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An Analysis Of Free Agency Day 1 Over Morning Coffee

07/02/10

You’re sipping your morning java and you just put down John Vogl’s great transcription of a brief chat with newest Sabre Jordan Leopold, so stay a spell and check out my analysis of the first day of free agency.

Anaheim
I think the Ducks did well during FA Day. Retaining Saku Koivu for a cheap $2.5M per and adding Toni Lydman for a slight overpayment of $3M per is a good way to go, but they still have to address losing Scott Niedermayer’s offensive touch on the blueline and something needs to be done about Bobby Ryan. Also, could keeping Koivu and bringing in Lydman help to persuade fellow Finn Teemu Selanne to stick around for one more season?

Pittsburgh
The Penguins lost Sergei Gonchar to Ottawa and replaced him with offensive d-man Paul Martin at $5M per and shot-blockin maven Zbynek Michalek at $4M per. Sure it’s a bit more than they ought to be making, but Ray Shero handily improved the Penguins’ defense. Now he’s just gotta decide what to do with Alexei Ponikarovsky and Bill Guerin.

New Jersey
Lou Lamoriello let Paul Martin trek over state lines to play for the Pens, so he brought in some reinforcements. Anton Volchenkov ($4.25 per) might have been had for cheaper than he was asking, but is a 6 year term really that wise? And while Henrik Tallinder might be getting overpaid ($3.375 per) for four years, Lamoriello saw another perk to signing the towering Swede:
“In Tallinder, you’ve got somebody 6-4, 240, played under an outstanding coach (Lindy Ruff in Buffalo), mentored (Tyler) Myers in Buffalo this years. We’ve got three young Swedish players coming in (Jacob Josefson, Mattias Tedenby and Alexander Urbom(notes)). He’s 31 years old. He’s in his prime. He’s a mature guy.”
Helluva move, Lou. Still, you have to question how much did Tallinder help Myers mature and grow as opposed to how much did Myers save Tallinder’s confidence and bring his game back to where it was.

Chicago
Oy vey, Chi-Town. What is going on?! One day into free agency and already six members of the Cup-winning Blackhawks will be playing elsewhere next season. What Dale Tallon giveth, Stan Bowman taketh away? Let’s see how the Blackhawks respond to this dismantling.

Calgary
I’m late to the bandwagon, but I doubt there’s no room left for me on the Sutter Hate Express. I think Darryl Sutter finally lost his goddamned mind, what with bringing back maligned Finn Olli Jokinen for a second stint and giving Alex Tanguay a NTC to go with his $1.7M one year deal.

New York Rangers
Glen Sather, you crazy motherf*****. First you sign Marty Biron to back-up Henrik Lundqvist with a reasonable deal, but then you ink penultimate goon Derek Boogaard to a four-year, $1.65M per contract? I think you need to refill your prescription, Glen.

Philadelphia
First, Evgeni Nabokov and then Marty Turco say hell naw to playing in Philly so Holmgren signs Michael Leighton to a reasonable extension. Then he adds pugilist Jody Shelley to the team for three years. The Flyers keep getting gnarlier and goonier while continuing to have goaltending issues? Stay classy, Philly, and don’t ever change.

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