The next phase in the run-up to the 2015-16 season begins at noon ET on Wednesday, when the unrestricted free agent signing period begins.
The list of unrestricted free agents grew to include forwards Mike Richards, PA Parenteau, Cody Hodgson and Viktor Stalberg in the past few days. Richards cleared unconditional waivers and had his contract terminated by the Los Angeles Kings. The others cleared waivers and were bought out.
Meanwhile, forwards Jay Beagle (Washington Capitals) and Drew Stafford (Winnipeg Jets), goaltender Antti Niemi (Dallas Stars) and defenseman Adam McQuaid (Boston Bruins) were re-signed prior to reaching free agency. Niemi had his rights traded to the Stars from the San Jose Sharks during the 2015 NHL Draft.
Here are the 20 best unrestricted free agents (in alphabetical order) expected to be available when the market opens Wednesday: