1) Yes, the flood gates for Unrestricted Free Agents is upon us. In only an hour or so contracts for free agents will be expired and they will be free to talk to any clubs who might be interested. With the increase in the salary cap to almost 64 million and several clubs exercising their rights to buy out their previously bad/bloated contracts, many teams have oodles of cash to spend today if they desire
2) Early evidence was seen late yesterday with the absurd contract Christian Ehrhoff signed in Buffalo. The generally serviceable 2 way defensemen signed a 10 year 40 million dollar contract. In reality its a 7 year 37 million dollar deal but the final 3 years for 3 mil total were added to reduce the salary cap charge. Its also front loaded we're told, so Chris Ehrhoff will get 9 million next season! Crazy! WE have NOTHING against he or any other player getting compensated for as much as they can get but we do NOT want to hear owners crying over it !! And you can bet their dollars they will certainly be crying!
3) If Erhoff is worth that kind of money, what kind of dough can Brad Richards, espoused to be the cream of the UFA class, be worth? Geez, even Jaromir Jagr has found that there is (more) big money to be made here this summer. The Czech was about to sign for 2 million when his agent started to get significant offers from other clubs to now its likely Jagr (as written here first) will get nearly double, or more than that when he signs. Other free agents who normally might be considered 2nd or 3rd line players will get top line money. AS several agents have told us, "its a sellers market". Meaning to us, lots of cash to spend and few decent players to spend it on! What remains to be seen is how 'drunk' will the sailors get?