July 1st is an exciting day in the hockey world. It's one of the few days in the year when your team can drastically improve overnight and a division can be turned completely on its head. Hopes and dreams, folks. That's what it's all about. Of course, it can be a curse as well. Sometimes your team gets ripped apart like a Raggedy Ann doll fighting a rabid pitbull. Believe me, I know.
Last year was a banner year for free agency. Ryan Smyth, Scott Gomez, Chris Drury, Daniel Briere... The list went on and on. It was really a heck of a day. This year, well, this year... Not so much. As the title implies there's Marian Hossa and then there's, um, not a whole lot more than Marian Hossa. If last year was a "feast" year for teams hoping to improve through free agency, then you can count this year as a "famine" year. The following is a look at the upcoming free agent market and, believe you me, it's not pretty.
There's Teemu Selanne if, you know, he isn't too busy deciding whether or not he wants to play next year. Ooooh! There's Jose Theodore! He had a good year before choking it out in the playoffs. Can I interest anyone in an aging Pavol Demita or Jaromir Jagr? What about Martin Straka provided he doesn't play overseas? If you need a mediocre sniper, there's Miro Satan. There is also all of one solid goaltender around, Cristobal Huet. Mats Sundin is available, if he ever figures out whether or not he wants to leave Toronto. Markus Naslund and Sergei Fedorov can be had, assuming they don't retire.
So all that really leaves is Marian Hossa.
If you're looking for an unrestricted free agent this summer that doesn't have any strings attached, you have one solid option (assuming you don't need a goalie). It's Hossa. Not good enough? Well, I guess you could always go after Brian Campbell (ehh) or Sean Avery (aka Sideshow Bob).