July 06, 2013

Pucks On The 'Net: Free Agent Frenzy

Here's some Pucks On The 'Net for a very busy Free Agent Frenzy. $412 million dollars was committed on the first day, more than doubling the bill from 2012. And that doesn't even include the $125 million spent on compliance buyouts earlier this week. Does anyone remember the lockout?
  • First off, I suspect the whole 48 hour "window shopping" period - where all teams can legally talk to all free agents but not sign them - was partially at TSN's insistence. It drives speculation and news coverage through the roof, building anticipation for and ultimately delivering a fast and furious television special. As TSN knows from past years, especially 2012, Free Agent Frenzy does not always make for compelling television. This really helps out with that, and is a win for TSN and for the NHL.
  • Before we go on to some of the signings, let's talk about the Tyler Seguin/Loui Eriksson trade, if only because it was so refreshing to have a "hockey trade." Most trades nowadays are motivated by salary caps and contracts, but this was much more of an old fashion hockey trade. Dallas needed a top end center. Boston needed a top end right winger. It's sad that these types of trades are few and far between nowadays.
  • I have long been a fan of Loui Eriksson. He is a terrific two way player, and perhaps the most un-Boston-like player in the league as his past Lady Byng trophy nominations attest. He is a very good marksman, too, though he slipped a bit in this past season with just 12 goals. No one in Dallas scored very much, so perhaps this was a blip more so than a trend. Loui will get prime time on a line with David Krejci and Milan Lucic.
  • Tyler Seguin will have every opportunity to blossom in Dallas. He would not have had that in Boston, playing behind centers Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci. Obviously the Bruins did not feel Seguin could fill the hole on right wing left by the departed Nathan Horton.
  • Speaking of Horton - he signed a 7 year deal with Columbus. I don't like that term at all. Plus I think Horton will struggle outside of the Boston system. He seemed to be one of those players that really benefitted from having monsters like Lucic, Zdeno Chara and Shawn Thornton around. Suddenly Horton played up to his size, too.
  • In terms of lengthy contracts, Horton's was the most eye-popping. Ryane Clowe in New Jersey, too. Mike Ribeiro's and Val Filppula's contracts are a little rich for my blood. But otherwise I'm not sure I see any real egregious contracts out there. I suspect we will see that with the restricted free agents. We already have with rich extensions for the likes of Kris Letang and Claude Giroux. 
  • Toronto made a big splash by signing the much coveted David Clarkson. They also resigned the underrated Tyler Bozak. Their group of top six forwards is looking strong. The bottom six - not so much.
  • The New York Islanders have re-committed to Evgeni Nabokov in their crease for the upcoming season. They may change their name to the Brooklyn Flyers because like Philadelphia there's a lot of entertaining offense, but no goaltending. Flyers/Islanders tilts could be a lot of fun this season!
  • The Flyers did pick up Ray Emery at a nice price. Philadelphia always seems to gamble with their goaltending, but Emery might be a nice short-term fit.
  • Ottawa losing long time captain Daniel Alfredsson is one of the most interesting moves of the day. I think this really caught Ottawa off guard. I wonder if Alfie would have stayed had he known the big Bobby Ryan trade was coming down. Nice move there by the Sens. Ryan has never reached his full potential in Anaheim. With a guy like Jason Spezza setting him up, he might explode in Ottawa.

1 comment:

Dan said...

nabby slowed down at the end of the season but he played phenomenally for the majority of the season and was a legit mvp candidate (more so than a vezina candidate)