Many Free Agents Have Yet to Sign

NHL market for free agents slows after early spending spree

This much is clear: High-end skill will always find a home. Most of the headliners of this summer’s free-agent class were gobbled up on July 1, the first day of free agency, with many other elite names landing deals before the week was over.

“It’d be fun if you scored 30 goals and worked the power play and were a top-two line guy,” Bissonnette said. “Then you’re laughing, and you can’t wait for free agency.”

But teams aren’t made up entirely of 30-goal scorers. Players who execute a particular niche — as Halpern did last season as a right-handed faceoff specialist and reliable penalty killer — are valuable, too.

“If you’re good enough to play in the NHL, you should get a chance to play,” Halpern said.