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.

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.