Posted by: Adventures in Pucking | July 1, 2011

Free Agent Friday (has your head exploded yet?)

I could seriously wet my pants over this.

 Krista’s take:

TSN isn’t calling today “Free Agent Frenzy” for nothing.

My head is spinning with all the action going on, and you know this is just the beginning. I was sitting at the computer with a notebook scribbling down transactions as they were announced. This is just crazy.

Here are some of the signings that went down today. I may have missed some because they’re just coming in so darn fast, and I only included details of deals that were announced on the air.

Boston
Anton Khudobin (re-sign)
Benoit Pouliot

Buffalo
Christian Ehrhoff
Ville Leino, 6 year/$27 million
Cody McCormick (re-sign)

Calgary
Chris Butler (re-sign)

Carolina
Alexei Ponikarovsky, 1 year/$1.5 million
Tim Brent
Jiri Tlisty (re-sign)
Brian Boucher

Chicago
Andrew Brunette
Sean O’Donnell
Jamal Mayers
Daniel Carcillo

Colorado
Semyon Varlamov
J.S. Giguere
Chuck Kobasew
Jan Hejda

Columbus
James Wisniewski, 6 year/$33 million
Nicholas Drazenovic
Andrew Joudry

Dallas
Michael Ryder
Radek Dvorak, 1 year/$1.5 million
Sheldon Souray, 1 year/$1.65 million
Adam Pardy
Vernon Fiddler

Detroit
Mike Commodore

Edmonton
Cam Barker
Ben Eager
Darcy Hordichuk, 1 year/$800K
Eric Belanger

Florida
Scottie Upshall
Jose Theodore, 2 years/$3.3 million
Marcel Goc
Ed Jovanovski
Kris Versteeg (not an FA, but I just wanted him on the list)

Montreal
Peter Budaj
Erik Cole, 4 years/$18 million

New Jersey
Andy Greene (re-sign)

NY Islanders
Marty Reasoner

NY Rangers
Mike Rupp, 3 years/$4.5 million

Ottawa
Alex Auld, 1 year/$1 million

Philadelphia
Jakub Voracek
Jaromir Jagr
Andreas Lilja
Max Talbot, 5 years/$9 million

Phoenix
Raffi Torres
Mike Smith
Radim Vrbala (re-sign)
Boyd Gordon

Pittsburgh
Steve Sullivan, 1 year/$1.5 million
Tyler Kennedy, 2 years/$4 million (re-sign)

San Jose
Jim Vandemeer

St. Louis
Brian Elliott
Adam Cracknell (re-sign)
Matt D’Agostini (re-sign)

Tampa Bay
J.T. Wyman
Mathiew Garon

Vancouver
Sammy Salo, 1 year/$2 million (re-sign)
Marco Strum

Washington
Jeff Halpern
Joel Ward
Roman Hamrlik, 2 years/$7 million

Winnipeg
Derek Meech

There are also reports that deals are in place for Tomas Fleischmann to head to Florida and Mark Mancari to go to Vancouver.

Seriously, are you dizzy yet? I know I am.

 

 

Emma’s take:

Krista had this stuff on lockdown earlier! I was away from home and don’t have one of those newfangled smartphones to check the Internet on the go, so she took to texting me with big updates. With each text I got, I could barely believe my eyes!

We’re all still waiting for Brad Richards to make a decision. TSN had a guy stationed outside of a building in Mississauga today waiting for some sort of signals and literally said that he waited a shorter amount of time for the white smoke signaling a new pope back when he was a cub reporter. (Who assigns a story as important as a new papal selection to a cub reporter?!)

It seems like Philadelphia is really trying to just fully remake the team or something. Between sending Jeff Carter to Columbus in exchange for Jakob Voracek and Sean Couturier, acquiring Brayden Schenn and Wayne Simmonds from Los Angeles in exchange for Mike Richards, sending Brian Boucher off to Carolina and signing Ilya “Why you heff to be mad?” Bryzgalov, plus all of these big-time acquisitions today, they’re doing some extreme makeovers in Philly. These are also deliberate trades; one of their aims here is to strengthen the intra-state rivalry with the Penguins by snapping up Max Talbot, who’s basically considered a hero among Pens fans, and Jaromir Jagr, who is, uh, a little more divisive among fans. The other one is of course to build a team they feel could go to the Stanley Cup finals again. Whether or not this will work remains to be seen.

But as a Southern hockey fan, I am looking to Florida‘s acquisitions with great interest. Miami is pretty far from Atlanta; I’d have to make a weekend getaway of it to see the Panthers in person, but still, I have a soft spot for Southeastern Division teams and watching them prove people wrong. Netting talents like Jose Theodore (Man of the Day for July 2nd, just saying, a little preview) and Kris Versteeg could really turn out well for the southernmost team in the NHL. I do hope they enjoy the gush of new fans they are probably about to receive. I know a lot of pretty voracious Versteeg fans who will want to follow him to this new locale.

Speaking of a former Panther, mad props to Radek Dvorak for telling Winnipeg “no thanks” and heading to Dallas instead. I liked what I saw of Dvorak after the Thrashers got him in February. He did get injured toward the end of the season, but he was a pretty cool guy and I’ll never forget an interview in which he was asked if he saw fellow Czech Ondrej Pavelec as a brother. Owing to their age gap (Dvorak was born in 1977, Pavelec in 1987), he joked that he felt more like a father.

Surprisingly, I haven’t heard much else coming out of Atlanta’s free agents today. I know we had quite a few, and that Winnipeg made some conditional offers to some of them, but aside from that, not a peep.

Props also go out to Andrew Brunette, who’s going to the Blackhawks from the Wild, not only for the transfer to Chicago but also because he recently fired his agent, a certain Todd Reynolds. Reynolds has made a name for himself as being virulently anti-gay marriage. After Sean Avery showed his support of gay marriage (hey, Avery! You got what you wanted, New York made it legal!) in May, Reynolds took to the Internet to denounce Avery’s support of “same-gender” marriage (sex and gender are two completely different concepts, but I don’t expect Reynolds to understand that) and said that it would always be wrong even if it was legal. Um…you’re definitely wrong there, buddy.

Here are some more teams I’m keeping an interested eye on: Edmonton (but we all know they’re going through that reconstruction), Buffalo (they really want to break that 1970 expansion curse and I have to admire that determination), Columbus (enjoy the services of James Wisniewski, who I know best for this incident with Sean Avery) and Washington.

And here’s to surviving our first Free Agent Frenzy as hockey fans!

P.S. Want to keep track of your favorite free agents after FAF? The NHL has you hooked up.


Responses

  1. […] Radek Dvorak to the Stars […]


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