I think the losers of today were the San Jose Sharks. They lost a No. 1 goalie in Evgeni Nabokov and brought in Antero Nittymaki who has little to no experience as a starting goaltender. He will be given the nod in San Jose which I think will eventually prove to be a big bust.
I for one expected San Jose to pursue Evgeni Nabokov. Nabokov remains a free agent after today, but I don’t think this will last. The Sharks let go of one of the goaltending elite in this league. Sure, he’s not a top five goalie (Brodeur, Miller, Luongo, Kiprusoff, and Lundqvist are top five in my mind, no particular order) in the NHL, but he’s definitely in the top 10. He’s a proven starter and has been with the San Jose franchise for quite some time.
I’m curious as to both, who jumps on the available Nabokov and gets themselves a big time goalie between the pipes and how Nittymaki will do next season (even though as previously mentioned, I believe he will be a bust).
I think the big winners of today would be the Pittsburgh Penguins. After losing Sergei Gonchar, the Penguins were quick to rebound on the defensive end. They brought in two good defenders in Paul Martin and Zbynek Michalek who will both be good assets to the organization.
They have a good defensive core with a few key contributors and a good, young developing defenseman in Kris Letang that should turn into a top defenseman in the NHL at some point.
This team is without a doubt still a contender next season and what they did today only made them stronger.