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10-01-2003, 05:36 PM
  #12
MeisterBruinmaker
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Good question. I went to Spectors and got the lastest 2004 Free Agent list from Cory Brolund. First, the age for unrestricted free agent status is 31, so every player with an expiring contract who is born before 7/1/73 would qualify. I don't know what I was thinking, but anyone who is 30 would not qualify. That means Gonchar and a few others like Jason Smith and Peter Forsberg will not be on the list.

Still, the Bruins have among the most combined impact players in the league entering unrestricted status. If they can play their cards right, they could be OK. I am suspect of their ability and motivation, but maybe this will be their ultimate moment of redemption. Who knows. Either way, having Murray, Rolston, Knuble, McGillis, O'Donnell and your starting goalie on the list is concerning. The Bruins should re-sign Murray to keep their top line intact (and dangerous), but after that they are still in a precarious position. They cannot afford to lose Rolston unless they amass some level of depth at center between now & then. On defense, losing the veteran experience and presence of O'D & McG would weaken their resolve.

Unless there is drastic changes before then, heading to 2004 free agency, the Bruins will need the following:
- #1 RW
- #2 or 3 Center (or both)
- #2 or 3 Veteran Defenseman
- Possibly a #1 goalie, or a reliable, experienced back up

Obviously, some of the players listed below will not reach free agency, such as Nik Lidstrom, Dan Alfredsson and maybe Mike Ricci (captain). But even so, there could be a bonanza of solid players available at a time when teams are more cautious about spending than ever.

Some of the best include:
CENTERS: Conroy, Francis, Zhamnov, Zholtok, Johnson, Nedved, Primeau, Damphousse, Ricci, Nieuwendyk
WINGERS: Selanne, Kariya, Palffy, Kovalev, Alfredsson, S. Thornton, Bondra, Konowalchuk
DEFENSEMEN: Carney, Zhitnik, Boughner, Klemm, Matvichuk, Numminen, Rathje, MacInnis, Marchment
GOALIES: Belfour, Hedberg

As a matter of fact, think about some of the players which may become available before the trade deadline. If any of Carolina, Washington, Calgary, Chicago and LA fall out of the race, some good players could be on the block.

TENTATIVE 2004 UFA LIST
ANAHEIM
Dan Bylsma, (III)
Keith Carney, (III)
Craig Johnson, (III)
Todd Reirden, (III)

ATLANTA
Byron Dafoe, (III)
Bill Lindsay, (III)

BOSTON
Rich Brennan, (III)
Ted Donato, (III)
Mike Knuble, (III)
Sandy McCarthy, (III)
Dan McGillis, (III)
Ian Moran, (III)
Glen Murray, (III)
Sean O'Donnell, (III)
Felix Potvin, (III)
Brian Rolston, (III)
Steve Shields, (III)
Rob Zaumner, (III)

BUFFALO
Brian Chapman, (III)
James Patrick, (III)
Alexei Zhitnik, (III)

CALGARY
Craig Conroy, (III)
Dave Lowry, (III)
Dean McAmmond, (III)
Jamie McLennan, (III)
Kryzstoff Oliwa, (III)
Brad Werenka, (III)

CAROLINA
Bob Boughner, (III)
Jeff Daniels, (III)
Ron Francis, (III)
Sean Hill, (III)
Glen Wesley, (III)

CHICAGO
Theo Fleury, (III)
Alexander Karpovtsev, (III)
Jon Klemm, (III)
Igor Korolev, (III)
Steve Passmore, (III)
Steve Poapst, (III)
Alexei Zhamnov, (III)

COLORADO
Andrei Nikolishin, (III)
Teemu Selanne, (III)
Paul Kariya, (V)

COLUMBUS
Fred Brathwaite, (III)
Espen Knutsen, (III)
Sean Pronger, (III)
Tyler Wright, (III)

DALLAS
Rob DiMaio, (III)
Claude Lemieux, (III)
Richard Matvichuk, (III)
Teppo Numminen, (III)
David Oliver, (III)
Jarrod Skalde, (III)
Don Sweeney, (III)
Ron Tugnutt, (III)
Rob Valicevic, (III)
Scott Young, (III)

