Don't fret, though, if your team hasn't made a splash in the market yet or if they're still playing games with Ilya Kovalchuk. There are still some talented players to be had. We all know Kovalchuk is the best player still out there, but who are the best of the rest?
No. 9: Paul Kariya (LW)
Age: 35 | Last Season's Stats: 75 GP, 18-25-43, -7
Three summers ago, Kariya signed with the Blues and has helped give a veteran presence to a very young team. He missed almost all of the 2008-09 season because of hip surgery but had a good comeback last season. He's not the Paul Kariya you knew in Anaheim anymore, but he's still an effective winger. He's sort of reached the "Bill Guerin" point of his career -- Kariya will find work but it won't come in the form of long contracts or at the price he's used to.
Age: 30 | Last Season's Stats: 77 Games, 21-29-50, -1
Ponikarovsky is coming off the two best seasons of his career, the latest of which was spent between Toronto and Pittsburgh. The Leafs shipped him off at the deadline and he floundered a bit with the Penguins. He does put up steady production, combining for 111 points the last two seasons, and seems to be hitting his stride on the ice. He may be looking for a raise from the $2.5 million he got last year, and while Colby Armstrong is a different type of player you can be sure Ponikarovsky's agent has been reminding teams of the $3 million per Armstrong got for what amounts to almost half the production.
Age: 34 | Last Season's Stats: 74 games, 12-30-42, +23
After quite a down year in 2008-09, in which he put up only 31 points in 81 games, Morrison rebounded a bit last year. At 34, Morrison's more productive years are certainly behind him but he's certainly still got something in the tank. Just how much is left is what teams looking for a depth center are going to be asking themselves. He's probably in a similar spot to Kariya when it comes to what his next contract is going to look like.
Age: 30 | Last Season's Stats: 82 games, 24-37-61, -17
After falling off the last few years in Buffalo, the Thrashers took a flyer on Afinogenov last summer and it paid off. He found a scoring touch that we haven't before from the 30-year-old Russian -- maybe it was in part playing with countrymen Victor Kozlov and Ilya Kovalchuk -- as he posted a career high in goals. That will come at a price to teams but not talking in their checkbooks, but in the defensive zone. Afinogenov is a combined -40 the last three seasons. He's probably looking for a big payday after last year but teams likely have hangups on his defensive liability and the concern that his production may be a mirage.
Age: 32 | Last Season's Stats: 77 games, 15-26-41, +2
Despite producing less, Belanger is ahead of Afinogenov here for a few reasons; he's been very consistent throughout his career, he's not a defensive liability and he did that with a team that was almost as bad in their own zone as the Thrashers. If Tomas Holmstrom got $3.75 million per and Armstrong got $3 million, you can bet Belanger is asking for something in that neighborhood, too. He should be able to get it.
Age: 33 | Last Season's Stats: 48 games, 4-8-12, +13
Two years younger and arguably a better defender than the next player on this list, Mitchell has some serious questions looming about his health. In January, Mitchell hit his head on the boards after being checked by Evgeni Malkin and missed the season's final 34 games, in addition to 12 playoff games, because of post-concussion syndrome. If he can make a full comeback, he's a great player to have on the blueline, but surely teams are weary about his current health.
Age: 35 | Last Season's Stats: 72 games, 5-8-10, -13
Age: 27 | Last Season's Stats: 80 games, 28-20-48, E
As the youngest player on the countdown, Stempniak comes in at No. 2 for his age and the fact that he could still have some upside. He's coming off one of the best years of his career with a very hot and cold finish to the year. After scoring 14 goals in 62 games for the Maple Leafs, Stempniak was shipped off to the Coyotes at the deadline and scored 14 goals in the team's final 18 regular season games, giving him a career high for goals on the season. That didn't translate to the playoffs, though, as he only had two assists and was -2 in seven playoff games. So we've seen flashes of brilliance and the opposite. It'll be interesting to see what kind of deal he gets when he finally lands with a team.
No. 1: Alexander Frolov (LW)
Age: 28 | Last Season's Stats: 81 games, 19-32-51, -1
Frolov is coming off a bit of a down year -- it's the first in the last six seasons that he hasn't broken the 20-goal mark -- but is still the best bang for the buck of this bunch. Unlike Stempniak, he's a proven goal-scorer and would be a huge addition to any team if he can come close to his career highs of 35 goals and 71 points in the future. At the least, you have to figure you're getting 50 points from a durable player who has missed only 16 games in the last four years. He made $4 million last year and should garner something around that mark given the market so far and his track record.