Archive for the ‘FA special’ Category

CT from Hockee Night on Chicago Blackhawks free agency

July 1, 2009


Hockee Night is a blog devoted to the Chicago Blackhawks and their weekly podcasts (each Tuesday). Make sure to follow their work and enjoy their very funny Puck Casts. Thanks guys.

Let me preface this by saying I honestly don’t expect to see much out of the Blackhawks in free agency this year. Their biggest concerns are internal, what with guys like Dave Bolland and Kris Versteeg being RFA’s. The biggest issue for the Hawks will be whether or not Martin Havlat will agree to come back on a one year deal. If he does, they’ll pretty much return the same team as last year. If he doesn’t, they’ll have a bit of money to play with, in which case I’d like to see them make a run at Mike Cammalleri or maybe John Madden. The Hawks biggest challenge will be trying to improve on a team that reached the Western Conference Finals while keeping enough cap space to sign Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Duncan Keith to extensions.

This is exactly our luck in Chicago. We finally have ownership in place that would be willing to spend money like the Red Wings used to, and we’re stuck laboring under this goddamned salary cap.

1. Which player, for the love of God, do you NOT want to see in your team’s sweater in the 09-10 season?

Looking at the list, I’m not really afraid of any particular player as much as their potential contract. The Hawks pressing issue will be signing role players to contracts that don’t impact their cap situation in such a way that it costs them guys like Toews, Kane, Keith or Brent Seabrook down the line. While that seems like a no-brainer, keep in mind that GM Dale Tallon has a history of giving role players like Brent Sopel (3 years, $2.3M per) and Dustin Byfuglien (3 years, $3.5M per) oversized extensions. This tendancy, along with Joel Quenneville’s affection for defenseman like Matt Walker who are known for “toughness” and nothing else puts a bit of a scare into me. Walker wasn’t good, but at least he only made $500K last year. My nightmare is that the Hawks for some reason decide to go after a “marquee” physical (read: big stiff) defenseman who just won the Stanley Cup: Hal Gill.

Let me tell you something about Hal Gill: he sucks. He’s terrible. He’s so bad that I incorporated his ineptitude into a drinking game. He’s big and probably strong, but so are the concrete pillars in a parking garage, and they’ve got similar range. Also, even though they aren’t related(that I can tell), Hal’s last name immediately brings to my mind Todd “No Skill” Gill who played the bulk of his career with the Toronto Maple Leafs (back in their Norris days) and also made stops in St. Louis and Detroit (honestly, the only thing that could make me hate Todd Gill more was if he’d done some freelancing for the Nazis) before showing up in Chicago in 2002 where the Hawks mercifully euthanized his career. He was so bad, he could only get into 5 games with the 02-03 Hawks. I mean, look at this roster for cripes sake. LOOK AT IT!

Anyway, I don’t want any part of Hal Gill, and the thought of the Hawks possibly signing him makes me wake up with night sweats.

2. Conversely, pick a potential move by another team that would just crush your soul/favorite team’s chances.

I gotta be honest, this already happened. I was sure the Detroit Red Wings wouldn’t be able to Zetterberg, Datsyuk AND Johan Franzen, but they already did. So I guess my biggest fear is that Marian Hossa, Mikael Samuelsson and Jiri Hudler all sign on with Detroit for a combined salary of $650,000 for 10 years.

I’d also hate to see the Sedin twins stay in the Western Conference. I would highly recommend that those two freaks go play in the Eastern Conference with its easy travel schedule and tolerance of people who are genetic copies of each other. Here in the Western Conference, we still believe that identical twins are the product of the union between a she-wolf and the Olmec god Xt’Tapalatakettle, and we god-fearing Western Conferencites want nothing to do with that.

Unless they want to sign in Chicago at a rock-bottom price. That I’m okay with.

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Raw Charge throws some free agent lighting bolts our way

July 1, 2009

Raw Charge is a great Tampa Bay lightning blog under the Sports Blog Nation umbrella. We hope you enjoy the thoughts of Cassie and John. Thanks you two!

