The free agency signing period gets underway at noon ET Wednesday, but a flat salary cap could take away some of the luster.
The unrestricted free agency field is larger this season because some high-profile players were bought out.
Here is our list for the top 25 unrestricted free agents.
Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask isn’t included because a hip injury will keep him out for months, and he has expressed a desire to play only in Boston.
1. D Dougie Hamilton, 28, Carolina Hurricanes: He was a Norris Trophy favorite two seasons ago before breaking his leg and still finished seventh. He finished fourth in voting last season. The Hurricanes allowed him to talk to other teams. Where he went: New Jersey Devils, seven years, $63 million.
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2. G Philipp Grubauer, 29, Avalanche: He was a Vezina Trophy finalist after recording seven shutouts. Where he went: Seattle Kraken, six years, $35.4 million.
3. W Blake Coleman, 29, Tampa Bay Lightning: A back-to-back Stanley Cup winner who has three 20-goal seasons. His buzzer-beating goal in Game 2 of the Final was a wonder to watch. Where he went: Calgary Flames, six years, $29.4 million.
4. D Alec Martinez, 34, Vegas Golden Knights. The team is expected to bring back Martinez, who finished second among Golden Knights defensemen in ice time and points. Where he went: Stayed for three years, $15.75 million.
5. C David Krejci, 35, Boston Bruins: The playmaking center would fit in nicely on a team’s second line. Where he went: Retired from NHL and will play in native Czech Republic.
6. C Phillip Danault, 28, Montreal Canadiens: He helped shut down some big names in the playoffs as Montreal reached the Final. Where he went: Los Angeles Kings, six years, $33 million.
7. D Tyson Barrie, 30, Edmonton Oilers: He gambled with a one-year deal and ended up leading all NHL defensemen with 48 points. He’s more of a power-play guy. Where he went: Stayed in Edmonton, three years, $13.5 million
8. LW Zach Hyman, 29, Toronto Maple Leafs: Reports say the top-six forward will land with the Oilers. Where he went: Edmonton Oilers, seven years, $38.5 million.
9. W Kyle Palmieri, 30, New York Islanders: He had 25 or more goals for five consecutive seasons before finishing with 10 last season. But he shined in the playoffs with seven goals.
10. LW Jaden Schwartz, 29, St. Louis Blues: His numbers dropped off last season, but he does have four 20-goal seasons and five 50-point seasons. Where we went: Seattle Kraken, five years, $27.5 million.
11. G Petr Mrazek, 29, Carolina Hurricanes: He put up strong numbers in Carolina but dealt with injuries last season. Where he went: Toronto Maple Leafs, three years, $11.4 million.
12. D Ryan Suter, 36, Minnesota Wild: His contract buyout was surprising. He’ll fit in nicely in a team’s second pairing. Where he went: Dallas Stars, four years, $14.6 million.
13. W Mike Hoffman, 31, Blues: He averaged 28 goals a season from 2014-20. He had 17 in his lone season in St. Louis and was a healthy scratch at times. Where he went: Montreal Canadiens, three years, $13.5 million.
14. G Frederik Andersen, 31, Maple Leafs: He was bumped out by Jack Campbell in an injury-filled season, but he had between 52 and 66 starts in the four seasons before that. Where he went: Carolina Hurricanes, two years, $9 million.
15. W Brandon Saad, 28, Avalanche: He can slot in on a second or third line and chip in 20 goals. Where he went: St. Louis Blues, five years, $22.5 million.
16. D David Savard, 30, Lightning: Acquired at the trade deadline, the shutdown defenseman grew stronger as the playoffs progressed. Where he went: Montreal Canadiens, four years, $14 million.
17. W Tomas Tatar, 30, Canadiens: He has had good regular-season numbers, but his inability to get into the lineup during Montreal’s playoff run could dissuade teams.
18. D Mike Reilly, 28, Bruins: He’s coming a career-best 27-point season, all assists. Where he went: Stayed in Boston, three years, $9 million.
19. G Jonathan Bernier, 32, Hurricanes: He had a strong season in Detroit, and his rights went to Carolina in the Alex Nedeljkovic trade. Where he went: New Jersey Devils, two years, $8.25 million.
20. LW Nick Ritchie, 25, Bruins: He wasn’t qualified after a career-best 15-goal season. He led Bruins forwards with 102 hits. Where he went: Toronto Maple Leafs, two years, $5 million.
21. RW Mikael Granlund, 29, Nashville Predators: His numbers dropped off in Nashville, but he’s versatile. Where he went: Stayed in Nashville, four years, $20 million.
22. RW Corey Perry, 36, Canadiens. He’ll be an inexpensive fourth liner, but he has reached the Stanley Cup Final the past two seasons. Where he went: Tampa Bay Lightning, two years, $2 million.
23. D Keith Yandle, 34, Florida Panthers: He was bought out. He has flaws in his game, but he can help a power play and is durable. He’s 43 games short of breaking Doug Jarvis’ iron man record. Where he went: Philadelphia Flyers, one year, $900,000.
24. LW Zach Parise, 36, Wild: His contract was bought out, but some team will grab him for a fourth-line role.
25: F Pius Suter, 25, Blackhawks: He had a solid rookie season with 14 goals and 13 assists, but the Blackhawks didn’t make him a qualifying offer. Where he went: Detroit Red Wings, two years, $6.5 million
Others to watch: F Casey Cizikas, Islanders; G Braden Holtby, Vancouver Canucks (Dallas Stars, one year, $2 million); F Nick Foligno, Maple Leafs (Boston Bruins, two years, $7.6 million); D Ryan Murray, New Jersey Devils; D Jake McCabe, Sabres (Chicago Blackhawks, four years, $16 million).
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: NHL free agency, rumors, news: 25 who will draw interest