Free agency is almost upon us and there are still some good wingers available for the right price. The market may be great overall for forwards but there are some good players that can be had for bargains if teams sign them.
Let’s take a look at the five free agent wingers who are just outside of the top ten for this years class.
15. Brandon Pirri
Pirri is another one of those under the radar players. He struggled last year with the Rangers producing only eight goals and 18 points in 60 games. He’s a former 20 goal scorer with the Florida Panthers and the Rangers scooped him up hoping that he would be able to do that with them but it didn’t turn out in their favor.
Signing him to be in a teams bottom six would be good as he can potentially build some of his value back up again on a fairly cheap deal. I doubt he would be looking for a lot of term despite being only 26. Five of his eight goals came on the power play this past year, so putting him on the second power play would also be a great bet for the team who signs him.
14. Brian Gionta
Gionta will be hitting the market after three years with the Buffalo Sabres and there should be teams that will be interested in signing him. He can still score, as he had 15 goals and 35 points this past season in Buffalo and he’d be another great depth addition to the team.
Teams shouldn’t want to overpay to get him though as he is 38 and nearing the end of his career. His 15 goals were the most he’s scored in a season since 2013-2014 where he scored 18 in Montreal. Gionta is a bit of an under the radar player as there hasn’t been a lot of rumors surrounding him. Which is good for teams since his contract shouldn’t be too expensive.
13. Patrick Sharp
It seems as if we already know where Patrick Sharp is going to go as various reports have him going to the Chicago Blackhawks tomorrow once free agency opens. Sharp only played in 48 games this year due to injuries and scored eight goals for the Stars to go along with 18 points.
Before this past season, he scored 20 in 2015-2016 so he can still be a productive player at age 35. He may not be as productive as he was the last time he was in Chicago but if he’s signed to a cheap contract, it could be a bargain for the Blackhawks after making some tough roster decisions the past couple weeks.
12. Scott Hartnell
Hartnell has been a late add to the free agent pool as he was bought out by the Columbus Blue Jackets earlier this week. Despite being in his mid 30’s, he can still play as well as his 5V5 points per 60 this past season was 2.42. That is insanely good and he was also a 52.4% possession player.
There are a handful of teams interested in his services and he wouldn’t be a bad option to have on a teams bottom six if they want to improve their scoring. He had 13 goals last season along with 37 points so signing him to a short-term deal would be a great bet for many teams.
11. Chris Kunitz
Kunitz will be hitting the free agent market for the first time in several seasons and there are plenty of teams interested in him. He’s not likely to get a long contract due to him being 37 as teams don’t know how many more years he will be in the league.
He still drives possession very well despite his hands falling off a bit. He had nine goals this year which was the lowest he’s ever scored in a season.
He’s best suited for a bottom six role with a team but he can also play some top six minutes if some injuries were to pop up. Pittsburgh will be losing another one of their longtime core members but Kunitz will still be a good supporting cast member for a team when he signs.