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UFA spotlight — Adrian Aucoin

Phoenix Coyotes v Nashville Predators - Game Four

NASHVILLE, TN - MAY 04: Matt Halischuk #24 of the Nashville Predators skates against Adrian Aucoin #33 of the Phoenix Coyotes in Game Four of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Bridgestone Arena on May 2, 2012 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)

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All week leading up to July 1, we’ll be profiling unrestricted free agents and speculating where they might end up.

Adrian Aucoin (D)

Age: 38

2011-12 cap hit: $2 million

The skinny:

Aucoin’s numbers have been going downhill since 2007-08, but they really plummeted last season -- chronologically, his point totals have gone from 35 to 34 to 28 to 22 to just nine in 2011-12.

Not exactly what you’d call an ideal “contract year,” though he deserves some leeway because of injuries.

While his box score numbers keep declining, he’s still averaging more than 20 minutes per game on one of the best defensive teams in the NHL. (I’m not a big fan of plus/minus, but his agent would be wise to point to his +32 rating between the past two seasons.)

As for Aucoin’s future, there’s talk of him possibly retiring. That’s one option, and to be honest there aren’t many others if Phoenix doesn’t want him back. Perhaps with all the upheaval -- Keith Yandle, Ray Whitney and Shane Doan could all be gone after this summer -- the Coyotes might want to keep the aging, veteran presence around for another year.

If not, he could get a modest offer from a team looking for blueline depth, though that will likely require a downgrade from his $2 million salary.

More UFA spotlights

Ryan Suter

Zach Parise

Jason Garrison

Jiri Hudler

Justin Schultz

Shane Doan

Alexander Semin