I like to equate the NHL free-agent signing and trading period to a combination of musical chairs and seventh-grade dodgeball selection. Everybody eventually gets picked, but the quickest to the seats, or the highest in demand, get selected first. Add in the ability to trade players to the other team, and you've got the NHL from mid-June to September.
As the music continues to play, (I like to imagine the song to be Electric Avenue by Eddy Grant) the captains are forced to fill their roster. As the herd of talent thins, the selection process slows. Each roster has to be filled, but we're almost trying to pick players who won't hurt the team as much as ones who could conceivably help.
Don't forget, the girl you like got drafted by the other team. Offer the other team Greg. Greg is a solid dodgeball player: good, not great, but he's kind of cocky, not a good locker-room guy. A straight up deal, Greg for Tiffani with an "I," is a no-brainer. She's a terrible player, but she's cute and you don't have the same lunch period. Plus you can stand in front of her and make sure she's one of the last two or three remaining players.
The chubby kid with asthma can at least catch the ball, possibly eliminating an opponent from the dodgeball match. In contrast, there is always the guy who looks athletic, but when the whistle blows, he's a total liability and would be a healthy scratch in at least 60 games of 82.
Zach Parise and Ryan Suter led a class that will ultimately be remembered as fairly unremarkable. If nothing else, free agency in 2012 further emphasized the parity in the NHL as the "favored" teams were left holding the literal briefcase full of $100 bills while their recruits signed elsewhere.
Fast forward to the end of the summer in the NHL, and the pickings are considerably slimmer. The chorus of "Electric Avenue" is winding down, and there are only a few picks left to be made. You got stuck with Greg because the other team's captain likes Tiffani with an "I" also.
It seems like your dodgeball team has a few holes that need to be filled. Who's going to take a chance on the big clumsy kid whose motor skills haven't caught up with his growth spurt last summer? You hear that Jen might be available if Greg is still on the trading block. She's cute, almost Tiffani with an "I" cute, but athletic and smart. You pull the trigger on the deal, Greg for Jen, and roll the dice on the foreign exchange student from Latvia.
While there were a couple of blockbuster trades that saw stars in new cities, the deals were made out of the need to make the roster better. Rick Nash and Jordan Staal were the jewels of the trade market, but there are names that could still be on the move. There are still teams that are looking to deal and possibly get a late-summer sneaky deal done.
Here are fifteen deals that are still swirling around in the rumor mills. Some could get done, but there's no chance all of them will. Who knows, that Latvian kid could be a team handball stallion in his homeland and lead your dodgeball team to the Stanley Cup! Enjoy now!
This deal doesn't necessarily make sense for Philadelphia because the Flyers need defense, not offense. While it's hard to imagine that Bobby Ryan wouldn't make your team better, it's about getting the right pieces in place and not just assembling talent.
Ryan is from nearby Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and would love to play in front of family and friends. Unfortunately, he's not a defenseman.
It's hard to say if this deal was a product of a Twitter fabrication, a message board rant or actual interaction between the two parties involved. Detroit has obvious holes on defense, and Yandle's game is tailored to fit Detroit.
I just can't come up with a logical reason why the Coyotes would want to trade away their best defenseman unless they are getting a ton in return. Detroit has an ample supply of forwards to deal, but they could be barking up the wrong cactus.
The logical decision for Shane Doan was to stay in Phoenix. Doan is the type of player that you can just see playing for one franchise in his career. He's a great addition to almost any roster, and there are plenty of suitors out there who know this.
The latest Shane Doan dialogue has everything to do with the possible ownership of buyer Greg Jamison. According to Sarah McLellan of the Arizona Republic, Doan is holding out hope that the Jamison deal will get done. It is no surprise that Doan has held out for the ownership deal to go through so that he can stay with the Coyotes.
It appears that Roberto Luongo, currently of the Vancouver Canucks is trying to use his no-trade clause to leverage a trade to the Florida Panthers. While the power of the trade in theory lies with the club, as they reserve the right to let Luongo sit and rot, they will try to make a deal that helps their club.
The problem with Luongo's plan is that Florida may not either want him or need him. They have a goalie in place who is statistically (in 2011-12) Luongo's equal with Jose Theodore, who is older, but cheaper. Florida is building a solid core, and GM Dale Tallon doesn't seem to be ready to part with any of them.
One of the teams that opened up some salary cap room to lure Parise and or Suter to their roster was the Pittsburgh and their Penguins. It has been said by Terry Bross, Doan's agent that the incumbent Coyote captain has six offers on the table. David Shoalts of The Globe and Mail says that it will take a deal in the neighborhood of four years at $30 million.
The 35-year-old Doan wants four years, but most teams are only willing to offer two. The pending ownership situation in Phoenix could conceivably push Doan to the Steel City if their deal falls through.
Another player in the Bobby Ryan sweepstakes have been the Buffalo Sabres. Buffalo general manager Darcy Regier seems to covet the Anaheim winger, and the Sabres are looking to make some kind of noise this offseason.
According to Bucky Gleason of BuffaloNews.com, Ryan is fine coming to the great white northeast but is concerned about the lack of a playmaker on the Sabres roster.
