2009 NHL Unrestricted Free Agents:  Defense

OK, so the top need for the Lightning in the off season is D, is it not?  Stabilizing and upgrading the walking wounded, AHL caliber group that closed out the season for the Lightning.

Paul Ranger and Andrej Meszaros will hopefully be back at full force next season after having both of their 2008-09 seasons abbreviated by injuries.  I've already posted about the season that was on the Lightning blue-line, and that is not to be the subject of this posting.

Nope, the point to this post is to put up the projected list of Unrestricted Free Agent defensemen as it stands right now.  View the list below the fold...

This list is not a surefire thing as any number of these guys may be re-signed, may retire, or any other number of things between now and July 1st (the first day of free agency).  The list will grow with RFA's not tendered offers by their teams, and it could shrink substantially if teams decide to hold onto pending free agents instead of letting their contracts expire.

At any rate, by way of NHL Numbers, this is the current list of projected UFA's on defense:

2009 Free Agent List - Defencemen - Unrestricted Free Agents

Note: This is an incomplete list of free agents.
 
Player Age Team Pos 2009 FA Status 08/09 Cap Number 08/09 Salary
Beauchemin, Francois 29 ANA D UFA 1.650 1.650
Hedican, Bret 38 ANA D UFA 0.871 0.871
Niedermayer, Scott 35 ANA D UFA 6.750 6.750
Hnidy, Shane 33 BOS D UFA 0.757 0.760
Montador, Steve 29 BOS D UFA 0.800 0.800
Numminen, Teppo 40 BUF D UFA 1.100 1.100
Spacek, Jaroslav 35 BUF D UFA 3.333 3.300
Seidenberg, Dennis 27 CAR D UFA 1.200 1.200
Tanabe, David 28 CAR D UFA 0.750 0.900
Aucoin, Adrian 35 CGY D UFA 4.000 4.000
Leopold, Jordan 28 CGY D UFA 1.500 1.500
Warrener, Rhett 33 CGY D UFA 2.350 2.500
Johnson, Aaron 26 CHI D UFA 0.525 0.525
Walker, Matt 29 CHI D UFA 0.600 0.600
Backman, Christian 29 CLB D UFA 2.300 3.400
MacKenzie, Aaron 28 COL D UFA 0.475 0.475
Nycholat, Lawrence 30 COL D UFA 0.550 0.600
Tjarnqvist, Daniel 32 COL D UFA 0.750 0.750
Sydor, Darryl 37 DAL D UFA 2.500 2.500
Zubov, Sergei 38 DAL D UFA 5.350 5.350
Chelios, Chris 47 DET D UFA 0.750 0.750
Strudwick, Jason 33 EDM D UFA 0.650 0.650
Bouwmeester, Jay 25 FLA D UFA 4.875 4.875
Boynton, Nick 30 FLA D UFA 2.950 2.950
Cullimore, Jassen 36 FLA D UFA 0.830 0.830
Skrastins, Karlis 34 FLA D UFA 2.400 2.400
Gauthier, Denis 32 LAK D UFA 2.100 2.200
Bergeron, Marc-Andre 28 MIN D UFA 1.116 1.691
Foster, Kurtis 27 MIN D UFA 1.025 1.025
Mojzis, Tomas 27 MIN D UFA 0.500 0.500
Skoula, Martin 29 MIN D UFA 1.800 1.900
Bouillon, Francis 33 MTL D UFA 1.875 1.875
Brisebois, Patrice 38 MTL D UFA 1.500 0.750
Dandenault, Mathieu 33 MTL D UFA 1.725 1.750
Henry, Alex 29 MTL D UFA 0.500 0.500
Janik, Doug 29 MTL D UFA 0.500 0.500
Komisarek, Mike 27 MTL D UFA 1.700 1.900
Schneider, Mathieu 40 MTL D UFA 5.625 5.750
De Vries, Greg 36 NAS D UFA 2.500 2.750
Koistinen, Ville 27 NAS D UFA 0.700 0.700
Zanon, Greg 29 NAS D UFA 0.725 0.750
Havelid, Niclas 36 NJD D UFA 2.700 2.900
Oduya, Johnny 27 NJD D UFA 0.600 0.600
Lee, Chris 28 NYI D UFA 0.500 0.500
Pock, Thomas 27 NYI D UFA 0.667 0.685
Mara, Paul 29 NYR D UFA 1.950 1.950
Morris, Derek 30 NYR D UFA 3.917 3.950
Richardson, Luke 40 OTT D UFA 0.500 0.500
Alberts, Andrew 28 PHI D UFA 1.250 1.400
Hatcher, Derian 37 PHI D UFA 3.500 3.500
Kukkonen, Lasse 27 PHI D UFA 0.875 0.900
Kalinin, Dmitri 28 PHX D UFA 2.100 2.100
Klee, Ken 38 PHX D UFA 0.625 1.250
Boucher, Philippe 36 PIT D UFA 2.500 2.500
Gill, Hal 34 PIT D UFA 2.075 2.100
Scuderi, Rob 30 PIT D UFA 0.713 0.725
Blake, Rob 39 SJS D UFA 5.000 5.000
Huskins, Kent 30 SJS D UFA 0.625 0.650
Semenov, Alexei 28 SJS D UFA 0.650 0.650
Weaver, Mike 31 STL D UFA 0.700 0.700
Malik, Marek 34 TBL D UFA 1.250 1.250
Melichar, Josef 30 TBL D UFA 1.000 1.000
Murphy, Cory 31 TBL D UFA 0.412 0.875
Niskala, Janne 27 TBL D UFA 0.600 0.600
Heward, Jamie 38 TOR D UFA 0.475 0.475
Baumgartner, Nolan 33 VAN D UFA 0.550 0.550
Davison, Rob 29 VAN D UFA 0.560 0.560
Ohlund, Mattias 32 VAN D UFA 3.500 3.500
Vaananen, Ossi 28 VAN D UFA 1.000 1.000
Helmer, Bryan 36 WAS D UFA 0.475 0.475
Sloan, Tyler 28 WAS D UFA 0.475 0.475

Now the question is, who would you target out of this bunch?  Knowing financial constraints this team has, they won't be vying for Jay Bouwmeester, but that doesn't mean they won't chase any of these guys.  Who would provide the best bang-for-the-buck?  The best spark?  The best compliment to the only two sure-thing returns (pending trade) on the Lightning defense?

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