Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Free Agent Frenzy

We're past 12 PM on July 1, which can only mean one thing - deals are being made by the second. We'll try to give our thoughts on some of the big moves of the day as they pop up.

1:10 PM: Mattias Ohlund to Tampa Bay, 7 years, $24.5m ($3.5m/year)
- Bryan: Um... interesting? On one hand, Ohlund is the first casualty of the long-term deals given to the Sedin twins and the rumored long-term deal the Canucks are working on with Roberto Luongo. On the other, seven years is a lot of years, particularly for a 32-year-old defenseman. Hey, you know who would have been a great fit for Tampa Bay? Dan Boyle! Oh, wait, nevermind...

1:18 PM: Colton Orr to Toronto, 4 years, $4M ($1M/year)
- Bryan: This one comes from Darren Dreger's Twitter and a text from Zach. Leafs fans will expect the world from Orr with a 4-year contract, then will promptly turn on him when they realize he isn't a superstar. Four years is a ton for an enforcer. But God forbid Brian Burke doesn't make a splash on July 1.
- Zach: Wouldn't call him a "splash" but he is a big loss to the Rangers. Not points wise (1G, 4A, and an awful -15 last year), but they should try to pick up a big-name medical staff for their players with all the cheap shots Chris Pronger is going to take on them next year. Who's going to protect them? Aaron Voros? Wade Redden? Get real.

1:58 PM: Craig Anderson to Colorado, 2 years, $3.6M ($1.8M/year)
- Zach: Not huge news, but I think the Islanders probably wanted him, and he would've been good there if Rick DiPietro can't play this year.
- Bryan: Anderson would have been great for the Islanders to nab, but this is actually a good signing. It sets a fairly low price for whoever they end up signing. Besides, if Anderson actually plays well for a depleted Colorado team, he'll be in line for a big payday in two years.

2:07 PM: Marian Hossa to Chicago, 12 years, $62M ($5.2M/year)
- Bryan: Chicago is aware that they have to sign Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews to long-term deals, right? The Hawks are starting to make the Rangers look like a fiscally responsible team. That said, Hossa should fit in great with the high-flying Blackhawks. And the price isn't bad at all.
- Zach: Contract is probably front-loaded like Zetterberg's so that in 8 years if they have to buy him out or trade him, it's a lot easier. Still, 12 years for someone who hasn't been a point-per-game player in 2 years is crazy. Some might also argue he is a loser, being on the losing end of the Finals twice.

- Bryan: As per Darren Dreger's Twitter (ugh), the first eight years of the deal will pay $59.3 million, while the final four will pay $3.5. Smart move by the Hawks.

2:18 PM: Ty Conklin to St. Louis, 2 years, $2.6M ($1.3M/year)
- Bryan: Obviously, this is a temporary move, as Conklin will be moved to one of the Winter Classic participants before long. Conklin might have found himself a home in St. Louis as the team grows, but he probably deserves more money after having a fine season in Detroit.

2:21 PM: Dwayne Roloson to NY Islanders, 2 years, $5M ($2.5M/year)
- Bryan: I can get on board with this. The money is a bit steep, but you're getting a guy who will play at least 25 games each of the next two years. Roloson can also provide some veteran leadership, as he was part of the 2006 Oilers as well as some Minnesota teams who have made deep playoff runs. As per Darren Dreger, Roloson wanted a second year, which the Islanders were willing to do and the Oilers were not.

2:58 PM: Donald Brashear to NY Rangers, 2 years, $2.8M ($1.4M/year)
- Bryan: Great recovery from losing Orr. Brashear wore an A in Washington and could provide the Rangers with some good leadership as well as some toughness. Not exactly the big splash Rangers fans were looking for (or dreading, as the case may be), but there's still time.
- Zach: In the past 3 years, Brashear has been suspended twice for actions he has done AGAINST the Rangers! He sucker-punched Aaron Ward (something we all wanted to do) and then tried to decapitate Blair Betts. One, I assume Betts won't be back. Two, it's a decent move from a hockey sense (he is more talented of a player than Orr) but I'm not sure I'll be able to root for Brashear, especially when he fights Orr in Toronto. Of course, I'll always root for the Rangers, but rooting for him will be very hard.

3:48 PM: NHL Network needs new commercials
- Zach: If I see the "new" NHL.com commercial with Eddie O or a 2-minute commercial for debt reduction starring a Barack Obama speech, I might give Donald Brashear $1.4M to attack Bob McKenzie.

And I love that commercial of everyone lifting the Stanley Cup, but I've seen in 9 times today alone.

By the way, it's so awkward watching McKenzie, Pierre McGuire, and Darren Pang banted while no news trickles down.

Jaroslav Spacek just signed in Montreal and they said, "Finally, we have news to report."

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