The best defenders in the free agent market


As the NHL free agent market opens up, there are several teams that will need a defenseman who can play in the top-4 or take a leadership role on the third pair. .

AUTONOMOUS PLAYERS: The best forwards offers an overview of the best free agent defensemen without compensation that should be available when the market opens on July 28 (in alphabetical order):

Tyson barrie, Edmonton Oilers

Barrie has rebounded this season, leading all NHL defensemen with 48 points (eight goals, 40 assists) in 56 games, averaging 21:24 per game, after recording 39 points (five goals, 34 assists) in 70 games with the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2019-20. Barrie, 29, has at least 48 points five times in the past seven seasons and at least 21 power play points four times in that span. Barrie has 394 points (88 goals, 306 assists) in 610 regular season games with the Oilers, Maple Leafs and Colorado Avalanche.

Zdeno Chara, Washington Capitals

The oldest player in the NHL has proven he can still play at a high level, recording 10 points (two goals, eight assists) in 55 games last season. Chara, 44, brought a physical presence to the blue line, averaging 18:19 per game and leading the Capitals in shorthanded average ice time (2:41). Chara was second on his team in blocked shots (67, two behind John carlson) and dealt 88 hits. In 1,608 regular season games with the Capitals, Boston Bruins, Ottawa Senators and New York Islanders, Chara had 666 points (207 goals, 459 assists). He won the Stanley Cup as captain of the Bruins in 2011.

Cody This, Pittsburgh Penguins

The 27-year-old defenseman has 17 points (four goals, 13 assists) and established a personal NHL mark with a plus-18 rating in 53 games this season. Playing an average of 18:31 per game, This led the Penguins in blocked shots (70) and was fifth in hits (74). He has 143 points (37 goals, 106 assists) in 549 regular season games with the Penguins, Maple Leafs and Senators, and he should be a lower cost option than some other defensemen out there.

Alex Goligoski, Arizona Coyotes

Even though he’s slowed down offensively – his 22 points last season was his lowest total since 20 points in his 2008-09 rookie season – Goligoski is a veteran leader who can play in any situation. The 35-year-old was the second most used player overall for the Coyotes (1,288: 22; Jakub Chychrun, 1,309: 44) and the shorthanded ice time leader (164: 31) . He also had seven points on the power play. Goligoski, who was tied for ninth in the NHL in blocked shots (108), had 429 points (83 goals, 346 assists) in 924 regular season games with the Coyotes, Dallas Stars and Penguins. He won the Cup with Pittsburgh in 2009.

Dougie Hamilton, Carolina Hurricanes

Hamilton is expected to be the best defenseman available, having scored at least 10 goals and 39 points in each of the past seven seasons. He had 42 points (10 goals, 32 assists) with a plus-20 rating in 55 games last season, and he’s been the top scorer among NHL defensemen (59) for the past four seasons. Hamilton, 28, played 22:43 per game, including a team-high 3:03 on the power play. Hamilton has 341 points (106 goals, 235 assists) in 607 regular season games with the Hurricanes, Calgary Flames and Boston Bruins.

Adam larsson, Edmonton Oilers

Larsson is a defensive full-back who finished second in the NHL in blocked shots (128) and fifth in hits (166) this season. He played 19:39 per game, including 2:18 on a penalty kill. Larsson, 28, has 10 points (four goals, six assists) in 56 games this season and 137 points (25 goals, 112 assists) in 603 regular season games with the New Jersey Oilers and Devils.

Alec martinez, Vegas Golden Knights

Martinez has 32 points (nine goals, 23 assists) in 53 games and has led the NHL in blocked shots this season (168). Martinez, 33, recorded a plus-26 rating and finished the season second on his team in average ice time (22:34), behind Alex Pietrangelo (24:26). He has 238 points (73 goals, 165 assists) in 660 regular season games with the Golden Knights and Kings. He played 103 Stanley Cup playoff games and twice won the Stanley Cup with Los Angeles in 2012 and 2014, when he scored the game-winning overtime goal in Game 5.

Video: VGK @ MTL, # 6: Martinez beats Price on the comeback

Brandon Montour, Florida Panthers

Montour had 18 points (seven goals, 11 assists) in 50 games with the Panthers and Buffalo Sabers last season. He averaged 20:29 per game, including 1:44 shorthanded. Montour, 27, has 109 points (31 goals, 78 assists) in 293 regular season games with the Panthers, Sabers and Anaheim Ducks, and he would be a solid addition for a team looking for a second-defenseman. or third pair.

Mike reilly, Boston Bruins

The 28-year-old defenseman had his best offensive season in the NHL with 27 points (all assists) in 55 games with the Bruins and Senators. A reliable defender capable of taking on a lot of responsibility, Reilly has averaged 19:18 per game this season and has increased that total in each of the past five seasons. He has 80 points (eight goals, 72 assists) in 259 regular season games and the Bruins, Senators, Montreal Canadiens and Minnesota Wild.

David Savard, Tampa Bay Lightning

Savard was one of the most coveted defenders before the trade deadline, and the Lightning got him from the Columbus Blue Jackets in a three-team trade on April 10. The 30-year-old Quebecer has six points (one goal, five assists) playing an average of 19:51 per game in 54 games with the Lightning and the Blue Jackets. He was one of seven NHL players to register at least 100 hits (132) and 100 blocked shots (109). He amassed 166 points (41 goals, 125 assists) in 611 regular season games with Tampa Bay and Columbus, and he won the Cup with the Lightning this season.


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