Are we noticing a trend here yet? Shane Doan has become the August version of Parise and Suter simply because there are so many rosters that need a player of his ilk. Count the Predators in as one of the six that allegedly have served the Doan group a contract.
The Predators are looking to re-assure their fan base (and their captain) that they are still committed to winning, and Doan is a big step in the right direction. Kevin Allen of USA Today feels that the Predators are very much in on the Doan sweepstakes. With a pile of money left to spend under the current CBA, Nashville could have a heavy influence in Doan's decision.
It's no secret that the Maple Leafs need some help in goal. They have some young talent in Ben Scrivens and James Reimer, but Brian Burke is hardly sold on either of the two. Los Angeles Kings backup Jonathan Bernier has recently requested a trade from the defending champs for an opportunity to make a name for himself elsewhere.
Jonathan Quick added a 10-year contract extension to his Conn Smythe playoff effort, and Bernier made himself expendable asking for a trade. What can the Leafs dangle to Kings GM Dean Lombardi to send Bernier to Toronto?
Lubomir Visnovsky has a very interesting situation with the New York Islanders. His draft-day deal shipped the Ducks' blueliner to Long Island where there was some question as to whether the Czech defenseman would bolt for the KHL rather than join the Isles rebuilding effort.
While Lubo cleared the air, declaring that his first choice was the Islanders, he ended up filing a grievance almost a month after the trade. Hardly seems like he's pumped about the Islanders. The basis of the filing is that Visnovsky did not have the Islanders on his original list of teams to be traded to.
Stay tuned. Isles and Duck fans, as the Lubo turns.....
The Detroit Red Wings are used to getting the players that they want, whenever they want. There had to be disappointment in the front office of Detroit when Parise and Suter took their talents to the state of hockey and the Wild.
Detroit's obvious weakness lies in their defense. They quite simply cannot replace Nick Lidstrom and Brad Stuart. Suter would have been a nice step in the right direction, but general manager Ken Holland will need to rely on a trading partner to help fill that void now.
Enter high-dollar, underachieving defenseman Jay Bouwmeester of the Calgary Flames. Based on his draft position and pedestrian performance, Bouwmeester had been something of a disappointment in his career to date. He has all the tools but has failed to live up to the hype.
If Detroit acquired him, he would immediately sit just below Pavel Datsyuk as the highest paid player on the roster with two years left on his deal. The Red Wings are said to have inquired about his services according to Sean Yuille of SBNation.
It's safe to say that Tim Thomas has played his last game in Boston. Now all that the Bruin front office wants is for him to just shut up. Thomas' latest rant via Facebook came out in support of fast-food chain Chick-Fil-A and their stance on same-sex marriage.
While it is assumed that Thomas may stick to his plan and sit out next season, Matt Kalman of CBSBoston reports that Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli would move Thomas to help another team reach the salary cap floor as almost a "paper transaction."
The risk that Thomas might decide to strap on the pads and play for another team might be troubling to the Bruins, but I'm guessing Boston will be happy just to see him go,
This one is a reach for sure, and it appears to be another internet-generated discussion. San Jose Sharks captain Joe Thornton comes back east to play for the New York Rangers with Rick Nash. Thornton and Nash had some great chemistry together playing for Team Canada in various competitions. Not sure who the Rangers have left to offer, and Thornton has a lot of miles on him.
Though it's probably a pipe dream, Rangers fans would love to think that this could happen. In a non-hockey development, I think that I could have "good chemistry" with Modern Family star Sofia Vergara, but that probably will never happen either.
In a rumored deal that was recycled as recently as yesterday, Bobby Ryan could end up in Hockeytown. Ryan would fit nicely in Detroit and they have the pieces that Anaheim could want in return. He has plenty of playmakers to feed him the puck, but will Anaheim be keen to allow him to play for a potential Western Confernce rival?
Holding a no-trade clause on his contract, Roberto Luongo holds the right to reject any trade the Canucks may attempt. The rumored deal to Chicago will probably stay just that unless Luongo's masochistic side gets the better of him. The "Madhouse on Madison" hasn't exactly been friendly confines for the 33-year-old netminder.
Luongo was also quoted on CFOX-FM 99.3's "The Jeff O'Neill Show" as saying that he's even a fan of the Blackhawk's goal song "Chelsea Dagger".
“I like that song — it’s catchy,” Luongo said. “I heard it seven times in one game.”
Jason Botchford of The Province said that the Hawks have offered up Dave Bolland for Luongo, which would be interesting for both sides. Luongo's history in Chicago and Bolland's history of calling the Henrik and Daniel the "Sedin sisters."
The Philadelphia Flyers have had a similar offseason to the Detroit Red Wings, which is why it should surprise no one that the two teams could be looking at the same types of players to supplement their roster.
The brazen attempt to lure Nashville captain Shea Weber to Philly was met by the Predators, keeping the surly defenseman in Music City for the next 14 years. While there is nobody of Weber's ilk available via free agency or on the trading block, the Flyers could set their sights on Calgary's Bouwmeester according to Lyle Richardson of the Hockey News.
Though armed with a fairly large cap hit, Bouwmeester could fit into the Flyers' plan and be more than an adequate replacement for Matt Carle.