Amodeo: Top Three UFA’s potentially available this summer

As the NHL regular season is winding down and 16 teams will soon head into the playoffs, those who won’t will begin to look forward to next year’s season. Doing so, most teams eliminated will begin to look forward to the NHL Draft and July 1, when NHL free agency opens. Below is a quick look at the top three unrestricted free agents available this summer and which teams may be interested in these players.

Alexander Semin could see a change in scenery this summer as one of the top unrestricted free agents. (BridgetDS/Flickr)

Alexander Semin – Winger – 2011-12 chap hit: $6.7 million
The high flying winger has often been talked about as trade bait for the past three NHL trade deadlines, however Washington has continued to hold onto Semin. While Semin often checks out of games for stretches during the regular season, it is hard to deny his talent. The 28-year-old speedy winger has put up 20 goals and 32 assists through 75 games this season, but what everyone remembers is his 2009-10 season where, in 73 games, he put up 40 goals and 44 assists. He would best fit on a team with a play making center on the top line. All teams interested in Semin better have some cap space though, as he comes with a $6.7 million price tag. I expect him to re-sign in Washington, however could see a team like the Ottawa Senators taking a run at acquiring Semin so they have a speedy and skilled winger able to fill the hole that Daniel Alfredsson will eventually leave.

Zach Parise – Winger – 2011-12 cap hit: $6.00 million
After only playing 13 games in 2010-11 due to injury, Parise has rebounded with a solid 31 goals, 37 assists for 68 points through 80 games this season. The creative winger would best fit with players on his line that are creative as well, however can be a great set up man for a pure sniper. Although minus-5 this season, Parise has previously had seasons ending with him being plus-24 and plus-30. Parise is another player that I believe will remain with his current team, the New Jersey Devils, however, Parise has been rumoured to Toronto for several seasons. If Toronto is bold enough to go after Parise this summer and is able to make the move, it would likely restore faith in Leafs Nation during the offseason. Also important to note that Parise is an American-born player and has ties with Leafs GM Brian Burke, having played for Team USA in the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Shane Doan – Winger – 2011-12 cap hit: $4.55 million
It’s unlikely that this 34-year-old winger, who has a history of being a great leader with the Phoenix Coyotes having been the team captain for several years, will finish his career anywhere other than with the Coyotes organization. That said, with his experience and leadership, he would be a good fit on a team with a young core of players, i.e. Toronto or Edmonton, and if the franchise does relocate this summer, maybe Doan will be more likely to part ways. Entering the summer as a UFA, it does symbolize the crossroads in his career – he could re-sign with Phoenix, the team/organization he has been with since day one, or sign with a team that needs a quality leader and could take a run at Lord Stanley’s Cup. Since the 1999-00 season, Doan has been a lock for at least 20 goals, only failing to hit this mark once in this time frame. Doan could also fit well in Detroit and possibly make a run at the Cup, or on another high-powered Western Conference team like Vancouver or St. Louis. The question is, is Doan okay with finishing his NHL career without a championship, or does he legitimetely think Phoneix can make a run at it in the next few seasons?

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