With free agency starting on July 1 and the Panthers with money to spend, Panthers broadcasters Randy Moller, Steve Goldstein and Bill Lindsay will break down the free agent class with their top five lists (top 10 for defensemen). FloridaPanthers.com will unveil the lists over the next two weeks. The Panthers free agents were not included in their lists.
Following the top centers, left wings will be unveiled on June 22nd, right wings on June 24th, defensemen on June 27th and finally goaltenders on June 29th.
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|Brad Richards |
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|Brooks Laich |
Randy Moller's Top 5 Centers1. Brad Richards:
Is the blue chip free agent during this off-season. He will command big money and long term, and will get it from one of the usual big market teams.2. Brooks Laich:
In my opinion, is the next big fish center up for grabs. A solid 20 goals-plus player, he will compliment any club.3. Marcel Goc:
Nashville’s unheralded utility forward will spike interest around the league, especially with his penalty killing prowess.4. Maxime Talbot:
Is very underrated on a stacked Penguins team. Coming out of the Crosby/Malkin/Staal shadows, should advance his career. Only 27 years old as well.5. Jason Arnott:
The cagey veteran has topped the 20-goal mark 12 times in his 17 season career. Would provide a lot of experience to any team.
Steve Goldstein's Top 5 Centers1. Brad Richards:
Is the cream of the free-agent crop. He's a slick playmaker and a true top center.2. Jason Arnott:
Still plugging along in his mid 30's, Arnott is still a good second liner and can bring experience to the younger players. 3. Marcel Goc:
The numbers don't jump out at you but he's a good two way pro. Solid depth player. 4. Eric Belanger:
See Goc.5. Max Talbot:
The Penguins Cup hero with Game 7 goals a few years ago has leadership and personality that works well. Not a great player but has some intangibles.
Bill Lindsay's Top Five Centers1. Brad Richards:
The Panthers have money to spend and it seems like a long shot as he is the most expensive free agent on the market but he is a true number one which is something the Panthers haven't had in a long while. Unlikely, but I would not rule it out. He will have more than one option which means he will get a big deal wherever he goes. He's an elite playmaker and the biggest name on the market 2. Chad LaRose:
He can skate well and is still in his prime at 28 years old. Averaged 15 goals and 30 pts the last three years. A big junior scorer who could be a 20 goal, 40 point guy with an expanded role. Very gritty and determined. 3. Brooks Laich:
Three times he's been a 20 goal scorer in Washington. Only had 16 last year but is still young and would be a great addition. Great at both ends of the rink and went under the radar a bit with all of Washington's talent. Very versatile.4. Tomas Kopecky:
Had a career high 15 goals last year in Chicago. Another player that if given more ice time could flourish. He has a little sandpaper as well. Had to fight for ice time in a talented Chicago lineup. 5. Marcel Goc:
He's a perfect third line center who chips in, kills penalties and is very responsible. He seems to be hitting his stride. Is limited offensively but you know what you're going to get: consistent.