Is your team looking to boost its power play this offseason? Here is a list of the best available power play unrestricted free agents in the NHL heading into the 2011 free agent season.
1) Teemu Selanne, Ana: If he decides to resign it will likely be with Anaheim (Teemu loves living in LA), but no other unrestricted free agent forward can boost your team's power play more than this guy (even at 41 years old).
2) Tim Connolly, Buf: While an injury risk, TC is a creative offensive player who would be on the 1st unit PP of almost any team in the league. He scores PTS while making the players around him better.
3) Simon Gagne, Phi: He'll likely cost your team $5-6 million per season, but there is no question that this player can produce offense. He is also an injury risk and I would caution my favourite team from overpaying to acquire him, but for the right price he's a tremendous asset.
4) Brad Richards, Dal: A power play workhorse who spent 384 total minutes on the ice with a man advantage, scoring 29 PP PTS. This player won't come cheap, and should land the biggest contract of any free agent forward. The price might not be right, but he is a high value player.
5) Michael Ryder, Bos: Boosted his value with the Bruins cup run, though his last contract was too expensive so it is difficult to gage his value heading into free agency. He provides good value at $4 million per season, but anything higher than that is a little too rich.
6) Vinny Prospal, NYR: Tampa might have bought out the remainder of his contract before he landed in New York, but there is no question he has value on the power play. While he only played 29 games, he scored 10 PP PTS in 90 minutes with the man advantage (which translates to 33 PP PTS over a full season). He is 36 years old and running out of gas, so don't overpay.
7) Ryan Shannon, Ott: If you want a player who can produce on the power play for a cheap price, this unrestricted free agent has to be on your wish list. He only banked $625,000 last season and won't break your bank account for the offensive production he brings with him.
1) Niklas Lidstrom, Det: If he resigns it will be with Detroit, but no other defenseman available is more effective on the power play, even at 41 years old. He scored 39 PP PTS and was on the ice for a PP goal every 6.3 minutes with the man advantage.
2) Christian Ehrhoff, Van: It is difficult to tell if Ehrhoff is the beneficiary of playing on a strong PP unit or if he is the main reason that unit was productive. Vancouver's PP became better as soon as he joined the team, and I believe from having watched many Canucks games this year that this puck moving defenseman is a big reason that Vancouver was so devastating with the man advantage (Stanley Cup finals notwithstanding).
3) James Wisniewski, MTL: He's due for a raise from the $3.5 million he earned last season, but his 29 PP PTS is a big bonus for the team who lands him. At 27 years old scoring 51 PTS he should command around $5 million per season.
4) Anton Babchuck, Cgy: With one of the biggest slapshots in the game, this is a player you want to put on your power play.
5) Tomas Kaberle, Bos: Tommy is supposed to be a Power Play quarterback, but Boston's PP became half as efficient after they added him from Toronto. Sure they won the Stanley Cup and how can you argue with success, but I don't think Kaberle deserves any credit whatsoever for the Bruins victory. Buyer beware. He's not worth it.