NHL's Free Agent Frenzy: The Dust is Settling
Well, after day one of the NHL's Free Agent Frenzy, the only thing I can think of is, with over $300 Million dollars of contracts being signed, I would say the NHL is pretty sound financially. Somebody is making money.
Some notables from July 1st:
Chicago - They did a wonderful job in picking up Brian Campbell. They are an organization that is on the rise and I am happy to see that an Original Six team is back in contention again. They locked up goalie Cristobal Huet. This is a good move because now he can just concentrate on winning.
Tampa Bay Lightning- I know I have been on them a lot lately, but it still looks to me that they are just signing players just for the sake of signing players. Please don't get me wrong, they are signing good players. But are they the right players that will fit into their system? By the way, what system? Barry Melrose says they will be a tough team to play against.
New Jersey Devils- Are you kidding me? Lou broke the bank and got the players he feels will solidify his team to make another championship run. He brought back Bobby Holik and Brian Rolston. He also agreed to terms with Bryce Salvador and resigned Jay Pandolfo, David Clarkson and Barry Tallackson. That was a good day at the office for Mr. Lamoriello.
New York Rangers- I'm not too sure about this. Redden was a nice pick up. He solidifies the defense, but will he be able to take the pressure of playing on Broadway night in and night out? He took too many days off for me in Ottawa. The Rangers gave a lot of money to some players. I am not really sure if they did well or not. Just like everything else in New York, only time will tell.
Philadelphia Flyers- They picked up a great all-around player in Glen Metropolit. I hope he gets to Philadelphia and plays the way he did last year in Boston. They will love him! Then, they went out and signed about three other $1 million dollar a year players. It may not look like a lot, but they have a pretty good team rolling into this. The Flyers did well with little money spent.
Columbus Blue Jackets - Boy, they tied up some money. $18 million for Mike Commodore. That is a lot of money for this player. He is on the down swing of his career and didn't play all that well last year. This move will handcuff the Blue Jackets later on when they want to make or need to make some other deals to better their club.
Buffalo Sabres- I love the pick up of Patrick Lalime. That makes for two solid goalies in Buffalo. They will do some damage this year.
Washington Capitals - They nabbed Jose Theodore for for $9 Million over two years. That is a lot of money for a goalie. The Caps have the team and this kid seems a gamer. I am sure he is thrilled with all the talent he has up front. Let's hope they know how to play defense. They need to win now!
Colorado Avalanche - I like what they did in getting Tucker. I like the Raycroft move as well. The kid can play. I think in the right place, he will be solid. I'm not too sure if Colorado is that place or not. As for Tucker, he is a $4 million player. Hopefully he earns it. I thought he was on the down swing in Toronto. This may rejuvenate him for a year or so.
OTHER Notables- Vancouver made a nice offer to Mats Sundin. It's a lot of money, but that city loves their Canucks. He would enjoy playing at the Garage!
The Islanders paid a lot of money for Streit Gretzky's Coyotes are proving they are going to make a run this year. They may not win the Cup, but they have the ability to go deep into the playoffs. Watch out for them the next couple of years.
I am not sure what Toronto is doing. They have spent a lot of money and made a lot of moves for a team that has an interim GM. Cliff Fletcher did well in hiring Ron Wilson, but I am not sure he is the guy to do your shopping.
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