1. Which player, for the love of God, do you NOT want to see in your team’s sweater in the 09-10 season?

Cassie: Chris Chelios. I like the guy – I really do – but he deserves so much better than what Tampa Bay can give him. Especially with ownership squabbles and money woes going on. Out of respect for a legendary player, please don’t sign Chelios! For his own sake, don’t even talk to him or his agent! Let him retire a Blackhawk – just like he should.

John: Chelios but for different reasons. Chris is one of those “traditional” players who thinks he is protecting the sancity of the game when he undermines hockey and it’s fans in the south. I respect what he’s accomplished in his career but he has publicly stated how much he hates the fact hockey went to regions “where it doesn’t belong”. That said, if he were chased or signed by Tampa, he’d be selling-out ideals as well as obviously desperate to stick around. No thanks.

2. Conversely, pick a potential move by another team that would just crush your soul/favorite team’s chances.

Cassie: The obvious – trading away Vinny Lecavalier. He is the franchise; he is the Tampa Bay Lightning. But they can’t keep him. The team’s been pretty clear about their financial situation. So it’s a damned if they do, and damned if they don’t. Keeping him means cutting salary elsewhere. Trading him means getting rid of 10 years of franchise history. Not to mention a goodly number of fans. Nothing good can come of this situation.

John: What Cassie says is true, but what I fear (with all the rumors swirling around about money) is a fire sale. I can see it now: Malone to… somewhere for a bag of pucks; St. Louis dealt to the Rangers for tickets to Elton John performing at Madison Square Garden (nosebleed seats, ugh!); Jeff Halpern traded to the Kings for gift certificates to California Pizza Kitchen… And Vinny to the Habs in return for Poutine and a condiment-to-be-named-later… That would kill me and the fan base in TB.

Anaheim Calling talks about the one ex-Duck they don’t want to see in Detroit, Anaheim free agency in general

July 1, 2009

Make sure to follow Daniel and Arthur’s great Ducks blog, Anaheim Calling for all your flying-V/knuckle pucking/formerly dirty elbowing needs. (Sorry, that was generic, but I’m sleepy. Anaheim Calling really is awesome.)

1. Which player, for the love of God, do you NOT want to see in your team’s sweater in the 09-10 season?

DANIEL:

The player I’d hate to see in my sweater has to be Jeremy Roenick. I’ve disliked him since he insulted the Ducks organization during the 1997 Playoff series between the Ducks and Coyotes (which we won). How does it feel not having your name on the Cup, Roenick? You’re entirely too cocky for a guy who’s never won a championship, and I’d never want you on a team that I root for.

“Tsst!”

ARTHUR:

Dear Murph,

This offseason, please don’t sign anyone born before November 10, 1970. I realize that you’re an old Blackhawk and Chelios is an old Blackhawk and Roenick is an old Blackhawk, and you occasionally want to walk into the locker room and reminisce about that one time that Darren Pang puked on Steve Larmer’s skates. I realize how attractive that is for you. I also realize that there’s some kind of Blackhawks AARP underground, and Doug Wilson probably just called you to remind you it’s your turn. To that, all I can say is TSST!

What’s that? Bill Guerin? TSST! His birthday’s on the 9th. Saku Koivu? Good Murph. Good boy. Now, I can show you affection and stop being do-minant.

2. Conversely, pick a potential move by another team that would just crush your soul/favorite team’s chances.

ARTHUR:

If you’ve never seen a conniption, come and find me when Francois Beauchemin signs with another team. The man can turn a playoff series around, whether it’s by throwing the big hits, scoring a goal, tricking Iginla into thinking he’s right-handed or breaking Tomas Kopecky’s face.

It kills our chances if he signs with Dallas. That team already has our number, and they’d be adding a guy interested in reminding us, game after game, why it’s important to negotiate with your injured players.

DANIEL:

The free agent signing that would crush my soul is easy: Pahlsson to Detroit. If Arthur and I were blogging during the 2006-07 season, I can guarantee we would have done a post called: “The Top 10 Reasons Pahlsson Deserves The Selke.” I like Pahlsson, and I’ve always thought he was underrated, both as a defensive player and a scorer. Conversely, I hate Detroit. I mean, I HATE Detroit. They’ve ended the Ducks’ Playoff run on 3 occasions, and I feel that, despite everything that gets said about Anaheim and L.A., Detroit is the closest thing we have to a true rival. Losing a player like Pahlsson, who is in my eyes the quintessential Duck, to our rival in Detroit would cause me physical anguish comparable to crucifixion.

