Top AHL Free Agents Still Available, Where Others Signed

July 5, 2010 - By

Some of the top AHL free agents like Giroux, Minard, Sterling, Johnson and Stafford have all signed somewhere but there’s still a number of players still available.  Monday will probably be a busy one after a quiet weekend and hopefully some of the top free agents left will be signed by the Florida Panthers for the Rochester Americans.

We know that Mike Santos and Jody Gage have been working together, looking forward to hearing about some completed deals.  The one thing that most players are still looking for is the chance to earn a call up to the NHL, unfortunately that’s something the Panthers may not be willing to offer as quickly as some other teams.  Hopefully that does not get in the way of things and some contracts get signed.

Here’s a look at some potential free agents still available and how they’d fit into the Amerks roster followed by where the top players have already signed.

The Amerks are in need of a top line center to replace the scoring that Jamie Johnson provided.  The best option for him would be Corey Locke, a player that helped lead the Bulldogs to the Calder Cup in 2007.  Some people say he may be small but he’s quick and capable of 30 goals and 50 assists.  Chris Taylor and Scott Timmins are likely not going to be able to provide that type of scoring at center.

Looking for a winger to provide some scoring but would not take up a veteran spot could be Kyle Greentree.  Greentree played for the Rockford IceHogs last season so it’s someone that Dale Tallon is probably well aware of.

Mike Glumac is a veteran goal scorer that can be relied on for 20+ goals a season.  Since Graham Mink and Michal Repik the only right wingers penciled in the Amerks roster that can score he’s a worthy option.

Mike York is also still available and enjoyed his time in Rochester and would likely sign a deal if one was presented to him.  The only downside to York is his knee but a healthy York makes the team he’s playing on instantly better.  When he camps out to the side of the net and has or waits for the puck he’s lethal.  May not have the fastest skates anymore but the way he handles the puck takes care of that.

Looking at defense, Dan Jancevski is still available and could fit the role perfectly of a veteran defenseman that is needed on the Amerks roster of a big physical player.  Andrew Hutchinson is also available but he’s more of a puck moving player.  Keaton Ellerby and Jordan Henry can handle that.  Someone is needed to help protect Jacob Markstrom in front of the net, something Jancevski could do.  Alex Henry is another veteran defenseman that would be worth going after as well.

Jordan Hendry would be a great addition just for the amusing idea of getting to hear Don Stevens do play by play with a Jordan Hendry and a Jordan Henry.

There’s a lot more players in the “Top 50” than the ones mentioned here (even players not listed from oversea’s), this was just a few that I picked out.  Agree, disagree or have some other names to share please post a comment!

Here’s the top players that have already signed and where…

Alexandre Giroux – signed a one year one way deal with the Edmonton Oilers.  A top free agent AHL teams would love, but the chance of the NHL is something most parent teams were not ready to offer.  Giroux said that he turned down a $1.2 Million offer from Dynamo Minsk of the KHL because he’s chasing the dream of playing in the NHL.  Shows that money is not everything to all athletes!  Not like any more proof is needed that the Hershey Bears is a top organization but he told Penn Live,  “Hopefully, one day I can come back [to Hershey] and play a couple more years there to finish what I started.”

Even though the Hershey Bears are being disassembled they’ll still find a way to win and even have players saying they’ll go back.

Brett Sterling – signed a one year two way deal with the Pittsburgh Penguins.  Jonathan Bombulie wrote, “The Pittsburgh Penguins made one of the biggest free-agent splashes in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton hockey history Saturday when they signed sniper Brett Sterling.”

Chris Minard – Joined a good friend by the name of Jamie Johnson by signing with the Detroit Red Wings.  Both Johnson and Minard signed two year deals with the Red Wings.  Minard will be making $300,000 in the AHL which ties him with Keith Acoin for highest paid player in the league.  The Red Wings also signed Greg Amadio for the Griffins.  Watch for the Griffins to go from worst in 09/10 to one of the best in 10/11.

Garrett Stafford – Signed to a two year two way deal with the Phoenix Coyotes.  One of the top defenseman in the league last year and helped lead the Texas Stars to the Calder Cup finals.

That’s all for now.  Stay tuned to twitter.com/LetsGoAmerks for the latest updates!

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