Free agency is national shopping day in the NHL, and for a girl who knows a thing or two about spending I've scouted the best looks for those available athletes this upcoming season. Sometimes a wardrobe change is all a player really needs to get his career back on track. Sometimes it's a franchise who desperately need the makeover and they're willing to swipe the plastic to git er done. In the end though but beginning Sunday, it's up to these unrestricted free agents to decide which colours to sport and if it fits their style.
Zach Parise - Minnesota Wild
As exclusive as a Birkin bag, Parise is the hottest commodity in the mall. After an incredible start to the season the Wild had an atrocious end finishing 14 points out of a playoff spot. GM Chuck Fletcher can loosen his purse strings as the Wild sit nearly $20 million under the salary cap, making his chances of scoring the superstar just a little easier. At only 27, Parise has already proven consistency by scoring 30+ goals in 5 of his 6 seasons in the league. This is just what the Wild need, as they ranked last this season with just 177 goals for. It was also the fourth straight year they missed the post-season. Zach is also from MN and his father played for the North Stars, so the home ties are strong, especially if the wallet is talking.
Alex Semin - Detroit Red Wings
Alex comes into the mix with a 'buyer beware' sign on his back. I only mention this because there's been many times the Caps looked like they were going to run away with it but fell short due to lacklustre performances in the playoffs. The Caps can still trade his rights to another team if it's done before Sunday. With Jiri Hudler and Semin both expected to test the market, I wouldn't be surprised if one of them ended up in the others locker. After spending 7 years in Washington which included moments of greatness and moments of nothingness, the Caps look like they're ready to move on without him. Despite the trials and tribulations in D.C, his shot and skill are not to be overlooked and would fit nicely in a Red Wings jersey with fellow Russian Pavel Datsyuk.
Ryan Suter - Detroit Red Wings
If you're looking for that sparkly gem called defense, look no further than the human paper stack Ryan Suter. The most lucrative unrestricted defenseman and dog lover, Suter's looking for a long term deal with lots of dollar signs. He eluded to this by claiming the place he signs with he will end with, as he is not looking to move his family from one time zone to another more than once. With the retirement of Red Wing great Nicklas Lidstrom there's a void that needs to be replaced by someone who can live up to his predecessor. Bye bye to Lidstrom means more cap space for the Wings, who now have about $20 million to spend on Semin and Suter. It's time for an oil change in Motor City and next year the engine will surely be revving!
Shane Doan - Chicago Blackhawks
As much as I would love to see Shane Doan don a Coyotes jersey next season, it would be selfish for me to think he shouldn't play anywhere else. At 35, his age may not be ideal for getting points, but his experience and veteran leadership can help round out any young team with talent; something some would be willing to pay big money for. The Blackhawks are just that. Sure they won the Stanley Cup a few seasons ago, but they've let the reigns slip out of their hands and are losing their grip as contenders. Rumour has it Jonathan Toews is lobbying for Doan to sign with the Hawks, but would he be willing to give up his #19 for the old man? Any team will be lucky to have Doan on their side, but secretly I'm still hoping he stays with the Yotes.