Five for Smiting threatens Murray with goat urine, er, shares Senators related free agency fears

July 1, 2009

We first introduced ourselves to Senators Lost Cojones aka the founder of Five for Smiting a week ago with our draft special and are happy to have ’em back for a second contribution in as many weeks. Make sure to follow this funny, insightful Ottawa blog even if Dany Heatley won’t waive his No Trade C(ause he’s a jerk clause).

1. Which player, for the love of God, do you NOT want to see in your team’s sweater in the 09-10 season?

Marian Gaborik. If Alexei Yashin and Drew Rosenhaus ever conceived a bastard love child, that’s what it would look like. I’m sorry to have to be the one to break this to Bryan Murray, but our quota of butter soft, injury prone, over rated Euro trash has been filled, thank you very much. His baffling, nauseating…Nay! Infuriating!!…contract extension to Filip Kuba made sure of that. If Gaborik somehow slithers his way into the Senators line up, I swear by all that is good and right in this world, I will soak my most prized possession (vintage 1993, #13 Jamie Baker jersey) in the urine of a thousand goats and burn it on The Bryan’s desk. GOATS BRYAN!! YA HEARD ME!! Honest to God GOATS!!

2. Conversely, pick a potential move by another team that would just crush your soul/favorite team’s chances.

The Maple Leafs somehow pulling Jay Bouwmeester out of Darryl Sutter’s ass. I’ll let them have the Sedins. After all, that poor, misguided, delusional and obviously drunk diaspora known as Leaf Nation hasn’t had an overpaid forward to hail as the second coming of Darryl Sittler and then spend the next six months bitching about since the Antropov trade. But J-Bo… I’m not at all comfortable with the possibility of Laugh fans finally discovering what Real NHL Talent looks like. They may develop a taste for it.

Then again, once Larry Tanenbaum and his Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment hench-yokels discover how deeply Real NHL Talent will cut into their profit margin, I’m sure they’ll nix any deal Burke can make, lest he anger his pension fund gods. Then he’ll double season ticket prices to appease them…and just because he can.

Vancity Canuck gives her Vancouver FA thoughts

July 1, 2009

To read more from Vancity Canuck, read her Vancouver Canucks blog as well as her work at The Hockey Bay. Thanks again, VC!

1. Which player, for the love of God, do you NOT want to see in your team’s sweater in the 09-10 season?

Any player with a girl’s name, namely Marian.

Gaborik: When he’s not injured, he’s a really exciting player to watch. But he does get injured, 27 injuries since 2000 injured. There’s also a lot of obstacles when you play in Vancouver, he could trip and break his leg on the seawall, sprain his ankles on the Grouse Grind, break both legs snowboarding on the mountains…or just trip on some electrical tape.

Marian Hossa really might be the best in the litter, but I can’t get over the feeling that he’s cursed in the Stanley Cup Finals.

2. Conversely, pick a potential move by another team that would just crush your soul/favorite team’s chances.

Bouwmeester in Calgary! Imagine having Jay Bo and Phaneuf shutting down Vancouver’s top two lines six times a year. I want him on my team, and if we can’t have him, I’d rather see him in an Oilers jersey than being a Flamer.

Denson from Bangin Panger takes a look at free agency for the defending Stanley Cup champs

July 1, 2009

You can check out Denson’s fine work at Bangin Panger as well as his Pens-related blog, “Pens are Mightier.”

Which player, for the love of God, do you NOT want to see in your team’s sweater in the 09-10 season?

Pretty sure this one goes without saying for most Pens fans…but for f’s sake do not, under any circumstance, bring back Miroslav…Shitan…heyooo. Such a useless piece of shit. Scored a couple big goals in the Carolina series this post season, but that doesn’t excuse his awfulness the rest of the season. Give him credit for how he handled the minors situation and for getting a “second” chance…but he doesn’t mesh with the rest of the players in the locker room, he’s lazy, and he’s every other stereotypical thing anyone has ever said about him…just plain poop. Let him go to the NEW New York Islanders…the city where players go to let their careers die…Atlanta.