DETROIT
Chris Chelios, (III)
Kris Draper, (III)
Dominik Hasek, (III)
Tomas Holmstrom, (III)
Brett Hull, (III)
Niklas Lidstrom, (III)
Kevin Miller, (III)
Mathieu Schneider, (III)
Steve Yzerman, (III)

EDMONTON
Scott Fergusson, (III)
Steve Staios, (V)

FLORIDA
Todd Gill, (III)
Jonas Hoglund, (III)
Paul Laus, (III)
Lyle Odelein, (III)

LOS ANGELES
Derek Armstrong, (III)
Jaroslav Modry, (III)
Bryan Muir, (III)
Zigmund Palffy, (III)
Luc Robitaille, (III)
Josef Stumpel, (III)

MINNESOTA
Brad Bombardir, (III)
Jim Dowd, (III)
Darby Hendrikson, (III)
Jason Marshall, (III)
Wes Walz, (III)
Sergei Zholtok, (III)

MONTREAL
Andreas Dackell, (III)
Joe Juneau, (III)
Yannick Perrault, (III)
Stephane Quintal, (III)

NASHVILLE
Wade Flaherty, (III)
Andreas Johansson, (III)
Greg Johnson, (III)
Jim McKenzie, (III)
Jason York, (III)

NEW JERSEY
Criag Darby, (III)
Stephen Guolla, (III)
Igor Larionov, (III)
Grant Marshall, (III)
Corey Schwab, (III)
Turner Stevenson, (III)

NY ISLANDERS
Mariusz Czerkawski, (III)
Brandon Smith, (III)
Garth Snow, (III)

NY RANGERS
Matthew Barnaby, (III)
Pavel Bure, (III)*
Alexei Kovalev, (III)
Eric Lindros, (III)*
Vladimir Malakhov, (III)*
Mark Messier, (III)
Boris Mironov, (III)
Petr Nedved, (III)*
Martin Rucinsky, (III)
Chris Simon, (III)

OTTAWA
Daniel Alfredsson, (III)
Jody Hull, (III)
Curtis Leschyshin, (III)
Shaun Van Allen, (III)

PHILADELPHIA
Neil Little, (III)
Keith Primeau, (III)
Mark Recchi, (III)
Chris Therien, (III)
Eric Weinrich, (III)
Peter White, (III)

PHOENIX
Chris Ferarro, (III)
Peter Ferarro, (III)
Bryan Helmer, (III)
Gary Shuchuk, (III)
Mike Sillinger, (III)
Todd Simpson, (III)
Landon Wilson, (III)

PITTSBURGH
Drake Berehowsky, (III)
Marc Bergevin, (III)
Martin Brochu, (III)
Kelly Buchberger, (III)
Mike Eastwood, (III)
Brian Holzinger, (III)
Mario Lemieux, (III)
Reid Simpson, (III)

ST LOUIS
Murray Baron, (III)
Dallas Drake, (III)
Jeff Finley, (III)
Alex Khavanov, (III)
Al MacInnis, (III)
Scott Mellanby, (III)
Chris Osgood, (III)

SAN JOSE
Vincent Damphousse, (III)
Mike Rathje, (III)
Mike Ricci, (III)
Scott Thornton, (III)

TAMPA BAY
Dave Andrychuk, (III)
Jassen Cullimore, (III)
Janne Laukkenen, (III)
Darren Rumble, (III)

TORONTO
Ed Belfour, (III)
Tom Fitzgerald, (III)
Travis Green, (III)
Trevor Kidd, (III)
Bryan Marchment, (III)
Joe Nieuwendyk, (III)
Mikael Renberg, (III)

VANCOUVER
Magnus Arvedsson, (III)
Dallas Eakins, (III)
Johan Hedberg, (III)
Darren Langdon, (III)
Mats Lindgren, (III)
Jiri Slegr, (III)

WASHINGTON
Peter Bondra, (III)
John Gruden, (III)
Steve Konowalchuk, (III)
Kip Miller, (III)
Micheal Nylander, (III)

If the B's re-signed Murray, Knuble & McGillis, then added Francis and Zhitnik, they could be reinvent themselves as a legit contender in short order:

Knuble-Thornton-Murray
Samsonov-Francis-Huml
Axelsson-Zinovjev-Lapointe

Zhitnik-Boynton
McGillis-Jillson
Gill-Berard
#7 Girard/Morrisonn

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