Top 5 2011 UFAs - Joe Thornton
In the midst of all the 2010 free-agent frenzy, many people forget how big next year's class of UFAs is going to be. With players like Brad Richards, Thomas Kaberle, and Kyle Okoposo not making the list (either due to skill compared to these guys or age *cough* Okoposo *cough*), the upcoming summer is going to be HUGE. So here it goes, in no specific order.
1- Joe Thornton
Perhaps the cream of the crop in the summer of 2011, Joe Thornton has produced many points over his 12-season tenure in the NHL, with almost 1000 points coming to the Bruins and Sharks from his hands. In the 2009-10 season, Jumbo Joe scored 89 points over ten less games to let his team cruise to the Presidents' Trophy, which is awarded to the team with the best record every season. His best season by far was 2005-06, in which he compiled 125 points over 81 games, and was a +/- 31. Joe racked up 29 goals on 195 shots for a .148 shooting percentage. His best goal-scoring season was during the turn of the century, when he scored 37 on 181 shots - in only 72 games. If your team is looking for a veteran centre who will look to pass before shooting, Joe Thornton is most likely who they will go after, if they retain the cap space to sign him.