Conversely, pick a potential move by another team that would just crush your soul/favorite team’s chances

I’m not sure my soul could be crushed more than it was last year when Hossa went running for the hills to play for the eventual 2009 Stanley Cup Champions (snarrkkkk) but I’ll try to offer something. Not that enough hasn’t already happened to make me think Atlantic Division hockey is going to be awesome next season (Pronger and Tavares) but now the talk that the Rangers could offer the farm for Danny Heatley has me ready to throw up. I already hate the prick enough as it is, no need to see him even more often in the regular season. It’s going to be a tough task for the Pens to repeat next year, as Philly has already drastically improved on defense and caused me to have nightmares of Crosby being concussed 40987543987435 times next season…but if, God forbid, the Rangers land Heatley then the Atlantic Division could turn into a 4-way race.

Five Hole Fanatics/Matchsticks & Gasolines’ Kent shares (pre-Bouwmeester signing) Flames FA thoughts

July 1, 2009
H/T to Vance from Bangin Panger for another great PhotoShop

Please keep in mind Kent sent me this post before it was announced that Jay Boumweester signed a big contract with the Calgary Flames. Congrats to Kent and Calgary fans for that; good luck to Sutter as he tries to make some kind of sense of the team’s cap situation.

Anyway, as always, we thank Kent for his considerable loyalty and generosity to CLS. Make sure to follow both Five Hole Fanatics (for the number cruncher in you) and Matchsticks & Gasoline (for the Flames information). Thanks, Kent!

1.) Which player, for the love of God, do you NOT want to see in your team’s sweater in the 09-10 season?

Todd Bertuzzi. And it’s not because he’s a violent criminal (this time). It’s because he’s an ineffective hockey player. His stats line may look alright from last year, but he was, for very long stretches, the worst player in the Flames top 9 forwards. Lazy and penalty-prone, Bertuzzi also favored the excessively fancy play to the right one. I dubbed him “sore thumb” for the manner in which he stuck out during amongst the Flames top 6 forwards. His inappropriate use of back-hand passes became a punchline in Flame circles. He’s big, but he plays like a man who’s had numerous back surgeries. He’s also injury prone. His offensive totals from this past season are almost totally based on Keenan feeding him lots of ice time and good line mates.

If the Flames re-sign Bertuzzi, I may have to turn in my fan card.

2.) Conversely, pick a potential move by another team that would just crush your soul/favorite team’s chances.

I would hate to see Marian Hossa land in Edmonton or Vancouver. He’s easily one of the best two-way forwards in the league and he instantly makes any team he’s on better.

Storming the Crease decides who should NOT team up with Ovie

July 1, 2009

Rob from Storming the Crease has been a long-time contributor to Cycle like the Sedins, providing us with deep, interesting takes on the Washington Capitals. He’s been one of the busier bloggers during free agent time, writing three fantastic posts on Caps UFAs today alone. Make sure to follow his Caps-related pursuits.

They should be an interesting team to watch for the next decade (or however long Alex Ovechkin‘s contract is).

Raise your hands if you were the only guy in DC with a lower approval rating than George W.

1. Which player, for the love of God, do you NOT want to see in your team’s sweater in the 09-10 season?

Michael Nylander. The problem is that Nyls is signed for another two years and has a contract that epitomizes dead weight. GMGM has tried everything to get rid of this guy, who right now is a $5.5 million scratch (at least for the playoffs). Granted, there’s still a little more than three months until the season starts, but Nylander stands out more than just about anybody.

(If you get the sense that I pick on Nylander at every opportunity, you’re right. But he’s really dead weight at this point. Seriously, I’d rather have an AHL player on the team than this guy. The Caps should have let him be Edmonton’s problem when they had the chance.)

2. Conversely, pick a potential move by another team that would just crush your soul/favorite team’s chances.

It would be AWESOME if the New York Rangers and/or Philadelphia Flyers continued their free-spending ways. Oh wait, that happened already with the Flyers totally overpaying for an aging Chris Pronger. GM George McPhee thankfully wasn’t baited into another bad deal (see Jagr, Jaromir) and passed on trading for a good player, albeit one who is past his prime.

