2011 NHL Free Agency Roundup: Left Wingers


andrew brunette




There is no real baseball being played right now, despite what Bud Selig wants us to think.  There is no action in the NBA or NFL with both locked out and barred from their sport.  The only real sport still rolling is the NHL.  With the free agency period a little more than a week and a half old, the top players of the class have been signed to the big contracts, the accompanying pieces have been signed, and we have a general sense of what every NHL team’s line ups come this fall.  It’s time to take a look at where  the top players signed  and what more to expect this NHL offseason.  To see who the top left wings are and where they went, continue after the jump.


Bryan Vickroy


Let’s take a look at the top ten free agents at the left wing position, and who they’ve signed new contracts with this offseason.  Green font indicates a player who has not yet been signed.



Left Wingers


ville leino


1.  Ville Leino

Philadelphia Flyers -> Buffalo Sabres (6 years, mil)

Leino gives Buffalo a second sharpshooter upfront to go along with Thomas Vanek.  Leino is obviously the jewel of new Sabres owner Terry Pegula’s spending spree.  Leino is young, skilled, and dynamic, and will become a fan favorite in Buffalo.



2.  Erik Cole

Carolina Hurricanes -> Montreal Canadiens (4 years, $18 mil)

While Erik Cole has left Carolina before and seemed to struggle away from North Carolina, the money was too rich for Carolina, and too good for Cole to pass up.  Cole is big and physical, and surprisingly quick for his size.  He gives Les Habitantes much needed size and grit.



3.  Simon Gagne

Tampa Bay Lightning -> LA Kings (2 years, mil)

Gagne will be a part of the new front line for the Kings along with Mike Richards.  He is an experienced veteran who will also rack up points.  Gagne and Richards will take control of a young locker room who needs to take the next step forward in the playoffs sooner rather than later.



4.  Jussi Jokinen

Carolina Hurricanes -> Carolina Hurricanes (3 years, mil)

Jokinen resigned with a team he has grown accustomed to for a modest cap hit.  Jokinen will obviously will have a more important roll for the Hurricanes with the loss of Cole, and expect this agitator to continue to become a strong all around player.



sean bergenheim


5.  Sean Bergenheim

Tampa Bay Lightning -> Florida Panthers (4 years, $11 mil)

Bergenheim made a name for himself during the Lightning’s run to the Eastern Finals, netting a few crucial goals to keep it going.  Those clutch goals got him a big pay day from the Panthers.  The playoff performance could be a sign of big things to come from Bergenheim.



6.  Marco Sturm

Washington Capitals -> Vancouver Canucks (1 year, .25 mil)

Sturm is a steady player who will try and solidify the Canucks forwards beyond their big three.  While he is getting a bit older, he is a good all around player who will be smart enough to get the puck to the right man more often than not.



7.  Cory Stillman

Carolina Hurricanes ->  UNSIGNED

Stillman is 37, but still has some speed and skill in him to give it another go.  There is a chance he might get another shot in Carolina before the season begins, but if Stillman wants another chance at the NHL level, he might have to take a chance by signing a two way deal with somebody.



8.  Andrew Brunette

Minnesota Wild -> Chicago Blackhawks (1 year, $2 mil)

Brunette was a fan favorite in Minnesota, and will be a good plug into a middle line for the talented Blackhawks.  Bruno will do the dirty work in front of the net, and will jam home at least 15 goals a season cleaning up the garbage.  Brunette is one of the best in the game at controlling the puck behind an opponent’s net and getting the puck to a teammate out front.



9.  Sergei Samsanov

Carolina Hurricanes -> UNSIGNED

Samsonov is 32, and can still put up 50 points a season given the opportunity.  Most likely, the problem is money.  If no NHL team is willing to pony up enough cash, expect Samsanov to end up playing hockey next season for someone in the KHL.



10.  Alexander Frolov

New York Rangers -> UNSIGNED

Frolov is essentially your average NHL player from Russia.  He has the talent to play at the NHL level and can score with the best of them when motivated.  At times, can seem disinterested in the game, and at most times oblivious to defense.  Also a threat to leave for bigger money in Russia.  This is essentially Frolov in a nutshell.  In the right situation he can contribute, but expect him to probably end up in Russia next season.





bryan vickroy the sports bank


Bryan Vickroy has an addiction to hockey, and is willing to partake in all its forms.  He is skating extra shifts for The Sports Bank, covering the Minnesota Wild, the NHL, and NCAA hockey all year long.  Look for new articles throughout the week.


Speak Your Mind