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Let's find these guys a home...

Most of the wheeling and dealing has been done for this NHL off-season, but there are still a handful of difference-makers out there on the free agent market that haven't found gainful employment yet. Can't your favorite team find these players a happy home?

Anson Carter: What's not to like about a 32 year-old forward who can play center or wing, has scored 20 or more goals 5 times and potted a career-high 33 last year for Vancouver? This guy could be a solid 2nd-line forward for just about any team in the league, and his $3 million asking price is pretty reasonable compared to what guys like Michael York and J.P. Dumont were awarded in arbitration.

J.P. Dumont: Dumont's arbitration award wasn't accepted by the Buffalo Sabres, so Dumont is free to take his 20-goal, 40-50 point act anywhere he likes. Certainly his solid playoff run this year will make some GM think he can help them out next spring. What remains to be seen is if he can take the next step and become a genuine 30-40 goal sniper. It's important for Dumont not to necessarily pick the best contract here, but look for a team that gives him a good opportunity to succeed.

Brian Leetch: The numbers here are disheartening - perhaps the new NHL is getting faster while Leetch is getting slower, but the key here is to find a team with a specific, limited role for Leetch to play. Perhaps a team that's a playoff contender, with an otherwise solid blue line, that needs a PP specialist. Hmmm... I wonder what Leetch would look like in black & orange?

Peter Bondra: Bondra apparently has a little bit left in the tank, scoring 21 goals last year for Atlanta, with the best shooting percentage he's had in 5 years. He's just two goals away from the 500 mark, so somebody is going to get to have an awkward awards ceremony sometime early in the season - because isn't it awkward to celebrate the career achievement of a guy who's only been on your team for a couple weeks? Like Leetch, I imagine Bondra is waiting for the dust to settle for choosing the right place to play this fall.

Yanic Perreault: Always one of the top faceoff guys in the league, Perreault is a six-time 20-goal scorer, and a decent assist man as well. He is an ideal third-line center for a contending club, in that he plays solid hockey at both ends of the ice, and can also take the big defensive-zone draws to give the superstars a bit of a rest. He helps win games, period.

Please, call your local general manager and see if we can't find these players respectable employment soon. You just hate to see guys like this standing by the road holding a sign that says, "Will Take Knees Out For Food." 

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