Quick Hits - Recap for First Week of NHL Free Agency
Sorry I was away from my computer this week. A quick recap:
The first week of NHL Free Agency is coming to a close. Here's a rundown on what happened with some of the top names:
Zach Parise and Ryan Suter - after days of deliberation and endless twitter feeds and A LOT of speculation, both players decided to sign with the Minnesota Wild. It was not an easy decision as both players were offered obscene amounts of money from their old clubs, but the Wild's offer of 13 years and $98M each was too good pass up. For Parise, he returns home to Minnesota where he grew up - as a player, you can't pass up that oppurtunity - and for Suter he returns to the mid-west. Both players are good friends and had been in contact throughout the 72-hours it took for them to decide on Minnesota. For the Wild, it is a HUGE splash into FA. They go from one of the cheapest teams in the league to the second highest payroll behind Boston. With players like Dany Heatley, Mikko Koivu, Nicklas Backstrom, Devin Setoguchi, and Matt Cullen, the Wild, who were a top team in the first half of the year before injuries, just added a world of talent to an already talented lineup. I don't think they'll win a cup, but they'll definitely make the playoffs.
Jaromir Jagr - At 40 years of age, Jagr is moving west for the first time in his career. Many speculated he'd sign with Montreal (who apparently wasn't interested) or perhaps Boston, but Jagr chose the Dallas Stars. The travel will be much heavier compared to Philadelphia, so it will be interesting to see how that effects Jagr's endurance throughout the season. The Stars, however, have just aged, which is something they had set out NOT to do.
Ray Whitney - ...and when I say the Dallas Stars have aged with the signing of Jagr, they do so even more with Whitney. At 40, however, Whitney proved that age is just a number. He had a fantastic year with the Coyotes last season and was a first team all-star selection. The Stars are hoping these two veterans can help the Stars back into the playoffs.
Jason Garrison - He had a fantastic year with the Panthers, considering he was dubbed a career minor-leaguer. The Vancouver Canucks landed Garrison for 6 years and $27.6M. He scored 16 goals for a very surprising Florida team, but it's going to very interesting to see if he can do that for the high-powered Canucks.
Brandon Prust - The Rangers must have something in the works for Nash or Bobby Ryan to let this kid go. The Montreal Candiens signed Prust to a 4-year contract. He's a strong role player and a great aquisition for a weak Canadiens team.
Olli Jokinen - Welcome back to the Southeast Olli. The Winnipeg Jets are taking a chance on Jokinen who had played well in Calgary, but never turned into the Jokinen of old. Maybe a trip back to the East will get him going again.
Jonas Gustavsson - 'The Monster' has signed in Detroit to back up Jimmy Howard. Gustavsson has played the last few years for a brutal Maple Leafs defense, so it will be fun to see how he does in Detroit.
Washington Capitals - for the Caps fans, GMGM has come out and said he may not do anything of significance in the off-season. He already brought in Mike Ribeiro (which is huge) and this week he signed Joey Crabb, Jack Hillen, Garrett Stafford, and Kevin Marshall. Crabb is a fourth line penalty killing specialist who is a great pick up for the Caps. Hillen will be in the bottom 5-6 defense, but he's solid. The other two are most likely minor league fill ins.
Buffalo Sabres Derek Roy traded to Dallas Stars for Steve Ott and Adam Pardy - A great trade for both teams, but I wonder if Buffalo got the better end of the deal getting Ott. He's a 9 year vet who's been the heart and soul of the Stars for the last few years.
Ottawa Senators Nick Foligno traded to Columbus Blue Jackets for Marc Methot - a slick move by Ottawa. Methot is a sold defender who should mesh well with Karlsson.
Brad Boyes - New York Islanders
Matt Carkner - New York Islanders
Bryan Allen - Anaheim Ducks
Filip Kuba - Florida Panthers
George Parros - Florida Panthers
Jordin Tootoo - Detroit Red Wings
Mikael Samuelsson - Detroit Red Wings
Adrian Aucoin - Columbus Blue Jackets
P.A. Parenteau - Colorado Avalanche
Sheldon Souray - Anaheim Ducks
Alexi Ponikarovsky - Winnipeg Jets
Joe Corvo - Carolina Hurricanes
Michael Leighton - Philadelphia Flyers
Sheldon Brookbank - Chicago Blackhawks
Sami Salo - Tampa Bay Lightning