Goalie Rogie Vachon and center Butch Goring of the Los Angeles Kings were the most National Hockey League talents made available for bidding yesterday as the NHL released its list of free agents.
Defensemen Gary Sargent and Dave Hutchinson and winger Tom Williams were other disaffected Kings who did not sign contracts by the June 1 dead line. In all five cases, however, the have to be compensated by clubs signing the players.
Goring, who totaled 37 goals last season, was one of the only three free agents who reached the 20-goals mark in the NHL. The others were right wing Chuck Arnason of Cleveland, with 25, and center Roland Eriksson of Minnesota, with 21.
Eriksson, the North Star's high scorer with 60 points not subject to compensation because of a special termination clause in his contract. Like Vachon and Goring, however, Eriksson has indicated he wanrs a bundle of money. he ha salso revealed his intention to play in his native Sweden if he doesn't get it.
Another name on the free-agent list is center Stan mikita of Chicago, who at 38 is unlikely to match his expiring $200,000-a-year contract.
Others of note who received offers from their current clubs and are subject to compensation included center Rey Comeau, atlanta: right wing J.P Bordeleau. Chicago: left wing Cary Croteau and center Dave Hudson. Colorado: center Jude Drouin. New york Islanders: rigth wing Ed Johnstone. New York Rangers: center Stan Weir And goalie Gord McRea. Toronto, and defenseman Claire Alexander, Vancouver.
Available without a compensation requirements are such veterans as Boston left wing Johnny Bucyk, at 43 the NHL's oldest player: controversial center Derek Sanderson, who played 13 games for Pittsburgh; Detroit defensemen Terry Harper, who at 38 did not miss a game in exchange for his $125,000 salary; defenseman Dallas Smith of the Rangers and goalie Cesare Maniago of Vancouver.
Others available for the signing include right wing Bobby Lalonde, Atlanta; defenseman Dennis O'Brien, Boston; left wing Andy Spruce, Colorado; right wing Dean Talafous, Minnesota; defenseman Nick Fotiu and right wing Mark Heaslip, Rangers; left wing Gene Carr and Gary Holt. St. Louis, and defenseman Mike Pelyk, Toronto.
"We'll be reflecting on these immediately." said General Manager Max McNab of Washington, whose prime target for September is a high-scoring wing. "We'll see if there's someone there who can help us."
Montreal General Manager Sam Pollock reached the contract deadline with little concern that any defections would cripple the Stanley Cup champions. The Canadien's free-agent list consisted of three minor leaguers, all nevertheless guarded by compensation clauses: goalie Ed Walsh and centers Gord McTavish and mike Polich.