Bulis, Adam Hall and Dimitri Afanasenkov, among others.
And don't forget about veteran free-agent stars Peter Forsberg and Teemu Selanne, who have yet to decide whether or not they'll play again next season.
Don't forget about the available defensemen, either.
Danny Markov, meanwhile, is arguably the top defenceman left on the unrestricted market. Others available include Andy Sutton, Brent Sopel, Brad Ference, David Tanabe, Patrice Brisebois, Bryan Berard, Janne Niinimaa and Nolan Pratt.
I don't see the Caps breaking the bank for Markov. But what about Sutton or Pratt? They are affordable stay-at-home options who could fill that final hole in Washington's already much-improved lineup. Whether via trade or one more FA signing, the Caps need another veteran D-man. It could be the difference between fighting for a playoff spot and actually clinching one.
Read the whole thing here.
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