First Look at the Free Agency Frenzy: Southeast Division

April 2, 2012; Tampa FL, USA; Washington Capitals center Mathieu Perreault (85) shoots past Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman (77) during the third period at Tampa Bay Times Forum. Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Washington Capitals 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

You should all know by now that I recently found myself adventuring through CapGeek, looking at what each team is dealing with this summer. Since there was quite a bit of information in there, I have decided to share the interesting stuff here with you guys.

Division by division, I am looking at each's teams UFAs and RFA's for this year, FAs for next year, and give a quick summary of their situation. Of course, I will also look at what players we could poach from those teams, whether through UFA negotiations or trades or offer sheets. If you want more info on a team's non-roster players, those are towards the bottom of the CapGeek pages for those teams. With the Northwest and the Northeast both already done, my order-randomizing scheme spitted out a tie for the next one. Choosing regular season points as a tiebreaker, the Southeast division is next.

Carolina Hurricanes

Capgeek page, 2011-2012 individual stats

2012 RFAs: Jeremy Welsh

2012 UFAs: Jaroslav Spacek, Bryan Allen

2013 FAs: Chad LaRose, Jeff Skinner, Anthony Stewart, Andreas Nodl, Tim Brent, Patrick Dwyer, Derek Joslin, Jay Harrison, Brian Boucher

What are they up to? Carolina is pretty much set for having enough players next year, while still with a large amount of cap space. They will be looking to bolster what they already have, especially on defense. Spacek had a pretty solid season, despite injuries, but might be close to finishing his career at the age of 38. Bryan Allen might be re-signed, although his numbers are absolutely stellar.

Can Vancouver poach anyone? Spacek and Allen are possibilities, but Spacek might be old, and Allen might not want back into Vancouver.

Florida Panthers

Capgeek page, 2011-2012 individual stats

2012 RFAs: Wojtek Wolski, Kris Versteeg, Dmitry Kulikov, Keaton Ellerby

2012 UFAs: Mikael Samuelsson, Marco Sturm, Krys Barch, John Madden, Jason Garrison, Scott Clemmensen

2013 FAs: Stephen Weiss, Mike Santorelli, Matt Bradley, Shawn Matthias, Jack Skille, Jerred Smithson, Jose Theodore

What are they up to? Florida is still up to their usual antics, combining high draft picks with misfit journeymen free agents. This year, they need to figure out how they’re doing it all over again. After successfully making it back into the playoffs this year, they’ll want to try again next year. Kulikov and Versteeg will definitely be signed by the fall no problem, and they do have some quality UFAs there. They should also decide what to do with their goalies, both of whom have expiring contracts. Last word was that they were working on trying to keep Versteeg, Clemmenson, Samuelsson and Garrison.

Can Vancouver poach anyone? Okay, screw Hodgson and screw Ehrhoff, why the f*ck did we trade away Samuelsson?!?!?! Sure, we did get David Booth out of that trade, but Sammy still had more points this year with less games played (he had 3 points with the Canucks before the trade). Anyways, as for the rest of the Panthers, getting Clemmensen as a backup for Schneider would work pretty well. A few other guys there are quite familiar to us already.

Tampa Bay Lightning

Capgeek page, 2011-2012 individual stats

2012 RFAs: Brian Lee, Keith Aulie, Brendan Mikkelson

2012 UFAs: Tim Wallace, Ryan Shannon, Adam Hall, J.T. Wyman, Brett Clark, Mike Commodore, Bruno Gervais, Dwayne Roloson, Sebastien Caron

2013 FAs: Teddy Purcell, J.T. Brown, Nate Thompson, Marc-Andre Bergeron, Mathieu Garon

What are they up to? The big story here is goaltending. Roloson is getting old, Garon is getting old, and the last time Caron played more than 3 NHL games in 1 season was back in 2005-2006 with the Penguins. Steve Yzerman will most likely be looking for a goaltender to fill the starting role. Their defense is also shaky right now. Out of the only 3 defensemen they have signed past next year, Mattias Ohlund and Victor Hedman have both had rough times in Tampa.

Can Vancouver poach anyone? We'd have to shed some salary first before grabbing anyone from here, with all their solid players each already signed to $3M each minimum for a few years to come. However, this does look like a team who would benefit from taking one of our players. Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider would both work well for solving their goalie issues, while someone like Keith Ballard could help with their defense.

Washington Capitals

Capgeek page, 2011-2012 individual stats

2012 RFAs: Mathieu Perreault, Jay Beagle, Mike Green, John Carlson

2012 UFAs: Alexander Semin, Mike Knuble, Jeff Halpern, Keith Aucoin, Dennis Wideman

2013 FAs: Troy Brouwer, Marcus Johansson, Matt Hendricks, Roman Hamrlik, Tom Poti, John Erskine, Karl Alzner, Michal Neuvirth, Braden Holtby

What are they up to? Washington’s team is a constant source of drama, and George McPhee has a lot of it on his plate this summer. Quite a few of their lower-profile forwards have expiring contracts. The only forwards they have signed past 2014 are Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, Brooks Laich and Joel Ward, so they have lots to decide upon. Defense is also a big issue, especially since they have barely anything beyond next year, let alone anything exceptionally good. Goaltending is a big question mark here. After trading away Tomas Vokoun to Pittsburgh, they are putting a lot of faith and risk on Holtby and Neuvy, who are both RFAs next year.

Can Vancouver poach anyone? This team has lots of their bottom 9 players hitting the market, so this could be the place to steal a player or two. All of this year’s RFAs would be great to obtain, although a couple of them will be harder to obtain. Knuble has already received word that he won’t be back in Washington, but his age is the question mark there. Semin is a very risky player, coming off what has sounded like a couple rough years in Washington.

Winnipeg Jets

Capgeek page, 2011-2012 individual stats

2012 RFAs: Evander Kane, Eric Fehr, Spencer Machacek, Ondrej Pavelec

2012 UFAs: Jim Slater, Tanner Glass, Kyle Wellwood, Tim Stapleton, Randy Jones, Mark Flood, Chris Mason

2013 FAs: Nik Antropov, Blake Wheeler, Bryan Little, Alexander Burmistrov, Antti Miettinen, Patrice Cormier, Ron Hainsey, Tobias Enstrom, Zach Bogosian, Grant Clitsome

What are they up to? The welcome to Winnipeg is expiring, and so are several of the contracts. This year, it’s half their forwards and their goaltenders. Next year, it’s the other half of their forwards plus two thirds of their defense. Recent word has it that there's a KHL team looking to lure away Pavelec, which could be really bad news for this team's goaltending. Plus, who would've thought that our beloved "Pudge" would have the 5th most points on the Jets roster this past season?

Can Vancouver poach anyone? You guys remember Flood, don’t you? That Manitoba Moose defenseman from last year who caught our eye, but wasn’t under a Canucks contract? Well, he’s a 27-year-old UFA this year, so we could try to snag him for some more defensive depth. Another option would be to try bringing back Tanner Glass, whose grit was useful last year in getting us to the Stanley Cup Finals.

Check back tomorrow to see who tied with the Southeast in my order-randomizing scheme.

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