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The most sought-after free agents (from L-Z)

Here is the second of two lists of NHL players who will become unrestricted free agents on July 1

by Montreal Canadiens @CanadiensMTL / canadiens.com

MONTREAL - The NHL's free agency market will be open for business on July 1, with many players set to become unrestricted free agents. Here is the second of two lists of some 45 players who could be on the move, presented in alphabetical order. On Tuesday, we highlighted players with last names starting from A-K, and on Wednesday, those starting with L-Z.

 

For players whose names begin with A-K, click here.


Please note that these lists are presented for informational purposes only, and do not reflect the organization's choices or rankings.

Andrei Markov
Position: defenseman
Age: 38

A Canadien since joining the League in 2000-01, Andrei Markov put up 36 points last season, spurred on by the seventh season of 30-plus assists of his career. Slowed down by an injury which caused him to miss 19 games in 2016-17, the 38-year-old blue-liner still managed to overtake Guy Lapointe to move into second on the Habs' all-time scoring list among defensemen.

Patrick Marleau
Position: left wing
Age: 37

Since being drafted by the Sharks in 1997, Patrick Marleau has spent his entire 19-year NHL career in San Jose. The Aneroid, SK native hasn't missed a game since the 2009-10 season. Last year, he scored 27 goals - his highest total since 2013-14 - for 46 points. Marleau could reach the 1,500-point plateau next season, as he is only seven points away from the magic number.

Steve Mason
Position: goaltender
Age: 29

Last season, Steve Mason registered his highest win total since 2013-14. His 26 wins in 2016-17 helped him reach the 200-win plateau. Often hampered by injuries the last few years, the 29-year-old suited up for 58 games for the Flyers last year, his busiest season in three years.

Ryan Miller
Position: goaltender
Age: 36

Veteran goalie Ryan Miller has spent the last three seasons in Vancouver. Last year, he put up a record of 18-29-6, a 2.80 goals-against average and a .914 save percentage, along with three shutouts. It was a difficult last season with the Canucks, and mirrored that of his team, who finished second-last in the Western Conference.

Johnny Oduya
Position: defenseman
Age: 35

Johnny Oduya is coming off a second stint with the Chicago Blackhawks, with whom he won the Stanley Cup in 2013. Last year, he scored two goals and added seven assists in 52 games with the Dallas Stars and Blackhawks. The 35-year-old Swede has played in 798 contests with the New Jersey Devils, the now-defunct Atlanta Thrashers, the Winnipeg Jets, Blackhawks and Stars, scoring 37 goals and 145 assists over his career.

Tyler Pitlick
Position: center
Age: 25

Twenty-five-year-old Tyler Pitlick played a career-high 31 games with the Edmonton Oilers during the 2016-17 campaign, chipping in with eight goals and 11 points. The former 31st overall selection of the Oilers back in 2010 boasts 58 career games of NHL experience, collecting 11 goals and 14 points during that span. The Minneapolis, MN native debuted with Edmonton in 2013-14.

Roman Polak
Position: defenseman
Age: 31

Roman Polak's playoff run with the Toronto Maple Leafs was cut short this past April when he suffered a season-ending injury in Game 2 of the opening-round series against the Washington Capitals. Prior to that, the 31-year-old Czech rearguard scored four goals and added seven assists for 11 points in 75 regular-season appearances, while averaging 17:55 of ice time per night. He also dished out 232 hits and blocked 133 shots along the way. Polak is an 11-year NHL veteran. 

Alexander Radulov
Position: right wing
Age: 30

After spending four years in the KHL, Alexander Radulov returned to the NHL in force, finishing second on the Canadiens with 54 points, including 18 goals. The 30-year-old forward stepped his game up in the playoffs, amassing a pair of goals and five assists in six games, tops on the Habs.

Patrick Sharp
Position: left wing
Age: 35 

Winner of three Stanley Cups with the Chicago Blackhawks, Patrick Sharp is still sidelined with a hip injury, which required surgery and ended his 2016-17 season prematurely. He was also hampered by various injuries during his two seasons with the Stars. Last year, he scored 18 points (8G, 10A) in 48 games and recorded a minus-22 differential, the worst of his career. Over his career, the 35-year-old has reached the 30-goal plateau four times.

Kevin Shattenkirk
Position: defenseman
Age: 28

Likely the most sought-after free agent on the market, Kevin Shattenkirk had his most productive season in 2016-17, with 13 goals and 43 assists with the St. Louis Blues and Washington Capitals. An offensive defenseman who's known for his proficiency on the man advantage, Shattenkirk finished eighth in the League in power play points with 27.

