Monday, June 30, 2008

Here come the contracts

No, I'm not dead — I went to two weddings in two nights, one in Quebec, so it's been a long few days.

Generally, the week leading up to July 1 is a relatively quiet period (the calm before the storm headline gets used a few hundred times), but there was a ton of activity this weekend:
  • The Lightning traded for and then signed pending UFAs Ryan Malone and Gary Roberts. Tampa Bay also hired Malone's father, Greg, as their head pro scout. The term on Malone's contract (seven years) is wild, but I think he could have received a bigger payout as a free agent and a $4.5-million cap hit isn't obscene.

  • Tampa Bay also dealt for Brian Rolston, but I think they'll find him too rich for their salary structure (unless Dan Boyle is moved). The Lightning are already getting close to the cap, with a need for another top four defenceman and another goaltender going potentially unfilled depending on what ownership will spend

  • The Oilers dealt Jarret Stoll and Matt Greene to the Kings for Lubomir Visnovsky, taking on his $5.6-million deal. Lowetide has a well reasoned take: "It's hard to imagine Joni Pitkanen being on the roster for much longer."

    Visnovsky's coming off an awful season, but he's got a ton of talent, and could work wonders on Edmonton's power play. The Kings get younger and give Stoll a chance to regain his game in a rebuild situation.

    Los Angeles has almost a full roster signed and is $30-million under the cap.

  • Buyouts for Todd Bertuzzi, Dennis Gauthier, Alexei Zhitnik and Duvie Westcott, all designed to free up cap space. The Ducks, in particular, were really tight against the limit, and buying out Bertuzzi frees up $2.5-million of his $4-million salary

  • Two deals we already knew about: Calgary re-signed Daymond Langkow and Philadelphia locked up Jeff Carter. The Flames also kept Craig Conroy

  • And the Avalanched re-signed both Adam Foote (two years, $6-million) and John-Michael Liles (four years, $17-million). The Foote deal is a good one, despite his age, and he takes less than he would have gotten on the market to stay in Denver, while the Liles contract comes as a bit of a surprise given (a) he struggled last season and (b) he was rumoured to be dealt all the way up till the deadline.

    I think Colorado looked at their team, and the market for UFA defencemen, and decided Liles was the most economical option
Consider that a lightning round take on what's gone on. I'm going to be incredibly busy going forward: There's a live chat at FanHouse tomorrow at 11 a.m. until free agency opens at noon, after which time I'll be writing like a madman here the entire day.

The signings will be fast and furious.



At 3:20 p.m., June 30, 2008, Blogger J. Michael Neal said...

I posted this in the last Comments section, but threads die quickly around here, so I'll say it again:

I really don't get trading draft picks for the right to talk to someone a few days early. Maybe if it's Mats Sundin you're talking about, but Malone, Roberts and Rolston are good players, not great ones. The difference between them and someone else you might be able to sign after July 1 is not large enough to justify giving up resources to get them. That's even assuming that you wouldn't have been able to sign them anyway. To me, this smells of itchy trigger fingers, and a desire to do something, anything, right now. Learn the value of delayed gratification boys.

At 3:53 p.m., June 30, 2008, Blogger The Gate To The Groin For Yannick Bertrand said...

hahaha guess i couldn't go two days without my mirtle fix. any longer and it would've been babies on the ceiling for me.

At 11:34 p.m., July 24, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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