Forward thinking
MONTREAL -- This summer’s crop of free agent forwards may not be as stacked as last year’s veritable buffet, but once the clock strikes twelve on July 1, these veterans won’t be without a home for much longer.

While some teams have simple players on their lists, others will have to add a thread and needle to their shopping needs in preparation to sew a “C” on their jersey. The potential of three captains being available come July 1, including Markus Naslund of the Canucks, the Rangers’ Jaromir Jagr and of course longtime Leafs captain Mats Sundin, has GMs across the NHL crossing their fingers.

With Marian Hossa opting for free agency and Ryan Malone signing a seven-year deal with the Lightning, the Stanley Cup finalist Pittsburgh Penguins will have a vastly different look next season.

The Minnesota Wild also appears to be headed in a different direction with Brian Rolston and Pavol Demitra poised to test the free agent waters.

NHL clubs looking to add a little spice to their dressing room may open their arms to notorious agitators Darcy Tucker and Sean Avery, who will stop at nothing to stir things up, just as they did in Toronto and New York, respectively.

With over 150 forwards up for grabs this time around, this year’s free agent bonanza should be another wild ride.