Sunday, September 11, 2005

Unrestricted Free Agents

For pool purposes, it should be a rare event that you actually pick an Unrestricted Free Agent in your draft, but there are couple more names that are still remaining that could be picked in the pool this year. There are also a few more names on the verge of retirement and I might highlight those a little bit as well... just so you don't really think about picking them up.

Possible Picks...

Peter Bondra, Forward, 38 years old. Bondra's production has declined in the last few years, maybe age has gotten to him a bit, but as a natural goal scorer in what could be an age of them starting a new, you could pen him in for 15 goals somewhere. I wouldn't count on his points early in the draft, but a couple teams are courting him for his services. By the looks of things, he wants to go back to Washington to end his career. Unfortunately, I'd still slate Washington with Bondra in the line-up, because he probably wouldn't make a lick of difference on the team... but he should be good for 15 goals this season... just a thought.

Adam Deadmarsh, F, 30. Like Lindros and Allison, Deadmarsh is a bit of a "head case" which would be a serious gamble. Concussions a plenty in his career thus far... but hopes are high that he can return to the league with a clean bill of health, because he was a great player when he was healthy. I heard a rumbling that he wanted to come to Vancouver, which would be closer to home for him and he'd fit nicely in the Canucks organization, but it seems unlikely. If he signs onto a team with a good centre and a clean bill of health, I would imagine that you could see a fair bit of production from him. He has had a career high of 62 points, which I could see 40 come back if he played 82 games this season.

Jason Woolley, Defenseman, 36. Jason Woolley has also seen a decline in production in the pool points department over recent years, but injuries and being low on a Red Wings depth chart probably didn't help too much. If Woolley was to sign with a decent contending team, then he might find himself a valuable member of a team. Saying that, it's another clean bill of health for this player as well that is what would probably stray you away from picking him. I don't blame you, really... but let's say he gets on with St. Louis Blues (theoretically), he'd find himself in a good position in the team.

More than likely to retire...

Mark Messier, F, 45. It was in the papers on Friday that Messier will look to retire this season... his great career will be remembered in the Hall of Fame for sure.

Ron Francis, F, 43. If Francis signs somewhere, I'd be surprised. I don't think he will, nor should he... he would bare no real pool worthy pick.

I could probably pick more of the 40-year-olds in the list, but there's no guarantee that they will retire unless they didn't play much hockey last season.

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