NHL Free Agents 2010: August 2nd

Imtiaz FerdousCorrespondent IIAugust 2, 2010

PHILADELPHIA - JUNE 09:  Antti Niemi #31 of the Chicago Blackhawks handles the puck against the Philadelphia Flyers in Game Six of the 2010 NHL Stanley Cup Final at the Wachovia Center on June 9, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images


This morning there have been plenty of rumours; some of them quite accurate. They will hopefully reignite the free agent market when some players finally sign (I'm looking at you, Bobby Ryan).

The first thing to pop up is that the Chicago Blackhawks have walked away from Antti Niemi. The player that led them to the Stanley Cup was deemed expendable due to salary cap constraints, so they picked up the much cheaper Marty Turco ($1.5 million cap hit versus $2.75 million cap hit).

Andy Strickland has reported that Paul Kariya is planning to re-sign with the Anaheim Ducks, possibly along with Teemu Selanne.

Personally, I think the Ducks should focus more on defense because their entire Stanley Cup-winning defense is now gone.

Jay Gold has reported that the Predators are negotiating with Jose Theodore. Talks are supposedly heating up. I find this interesting, and a sign that Theodore's best days are behind him. In fact he would be Nashville's backup.

Andy Strickland also reports that Jamal Mayers is negotiating with teams to find a new home. In my opinion, it's going to be difficult for him since he burned bridges with Toronto by requesting a trade, which should make teams hesitant to sign him.

The Tampa Bay Lightning are very interested in Tomas Kaberle. Steve Yzerman is trying to build the Lightning like the Detroit Red Wings—with a lot of defense. The problem, however, is what top-six forward can the Lightning offer in return?

Martin St. Louis is not being offered because he just signed a contract extension; Vincent Lecavalier is locked up for too long for Toronto GM Brian Burke's liking, and Steven Stamkos is a stud that the Lightning definitely don't want to surrender. That leaves nobody except maybe Ryan Malone.

The Anaheim Ducks have very few defensemen locked up and are seeking defensive help. Names such as Andy Sutton, Kevin Bieksa, and Tomas Kaberle have popped up in rumours. Keep in mind, they are not trading Bobby Ryan.