Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Eagle Landing, Gomez piling on

I would have done this sooner, but like I said on the show...moving suck.

Regardless, it was less than a week ago that I wrote about Eddie Belfour's woes after apparently the Panthers pulled their contract offer. Seems like Mike Keenan pulled the wool over my eyes. Belfour signed a one year, $750K contract with the Florida Panthers. As it stands, the best goalie will play and it will go from game to game.

It's not that much of a risk at that price. Especially considering the Panthers have plenty of space under the cap, Belfour could help aide the maturing of Alex Auld. Though he hasn't been known for that before, I'm sure that two contracts going away would change his mind.

It's going to be tough to fill the void left by Roberto Luongo. Luongo is one of the premier goalies in the game and really seemed to face barrage of shots in his tenure as Panthers goalie. Belfour and Auld will not be the ones to be called upon, which should put the pressure on both of them to perform to their best each and every night.

Staying in the East, but up I-95-- the New Jersey Devils have said they will accept Scott Gomez's $5M arbitration reward. With that, the Devils are at $48.9M in total payroll-- that's without signing David Hale, Brian Gionta, and Paul Martin. Of course, the albatross contracts of Alexander Mogilny, Vladimir Malakhov, and Dan McGillis ($9.3M combined) will hamper the Devils in trying to move forward. Like our good buddy Lyle Richardson's writes-- the Devils are in quite the bind.

However, right now-- the Devils have time. They only had Gomez going to arbtration, so the other RFAs can take it's time to get signed. That could be a little shining hope for Devil fans everywhere. If only the Devils had a strong farm system, then they may not be in this bind. Some would never know.

What the Devils need in addition to more time and less craptastic players holding onto big contract, is another goalie and maybe some mid-level defenseman. We all figured it would be an interesting summer with the Devils, but who though they would have to sign a deal with the devil to get everyone under the salary cap.

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