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NHL free agency: Top unrestricted free agents

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July 1 marks the beginning of the next campaign. Teams will try their best to land free-agent players that could turn around their fortunes when the Stanley Cup is once again up for grabs.

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Here are a few of the top unrestricted free agents eligible to be signed beginning at noon ET on Canada Day.

Steven Stamkossteven stamkos

2015-16 team: Tampa Bay Lightning

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Last year’s cap hit: $7.5M US

Key stats: 312 goals, 562 points in 569 regular-season games.


Kyle Okposokyle okposo


2015-16 team: New York Islanders

Last year’s cap hit: $2.8M US

Key stat: The 27-year-old notched his third-straight 20-goal season in 2015-16.


David Backesdavid backes


2015-16 team: St. Louis Blues

Last year’s cap hit: $4.5M US

Key stats: The Blues’ captain scored the second-highest amount of power-play goals on the team (8), and tallied a team high in penalty minutes (83).


Milan Lucicmilan lucic


2015-16 team:  Los Angeles Kings

Last year’s cap hit: $6M US

Key stats: Lucic led all Kings wingers in points (55) and plus-minus (plus-26) last season.


Andrew Laddandrew ladd


2015-16 teams: Winnipeg Jets, Chicago Blackhawks

Last year’s cap hit: $4.4M US

Key stats: The two-time Cup winner has scored at least 20 goals in the last five full NHL seasons.


Lee Stempniaklee stempniak


2015-16 teams:  New Jersey Devils,  Boston Bruins

Last year’s cap hit: $850K US

Key stats: Racked up 41 points in 63 games with the Devils before being shipped to Boston, where he averaged a point every two games with the Bruins.


Loui Erikssonloui eriksson

2015-16 team: Boston Bruins

Last year’s cap hit: $4.25M US

Key stats: Last season the Swede hit the 30-goal plateau for the second time in his career, and played in all 82 games for a fourth time.


Radim Vrbataradim vrbata


2015-16 team: Vancouver Canucks

Last year’s cap hit: $5M US

Key stats: A year after his breakout with the Canucks (31 goals, 63 points), Vrbata posted just 27 points in 63 games and a dreadful minus-30 rating.


Eric Staaleric staal


2015-16 teams:  Carolina Hurricanes,  New York Rangers

Last year’s cap hit: $8.25M US

Key stats: Zero points in the Rangers’ five-game playoff run, and just six points (none on the power play) in 20 regular-season games for New York.


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