by Brandt Corbin
Up until July 1, several of teams are looking to rid themselves of contracts. Today we’re going to review some valuable contracted players who can be had at a very reasonable price. These players in my opinion could help our hockey team in Winnipeg. The first and second ranked players are defenseman who could be had for a 7th round pick.
5> New Jersey Devils center man David Steckel has one year remaining at 1.1 million. He’s annually the top center man in the NHL when it comes to faceoff’s, is commonly used on the penalty kill. His downfall is his lack of aggressiveness at times.
Two reason why Steckel could be an option for the team. The teams penalty kill last season was 25th at 77%, the team is 23% in faceoff’s with 48.7%. He would help the team in both of these areas. Reason why he could be available is because the Devils could have major cap issues.
4> Troy Brouwer is due to be an RFA this year, can the team make another move with the Hawks to get Brouwer, just like they did last season with Andrew Ladd? Winnipeg could use more abrasiveness on the top six, or even on the third line. The reason why this is not higher in our top 5 players possibly available, is the asking price would be higher than the others. Likely a 2nd rounder, or a third rounder plus a prospect.
3> Colton Orr is a hometown boy, and even the good lord knows one can never be tough enough. With the emergence of Jay Rosehill (making half of Orr’s salary) could the Leafs find the former New York Ranger expendable?
One would assume Orr going to Toronto was one dream come true, playing for him hometown team would be another dream. Two questions would need to be asked. Is Winnipeg going to part ways with Eric Boulton, and if so do they want Orr’s 2 remaining years at 1 million per season?
2>Sheldon Brookbank, is a cheaper version of Matt Walker at $750,000 for one more season. Just the million dollar savings would be enough for some folks, my concern overall is whether you can count on him for 82 games. He would be a useful seventh de-man, would give you the toughness required in games that its needed.
1> Before I start to explain why, let me tell you ahead I do not smoke nor snort any illegal drugs. I personally like Matt Walker from the Philadelphia Flyers. He has two years remaining on a 1.7 million p/y contract. If the team elects not to have an enforcer, a player like Walker would come in handy, someone to play in the top six defence, and someone who protects his teammates.
When I think of Walker I think back to three seasons ago. He was on tryout from the Chicago Blackhawks, then signed a contract starting the season as the 7th defenseman. By year’s end he was the 5th de-man, during the season he went 30+ games without being a minus played. He finished the season with 14 points in 65 games, being a major player in the Hawks getting to the conference finals.
As we speak right now, Johnny Oduya 3.5 million and Ron Hainsey 4.5 million are the 4th-5th de-man on the depth chart. Do you really want to keep a de-man making that much on the books, I say bring in Walker for half the price, who knows maybe the Flyers would take lowly prospect Angelo Esposito.