Commentary

Free agents due for a breakout

These players can be added on the cheap and are primed for big 2011-12 campaigns

Originally Published: June 29, 2011
By Neil Greenberg | Special to ESPN Insider
FrolikBill Smith/Getty ImagesMichael Frolik represents good value as a free agent this offseason.

The NHL announced that next season's salary cap is going to take a hefty jump up to $64.3 million, just in time for a free-agency period that doesn't offer many high-profile players.

Brad Richards, a Conn Smythe Trophy winner and veteran playmaker for the past nine NHL seasons, should be in line for a long-term, big-money contract, but there will be a steep drop-off in talent after he gets signed.

Luckily, a team doesn't have to get the big fish. Instead, the players you want to add are those who will provide significant upside for less than premium dollars. A perfect example of a player who fits this profile is Chicago Blackhawks center Michael Frolik.


To read about the free agents who could be due for breakout seasons in 2011-12, and could be had for a bargain this offseason, you must be an ESPN Insider.

Neil Greenberg is ESPN Insider's NHL analytics expert. His columns have appeared on the Washington Post website, and he is a regular guest on Sirius XM NHL Radio.