Potential unrestricted free agents can begin negotiating terms of contracts with teams on Thursday. They can't sign a contract until noon ET on July 1, when the free agent market opens. NHL.com is examining the top potential UFAs at each position.
There is a dearth of all-stars among the forwards who could potentially become unrestricted free agents on July 1, but there is at least some depth to the group, including two players who have won the Conn Smythe Trophy and the Stanley Cup multiple times.
Here is a list of the top 14 forwards who could hit the open market next week:
LAS VEGAS – Calgary Flames forward Jiri Hudler knew an awful lot about the history of the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy he claimed at the 2015 NHL Awards Show at MGM Grand Garden Arena on Wednesday.
The Czech center knew Wayne Gretzky won it five times during a career that made him a hockey icon. He knew that superstar Jaromir Jagr, among the pantheon of players from the Czech Republic, had never won the Lady Byng. He also knew the award made its debut in 1925 when it was given to Ottawa Senators forward Frank Nighbor.
But he knew one fact made all the others pale in comparison.
"I know I'm the first Czech player to win it and that is all I care about," Hudler said, looking at the trophy as he sat at the podium a few minutes after he became a headline part of the two-hour show when he delivered a heartfelt and humorous speech while not wearing shoes.
Fortunately it got easier for him as the night went along. He had a lot of practice because he had a historic night as a four-time winner.
Price took home the Hart Trophy as the NHL's most valuable player, the Vezina Trophy as the League's best goalie and the Ted Lindsay Award for the most outstanding player as voted by the players. Price also received a share of the William M. Jennings Trophy with Corey Crawford of the Chicago Blackhawks as the goalies on the teams that allowed the fewest goals in the regular season (189).
Price, 27, is the first goalie in NHL history to sweep those four awards.
The National Hockey League Players' Association (NHLPA) announced today that Carey Price is the 2014-15 recipient of the Ted Lindsay Award, presented annually to the "Most Outstanding Player" in the NHL as voted by fellow members of the NHLPA.
Following an outstanding eighth season in the NHL, this is the first Ted Lindsay Award for Price. This marks the fourth time in the history of the Award that a goaltender has been named as the "Most Outstanding Player", following Mike Liut (1980-81) and Dominik Hasek (1996-97, 1997-98), and the first time in 17 years.
Goaltender Carey Price, who backstopped the Montreal Canadiens to their best regular season in 26 years, was an historic four-time winner at the 2015 NHL Awards, held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Price captured the Hart Memorial Trophy as the most valuable player to his team, the Ted Lindsay Award for most outstanding player as selected by NHL players and the Vezina Trophy as the League's top goaltender. He also accepted a previously-won honor, the statistics-based William M. Jennings Trophy as the goaltender (min. 25 GP) on the club allowing the fewest regular-season goals. Price and Chicago's Corey Crawford are the 2014-15 winners, as the Canadiens and Blackhawks both allowed a League-low 189 goals.
Price is the first goaltender ever to sweep these four awards in the same season.
Left wing Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals, who earned his seventh career berth on the First All-Star Team, heads the list of players voted to the 2014-15 National Hockey League postseason All-Star Teams. Also a three-time honoree on the Second Team, Ovechkin's 10 career postseason All-Star Team selections are the most among active players.
Six of Ovechkin's seven career First Team berths have come at left wing (he was voted to the First Team at right wing in 2012-13). The only left wings in NHL history with more First Team selections are Bobby Hull (10) and Ted Lindsay (eight).
Goaltender Carey Price of the Montreal Canadiens has won the Hart Memorial Trophy, awarded "to the player adjudged to be the most valuable to his team" as selected by the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.
Electronic Arts Inc., the National Hockey League (NHL®) and the National Hockey League Players' Association (NHLPA) announced today during the 2015 NHL Awards™ that three-time Stanley Cup® Champions Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane from the Chicago Blackhawks® will both appear on the cover of EA SPORTS™ NHL® 16. This marks the first time in franchise history that the cover has featured two teammates as well as the Stanley Cup trophy. Kane and Toews are also the only athletes in EA SPORTS™ NHL history to appear on the cover twice. The duo spotlight embodies the spirit of NHL 16, where you'll play together and win together.
"I'm honored to not only share the Stanley Cup Championship with Patrick, but to share the EA SPORTS NHL 16 cover with him too," said Toews. "Our team's passion and dedication have made this all possible – and I'm sure fans will be fired up about it."
It seems like I'm kind of making it a little difficult on myself here the last two games.
— Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane after tying the record for longest point streak by an American-born player with an assist on Duncan Keith's goal with 26.6 seconds left against the Anaheim Ducks Friday
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