The Most Desperate Signings of the 2013 NHL Free-Agency Period Thus Far
NHL free agency can be a hit-or-miss proposition, and sometimes a franchise makes desperate signings after striking out on the big-name free agents.
During the summer teams try to improve so they can be competitive, but sometimes it's better to make no moves instead of desperate ones. Many times these signees are being vastly overpaid as well.
Here are some of 2013’s most desperate signings.
Derek Roy, St. Louis Blues
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Contract: One-year deal worth $4 million; ($4 million cap hit)
The St. Louis Blues missed out on Stephen Weiss, Valtteri Filppula and Mike Ribeiro on free-agency day.
The Blues couldn’t convince any of those pivots to commit to play for them, so they opted to sign Roy on a one-year deal valued at $4 million.
The signing was so desperate that the Blues did not want to give him a guaranteed contract off the bat. The deal was made contingent on him passing a physical, and that should tell you how the team felt about adding him to its roster.
While Roy is a decent center, his best days are behind him, and the signing was clearly made out of desperation.
Ryane Clowe, New Jersey Devils
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Contract: Five-year deal worth $28.5 million; ($4.85 million cap hit)
The New Jersey Devils knew they were losing David Clarkson once they reached July 5, and they signed his replacement in desperation. It is hard to believe that a player such as Ryane Clowe was in high demand on the first day of free agency.
The recent loss of Ilya Kovalchuk to his retirement from the NHL makes matters even worse, because Clowe will now be looked upon as a primary source of offense.
There are players better than Clowe still on the market, and it is fair to say that the Devils could have signed him for less. Clowe's style of play is attractive, but the potential negatives outweigh the potential positives.
If the Devils added vintage Clowe, this would be a great signing. Instead they got desperate and signed an oft-injured power winger on the wrong side of 30.
Tyler Bozak, Toronto Maple Leafs
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Contract: Five-year deal worth $21 million; ($4.5 million cap hit)
Tyler Bozak briefly tested the free-agent waters on July 5. A deal was not consummated until midday, and the re-signing of Bozak came out of desperation. The Leafs would have been better served keeping Mikhail Grabovski instead of Bozak, but the team kept him for a reason.
Bozak and the Leafs' top sniper, Phil Kessel, are bros. They have a close relationship, and getting rid of Bozak might have upset Kessel. With Kessel slated to become a UFA next summer, the Leafs probably didn't want to risk losing him.
At his price and production, Bozak isn't a great fit for the Leafs, and the deal was made out of desperation.
Jarome Iginla, Boston Bruins
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Contract: One-year deal worth $6 million, ($6 million cap hit)
The Boston Bruins lost Nathan Horton to the Columbus Blue Jackets and decided not to re-sign Jaromir Jagr. After swapping Tyler Seguin for Loui Eriksson, the team still had a hole in its top six. With numerous options, the Bruins signed Jarome Iginla.
Seriously, they really got Iginla, and Ray Shero didn't make a move at the last second to change his mind.
The time Boston was Iginla's first choice, unlike the fiasco that transpired at last season's trade deadline. However, does this signing really help the Boston Bruins?
Iginla clearly has lost a step, and he isn't the player he was during his prime with the Calgary Flames. No one expects him to be a dynamo at this point, but how much will Iginla actually help the Bruins? Consider that Iginla couldn't produce with Evgeni Malkin. Then consider that Iginla will play with Patrice Bergeron or David Krejci.
No offense to either pivot, but no one would ever confuse them with Malkin. Maybe Iginla's style fits the Bruins' system better than it did the Pittsburgh Penguins', but it can be assumed that the Bruins aren't holding their breath.
Iginla's contract was structured in a manner that he will make a low salary, but has the potential to earn more money if he produces. It is unlikely that Iginla will hit all his bonuses, because he just hasn't shown that he is still a consistent first-line forward.
Vincent Lecavalier, Philadelphia Flyers
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Contract: Five-year deal worth $22.5 million, ($4.5 million cap hit)
Why did the Philadelphia Flyers sign Vincent Lecavalier? Why did a team that was ninth in the NHL in goals per game and third in power-play efficiency sign an offensive specialist in decline? Scoring wasn't an issue, so the move reeks of desperation to win.
By adding Lecavalier, the Flyers are loading up to compete and win this year. Yet by signing the Tampa Bay Lightning's former captain for five years, the Flyers have put themselves in a financial bind. Team executives Ed Snider and Paul Holmgren are out of get-out-of-jail-free cards, and they are stuck with this contract through sickness and health.
Instead of adding help on the blue line, the Flyers decided to bolster an area of strength by signing Lecavalier. The move doesn't make sense from an organizational standpoint, and it appears that the Flyers are desperate to win a Stanley Cup in the next few years.