2011 NHL Free Agency Roundup: Right Wingers


teemu selanne



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 right wingers are and where they went, continue after the jump.


Bryan Vickroy


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


Right Wingers

michael ryder


1.  Michael Ryder

Boston Bruins -> Dallas Stars (2 years, mil)

Ryder parlayed his strong play during the Bruin’s run to the Stanley Cup into a nice payday from the Stars.  Ryder will become one of the top scoring options for a Dallas team completing a roster makeover.  If continues playing like he did this past spring, this is a very smart signing for a very good price.

2.  Teemu Selanne

Anaheim Ducks -> UNSIGNED

Teemu Selanne is really in a position where he decides his own fate.  Despite the passionate ideas that he should finish off his career where it began in Winnipeg with the Jets, Selanne will either retire from hockey to pursue his other passions like auto racing, or return to the Ducks for another season.  He still has the speed and hands to be a dominant NHL player.  For everyone’s sake, let’s hope the Finnish Flash comes back.



3.  Tomas Kopecky

Chicago Blackhawks -> Florida Panthers (4 years, mil)

Kopecky is another player who benefited from the need to spend cash in Miami.  The Panthers brought in Kopecky to bring veteran leadership and championship experience to a very green locker room.  Expect Kopecky to be an important part of helping to develop the young talent the Panthers have.



4.  Radim Vrbata

Phoenix Coyotes -> Phoenix Coyotes (3 years, $ 9 mil)

Vrbata stays with the Coyotes for another three years at a reasonable price in a familiar situation.  While the future of the franchise itself is still blurry, Vrbata will still be throwing his body around the ice, contributing at both ends of the ice.  When he’s on his game, he can be a deadly sniper on goal.



5.   Scottie Upshall
Columbus Blue Jackets -> Florida Panthers (4 years, $14 mil)

Another of the nine high priced free agents brought into the Panthers, Upshall is a gritty veteran who is a glue guy, and should play a mentor role to the young Florida roster.  Good speed and hands, and will likely see a lot of time on the special teams for the Panthers.



6.  Steve Sullivan

Nashville Predators -> Pittsburgh Penguins (1 year, .5 mil)

Sullivan is fast and deadly with the puck around the net.  Going to Pittsburgh, Sullivan will be able to show off his nimble passing skills, and stars like Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby could benefit from being on the ice with this seasoned vet.



patrick eaves


7.  Patrick Eaves

Detroit Red Wings -> Detroit Red Wings (3 years, $3.6 mil)

The son of Wisconsin Badgers hockey coach, Eaves will return to Detroit for another three years.  He is a smart, two way player who fits the Red Wings mold perfectly.  Eaves can score the occasional slick goal, but makes his living being a grinder for the Red Wings.



8.  Joel Ward

Nashville Predators -> Washington Capitals (4 years, mil)

Ward got one of the more surprising contracts of the free agent period, especially considering the amount of money the Capitals already have tied up.  Ward is a hard nosed player who seemed to blossom into a goal scorer this past season.



9.  Chuck Kobasew

Minnesota Wild -> Colorado Avalanche (2 years, .5 mil)

Kobasew was a disappointment during his time in Minnesota, being one of the few poor moves that GM Chuck Fletcher has made during his tenure.  Kobasew was snake bitten most of this past season when he wasn’t injured.  He is a grinding forward who will throw his body around and put heavy pressure on opposing blue lines.



10. Radek Dvorak

Florida Panthers -> Dallas Stars (1 year, .5 mil)

Dvorak is a veteran who will be responsible at both ends of the ice, and will also contribute a few points offensively.  Dvorak gives the Stars a cheap, dependable forward to slot in at most likely a second line.  He will provide leadership and toughness to a team some consider soft.




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.  He can be followed on Twitter at @bryanvickroy.  If you’d prefer to speak in more than 140 characters at a time to him, he can be reached at bryan.vickroy@gmail.com .

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