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Brodeur's future among top free-agent questions

Monday, 06.30.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Free Agency 2014

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

The wooing period is almost over. A lot of money is about to change hands.

Unrestricted free agents can start fielding official contract offers from NHL teams at noon ET July 1. If history is a guide, many of them will do quite well.

In preparation for the frenzy that is the NHL free-agent market, here are nine questions that likely will be answered in the coming days. The answers will shape the future of many players and teams.

1. Is there a market for Martin Brodeur?

The answer is probably yes, but it's thin and the 42-year-old goaltender won't get what he wants, which is a promise for playing time on a Cup-contending team. If Brodeur signs anywhere it will be as a backup. He had a .901 save percentage last season and hasn't been better than .908 since 2009-10.

It would be a shock if he re-signs with the New Jersey Devils. They realize it's time to move on without him and make Cory Schneider the unquestioned No. 1 goalie. Brodeur has said he doesn't want to stand in the way of that.

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Gagner with Coyotes after trades; Oilers get Purcell

Monday, 06.30.2014 / 12:59 AM / News

NHL.com

Forward Sam Gagner was traded twice Sunday, winding up with the Arizona Coyotes.

The Coyotes acquired the center and right wing B.J. Crombeen from the Tampa Bay Lightning for a sixth-round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft. Tampa Bay earlier obtained Gagner from the Edmonton Oilers in a trade for right wing Teddy Purcell.

"It's been a roller coaster of emotions," Gagner said, according to The Canadian Press. "I was talking to my agent, and he had said when Tampa [Bay] traded for me that there might be something else going on. So it was something that I was prepared for. I wasn't really expecting to be traded (again) today."

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Lightning trade three forwards, get draft picks

Monday, 06.30.2014 / 12:08 AM / News

NHL.com

The Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday traded three forwards from their roster and acquired three later-round picks in the 2015 NHL Draft.

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Wild contact Iginla, meet with Vanek: report

Sunday, 06.29.2014 / 7:55 PM / News

NHL.com

The Minnesota Wild have been in contact with pending free-agent forward Jarome Iginla and will meet with forward Thomas Vanek, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

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Capitals will keep Ovechkin at right wing: report

Sunday, 06.29.2014 / 5:09 PM / News

NHL.com

Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin will start training camp as a right wing, but coach Barry Trotz said he could switch sides again while trying to get the NHL's leading goal-scorer to improve.

"Alex has got a little too much glide maybe in his game," Trotz told CSN Washington on Saturday at the 2014 NHL Draft. "He's trying to score too much, so he's getting not as much space actually. You remember Alex when he would get that speed and he's moving and he can do things with the puck. He can beat you with his skill, he can beat you with his size and speed and hold you off. When you're standing still, you're really easy to cover."

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Sabres use compliance buyout on Christian Ehrhoff

Sunday, 06.29.2014 / 11:53 AM / News

NHL.com

The Buffalo Sabres have used their second compliance buyout on defenseman Christian Ehrhoff, the team confirmed via its Twitter account Sunday.

Ehrhoff, who turns 32 on July 6, had seven years left on a 10-year, $40 million contract he signed in 2011 with an average NHL salary-cap charge of $4 million. That summer the Sabres also signed forward Ville Leino for six years and $27 million; Buffalo used its first compliance buyout on Leino on June 18.

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Islanders' Martin energized by Rangers' success

Sunday, 06.29.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- The New York Islanders were supposed to build off their run to the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs, when they gave the Pittsburgh Penguins a scare in a six-game first-round series.

Instead, the Islanders took a step back; they went 34-37 11 and finished fifth from the bottom of the NHL standings. To make matters even more painful, the Islanders were forced to sit and watch their archrivals, the New York Rangers, go all the way to the Stanley Cup Final before losing to the Los Angeles Kings in five games.

Islanders left wing Matt Martin admits the Rangers' run lit a fire under him. He wishes training camp started tomorrow.

"It's always hard to watch the playoffs. It's a little harder when you see them go as far as they did," Martin said Friday during the Islanders' draft party at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. "They earned it though. They played hard, they played like a team and ran into a powerful L.A. team. [It was] definitely hard to watch for a very long time, but I'm looking forward to getting back at it."

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Alfredsson, Grabovski among UFA forwards

Sunday, 06.29.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Free Agency 2014

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

The group of forwards eligible to become unrestricted free agents on July 1 is littered with potential difference makers, but only a select few merit star status.

Here are the top nine UFA forwards:

Note: The terms listed in their last contract are from CapGeek.com.

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Quote of the Day

It's always a little bit weird, but it moves on. They've got a good team, and they played well tonight. I think that's just part of it.

— Peter Laviolette on facing his former team (Flyers) for the first time since his departure