NHL free agency: 4 players still available

A total of 154 NHL unrestricted free agents secured deals in the first five days of the signing period, but value remains in the form of depth forwards and veteran defencemen.

154 players ink deals in 5 days

Alexander Semin, left, is coming off the worst offensive season of his NHL career. (Alex Brandon/The Associated Press)

Plenty of moves did happen when the NHL's free-agent signing period opened July 1, with 96 players inking deals on Canada Day and 154 getting under contract in the first five days.

But there is still value on the free market in the form of depth forwards and veteran defencemen.

Below, we profile five of the better unrestricted free agents still available:

ERIC FEHR, C (2014015 salary cap hit: $1.5 million US)

The former junior scoring machine became more of a two-way checking centre this past season with the Washington Capitals and fell two goals shy of his NHL high of 21. He also improved his point total by two from 31 in the 2013-14 seasons. Fehr, 29, suffered from a late-season shoulder injury and upper-body ailment in the playoffs and failed to register a point in four games. The Winkler, Man., native played in short-handed situations, scoring once, and won 52 per cent of his faceoffs. Fehr has played 10 NHL seasons and has 37 games of playoff experience.

CODY FRANSON, D (2014-15 salary cap hit: $3.3 million)

Blue-liners with Franson's size (six-foot-five, 213 pounds), offensive capability (36 points in 78 games this season) and right-handed shot are always attractive. The 27-year-old is just entering his prime years and is fresh off a career season with Toronto and Nashville, despite the fact he averaged six fewer minutes of ice time per game after a trade to the Predators. It's believed Franson is looking for a raise to more than $5 million. He plays both the power play and penalty kill, averaging three minutes five seconds and two minutes, respectively, each game this season.

ALEXANDER SEMIN, RW (2014-15 salary cap hit: $7 million)

Don't expect an NHL general manager to throw another $7 million US at the Russian right-winger like Jim Rutherford did in July 2012. Semin, 31, is coming off the worst offensive season of his NHL career with six goals and 19 points following wrist surgery last off-season. Carolina bought out Semin, who will remain on the team's cap for $2-plus million until the 2020-21 season. A former 40-goal scorer, Semin had one goal in his first 26 games this past season and by January had been a healthy scratch 10 times in his previous 14 contests.

CHRIS STEWART, RW (2014-15 salary cap hit: $4.15 million)

Inconsistency has been the 27-year-old Stewart's downfall through his first seven NHL seasons. Nearly a point-per-game player when he broke into the NHL with Colorado, Stewart dipped to 11 goals and 25 points in 61 games this past season for Buffalo before a trade to Minnesota. The six-foot-two, 230-pounder made a physical and offensive impact on the Wild's top line with Mikko Koivu and Jason Zucker, collecting 11 points and posting a plus-4 rating in 20 games. However, the Toronto native didn't score in eight playoff games and was a minus-3 while chipping in two assists.


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