On five NHL free agents and their best fits …
Josh Cooper of ESPN: Looking at five intriguing free agents and were they could end up.
Jaromir Jagr – The 45-year old Jagr needs to find the right fit – a team that has depth to utilize him properly.
“Does a team like the Dallas Stars, that seems like it’s going for it, fit? Montreal? I don’t see how Montreal doesn’t give Jagr a chance,” a Western Conference scout said. “Does Jagr make sense with the Chicago Blackhawks? I don’t know. Shoot — he could.”
Best fit for Jagr – Montreal Canadiens
Jarome Iginla – His game picked up after the Kings acquired him – six goals in 19 games.
“Los Angeles was ideal [for Iginla — big, slow, plays with puck] and he didn’t do a ton there, either,” the former executive said.
Best fit for Iginla – Calgary Flames
Shane Doan – Doan’s numbers dropped last season, but he can still benefit a bottom two line.
“He’s an absolute beast and hard to move,” the Western Conference scout said. “It’s hard to find guys who will put themselves in front of the net and do what they need to do from a dirty-goals perspective.”
Best fit for Doan – Winnipeg Jets
Thomas Vanek – His production dropped after being traded from the Red Wings to the Panthers.
“I think he has a really good shot. He’s a very good passer in close, in close quarters around the net. He’s good around the net, he has a good stick. I just think he’s lazy,” the Eastern Conference scout said. “I don’t think he has a work ethic. I wouldn’t want him on my team right now.”
Best fit for Vanek – Detroit Red Wings
Andre Markov – The 38-year old defenseman ranked 15th in points per game with 0.58 for defensemen playing at least 60 games.
“Markov relies on an elite brain and elite puck-moving skill to perform at a high-end level, while somewhat flying under the radar by virtue of being older, foreign and never the big-name D on his team,” the former exec said. “He’s still great, would be an asset to any team. Should just be a matter of cap fit. He’s the Jagr of UFA defensemen.”
Best fit for Markov – Montreal Canadiens