Free Agent Frenzy: Day 2
Boston. The Bruins do well today, retaining power forward Glen Murray and signing Shawn McEachern and Dave Scatchard. Both Murray and McEachern, who is from the New England area, have put up some of the best numbers of their respective careers in Beantown. In addition, Scatchard has quietly had two recent 45 point seasons with terrible Islander teams and is as good a third-line centre as is available this summer. Something also tells me Boston is far from done.
Los Angeles. Pavol Demitra is one of the key offensive weapons available this summer, and the Kings can finally start to build again after having to rely on so many fragile pieces for so long.
Carolina. Getting Corey Stillman lessens the pain of losing long-time 'Cane Jeff O’Neill to free agency.
Calgary. You can bet both Tony Amonte and Darren McCarty are anxious to prove they should have never been bought out. Excellent depth additions at a low cost for the Flames.
Philadelphia. I like the idea of getting Mike Rathje, but Derian Hatcher has quite possibly reached the end of his usefulness (as we saw last postseason versus the Calgary Flames). And that was a year and a half ago. Four years from now, while the Flyers continue to pay him $3.5-million (or nearly 10 per cent of the team’s cap room), I can’t imagine seeing him stomp around in front of the net at age 37. Keep in mind that GM Bob Clarke had to ship out Danny Markov in order to facilitate these hefty contracts and it seems a lot to lose. What may be a short-term gain will hurt them in the future, I guarantee it.
New York Rangers. Injury prone Martin Straka and lumbering defenceman Marek Malik for a combined $5.5-million next season seems far from a bargain.
Columbus. See Tom Benjamin.