It's no secret that this summer's crop of unrestricted free agents leaves something to be desired. However, there are several combinations of player and destination that would still be compelling for one reason or another.

Some of the biggest names on the market, like Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, and Jonathan Toews, appear destined to either remain with the only NHL teams they've ever played for or retire. But that doesn't mean there aren't any other intriguing potential scenarios.

Here's a handful of UFA signings we'd welcome, even if they may not be the most likely moves.


Avalanche scoop up Orlov

Dmitry Orlov won't come cheap, especially after he improved his stock with a strong stretch run for the Boston Bruins. But the talented blue-liner would surely entertain the possibility of joining the 2021-22 Stanley Cup champions and the likes of Cale Makar and Devon Toews on the back end.

Orlov is a left-shot defenseman. While Toews fills that role on Colorado's top pairing alongside Makar, the Russian could conceivably slot into the team's second pairing. Jack Johnson is the current lefty in that duo, but he's a 36-year-old pending UFA who's been one of the NHL's worst rearguards in recent years. Bowen Byram also shoots from the left side, but he played on the right when paired with Johnson in the top four.

The Avalanche will have $19.575 million in cap space when they put Gabriel Landeskog on long-term injured reserve for next season. Colorado has quite a few pending UFAs to consider re-signing, including forwards J.T. Compher, Evan Rodrigues, and defenseman Erik Johnson. But adding Orlov to the mix would make the Avalanche's must-watch group of defensemen even better and could be a move to get Colorado back to the championship round.