Thursday, July 10, 2008
NHL UFA Season - 2008
This post will serve as the portal to the rest of my posts on the 2008 UFA off-season. Specifically that part of the off-season which starts July 1st - the day players with expiring contracts are free to sign with any team they wish as they are newly classified as being an Unrestricted Free Agent.
The first two days were fast and furious. The next few... not so much. All par-for-the-course kind of stuff. Dollars went big, years went long, common sense went missing and one big market team gave everyone the finger.
The hi-light for me was the signing of Kurt Sauer by the Phoenix Coyotes. It warms my heart no end when I see a team make a signing that is as intelligent as that one was. Just a smart, smart move on the part of Maloney. He makes more of those and Phoenix is a contender sooner, not later.
The low-light? As of today, July 10, I see that guys like Vasicek, Tjarnqvist, Malik and Dallman remain unsigned. Given that:
-- the entire set could be signed for ~ $6 mill /yr (my number) and
-- they all handily outperformed their opposites
I continue to wonder why some GM's continue to draw paycheques. Smart signings are better than flashy signings.
Links to the different posts, in order, are here:
NHL UFA Season - 2008 - First Look
NHL UFA Season - 2008 - The List
NHL UFA Season - 2008 - The Cull
NHL UFA Season - 2008 - Snapshots
NHL UFA Season - 2008 - Worst & Best
1. Detroit Red Wings - they did phenomenally well. Everyone's Cup favorite. And they deserve the distinction.
2. New York Rangers - barring an amazing year from Lundqvist, or a phenomenal jump forward by Staal, the Rangers should be a mess this year. Their roster of defensemen is completely unbalanced and the player turnover was what one would expect from a team rebuilding; not a contender.
3. Pittsburgh Penguins - the team's future will be killed by a lack of depth. It just will. The only way this team wins a Cup is if Shero can pull a Patrick and pick up a Samuelsson/Francis combo. I nominate Orpik and Stall to go the other way.
4. Edmonton Oilers - quite happy we missed on Hossa. I am thrilled that when it comes to big name UFA's Lowe has a losing record. We do not need more salary anchors. Also - welcome to Jason Strudwick. Now THAT is a signing.
I hope you enjoy the reads.
Have a great evening everyone.