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free agency

Best remaining unrestricted free agents

Matt Cullen, Radim Vrbata, Jiri Hudler among unsigned players

NHL.com @NHL

The first day of NHL free agency on July 1 had its usual high volume of players getting a new contract. But there are several players who are available.

Here is a look at some of the best free agents remaining, listed alphabetically:

Matt Cullen, center

Cullen, 39, had 16 goals and 32 points in 82 games last season with the Pittsburgh Penguins and helped them win the Stanley Cup. In 1,294 games over 18 NHL seasons, Cullen has 235 goals and 658 points with the Penguins, Anaheim Ducks, Florida Panthers, Carolina Hurricanes, New York Rangers, Ottawa Senators, Minnesota Wild and Nashville Predators. He has 16 goals and 47 points in 98 Stanley Cup Playoff games, and won the Stanley Cup with the Hurricanes in 2006.

Video: Top UFA's still available

Patrik Elias, center

Elias, 40, had two goals and eight points in 16 games with the New Jersey Devils. Selected by the Devils in the second round (No. 51) of the 1994 NHL Draft, Elias has spent his entire 20-year career with the Devils and is their leader in goals (408), assists (617) and points (1,025).

Elias has 45 goals and 125 points in 162 NHL playoff games and won the Stanley Cup twice with the Devils (2000, 2003).

Tomas Fleischmann, left wing

Fleischmann, 32, had four goals and five points in 19 games with the Chicago Blackhawks after being acquired from the Montreal Canadiens prior to the 2016 NHL Trade Deadline. Fleischmann had 10 goals and 20 points in 57 games with the Canadiens, and has 137 goals and 335 points in 11 seasons with the Blackhawks, Canadiens, Washington Capitals, Colorado Avalanche, Panthers and Ducks.

Jiri Hudler, right wing

Hudler, 32, had a career year with the Calgary Flames in 2014-15, when he had 31 goals and 76 points (his previous highs were 25 goals and 57 points). He was a big reason the Flames made the playoffs and won their Western Conference First Round series against the Vancouver Canucks. He also won the Lady Byng Trophy.

But he came back to earth last season; he had 10 goals and 35 points with the Flames before being sent to the Panthers prior to the trade deadline. Hudler, who has 161 goals and 417 points in 676 regular-season NHL games, had six goals and 11 points in 19 games with Florida.

Video: FLA@MTL: Hudler seals win for Panthers with PPG

Brandon Pirri, forward

Pirri, 25, had 14 goals and 29 points with the Florida Panthers and Anaheim Ducks last season. He played in 61 games, missing time with injuries, after scoring an NHL career-high 22 goals in 2014-15. Pirri has 49 goals and 80 points in 166 regular-season games with the Ducks, Panthers and Chicago Blackhawks.

Kyle Quincey, defenseman

For a player his size (6-foot-2, 216 pounds), Quincey, who turns 31 on Aug. 12, skates well and has good lateral mobility. He can move the puck quickly and play a lot (he averaged 19:45 of ice time per game last season, fourth on the Detroit Red Wings). Quincey hasn't had more than four goals or 18 points in a season since coming from the Avalanche in a trade in the 2011-12 season. He's usually assigned a stay-at-home role, asked to shut down the opposition's top scorers, clear the front of the net and avoid turnovers in dangerous areas. He's also an adequate penalty-killer who saw time on the second PK unit with Detroit.

Kris Russell, defenseman

Russell, 29, is more than willing to give up his body; he was second in the NHL last season with 210 blocked shots (in 62 games) and No. 1 in average blocks per game (3.4). Those numbers were down from 2014-15, when he led the League by a wide margin in blocks (283; no one else had more than 209) and average blocks per game (3.6 in 79 games). Russell has had 200 or more blocked shots in each of the past three seasons, impressive numbers for anyone, let alone a player who is 5-foot-10, 170 pounds.

Russell had 19 points in 62 games last season, including four assists in 11 games with Dallas after the Stars acquired him from the Flames on Feb. 29.

Alex Tanguay, left wing

Tanguay, 36, had four goals and 13 points in 18 games with the Coyotes after he was acquired from the Avalanche at the trade deadline. He had four goals and 22 points in 52 regular-season games for Colorado. In 16 seasons with the Coyotes, Avalanche, Flames, Canadiens and Lightning, Tanguay has 283 goals and 863 points in 1,088 games.

Video: ARI@EDM: Tanguay beats Talbot on a two-man advantage

 

Radim Vrbata, right wing

Vrbata's second season with the Canucks was a major drop-off from the first; he had 31 goals and 63 points in 79 games in 2014-15, playing much of the season on a line with Daniel Sedin and Henrik Sedin. Twelve of his goals and 23 of his points came on the power play.

But his time with the Sedins was greatly reduced in 2015-16. Vrbata, 35, spent much of the season playing with second-year center Bo Horvat and young forward Sven Baertschi. He fell from 31 goals to 13, 63 points to 27 and from plus-6 to minus-30 in 63 games. His power-play numbers also dropped, and his average ice time fell to 16:03, the lowest it has been when he's played more than 40 games since 2005-06.

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