Even with unclear cap future, 2009 free agents should do well - USATODAY.com

[special Kings-centric forward-only edition:]

1. Right wing Marian Hossa (Detroit): He has said publicly that he will take less money to stay with the Red Wings, and GM Ken Holland clearly would like him back. But the Red Wings have roughly $47 million already committed for next season, and it's going to be problematic for the Red Wings to sign both Hossa and Johan Franzen.

4. Forward Johan Franzen (Detroit): Since the middle of the 2008-09 season, Franzen has been Alex Ovechkin-like in his goal scoring prowess. He's also pushing 230 pounds. He's a bull with skill. The Red Wings want to sign him, but if they sign both Franzen and Hossa, it could cost them Jiri Hudler, and it will hurt their depth.

Yes, we'll take whichever one Holland doesn't.

5. Right wing Daniel Sedin (Vancouver): He's the scoring Sedin twin, and the Canucks want to re-sign both brothers. However, it doesn't seem like they are close to a deal and that has to be worrisome to Vancouver fans. Both brothers are now top-level scorers, and that probably means salaries of more than $7 million. If Hossa and Franzen both re-sign with Detroit, the Sedins could be the hottest forwards on the marketplace.

6. Center Henrik Sedin (Vancouver): He's the playmaking Sedin twin. The twins have said they realize they could eventually end up on separate teams, but presumably they would like to stay together. If they test the market, a team that could sign them both might have an advantage.

No and no. Can't afford both and who wants just one?

9. Right wing Marian Gaborik (Minnesota): Although Gaborik missed almost the entire season because of hip surgery, his speed and scoring ability makes him attractive. Although he is viewed as a player with injury history, he has played 65 or more games in six of his eight NHL seasons. What any potential buyer is going to focus on is that he was a 42-goal scorer last season when he played 77 games.

He's great, but -- ouch, ooh, what broke? No insurance write-offs, please.

10. Left wing Mike Cammalleri (Calgary): He's 27 and having his best NHL season. He could finish this season with 40 goals. He's only 5-9, but he's a dynamic offensive presence.


13. Left wing Alex Tanguay (Montreal): He's 29 and he has 575 points in his 651 NHL games. Too many teams are goal-starved for Tanguay not to do well this summer.

14. Right wing Martin Havlat (Chicago): It certainly helps Havlat's stock that he has played a full season, after missing a substantial amount of time in each of the previous three seasons. He's a proven goal scorer.

15. Left wing Erik Cole (Carolina): Just three years ago, Cole was considered among the NHL's top power forwards. He doesn't have quite the same reputation today, but he is still only 30. He has speed and grit.

16. Right wing Petr Sykora (Pittsburgh): The Penguins can't pay him as much as some other teams could offer him, but those teams won't have Evgeni Malkin there to feed him the puck.

17. Right wing Brian Gionta (New Jersey): His game has slipped since his 48-goal outburst in 2005-06, but he's a fast, slippery forward who can still produce 50 to 60 points.

18. Right wing Nik Antropov (Toronto): Toronto's Burke couldn't get Antropov out of town fast enough, but his goals and offensive moves will make him attractive this summer.

21. Center Saku Koivu (Montreal): It's difficult to imagine the Canadiens allowing Koivu to sign elsewhere.

22. Right wing Mikael Samuelsson (Detroit): He has a booming shot, and he can contribute 15-20 goals and most important, he won't break the bank. He earned $1.2 million this season, The Red Wings probably can't afford him, no matter what he wants.


26. Left wing Tomas Kopecky (Detroit): There was considerable interest around the NHL in Kopecky even when he was in the minors. He's a big-bodied forward with some untapped potential. Just recently, he started to show some offensive flair. He will go somewhere and receive more playing time than he has received in Detroit.


27. Right wing David Moss (Calgary): He's only 25, and he has 19 goals this season. He's 6-3 and he's another player who could be hot among bargain seekers.

28. Right wing Alexei Kovalev (Montreal): The romance of Kovalev's offensive skill might be greater than the reality at this point of his career. However, there are mundane offenses that could use his sizzle.

via Even with unclear cap future, 2009 free agents should do well - USATODAY.com.