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Del Zotto, Conacher join unrestricted free agents

Tuesday, 07.01.2014 / 3:42 PM / NHL Free Agency 2014

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Del Zotto, Conacher join unrestricted free agents
There were a few extra players available Tuesday after some notable restricted free agents were not tendered qualifying offers by their teams.

There were a few extra players available Tuesday after some notable restricted free agents were not tendered a qualifying offer by his team. Those players became unrestricted free agents and do not require any compensation to sign a new contract.

Defenseman Michael Del Zotto, who joined the Nashville Predators last season in a trade, is among them. Del Zotto went to Nashville from the New York Rangers before the 2014 NHL Trade Deadline.

The 24-year-old had three goals and 16 points in 67 games for the two teams. He's had two strong offensive seasons in his five-year career but missed large parts of two because of injuries.

The Buffalo Sabres allowed two players who have produced well at times at the NHL level to become UFAs. Forward Cory Conacher had 11 goals and 29 points in 47 games as a rookie with the Tampa Bay Lightning and Ottawa Senators in 2012-13, but his numbers slipped to seven goals and 26 points in 79 games last season and he was claimed on waivers by the Sabres.

Defenseman Jamie McBain had back-to-back seasons with at least seven goals and 27 points for the Carolina Hurricanes in 2010-11 and 2011-12 but has seven goals and 25 points in the past two seasons combined.

The 26-year-old had six goals and 17 points in 69 games for the Sabres in 2013-14. He was a positive possession player compared to team average with the Hurricanes for the previous two seasons, but his 40.8 Corsi-for percentage in 2013-14 was among the worst for the Sabres.

Quote of the Day

[He's] real confident with the puck now, getting it off his stick quick and no second-guessing. We need that. He's such a good guy in the room. He works so hard. That's the big thing. For not a big man, he just fights for every puck and when he scores, the guys appreciate that even more.

— Winnipeg Jets coach Paul Maurice on Mathieu Perreault, who scored two goals in win against Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday