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Frank Seravalli

TSN Senior Hockey Reporter

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With exactly 10 days to go until Free Agent Frenzy, one name has rocketed up TSN Hockey’s Top 75 list.

That would be Minnesota Wild defenceman Carson Soucy, a Group VI unrestricted free agent. To qualify as a Group VI free agent, a player must be at least 25, played three pro seasons and appeared in fewer than 80 NHL games.

The Wild was painfully close to the games played threshold that would have limited Soucy’s leverage as a restricted free agent. Soucy, 26, needed to skate in a combined 76 career regular season and playoff games (pro-rated from the usual 80 because of the COVID-19 pandemic) for the Wild to retain him as an RFA.

Soucy ended up at 66 combined career games after missing the Wild’s final nine pre-pause games due to injury and then playing four games in the postseason.

As a result, Soucy is now up to No. 19 on the Top 75, as sources say more than a third of the NHL’s teams are hungry to see him hit the market on Oct. 9.

That interest and freedom has increased his price. The belief is Soucy could well land in the $2.5 million to $3 million range on a multi-year deal.

Minnesota remains locked in discussions to keep him and Soucy has expressed his desire to remain with the Wild. He has been here before: Even though Minnesota drafted him in 2013, he had the option to become a UFA after playing all four years at the Univ. of Minnesota-Duluth but chose to sign with the Wild.

The 6-foot-5 pride of small-town Irma, Alta. (pop: 521) netted seven goals – his most in a single season since midget hockey – and seven assists while averaging 15:38 per night over 55 games this season.

Where will The King move his throne?

It’s the end of an era, as the New York Rangers officially announced on Wednesday that they are buying out the final year of goaltender Henrik Lundqvist’s contract ­– as first reported by TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger on Tuesday.

We’re told the Rangers actually planned the buyout for Sept. 30 to pay homage to a No. 30 that will one day hang from the World’s Most Famous rafters at Madison Square Garden.

Lundqvist will be remembered for being the definition of determination, competitive fire and class on Broadway for more than 15 years. Oh, yes, and his hair and sartorial eye.

All indications are King Henrik wants to continue playing. Where? And what does the five-time Vezina Trophy finalist have left in the tank?

It will likely come down to fit in a backup role. Lundqvist, 38, has more than $100 million in career earnings and will take home $5.5 million this season from the Rangers as part of the buyout.

His agent, Don Meehan, simply told TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun on Wednesday: “To be determined.” 

Lundqvist joins the Top 75 at No. 44, below projected starters Jacob Markstrom, Robin Lehner and Braden Holtby, as well as likely platoon goalies Anton Khudobin, Corey Crawford, Thomas Greiss and Cam Talbot.

Lundqvist is in the backup category along with Mike Smith, Brian Elliott and Ryan Miller. Unranked netminders Jimmy Howard and Craig Anderson are also available.

Solid interest in Bobby Ryan

Early indications are that teams have expressed plenty of interest in former Ottawa Senators forward Bobby Ryan, who was bought out of the final two years of his deal last week.

Ryan, 33, debuts at No. 33 on the Top 75 in his first trip to free agency. Since he was bought out, teams are free to engage in discussions with Ryan now, but he is not permitted to sign until Oct. 9.

His perseverance through alcohol addiction earned him the 2020 Bill Masterton Trophy and makes him a character addition to any lineup.

Here is TSN Hockey’s latest Top 75 free agent list with 10 days to go until the Free Agent Frenzy begins on Oct. 9:

 

