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Frank Seravalli

TSN Senior Hockey Reporter

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TORONTO - Everything is happening.

Matt Duchene will be pickin’ and grinnin’ in Nashville. The Vancouver Canucks are landing their top free agent target in Tyler Myers. The Dallas Stars are stealing two California stalwarts in Joe Pavelski and Corey Perry

Yep, the NHL’s week-long interview period produced predictable results in the number of deals cooked prior to Canada Day – even though (wink, wink) contracts cannot become official until July 1 after 12 noon ET.

But there’s plenty of intrigue left for Free Agent Frenzy (on TSN from 11am et to 6pm et).

Half of the Top 10 on TSN Hockey’s Top 50 Free Agent list remained without an official home heading into Monday morning.

‘Bob’ and ‘Bread’ are at large. Anders Lee is looking for a new home. Ditto Stanley Cup winner Marcus Johansson and former Maple Leafs defenceman Jake Gardiner.

All eyes are on where Artemi Panarin, the alpha dog and No. 1 on the board, will land on Monday. The Rangers, Islanders and Panthers all made pitches for Panarin over the last week, but the curveball came from the Columbus Blue Jackets, who climbed back into the race and tabled an eight-year, $96 million extension offer on Sunday night.

No one can say for sure exactly why the Blue Jackets waited until the waning hours before their exclusive window to offer an eight-year deal wore off, but they gave Panarin something to think about.

So far, the Rangers haven’t been willing to engage in a bidding war. The Panthers don’t seem enthusiastic about a package deal for Panarin and Sergei Bobrovsky.

That would seemingly leave Lou Lamoriello and the New York Islanders as the frontrunner, but all bets are off.

Panarin has been asking for a seven-year deal in excess of $12 million per year, which would make him the second-highest paid player in the NHL only to Connor McDavid. The 27-year-old winger is coming off his second-straight 80-point campaign.

The Panthers attempted to land both Panarin and Bobrovsky, the ‘Bob’ and ‘Bread’ combo, but seemed destined to end up only with the two-time Vezina Trophy winner. Bobrovsky was Florida’s No. 1 priority heading into free agency.

If so, it’s possible that Semyon Varlamov – who shares the same agent (Paul Theofanous) as Panarin and Bobrovsky – could be heading to Long Island with Panarin to take over for Robin Lehner.

Where would that leave Lehner? The Carolina Hurricanes and Columbus Blue Jackets would then be the only teams left looking for netminders. Mike Smith picked the Edmonton Oilers on a one-year, bonus-laden contract, while Cam Talbot is shuffling down Highway 2 to Calgary.

And … what exactly are the Montreal Canadiens up to?

GM Marc Bergevin raised eyebrows on Saturday when he cleared out $4.85 million in cap space by unloading Andrew Shaw and Nicolas Deslauriers.

Is Bergevin interested in either Gardiner or Ben Hutton as he attempts to rebuild the left side of his defence? July 1 isn’t necessarily all about the Free Agent Frenzy, as the TSN Trade Bait board remains very much in play.

Stay tuned. Hundreds of millions will be spent. A portion of those dollars doled out will be ripe for regret. That’s part of what makes this all so fun.

Here is TSN Hockey’s final Top 50 Free Agents list of the summer:

 

The Final Top 50

 
RK Player Team Pos Age GP G PTS 17-18
1 Artemi Panarin CBJ LW 27 79 28 87 $6M
2 Matt Duchene CBJ C 28 73 31 70 $6M
3 Sergei Bobrovsky CBJ G 30 62 2.53 .913 $7.43M
4 Anders Lee NYI LW 28 82 38 51 $3.75M
5 Tyler Myers WPG RD 29 80 9 30 $5.5M
6 Joe Pavelski SJS C 34 75 28 64 $6M
7 Marcus Johansson BOS LW 28 58 13 30 $4.58M
8 Mats Zuccarello DAL RW 31 48 12 40 $4.5M
9 Corey Perry ANA RW 34 31 6 10 $8.63M
10 Jake Gardiner TOR LD 28 62 3 30 $4.05M
11 Robin Lehner NYI G 27 46 2.13 .930 $1.5M
12 Gustav Nyquist SJS LW 29 81 22 60 $4.75M
13 Ben Hutton VAN LD 26 69 5 20 $2.8M
14 Anton Stralman TBL RD 32 47 2 17 $4.5M
15 Mike Smith CGY G 37 42 2.73 .898 $5.67M
16 Cam Talbot PHI G 31 35 3.4 .892 $4.17M
17 Wayne Simmonds NSH RW 30 79 17 30 $3.98M
18 Micheal Ferland CAR LW 27 71 17 40 $1.75M
19 Ryan Dzingel CBJ LW 27 78 26 56 $1.8M
20 Brett Connolly WSH RW 27 81 22 46 $1.8M
21 Brandon Tanev WPG LW 27 80 14 29 $1.15M
22 Joonas Donskoi SJS RW 27 80 14 37 $1.8M
23 Ben Chiarot WPG LD 28 74 5 20 $1.4M
24 Colin Wilson COL LW 29 65 12 27 $3.94M
25 Ron Hainsey TOR RD 38 81 5 23 $3M
26 Petr Mrazek CAR G 27 40 2.39 .914 $1.5M
27 Patrick Maroon STL LW 31 74 10 28 $1.75M
28 Semyon Varlamov COL G 31 42 2.87 .909 $5.9M
29 Alex Chiasson EDM RW 28 73 22 38 $650K
30 Ryan Hartman DAL RW 24 83 12 26 $875K
31 Brian Boyle NSH C 34 73 18 24 $2.55M
32 Curtis McElhinney CAR G 36 33 2.58 .912 $850K
33 Derick Brassard COL C 31 70 14 24 $5M
34 Valtteri Filppula NYI LW 35 72 17 31 $2.75M
35 Deryk Engelland VGK RD 37 74 2 12 $1.5M
36 Jordie Benn MTL LD 31 81 5 22 $1.1M
37 Richard Panik ARI LW 28 75 14 29 $2.8M
38 Noel Acciari BOS RW 27 72 6 14 $725K
39 Jason Pominville BUF RW 36 73 16 31 $5.6M
40 Luke Schenn VAN RD 29 26 0 2 $800K
41 Ben Lovejoy DAL RD 35 71 2 9 $2.67M
42 Adam McQuaid CBJ RD 32 50 3 7 $2.75M
43 Jason Spezza DAL C 35 76 8 27 $7.5M
44 Dion Phaneuf LAK LD 34 67 1 6 $7M
45 Nick Cousins ARI C 26 81 7 27 $1M
46 P-E Bellemare VGK LW 34 76 6 15 $1.45M
47 Patrik Nemeth COL LD 27 74 1 10 $2.5M
48 Dan Girardi TBL RD 35 62 4 16 $3M
49 Michael Del Zotto STL LD 29 42 1 10 $3M
50 John Gilmour NYR LD 26 5 0 0 $650K
 

Contact Frank Seravalli on Twitter: @frank_seravalli