Vincent Lecavalier and some other bought-out veterans have boosted the current crop of NHL free agents.
The Tampa Bay Lightning let their 33-year-old captain go last week, giving any other team a shot to sign the center as a free agent on Friday.
Tampa Bay cut ties with Lecavalier to clear space under a smaller salary cap. The Philadelphia Flyers took advantage of both of their compliance buyouts to release forward Danny Briere and goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov.
Teams can spend $64.3 million during the 2013-14 season, down from $70.2 million last season.
Potential free agents such as forward Mike Ribeiro, who passed on re-signing with Washington, or others who weren't welcomed back, will hit the market Wednesday for the first of a two-day interview period before any deals can be signed.