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Intriguing players highlight remaining UFA market

Monday, 01.07.2013 / 5:27 PM / News

By John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

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Intriguing players highlight remaining UFA market
NHL.com's John Kreiser takes a look at a dozen of the most impressive unrestricted free agents still on the market, topped by Jason Arnott and Petr Sykora.

With the start of training camp and the new season coming up fast, there will be plenty of teams looking for some help -- perhaps to fill a hole or provide depth for what figures to be a sprint to the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

While most of the big names who went to unrestricted free agency found homes during the summer, there are a number of veterans still available who can contribute as teams look to plug holes or add role players.

Here, then, is a look at a dozen of the most impressive unrestricted free agents still on the market.

Jason Arnott -- Arnott reached the 400-goal plateau in April 2011 and chipped in with 17 goals and 34 points along with a plus-13 rating for St. Louis last season. He has more career goals than any player still available and has scored at least 17 goals in every season since 1997-98.

Arnott is no kid -- he turned 38 in October -- but he can be a useful contributor both on the ice and in the dressing room. He served as captain in Nashville and is respected for his leadership abilities. He could be an excellent fit for a contending team looking for the last piece of the puzzle.

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Petr Sykora -- Arnott's former linemate in New Jersey came to camp with the Devils in the fall of 2011 and earned a contract, then justified it by playing all 82 games, scoring 21 goals and putting up 44 points despite averaging less than 16 minutes of ice time per game.

The 36-year-old has said he'd like to return to the Devils, though general manager Lou Lamoriello has been mum on the possibility of bringing in Sykora for another year. If not, there should be other teams interested in his services.

Andrew Brunette -- The 39-year-old picked a bad time to post the worst offensive season of his career (12 goals, 15 assists, 27 points in 78 games for Chicago). He scored just once in six playoff games as the Blackhawks were bounced in the opening round.

Prior to 2011-12, Brunette had been a consistent secondary scorer, averaging 45 to 65 points a season. A team that needs offensive depth and some help on the power play could find him useful.

Tom Kostopoulos -- The feisty fourth-line forward had four goals and 12 points in 81 games for Calgary. He gives everything he's got, will stand up for teammates and can even contribute a little bit offensively, making him a useful depth forward.

Chris Campoli -- Unlike almost all of the remaining UFAs, Campoli has yet to reach his 30th birthday. The 28-year-old defenseman's problem has been injuries -- he's played only 62 games in the past two seasons, including 43 for Montreal in 2011-12.

Campoli is a good skater who can contribute 15-to-25 points and handle the workload of a second- or third-pair defenseman -- if he can stay healthy. Teams are always looking for help on defense, so Campoli should generate some interest.

Brett Clark -- Unlike Campoli, Clark played all 82 games for the Tampa Bay Lightning, with whom he signed a two-year deal before the 2010-11 season. He put up nine goals and 31 points in his first season with the Lightning, but dropped to two goals and 15 points last season.

At 36, Clark doesn't figure to be a 24-minute-a-night defender, but he has value as a second- or third-pair guy who shows up every night and can chip in offensively.

Jason Blake -- He still has his legs at age 39, but had just 12 points in 45 games for Anaheim last season and missed more than two months because of injury.

Mathieu Darche -- Late-blooming forward is now 36, but is a solid fourth-line role player who had five goals and 12 assists in 61 games for Montreal last season, down from 12 and 26 in 2010-11.

Mike Knuble -- At age 40, Knuble is trying to find a job after dropping from 24 goals and 40 points for Washington in 2010-11 to six goals and 18 points last season.

Daymond Langkow -- The veteran center, now 36, could earn a short-term deal as a depth forward after putting up 11 goals and 30 points for Phoenix last season.

Colin White -- White was a solid defensive defenseman for 11 years in New Jersey, but played only 51 games with San Jose after signing a one-year deal. He's 35 and will be looking for a team that needs defensive depth.

Dwayne Roloson -- After leading Tampa Bay to within a victory of the 2011 Stanley Cup Final, Roloson struggled last season. At 43, he will need to find a team looking for a short-term backup.

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