MONTREAL, CANADA - NOVEMBER 14: Brad Boyes #22 of the Buffalo Sabres shoots the puck past Carey Price #31 of the Montreal Canadiens on his shootout attempt during the NHL game at the Bell Centre on November 14, 2011 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The Sabres defeated the Canadiens 3-2 in a shootout. (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
As promised, here is the second group of UFA's, guys from the Northeast Division. There are virtually no big names in this group, but there could still be a few good role players that might be able to help the Canes out next season. There are also a few "project" players that could interest JR, but most of these guys are bottom 6 or bottom pairing guys. Come July 1st, I don't expect to see many of these guys on the Canes radar, but surprises can happen. Especially if we have any trades this offseason and lose some role players, we might have to find a guy to play a certain role.
Again, what I did was break down the UFA's by team with a small blurb on each player. If the UFA played in less than 20 games in 2011/2012, I listed them without any blurb. The next Division on my list will be our own, the Southeast Division, which I will post on Thursday before starting on the Western Conference. Please take a look and let me know your thoughts on these potential free agents.
Brian Rolston - LW/RW - Rolston actually played well after being traded to Boston. He had 15 points in 21 games, but he is on his last leg in the league. He's 39 and requires a particular system to excel, so I doubt JR would take a chance on him.
Chris Kelly - C - Kelly is an interesting player. He is a solid 3rd line player that can score a little and contributes on the PK. If the Canes were looking for a good 3rd liner to play with Sutter, Kelly would be a very good option.
Daniel Paille - LW - Paille is a good 4th liner and/or PKer, but we probably have guys that are close in comparison.
Joe Corvo - D - A familiar face, Corvo definitely didn't have one of his better seasons. This is twice that he left Carolina and his game suffered. I don't think JR will bring him back again, but you never know for certain.
Greg Zanon - D - Zanon is probably one of the more interesting Northeast UFA's to me. He doesn't provide much offense at all and he isn't exactly big, but he is a solid defensive defenseman. He blocks a lot of shots and is positionally sound. He might also be a good mentor for one of the young defensemen.
Mike Mottau - D - Mottau is a typical veteran depth defenseman. He'll work in a pinch, but he's no longer a NHL full-timer.
Jesse Winchester - C/RW - Here's another 4th liner/penalty killer. He's not going to be more than that, but he's solid in those roles.
Zenon Konopka - LW/C - Konopka is a really interesting player. He's a good faceoff guy and someone who will stick up for his teammates, but that's all. He doesn't provide any offense and isn't great defensively. If we're looking for a fighter, he would work. But he would be healthy scratched a lot because he doesn't provide much else.
Filip Kuba - D - Kuba is a decent defenseman with some size, but he doesn't really use his size to his advantage and he is getting older. If we experienced a long-term injury, he might be a good fill-in, but I can't see much advantage in signing him.
Matt Gilroy - D - Gilroy has a little bit of offensive abilities, but he's not very strong defensively. He's a little older than one might expect. He's a bottom pairing guy and we have guys that can do what he does.
Matt Carkner - D - He's a Konopka type of player on the blueline. He's willing to fight and isn't a defensive liability. He's not really a full-time player, but would be a good 7th defenseman and someone to use against more physical teams.
Brad Boyes - C/RW - Boyes is the definition of a "project". He has 50+ point ability, but has struggled at times. He could be a big reward or a big waste of money. He usually performs well when he first joins a new team and he is a right shot. If the price is right, I think JR might take the gamble for 1 season.
Jochen Hecht - C/LW - Hecht is a solid two-way player, but he's getting old and has some injury history. I don't see the Canes going after a long-time Slug.
Alexander Sulzer - D - He's an offensive defenseman that has never gotten a full season to prove himself. He has ability and is decent enough in his own end. I think he would be a nice pickup if we weren't so heavy with offensive guys on the blueline.
Joey Crabb - RW/LW - I sort of view Crabb as a Tim Brent type of player. He could be a good 3rd/4th liner for us, but he would probably get more money elsewhere and we have some guys that can play in the bottom 6.
Jay Rosehill - LW - Another enforcer that pretty much provides nothing else. If the Canes are looking for this type of player, there are others that could help out a little more in other areas.
Jonas Gustausson - G - Once the hottest goaltender outside of the NHL, "The Monsters" stock has really dropped. He still has some potential, but he has a lot more flaws now.
Philippe Dupuis - C/W - He could fill-in on the 4th line, but isn't really anything special. Not trying to be mean, but a dime-a-dozen forward.
Travis Moen - LW/RW - Moen has good size and a great work ethic. He won't provide much offense, but can be a solid checking winger and penalty killer.
Mathieu Darche - LW/RW - Another hard worker that can play in the bottom 6. His problem is consistency, you just don't know what level of production you'll get from him. He's got nice size, but he's on the older side.
Brad Staubitz - RW/LW - Staubitz is another enforcer type, but smaller than most. He will be a great teammate, but doesn't provide much more.
Chris Campoli - D - Campoli is a offensive defenseman with some speed. He's extremely inconsistent and not very good in his own end. I can't see him working for this team.
So do any of these players interest you? Do you think that JR will go after any of these guys come July 1st? Let me know what you think. Up next: The Southeast Division.