Monday, July 03, 2006

Free Agency Day Three/Ending of an Era

After the trade that happened today, it was almost a good thing that there wasn't much signings early on, because it would have gotten lost in the crowd. However, the biggest name struck late into the day.

ST. LOUIS: The Blues continue to build back up their once-hallowed team by signing winger Bill Guerin. Terms and length was not available, but you can almost see the improvement the Blues are making, just due to the new ownership coming into practice. Thank goodness, because St. Louis fans deserved better than last year's outcome.

ATLANTA: The Thrashers signed center Steve Rucchin to a three-year deal. Rucchin didn't have the greatest seasons on Broadway, but Rucchin's leadership and ability to control the face off circle will be a great asset to the Thrashers.

NY RANGERS: Though they lost Rucchin, the Rangers got some help on their back line. The Rangers signed Aaron Ward to a two-year deal. Ward just got finished winning his third Stanley Cup and will be great for depth and shot-blocking abilities that the Rangers need to help out their intangibles.

NY ISLANDERS: The Isles got some more help on the blue line by signing Brendan Witt to a three-year deal. Witt, who split time with the Capitals and Predators, will bring a stay-at-home mentality and some secondary leadership to the Isles lockerroom.

Also today, Mark Eaton signed on with the Penguins to help out defensively at the Igloo, while Mike Grier signed on with the San Jose Sharks to get a grinder into the line-up.

Also today, Steve Yzerman retired from the NHL after 22-seasons in one city. Rarely do you see someone not only stay in the same city for their whole career (as we have seen in this Free Agency), but to have the Captaincy for a majority of that time, it is unbelieveable.

Whether you love or hate the Red Wings, one thing you can deny is the ability and class that Yzerman possessed. Personally, I don't care for the Red Wings, but the respect I have for Yzerman overshadows that dislike.

We may never see another player like Yzerman in our lifetime, but that's probably a good thing, because I don't think many could fill the shoes left by Stevie Y.

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