From Kevin Allen of USA Today:
Many of the potential 2009 unrestricted free agents will sign before next July 1, but here is an early list of players to watch:
Marian Hossa (Detroit): He was a hot free agent this summer, and he will be hot again next summer because right now it looks as if the Red Wings won’t be able to keep him because they will likely lock up Henrik Zetterberg who can also be an unrestricted free agent.
Henrik and Daniel Sedin (Vancouver): New general manager Mike Gillis says he wants to re-sign them, but it’s difficult to project what this team will look like this fall. Will they get Mats Sundin? Do they have enough goals? Gillis admitted earlier this summer that teams called about the Sedins’ availability. They may play out their option and see what’s available next summer.
Read more big names available in the summer of 2009 from Mucking and Grinding here.
I have a feeling a number of these players will be signed before the summer of 2009 hits. Off of Allen’s list, I’d guess that Hossa, Gaborik and Havlat are the most likely to test the free agent waters next summer.