Intriguing unrestricted free agents remain out there

Some leftovers from the first three days of the NHL free agent signing period could have a greater impact on teams than some of the players signed Monday on the first day.

Here are intriguing players still available:

Defenseman Jake Gardiner: Once Erik Karlsson opted to stay with the San Jose Sharks, Gardiner was the most accomplished defenseman available.

In Toronto, there was considerable discussion about Gardiner’s defensive faults. But he does many things right, including averaging 21 minutes, 21 seconds per game and earning the reputation as a memorable skater and a slick puck carrier with the potential to push toward 50 points in a season. He’s 28.

► Forward Marcus Johansson: Another impressive skater, Johansson was often the most noticeable player on the ice during the Stanley Cup Final.

Marcus Johansson had 11 points in 22 playoff games for the Bruins. (Photo: Geoff Burke, USA TODAY Sports)

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Johansson fits well into any team’s middle six forward group. He has scored as many as 24 goals in a season.

►Left wing Micheal Ferland:  He can score and play with edginess. That will earn him a raise from the $1.75 million he made last season with the Carolina Hurricanes.

►Center Brian Boyle:  At 6-7, he’s one of the NHL’s prickliest role players. He can win important draws, kill penalties or be a net-front presence on the power play.

►Right wing Jason Pominville: With so many teams looking to bolster offense, Pominville, 36, still seems desirable. He scored 16 goals last season.

►Left wing Patrick Marleau: He also scored 16 goals, but his options are limited by his desire to play near his West Coast home.

►Left wing Patrick Maroon: He's a rugged role player who scored a key goal in the St. Louis Blues' Stanley Cup run.

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