With the 2012 NHL free agency period set to begin July 1st, every GM in the league will be looking to equip their team with the necessary players in order to make a deep run in the playoffs and hoist the Stanley Cup this upcoming season. This year's unrestricted free agent class features several flashy names including the likes of Zach Parise and Ryan Suter along with many high profile trade candidates. Players such as Rick Nash, Roberto Luongo, Bobby Ryan, Tim Thomas and even Patrick Kane will garner a large amount of the spotlight as their names will frequently be involved in trade discussions. There are also some veteran players on the market this summer headlined by Teemu Selanne, Jaromir Jagr and Shane Doan who may very well be the missing pieces for a championship contender. The future of widely coveted UFA prospect Justin Schultz will be one to follow as he will reportedly decide on which team he will suit up for, later this afternoon. With all the uncertainty leading up to tomorrow at noon ET, free agency will likely be a frenzy for the first time in years. Here is a look at the top UFA's on the market and their possible destinations:

LW ZACH PARISE

Age: 27

Former Team: New Jersey Devils

2011-12 stats: 31 goals, 38 assists, 69 points

Possible Destinations: New Jersey, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, Minnesota

It's rare that a player of Parise's calibre becomes an unrestricted free agent and although the Devils were not able to sign him before he got to this point it does not mean they are out of the running for his services. The Devils want him back and are still considered the front runners, however there is no question that he will recieve multiple offers from other NHL clubs. Parise has made it clear that he would like to remain a Devil but the price may be too high for New Jersey. The Wild are a strong player in the Parise sweepstakes as they have over $18 million in cap space and have the benefit of being located in Parise's home town of Minnesota.

D RYAN SUTER

Age: 27

Former Team: Nashville Predators

2011-12 stats: 7 goals, 39 assists, 46 points

Possible Destinations: Nashville, Detroit, Minnesota, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh

Keeping Suter in Nashville is a top priority for GM David Poile seeing as Suter is a cornerstone of the Predators blue line. A former first round pick, Ryan Suter is now highly coveted and will be fielding many compelling offers. The Preds have the most cap space in the league and have more than enough money to retain Suter, however his desire to play elsewhere is the main factor in his decision. It is believed that Suter is a top the Red Wings free agent wish list as they search for a replacement for the recently retired Nicklas Lidstrom. 

D JUSTIN SCHULTZ

Age: 21

Former Team: University of Wisconsin (Drafted by Anaheim)

2011-12 stats: 16 goals, 28 assists, 44 points

Possible Destinations: Edmonton, Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa, Minnesota, NY Rangers

One of the most intriguing names on the market, Justin Schultz has recieved interest from 26 teams even though he has yet to play a shift in the NHL. Schultz narrowed the list to the 6 teams listed above and can make a decision on his playing future as early as today. Schultz is NHL ready and the cost for his services is relatively cheap. His desire is to play for a Canadian team, preferably one which he is familiar with and can guarantee him a spot as a top 4 defenseman on the roster. Edmonton is currently the favourite however the Leafs and Canucks also make a ton of sense for him since they meet his requirements.

G MARTIN BRODEUR

Age: 40

Former Team: New Jersey Devils

2011-12 stats: 31-21-4, 2.41 GAA, .908 save percentage

Possible Destinations: New Jersey, Toronto, Florida, Chicago

Brodeur seems to get better with age as he lead the Devils to the Stanley Cup final this past season. It came as a surprise to many that Brodeur decided to test free agency and after hiring agent Pat Brisson of CAA Sports it is evident that Brodeur is considering leaving the only NHL team he's played for. The three time Stanley Cup champion is looking for a two to three year deal and is sure to recieve a lot of interest from the Maple Leafs who are desperate to add a veteran goalie in the mix along with James Reimer and Ben Scrivens. 

RW ALEXANDER SEMIN

Age: 28

Former Team: Washington Capitals

2011-12 stats: 21 goals, 33 assists, 54 points

Possible Destinations: Detroit, Toronto, Minnesota, Carolina

Washington has not been in contract discussions with Semin and are prepared to move on without a player only two years removed from a 40 goal season. Many teams around the league are not fond of his demeanor even though he is a talented and proven scorer. Semin is worth the risk seeing as he is one of the few top 6 forwards on the market. Teams such as the Leafs and Hurricanes who have the cap space would be great fits for Semin as both are looking to add another offensive threat to their top two lines.

Other Notable UFA'S:

RW SHANE DOAN

Age: 35

Former Team: Phoenix Coyotes

2011-12 stats: 22 goals, 28 assists, 50 points

LW DUSTIN PENNER

Age: 29

Former Team: Los Angeles Kings

2011-12 stats: 7 goals, 10 assists, 17 points

C OLLI JOKINEN

Age: 33

Former Team: Calgary Flames

2011-12 stats: 23 goals, 28 assists, 61 points

RW BRAD BOYES

Age: 30

Former Team: St. Louis Blues

2011-12 stats: 8 goals, 15 assists, 23 points

RW ANDREI KOSTITSYN

Age: 27

Former Team: Nashville Predators

2011-12 stats: 16 goals, 20 assists, 36 points

 

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