NHL free agency 2020: What to know as signing period begins

More than three months after the standard start of unrestricted free agency, it is finally here. In a normal season, free agency would open July 1. But because of the coronavirus pandemic and season pause, Friday (noon ET) will mark the beginning of when teams can sign UFAs.

Defenseman Alex Pietrangelo, who captained the St. Louis Blues to the 2019 Stanley Cup, will be coveted. Goalies are also widely available, including Braden Holtby, Anton Khudobin and Jacob Markstrom. Henrik Lundqvist, whose contract was bought out by the New York Rangers, seems likely to sign with the Washington Capitals, a division rival, according to reports. Top-line forwards are scarce with Taylor Hall, Mike Hoffman, Evgenii Dadonov as the best options. Here is a ranking of the best 25 available. 

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Free agent goalie Braden Holtby has won a Vezina Trophy and a Stanley Cup. (Photo: John E. Sokolowski, USA TODAY Sports)

The Ottawa Senators ($42 million), Buffalo Sabres ($32 million), New Jersey Devils ($30 million) and Detroit Red Wings ($28 million) have the most cap space, though they have several restricted free agents of their own to re-sign. The Boston Bruins ($14 million) are unlikely to retain unrestricted free agent defenseman Torey Krug and could be active in the market as they still aim to remain a contender.

How to watch: NHL Network will start its coverage at 9 a.m. ET. You can also follow USA TODAY's live free agency blog Friday for the latest news and rumors.

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