Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Free Agent D-Day!

1) Yes, the 2nd biggest day for the NHL off the ice in our opinion is the opening of free agency. Annually there is much excitement and always some let down in a majority of cities who's fans don't perceive their team 'doing anything'. In the recent past there were a vast array of top line talent available to the highest bidders and there was much intrigue going into July. However in the last couple of years there has been a bit of shift in strategies by NHL clubs. Most are signing their soon-to-be UFA's to multi year extensions prior to their becoming available to the other29 teams. Therefore we have seen the number of top players available come July decrease markedly. This year is no different which works in he favour of the few remaining marquis names that have yet to sign. It also give a chance to non marquis guys to get top line money from desperate teams Footnote: We had to revise this post a couple of times prior to publishing due to recent signings

2) We will go through some of the better named/talented players who at the time of this post are still going to be up for grabs on Friday noon (Eastern) We will list their most recent team, last yrs stats and salary. Then give our inside look on who is going where and or what $/contract length.

  • BRAD RICHARDS- (Dallas) 2010-11 Salary: $7.8 million. 77 PTS. Obviously we have an opinion on him. http://newfaux.blogspot.com/2011/06/brad-richards-dicking-stars.html He was overpaid last year and will probably be overpaid once again next time around. Rumors are on the Rangers and Toronto, but we hear Richards would prefer a smaller market so a return to the SE division wouldn't shock us. Nor would a 5 year 40 mil deal. Absurd!

  • SIMON GAGNE- (TB) 2010-11 Salary: $5.25 million. 40 PTS Simon had another injury plagued season and is now 3 years removed from his last productive campaign. The former 47 goal scorer will still get significant attention as he had a good post season in TB's playoff run. Our sources tell us that the Habitants will inquire and offer him a 2 yr 9 mil deal.

  • JASON ARNOTT (Wst) 2010-11 Salary: $4.5 million 31 PTS. The 17 year vet is coming towards the end of the road. 3 years since his last big year of 30+ goals. He may have 1 more season left, but as a 35+ we would be surprised if he got more than a 1 year deal. The Caps will consider if the price is under 3 mil

  • TIM CONNOLLY (Buf) 2010-11 Salary: $4.5 million 42 PTS (68 gms) The Syracuse NY native hasn't played 80 games in 7 years. It would be fool hearty to expect that to change with his concussion history GM's should approach with caution. That said, when he is healthy he's productive and could be a decent 2nd line center. You'd have to believe a pay cut is in order. A 2 year, 6 mil deal is what he should expect

  • ED JOVANOVSKI- (PHO) 2010-11 Salary: $6 million 14 PTS(50 gms). Its safe to say that Jovo-cop's salad days are over. The 34 yr old defender is coming his 2nd consecutive injury plagued season and like Gagne 3 years removed from his last productive season. He shouldn't expect big $$. At most a 1 or 2 yr deal for 2-3 mil. We're told Ed would prefer to stay out west and the Canucks might look to reacquire 'Jovo-Cop' if his price isn't steep

  • BROOKS LAICH (Wst) 2010-11 Salary: $2.4 million 48 PTS. Laich is one who will likely benefit from the thin UFA class. His stature as a leader and all around player will likely cause a mini bidding war and we could foresee Laich being rewarded with a 5 year 25 mil deal somewhere. WAY too much for what he brings.(Signed by Caps for 6 years at 4.5 mil)

  • CHRISTIAN EHRHOFF (Van) 2010-11 Salary: $3.4 million 50 PTS The 28 yr old German defender is going to get a nice pay day. He already is compensated nicely, but with few available reliable PP QB's available Chris will get plenty of interest around the league. His own team will work hard to retain him, but don't expect a huge home town discount. 5 years 27 million is what we're hearing

  • TOMAS VOKOUN (Fla) 2010-11 Salary: $6.3 million. 922 SV%. We have never been big fans of the 34 year old Czech netminder but annually he puts up decent stats. The last few on a bad Fla team. He has been overpaid and that's unlikely to change as he is the top of the UFA goalie class. It would be insane to give him more than 3 years at most 15 mil, but someone will likely give him the 5 years he will be demanding. Colorado is ready to make a play!

  • TOMAS FLEISCHMANN (Col) 2010-11 Salary: $2.6 million. 31 PTS (45 Gms) The 27 yr old wing has had some injury issues which have limited his playing time,but does put up decent enough numbers to get attention from a few teams. They shouldn't expect a power forward type as Tomas is as soft as they come, but he'll get a bit of a bump in salary to 3 mil if not more if a team protracts a full season of production. We'd pass, but we admit we're not fans. The Panthers and Blues are looking

  • TOMAS KABERLE (Bos) 2010-11 Salary: $4.25 million 47 PTS. Completing our trifecta of Tomas-Czechs Kaberle picked a fortuitous time to be a UFA. Coming off a decent season coupled with a Cup run and a weak FA class will mean he will get a nice contract from somebody. Will it be Boston? Our sources say not likely. A move out of the conference is more likely a source tells us. Perhaps a south western destination?

  • Jean-Sebastien Giguere (Tor) 2010 salary 7 million. How far has the former Conn Smythe winner gone? He'll get a contract but probably not more than a 1 year 1-2 mil deal. We hear the Panthers will inquire. JS is fortunate there are few decent UFA goalies available this summer

  • Alex Ponikarovsky (LA) 2010 salary 3.2 mil The talented forward's best days behind him? He should expect a pay cut if he wants to stay in LA, who are interested

  • VILLE LEINO (Phi) 2010-11 Salary: $825,000 53 points. The 27 year old found a good time to have a break through season. Just as he was set to become a UFA. If the Flyers want to retain the LW they better be prepared to at least triple his current salary. A 4 year 15 mil deal is on the table

  • Roman Hamrlik (Mtl) 2010 salary 5.5 mil The 18 year pro has been a fairly consistent performer. producing and pretty reliable in his own end. Its is age that will prevent a longer deal, but he will get an offer for a 1 year deal The Stars and Coyotes are interested

  • JONI PITKANEN (car) 2010-11 Salary: $4.5 million 35 pts (Resigned by Carolina for 5 yrs at 4.5 mil) Way too much!

  • JUSSI JOKINEN (car) 2010-11 Salary: $1.9 million 52 PTS Although the 28 year old Finn's production fell off this past season we still expect he'll get significant interest. The sabres and Flames are interested. (resigns before UFA for 3yrs 9 mil)

  • JAMES WISNIEWSKI (Mtl) 2010-11 Salary: $3.25 million 51 PTS Jims knock isn't deserved that he's not good in his own end. He's not going to win the Norris but his all around play and offensive production will give the Michigan native a multi year deal in excess of 10 mil. The Maple leafs and Avalanche are top candidates but there will be many suitors

  • DWAYNE ROLOSON (TB) 2010-11 Salary: $3 million 914 SV% The 41 year old was a revelation for TB. helping them to get within 1 game of the Finals. Without another alternative the Lightning will give the 13 year vet another 1 year, 3 mil deal. (As predicted Roloson resings for 1 year 3 milllion)

  • JOEL WARD (Nas) 2010-11 Salary: $1.5 million 29 PTS The 30 yr old journeyman had a break through playoff run for the Preds increasing his value. The preds will have to pony up a 3 yr 9 mil contract to keep hi Else the Sharks, and Panthers have their eyes on him

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