Top 75 UFA List

 
RK Player Team Pos Age GP G PTS 19-20
1 Alex Pietrangelo STL RD 30 70 16 52 $6.5M
2 Taylor Hall ARI LW 28 65 16 52 $6M
3 Torey Krug BOS LD 29 61 9 49 $5.25M
4 Jacob Markstrom VAN G 30 43 2.75 .918 $3.67M
5 Robin Lehner VGK G 29 36 2.89 .920 $5M
6 Mike Hoffman FLA LW 30 69 29 59 $5.19M
7 Tyler Toffoli VAN RW 28 68 24 44 $4.6M
8 Evgenii Dadonov FLA RW 31 69 25 47 $4M
9 Erik Haula FLA C 29 48 12 24 $2.75M
10 Kevin Shattenkirk TBL RD 31 70 8 34 $1.75M
11 Tyson Barrie TOR RD 29 70 5 39 $5.5M
12 Braden Holtby WSH G 31 48 3.11 .897 $6.1M
13 Anton Khudobin DAL G 34 30 2.22 .930 $2.5M
14 Mikael Granlund NSH LW 28 63 17 30 $5.75M
15 T.J. Brodie CGY RD 29 64 4 19 $4.65M
16 Corey Perry DAL RW 35 57 5 21 $3.1M
17 Sami Vatanen CAR RD 29 47 5 23 $4.88M
18 Brenden Dillon WSH LD 29 69 1 14 $3.27M
19 Carson Soucy MIN LD 26 55 7 14 $750K
20 Chris Tanev VAN RD 30 69 2 20 $4.45M
21 Zdeno Chara BOS LD 43 68 5 14 $2M
22 Justin Braun PHI RD 33 62 3 19 $3.8M
23 Travis Hamonic CGY RD 30 50 3 12 $3.86M
24 Corey Crawford CHI G 35 40 2.77 .917 $6M
25 Wayne Simmonds BUF RW 32 68 8 25 $5M
26 Dustin Byfuglien WPG RD 35 0 0 0 $7.6M
27 Ilya Kovalchuk WSH LW 37 46 10 26 $700K
28 Cody Ceci TOR RD 26 56 1 8 $4.5M
29 Erik Gustafsson CGY RD 28 66 6 29 $1.2M
30 Thomas Greiss NYI G 34 31 2.74 .913 $3.33M
31 Carl Soderberg ARI C 34 70 17 35 $4.75M
32 Pat Maroon TBL LW 32 64 9 23 $900K
33 Bobby Ryan OTT RW 33 24 5 8 $7.25M
34 Matt Martin NYI LW 31 55 5 8 $2.5M
35 Kyle Clifford TOR LW 29 69 7 17 $1.6M
36 Vladislav Namestnikov COL LW 27 63 17 31 $4M
37 Justin Schultz PIT RD 30 46 3 12 $5.5M
38 Craig Smith NSH C 30 69 18 31 $4.25M
39 Jesper Fast NYR RW 28 69 12 29 $1.85M
40 Derick Brassard NYI C 32 66 10 32 $1.2M
41 Conor Sheary PIT LW 28 63 10 23 $3M
42 Cam Talbot CGY G 33 26 2.63 .919 $2.75M
43 Andrej Sekera DAL LD 34 57 2 8 $1.89M
44 Henrik Lundqvist NYR G 38 30 3.16 .905 $8.5M
45 Mattias Janmark DAL LW 27 62 6 21 $2.3M
46 Michael Frolik BUF RW 32 57 6 14 $4.3M
47 Mike Smith EDM G 38 39 2.95 .902 $2M
48 Dylan DeMelo WPG RD 27 59 0 10 $900K
49 Mark Borowiecki OTT LD 31 53 7 18 $1.2M
50 Derek Grant PHI C 30 56 15 25 $700K
51 Trevor van Riemsdyk CAR RD 29 49 1 8 $2.3M
52 Tyler Ennis EDM LW 31 70 16 37 $800K
53 Patrick Marleau PIT LW 41 66 11 22 $700K
54 Jason Spezza TOR C 37 58 9 25 $700K
55 Colin Wilson COL LW 30 9 0 4 $2.6M
56 Radko Gudas WSH RD 30 62 2 15 $3.35M
57 Andy Greene NYI LD 37 63 2 14 $5M
58 Mikko Koivu MIN C 37 55 4 21 $5.5M
59 Alex Galchenyuk MIN C 26 59 8 24 $4.9M
60 Tyler Pitlick PHI RW 28 63 8 20 $1M
61 Jimmy Vesey BUF LW 27 64 9 20 $2.28M
62 Cody Eakin WPG C 29 49 5 15 $3.85M
63 Brian Elliott PHI G 35 31 2.87 .900 $2M
64 Trevor Lewis LAK RW 33 56 6 12 $2M
65 Ben Hutton LAK LD 27 65 4 16 $1.5M
66 Ryan Miller ANA G 40 23 3.10 .907 $1.13M
67 Luke Schenn TBL RD 30 25 1 3 $700K
68 Zemgus Girgensons BUF LW 26 69 12 19 $1.6M
69 Ron Hainsey OTT RD 39 64 1 12 $3.5M
70 Jon Merrill VGK LD 28 49 2 7 $1.38M
71 Tomas Nosek VGK C 28 68 8 15 $1M
72 Johan Larsson BUF C 27 62 6 18 $1.55M
73 Michael Del Zotto ANA LD 30 49 2 15 $750K
74 Zach Bogosian TBL RD 30 27 1 7 $1.3M
75 Jan Rutta TBL RD 30 33 1 7 $1.3M
 

 

Contact Frank Seravalli on Twitter: @frank_seravalli​