Evaluating the remaining UFAs: Defencemen Edition

Following up on my look at the remaining unrestricted free agent forwards, here's a gander at the blueliners still available. For a stats legend, see Behind The Net:

Even Strength TM GP TOI QCMP Pt/60 GFON/60 GAON/60 Diff
1 OSSI VAANANEN VAN 49 14.07 -0.01 0.70 2.78 2.09 0.69
2 PAUL MARA NYR 75 13.73 -0.01 0.52 2.33 2.04 0.29
3 M. DANDENAULT MTL 41 10.28 -0.06 1.42 2.56 1.85 0.71
4 ALEXEI SEMENOV S.J 47 11.81 0.00 0.76 1.94 1.73 0.21
5 DENNIS SEIDENBERG CAR 70 16.34 0.02 0.89 2.10 2.36 -0.26
6 JAY MCKEE STL 69 13.53 -0.03 0.45 2.38 1.99 0.39
7 CORY MURPHY T.B 32 12.31 -0.07 0.91 2.13 1.37 0.76
8 M-A BERGERON MIN 72 12.96 -0.04 0.90 2.44 2.06 0.38
9 KEN KLEE PHX 71 13.21 -0.08 0.64 2.50 1.79 0.71
10 CHRISTIAN BACKMAN CBJ 56 12.46 -0.07 0.26 2.15 1.63 0.52
11 NATHAN OYSTRICK ATL 53 13.67 -0.02 0.83 2.40 2.57 -0.17
12 MAREK MALIK T.B 42 15.18 0.00 0.47 2.07 2.45 -0.38
13 DEREK MORRIS NYR 74 15.98 0.02 0.61 1.78 2.49 -0.71
14 PHILIPPE BOUCHER PIT 41 15.19 -0.07 0.48 2.31 1.83 0.48
15 MATHIEU SCHNEIDER MTL 67 15.48 -0.01 0.69 2.60 2.95 -0.35
16 MARTIN SKOULA MIN 81 16.49 0.01 0.54 1.93 2.61 -0.68
17 ANDREW ALBERTS PHI 78 13.10 -0.06 0.65 2.53 2.29 0.24
18 PATRICE BRISEBOIS MTL 62 12.28 -0.05 0.71 2.29 2.36 -0.07
19 TEPPO NUMMINEN BUF 57 13.63 -0.06 0.77 2.24 2.55 -0.31
20 JASSEN CULLIMORE FLA 68 14.69 -0.06 0.54 1.92 2.52 -0.60
21 NICK BOYNTON FLA 68 13.28 -0.13 1.20 2.92 2.66 0.26
22 FRANCIS BOUILLON MTL 54 13.72 -0.03 0.65 2.11 3.00 -0.89
23 BRET HEDICAN ANA 51 13.98 -0.09 0.34 2.52 2.86 -0.34
24 GREG DE VRIES NSH 71 12.82 -0.10 0.33 1.98 2.84 -0.86
25 DENIS GAUTHIER L.A 65 11.66 -0.11 0.32 1.90 2.77 -0.87

These are the only 25 UFA defencemen who played regularly in the NHL last season, with only Sergei Zubov of note left off the list (he played under 30 games, which was my cutoff). In terms of even-strength play, I think Dennis Seidenberg may offer the best value, as he logged big-time minutes last season on a team that went to the conference finals and will likely at this point come fairly cheap. He's also young and made just more than $1-million last season.

Ossi Vaananen, Paul Mara, Mathieu Dandenault (who doubles as a forward often), Alexei Semenov, Jay McKee and Marc-Andre Bergeron are also decent options here, although you'll note that the majority of the players listed here score low on quality of competition. Seidenberg's an exception, as is Derek Morris and Martin Skoula.

After the jump, a look at potential power play quarterbacks and penalty kill specialists.

Power Play TM GP TOI Pt/60 GFON/60 GFOFF/60 Diff
1 CORY MURPHY T.B 32 3.83 3.92 6.86 6.18 0.68
2 MATHIEU SCHNEIDER MTL 67 3.50 3.58 8.70 6.73 1.97
3 M-A BERGERON MIN 72 3.09 3.51 6.75 7.38 -0.63
4 DENNIS SEIDENBERG CAR 70 2.70 3.49 6.66 5.96 0.70
5 TEPPO NUMMINEN BUF 57 1.89 3.34 5.56 7.62 -2.06
6 PAUL MARA NYR 75 2.55 3.13 5.32 3.03 2.29
7 PATRICE BRISEBOIS MTL 62 2.72 2.49 4.26 8.03 -3.77
8 PHILIPPE BOUCHER PIT 41 2.27 1.93 6.44 4.67 1.77
9 DEREK MORRIS NYR 74 2.19 1.11 3.33 6.22 -2.89
10 CHRISTIAN BACKMAN CBJ 56 2.12 1.01 2.52 5.68 -3.16

Not a lot of options here now that Francois Beauchemin's off the table, although Cory Murphy played big minutes with the man advantage in Tampa Bay and racked up some decent points. He would be a good fit somewhere as a No. 6 or 7 defender who plays on the power play somewhere.

Schneider also helped in that role in Atlanta and Montreal and may have something left at a steep discount, while Seidenberg's versatility shows here.

No world beaters, though, certainly. These would all be second unit guys.

Penalty Kill TM GP TOI GAON GAON/60 GAOFF/60 Diff
1 NICK BOYNTON FLA 68 1.32 5 3.35 6.76 -3.41
2 GREG DE VRIES NSH 71 1.82 6 2.78 5.88 -3.10
3 FRANCIS BOUILLON MTL 54 1.93 9 5.19 8.27 -3.08
4 PAUL MARA NYR 75 1.83 4 1.75 4.48 -2.73
5 ANDREW ALBERTS PHI 78 2.38 13 4.20 6.45 -2.25
6 MAREK MALIK T.B 42 2.61 11 6.02 8.15 -2.13
7 JASSEN CULLIMORE FLA 68 1.78 9 4.46 6.47 -2.01
8 DEREK MORRIS NYR 74 2.01 16 6.45 6.94 -0.49
9 KEN KLEE PHX 71 1.78 17 8.07 8.55 -0.48
10 DENIS GAUTHIER L.A 65 2.53 16 5.84 5.59 0.25
11 MARTIN SKOULA MIN 81 2.58 13 3.74 3.30 0.44
12 DENNIS SEIDENBERG CAR 70 2.44 18 6.33 5.87 0.46
13 OSSI VAANANEN VAN 49 2.82 15 6.51 5.10 1.41
14 JAY MCKEE STL 69 3.07 26 7.37 4.40 2.97
15 PHILIPPE BOUCHER PIT 41 1.93 16 12.16 7.47 4.69

Mara had a very strong year on a good Rangers penalty kill, but really didn't log big minutes there. Few of these players did, although some big bodies like Andrew Alberts, Marek Malik and the like could help a team in a specialized role.

The Ducks, Bruins, Blue Jackets, Devils, Flyers, Penguins and Blues could all use another blueliner.

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