Saturday, July 01, 2006

Free Agency Day One

It was a slow start, but once things got rolling, they got rolling in a big way. It was a run on defensemen and they went very quickly. If you missed any of it, here's a short run-down on what happened. Cliff notes style as it were.

BOSTON: The Bruins made the first big move by getting Zdeno Chara under contract for five-years at 37.5M and Marc Savard to a five-year 20M contract. This is a big deal for the Bruins, who are pretty much starting with a whole new outlook with management and all of that. Should be interesting to see what else they do.

MINNESOTA: The Wild were pretty active to by getting Mark Parrish, Keith Carney, and Kim Johnsson. All these role move should help the depth of the Wild. Health permiting, the Wild are looking to take a run at the Northwest crown.

TORONTO: The Leafs signed Hal Gill and Pavel Kubina. It's not so much that they signed Kubina, but they signed him to a 5M/year deal....slightly....well not slightly...overpaying him. Sadly, I don't think this is going to help them as much as they think.

PHOENIX: Ed Jovanovski is heading the desert. The one downside to Jovo is his often injured body as of late. Maybe the Coyotes will have better luck with Jovo than the Canucks did.

LOS ANGELES: Rob Blake is back in town, which should bolster the blue line for the Kings. It's a big step up from Joe Corvo and gives the Kings yet another leader on a somewhat young team. Now, they just need to lock up a goalie.

OTTAWA: Corvo landed in Ottawa, along with Martin Gerber-- who will undoubtedly be the starter for the Sens next season. Though he had a good season, Gerber was shaky in the playoffs. Of course, the Sens should be used to goaltending that goes out in the playoffs.

CAROLINA: To fill Gerber's void, the Champs signed John Grahame. After the Bolts traded for Marc Denis, Grahame was very expendable. Cam Ward now has a back-up who can push him when needed. Also, the Canes got Eric Staal, Mike Commodore, Justin Williams, and several others extensions to keep the core group together.

NEW JERSEY: Though they didn't do much on the FA market, the signed up Patrik Elias and Jamie Langenbrunner. Elias signed an interesting deal, a seven-year, 42M contract. I'll tell you, I'm shocked by it, but in the end-- it's a good thing for Devils fans.

TAMPA BAY/COLUMBUS: Like mentioned above, the Bolts got Marc Denis from Columbus for Freddy Modin and Freddy Norrena. Denis will be the #1 guy with Sean Burke being his back-up/mentor. Denis is a horse, but what will happen now with the Bolts depleted defense?? Though the Bolts did go out and sign Filip Kuba, so it should be better. The Blue Jackets get more depth in scoring while Norrena will be one of the players going for the back-up position in camp.

Those were some of the bigger names that went to other places. This will happen when there's plenty of movement of substance. Also, as the moves come along, there will be pieces about teams who have made good with the moves and others who have crapped out. Rarely, we'll have a team in the middle, but that's always possible.

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