TOP-10 UFA COUNTDOWN #2—MIKE GREEN

Lowetide
June 29 2015 06:00AM

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Photo Credit: Rick Osentoski/USA TODAY Sports

The free-agent pool for 2015 lacks a complete defenseman but does offer a substantial offensive player in Mike Green. The Washington Capitals blue liner has majestic career stats that tower over most of the free agents available and he is one of the 10 best offensive producers from the 2004 entry draft. He turns 30 in October, is close to 600 NHL games in his career, and posted 45 points in 2014-15 for the Caps. What is Mike Green's actual value, and how far is that number from what he'll get? The mind boggles.

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Top-10 UFA Countdown: #3 - Cody Franson

Jeff Veillette
June 25 2015 06:00AM

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Photo Credit: Jake Roth/USA TODAY Sports

This is a series counting down the top-10 pending UFAs. It will be posted across the Nation Network over the next month! Enjoy! 

When the Nashville Predators acquired Cody Franson and Mike Santorelli in February, everybody thought it was a match made in heaven. After all, the team was getting two quality players that they were familiar with, without giving up any present assets. Theoretically, it was the type of move that should've taken a good team to greatness, but instead, it was a bust.

David Poile was quick to admit that the team was forcing a square peg into a round hole. After all, the Predators are very adament about following shot handedness with their defencemen, and they already had three quality righties. As such, Franson didn't recieve the necessary playing time, didn't fit in, and will now hit free agency. But what will he command?

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The Big List of NHL Draft Resources

Kent Wilson
June 22 2015 12:00PM

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There is a lot of information and analysis to consider when it comes to the NHL entry draft. Hundreds of draft eligible kids, thousands of stats lines, dozens of draft coverage publications/blogs and innumerable opinions about who is going to pick whom.

If you're like me, you probably spend a lot of time clicking from tab-to-tab in your browser, or wasting your time searching for draft reports, mock drafts and consensus rankings. So to make things easier for myself (and for you), I've compiled all the lists, ranks and tools I use to follow the draft. 

Enjoy!

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Top-10 UFA Countdown: #4 - Antoine Vermette

Ryan Lambert
June 22 2015 08:00AM

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Photo Credit: Richard Mackson/USA TODAY Sports

The outcome of the Stanley Cup Final will, in many ways, vindicate Stan Bowman's decisions at the trade deadline this year. He spent big to get Antoine Vermette and Kimmo Timonen (a combined cost of two second-round picks, a first, and a decent prospect) and hadn't, for most of the playoffs, gotten much out of them.

There wasn't much of a surprise there with Timonen, because the guy is like 112 years old and coming off a very serious health concern that almost ended his career. But the performance of Vermette, which has only began to sort itself out late in the run, long seemed a point of concern to say the least.

We're obviously working with a very limited data set here (just 39 games from the regular season through the end of the playoffs) but 4-6-10 in all situations and a sub-50 percent possession number on a team as good as Chicago is deeply problematic. Which goes a long way toward explaining his getting just 13:35 per game from Joel Quenneville; he hasn't averaged that few since he was a sophomore in the league, back in 2005-06.

At best, Bowman was "vindicated" with a Cup win (in much the same way the Tomas Kaberle trade once didn't-matter after the Bruins won the Cup), but at worst, the Vermette and Timonen trades could look like terrible decisions. 

And though he came on late, the fact that scoring two goals in six games was a coup probably throws Vermette's price in the UFA market into serious doubt, if nothing else.

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Top-10 UFA Countdown: #5 Paul Martin

Thomas Drance
June 18 2015 11:00AM

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Photo Credit: Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports

This is a series counting down the top-10 pending UFAs. It will be posted across the Nation Network over the next month! Enjoy!

Paul Martin, 34, is getting a bit long in the tooth, but he remains a sturdy defensive defender with the ability to transition the puck and win the territorial matchup against top-of-the-roster competition. If you're sensing that the theme of our unrestricted free agent countdown is "he's useful, but kind of old!" then you're catching on.

The American-born Martin will be among the best blue liners available on July 1, and has the ability to significant improve the complexion of a club in need of an upgrade on the back end in the short-term. He's 34 though, and we might reasonably expect him to begin to incur diminishing returns going forward (and there's reason to believe he might already be on the down swing).

Read on past the jump for more.

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