Barry Melrose Rocks tells us if the winds of change will affect the Carolina Hurricanes

June 30, 2009

You’d think that we’d hate all other NHL blogs, but the truth is that we pretty much enjoy all of them. One of the best general NHL blogs out there is the magnificently named Barry Melrose Rocks and we’re glad to have them contribute to CLS for the first time.

Dave McBrayer writes for BMR as well as his Hurricanes-related blog Carolina on Ice. Make sure to follow both blogs and enjoy his slightly different take on the Hurricanes free agent situations.

The Hurricanes have only two UFAs: Erik Cole and Chad LaRose.

Am I the only one to rock the “Every LaRose has its thorn” pun? Probably.

It won’t chafe my ass to see Erik Cole walk:
Erik Cole was traded for Joni Pitkanen this time last year but the Canes were teh suck without him so they brought him back. He was good, then crappy again – consistency and his lack thereof were one of the reasons why he was traded in the first place. If he can come back at a reasonable salary (say 2 years, 2.75mil/per) – awesome. But he’s always been a beast to try and get re-signed, so perhaps Jimmy Rutherford has had enough of Cole getting the upper hand in negotiations. The whole “deciding not to show up or score a goal” in the playoffs certainly didn’t help him if he’s leveraging for a paperstack anywhere close to his prior $4mil/per contract.

I may die / cancel my season tickets / cry into my pillow if they can’t re-sign LaRose:
Chad LaRose deserves so much more than the $875,000 he got last year. He was an RFA last year and Rutherford low-balled him due to claims that LaRose was their pencilled “4th line player” with a 1 year deal. He had a career season with 19 goals and 12 assists. Now he can’t come to terms with the Canes as they most likely are trying to NOT pay him anywhere close to what he could get on the open market.

You won’t find #59 on any prized free agent lists this summer, but there are plenty of clubs that would love to have a passionate, hard working player like Chad LaRose.

Free Agent I wouldn’t mind seeing in the red and black: Mike Knuble
David Lee introduced the rumor to me. No way it happens though (please happen!).

Moves Burke should avoid on Wednesday, according to Pension Plan Puppets

June 30, 2009

Please note: Just wanted to inform anyone who hasn’t heard yet that the Rangers somehow hypnotized Bob Gainey into taking Scott Gomez’s horrific contract off the books.

Pension Plan Puppets is truly one of the great Toronto Maple Leafs blogs. Check out their work as they sport more blogging talent (by far) than the Leafs provide hockey talent. Also, they did a podcast with our buddies at Hockee Night that you should check out as well.

1. Which player, for the love of God, do you NOT want to see in your team’s sweater in the 09-10 season?

There has only really been one player on the Leafs that made me physically ill to have to watch play, Bryan Marchment, and this summer the Leafs have been linked with TWO of them: Chris Neil and Mike Komisarek.

The former is best known in league circles for being really tough as long as linesmen are within arm’s reach. Before some whiny senators fan mentions his fight against Luke Schenn we’ll see how things go when it’s not the rookie’s first fight and the stupid stretchy jersey sleeve didn’t catch on his arm. Not that Neil will chance it.

Komisarek is overrated as a defensive defenceman, he almost matches Neil for cowardice, and hits late every.single.time. Plus he still has the stink of the Habs on him and any aura that he might have had has been completely dashed by repeated decimations at the hands of Milan Lucic. The cheap crosscheck that should have resulted in at least a 10 game suspension just showed how yellow he is.

2. Conversely, pick a potential move by another team that would just crush your soul/favorite team’s chances.

I don’t really hate too many teams that much since the Leafs haven’t been to the playoffs in a while. Anything the Habs and senators do will likely just elicit a laugh as one has no cap space to address their needs and the other can’t even attract players with truck loads of cash.

Having said that, if the Canucks sign the Sedins (which should put Gillis on the road to getting canned if he doesn’t) AND a defenceman that can make a pass further than five feet then I’ll be pissed. Luongo struggled but he’ll bounce back and if they have a defenceman that doesn’t clam up when they see a forechecker that might alleviate a lot of pressure on the backend.