Monday, June 11, 2007

Early Free Agent Analysis/Rumors Part II

1) Here is Part 2 of our Free agency analysis/Rumors.

  • Teemu Selanne, 36 Anaheim. The Finnish flash was back in form with a 48 goal season. Would he also take a home town discount to stay? He made 3.75 this past season, and would probably not get offered too much more than that from Anaheim. Other offensively starved teams like Dallas, Columbus and Vancouver would be happy to make an offer for the rejuvenated Finn. Like Giggy, our source says Teemu would love to stay put.

  • Keith Tkachuk, 35 Atlanta. A huge disappointment as a playoff rental. The over hyped/overpaid/underachiever did as he was expected by us, nothing! He won't be resigned by Atlanta. For one they would forfeit a 1st round pick to St.Louis if they do, and he's not worth his expected asking price of 4-5 mil. He had a decent regular season with the Blues and we fully expect that team to want him back to be reunited with old line mate Doug Weight.

  • Michal Handzus, 30 'Zeus' is coming off a torn ACL that cost him most of this season, which means he may be undervalued. He made 2.1 million last season and probably could be had for under 3. He's got a dash of playmaking, but shouldn't be mistaken for a top offensive threat. Where will he end up? Rangers, Maple Leafs, Blackhawks, Bruins, Hurricanes, Canadiens, Flyers, Canucks are all rumored to have interest. Our source in Chicago says the team is interested in retaining him, but if things fall through the Flyers wouldn't mind a return of Zeus to the Orange and black.

  • Ladislav Nagy, 28 Dallas. Acquired from Phoenix at the deadline, the talented but inconsistent Nagy should attract a decent number of teams. Atlanta, Calgary, Minnesota, Pittsburgh, San Jose and Vancouver all have shown that they may that they can tap into the talent that produced 24 goals and 52 points three years ago in Phoenix. He made 3 mil this season, but will be a 'bargain' most likely after this year. He could be had for 2 mil. Our sources say the Canucks are interested, Atlanta will also get into the fray.

  • Mathieu Schneider, 38 Detroit. Was missed by the Wings in their Conference Final defeat to the Ducks. Schneider has always been one of the most underrated offensive defensemen in the NHL. He would provide an offensive boost to any team looking for a top-four defenseman who can rack up the minutes, contribute on the power play, and move the puck out of the defensive zone. Where? Rangers, Hurricanes, Avalanche, Wings, Canadians, Penguins. It may come down to the Rangers and Penguins if Deroit allows the NY native to go unsigned by July.

  • Peter Forsberg, 33 Nashville. Peter was not the missing link the Preds were hoping he'd be for a Cup run this past spring. He wasn't awful, but wasn't a force either. Probably hurting his UFA value. That said, as we at FAUXRUMORS exclusively stated all winter/spring, we didn't believe that Forsberg would come back to the NHL for another year unless it was for the Flyers. When healthy, Forsberg is still a dominant player, but those healthy moments are becoming fewer and fewer. We can't see a team gambling on another big contract on him(he made 5.75 mil last season) We'll stick with our sources and say if he returns it'll be for the Flyers.

  • Paul Kariya, 32. Nashville. People may forget that Kariya was once a dominant NHL player and he’s still only 32.! The Predators would be nuts to let Kariya go. He’s become the face of their team. He’s also highly marketable, which is important in Nashville.(Assuming they don't move north!) Stranger things have happened, but we don’t see any way the Preds let him walk. However they'll probably have to give him a modest raise from the 4.5 he made last year. We are hearing a 3 year 16 mil deal is on the table. If that falls through, there will be many potential suitors starting with his home town team, Vancouver!

  • Brian Rafalski, 33 New Jersey. At 33 years old, teams shouldn't’ expect much more than the 45-50 points he’s averaged with the Devils the last five years. That said, Rafalski has value beyond his statistics, because he’s a smart defensive player, and though undersized, is not a big liability in his own end. (no Devil is allowed to be!) Rafalski made $4.2 million last year. This seems a bit high to us, but he could garner that or more if he's allowed to hit the market in July. Rafalski could fill a void in a city that loses one of its top unrestricted defensemen -- San Jose, Detroit or Montreal. etc.

  • Tom Poti, 30 Islanders. For now, the Islanders would seem to be the front-runner to re-sign him. Poti quietly put up some very impressive numbers in his first season on Long Island, registering 44 points. If the Isles fail to step up or decide to not resign him Boston, Calgary, Columbus or possibly Montreal would be in play at a salary of about 3 million.

  • Michael Nylander, 34 Rangers. A tremendous bargain Nylander this year at $2.28 million. The bargain ends next year! The Rangers will probably get Nylander to sign before July 1, possibly for a slight discount of $3.6 million or 3.75 million per season. If not, they might have to outbid other teams on the open market, and risk inhibiting their ability to go after other top free agents. We are hearing that Sather may have to go over 4 million to keep the productive Swede in Gothem.

  • Mike Comrie, 26 Ottawa. At just 26 years old, Comrie is the youngest of this year's prized free agent pack. He's a speedy offensive threat with the talent to be a No. 1 center. However, Comrie has been criticized for lack of effort and poor defensive play.With so many teams interested, the bidding figures to last well into the first month of the free agent season. Unless someone blows Comrie away with a big offer right away, he'll probably land at whichever team still has a need for him after the big names are off the board. A 3 year, 9 million deal from the Panthers is what we're hearing.

  • Slava Kozlov, 35 Thrashers. The Thrashers would love to get him back and with only eight players under contract for next year, they'll have lots of money to play with. He made just over 2 million this past year. If another team comes up with big money like Detroit Atlanta may lose Slava, else we see him returning to Atlanta for 3.5 for 3 years.
  • 1 comment:

    Jibblescribbits said...

    Word from the Avs beat writer is that Forsberg is only interested in teams he's played for, which means Avs and Flyers.

    I wouldn't mind seeing the Avs add Gomez. $6-7M/year is high, but he is a good 2-way player and would fit in well with what the Avs need. He doesn't need to score 20 goals, as the Avs have Brunette, Sakic, Stasny, Hejduk, and Wolski.

    That's why I don't want the Avs to go after Brière, they desperately need better defense and Gomez fills that much better than Brière.

    Contact the Media