Drew Stafford
Position: right wing
Age: 31

Drew Stafford was traded from the Winnipeg Jets to the Boston Bruins in 2016-17. In 18 games with the latter, he scored four goals, which matched his total in 40 games with the Jets. Overall, the forward recorded 21 points last season. The former first-round choice in 2004 has scored 400 points in 725 career games.

Mark Streit
Position: defenseman
Age: 39

Former Canadiens defenseman Mark Streit is coming off his first Stanley Cup win, with the Pittsburgh Penguins. The 39-year-old did not play in the final series against the Nashville Predators, and only suited up for three playoff games this spring, replacing the injured Justin Schultz. Despite the Cup win, Streit has not announced his retirement to date.

Joe Thornton
Position: center
Age: 37

A 19-year NHL veteran, Joe Thornton completed his 12th campaign with the San Jose Sharks in 2016-17. With 43 assists for a 50-point total last season, Thornton is only nine points away from the 1,400-point plateau. The center, who will be celebrating his 38th birthday on July 2, underwent knee surgery after the Sharks' elimination in the first round of the playoffs. He should be ready for action come the start of next season.

Thomas Vanek
Position: left wing
Age: 33

Thomas Vanek joined the Panthers at the trade deadline and suited up for 20 games for Florida, netting two goals and adding eight assists. The Austrian forward also played in 48 games with the Detroit Red Wings last season and added 15 tallies and 23 helpers. Vanek's 48 points in 2016-17 were a seven-point improvement on the previous year, despite playing in six fewer games.

Kris Versteeg
Position: right wing
Age: 31

Kris Versteeg has become something of a journeyman since winning the Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2010. After stints in Toronto, Philadelphia and Florida, Versteeg returned to Chicago, where he collected his second Cup ring in 2015. Since then, he spent time in Carolina, Los Angeles and Calgary. Last year, the Lethbridge, AB native tallied 15 goals and added 22 helpers for 37 points in 69 games with the Flames.

Radim Vrbata
Position: right wing
Age: 36

Radim Vrbata, who just celebrated his 36th birthday, reached the 20-goal plateau for the sixth time in his 15-year career in 2016-17. Having only missed one game with the Arizona Coyotes last season, the Czech forward recently hit the 1,000-game and 600-point marks.

Jordan Weal
Position: center
Age: 25

Jordan Weal just finished his second season with the Flyers organization, spending most of last season with their AHL affiliate. The 25-year-old center put up 15 goals for 47 points with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms to go along with eight goals and 12 points in 23 games with the big club. Before the Flyers acquired him in January 2016, Weal had spent his first three seasons in the pros in the Los Angeles Kings organization.

Dennis Wideman
Position: defenseman
Age: 34

Thirteen-year NHL veteran Dennis Wideman is coming off his fifth season with the Calgary Flames, chipping in with five goals and 18 points during the 2016-17 campaign while patrolling the blue line. The 34-year-old Kitchener, ON native, who has previously suited up for the St. Louis Blues, Boston Bruins, Florida Panthers and Washington Capitals, is one goal shy of reaching the 100 mark for his career. He also boasts 288 career assists, good for 387 points since debuting back in 2005-06.

Justin Williams
Position: right wing
Age: 35

Justin Williams scored 24 goals and added as many assists in 80 games with the Washington Capitals last season. The 24 tallies were the most for him since 2006-07, when he netted 33. Known for his offensive prowess come playoff time, the 35-year-old right winger amassed nine points in 13 games for the Capitals this spring.

Tommy Wingels
Position: center
Age: 29

Tommy Wingels began the 2016-17 campaign with the only NHL team he'd ever played for - the San Jose Sharks - before being dealt to the Ottawa Senators in late January. The 29-year-old Evanston, IL native put up seven goals and 12 points in 73 games between both clubs last year. He has amassed 53 goals, 73 assists and 126 points in 373 career NHL games. 

Daniel Winnik
Position: center
Age: 32

In his 10th NHL season in 2016-17, Daniel Winnik scored a career-high 12 goals for the Washington Capitals, and finished the year with 25 points in 72 games. He boasts 717 games of NHL experience on his resume, amassing 76 goals and 228 points during stints with Arizona, Colorado, San Jose, Anaheim, Toronto, Pittsburgh and Washington, along with 58 games of playoff experience as well. The 32-year-old Toronto native also amassed 49 penalty minutes last season, a career-high in that particular department.

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