The National Hockey League’s new CBA has hurt a handful of players’ bank accounts this offseason. Since the salary cap was lowered by roughly $6 million under the new agreement, clubs haven’t been able to handout offers to depth players that normally would be signed by now.
Here is a look at 10 players who are surprisingly still looking look for a job.
1. Ron Hainsey, defence (Winnipeg Jets) – Hainsey, who earned $5 million with the Jets last year, wasn’t expected to still be available in the middle of August. Some believe it’s possible that his role as a ‘bad cop’ in the NHLPA meetings have a lot to do with it. However, in reality, it seems it’s likely because he’s not worth near what he made last year, but is looking for only a slight pay decrease.
2. Mikhail Grabovski, centre (Toronto Maple Leafs) – Grabovski has yet to sign with a new team since the Leafs bought him out for underachieving last season. It’s believed he is still a free agent because 29-year-old centre is looking for more money than teams are willing to pay. Grabovski has built a reputation for himself as a hard worker; however, he has been inconsistent in the scoring department. He only scored 16 points in 48 games last year following scoring back-to-back 20-goal seasons.
3. Mason Raymond, wing (Vancouver Canucks) – Besides a report that the Calgary Flames are interested in the hometown boy, Raymond’s name hasn’t been tossed around too often this offseason for teams searching for a winger. He doesn’t seem to be a top-six forward, but the 6-foot, 185-pound Raymond could be a smart depth signing. He did score 25 goals in 2009-10 and seems to have the potential to score around that mark in the right opportunity.
4. Andy McDonald, centre (St. Louis Blues) – Mcdonald isn’t the same player he was in 2005-06 when he scored 85 points with the Anaheim Ducks. The 35-year-old is, however, still an impact player who has the potential to score around 45 points a year. His next contract will definitely be less than what he made last year, $4.2 million, but he should still be able to fetch a couple million from one of the teams with cap space and a hole down the middle.
5. Brenden Morrow, wing (Pittsburgh Penguins) – Morrow was once one of the better power forwards in the league, but he has turned into merely a third-line depth winger over the years. This was evident in his stint with the Penguins. He hardly made an impact in the playoffs and at times was invisible. So far, not much has been leaked on where Morrow might end up besides the Raleigh News & Observer reporting the Carolina Hurricanes have interest in him.
6. Tom Gilbert, defence (Minnesota Wild) – Gilbert hasn’t found a home since the Wild bought him out in June to give them some cap relief. There was some speculation that the Edmonton Oilers might bring him back, but it appears that isn’t happening. The 6-foot-3, 206-pound rearguard would be a nice addition to almost any back end. He is a steady player who can bring stability to a five-six pairing or even play a No. 4 role.
7. Douglas Murray, defence (Pittsburgh Penguins) – The Vancouver Province reported the Canucks are interested in signing Murray. The 6-foot-3, 245-pound defenceman plays with an edge; however, his speed has made him a liability in some situations. It seems he could be a valuable depth defenceman in a limited role, though.
8. Ian White, defence (Detroit Red Wings) – The Red Wings couldn’t re-sign White because they are over the salary cap after inking Daniel Alferdsson and Stephen Weiss. The Steinback, MB., native is by no means a star, but he can be a valuable five-six pairing defender. He has offensive upside and has a chip on his shoulder in his own end.
9. Milan Hejduk, wing (Colorado Avalanche) – The Avalanche have parted ways with Hejduk after 14 years. They did so because they don’t believe he’s capable of playing in their top-six forwards. The 37-year-old winger is reportedly not looking at retirement, though. He wants to play next year, but there is always a possibility he could end up overseas.
10. Simon Gagne, wing (Philadelphia Flyers) – Apparently, despite being up against the salary cap, the Flyers want Gagne back and he doesn’t want to play anywhere else. It has been reported that Gagne and the Flyers are working on a deal. Therefore, it seems it’s only a matter of time before Gagne finds an NHL home in Philly for next year.