Thursday, July 1, 2010

Happy Canada Day

Who's this Lebron guy and who gives two shits where he ends up? This is day 1 of NHL free agency - all that matters. Some thoughts from the early action on one of my favorite days of the NHL year:

Be thankful that Glen Sather is not our GM: 4 years @ $1.625M per for an enforcer (Derek Boogard) who gives you next to nothing else.

Philly re-upped Braydon Coburn at a $3.2M cap hit and traded for Maszaros ($4M cap hit). It would seem they don't have the room for all that money on the blueline so there may be another move coming OR they were so disgusted with their third pair in the playoffs (which they should have been) that they are spending money on the blueline and willing to go back at it with the tandem of Leighton and Boucher.

Pittsburgh signed Zbynek Michalek ($4M per) and Paul Martin ($5M per) to 5 year deals. I really like these moves for them. The reason they failed this year was because of the losses of Skillz Gill and Rob Scuderi from their cup team. Well, this certainly helps and I don't think the loss of Gonchar will have a tremendous effect (Martin and Goligoski can pick up the offensive slack).

Pittsburgh and Philadelphia got better today. The Bruins did not. I really wanted to see a top defenseman make it to the Bruins and my pipedream was Paul Martin, but I guess those hopes will have to go elsewhere. Of course it's still early and there is apparently still some trade buzz out there for Savard so we'll see.

As feared, it appears that everyone is following the Detroit model for success by not paying too much for goaltending. The top three destinations for Timmy Thomas were Philly, San Jose, and Tampa. San Jose got Niitymaki for only $2M. Tampa added Dan Ellis for only $1.5M to fight with Mike Smith ($2.2M) for the starting job. Philly re-upped Leighton for a $1.55M cap hit. This is what happens when you have a Leighton/Niemi battle in goal in the Cup Final. Timmy Thomas stays a Bruin. Now that I said that, he will likely be traded tomorrow.

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