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Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Offseason Overview

Radmin Vrbata to Tampa Bay, 3 years/3 per.  Less than I thought Vrbata would get coming off a almost 30 goal season and almost 60 points.  But, you have to take into consideration he ever cracked 20 goals in his career before last season, so it is a risky signing.  On the other hand, Vrbata is entering his prime at the age of 27 and it takes offensive players a few years before you can tell what they will really be like.  B+

Andrew Brunette to Minnesota, 3 years/2.333 per.  I love this signing by Minnesota.  Obviously, Brunette took a home town discount to come back to Minny.  He is a year removed from an 83 point season with Colorado.  He is 34 though, so 3 years is a bit long, but for a consistent 15+ goal scorer and 50+ points, it is a great signing.  A-

Kurt Sauer to Phoenix, 4 years/1.75 per.  Bad signing.  Sauer has 26 points in 288 career games, and is a career -15.  He was a 6th defenseman in Colorado I don't think he is worth 1.75 million.  He is only 27 and if he can play good in his own zone, and improve the offense a little (4 career goals and career high in a season is 1), he could be worth it.  I think you could have gotten the same production from a rookie or veteran.  C

Jose Theodore to Washington, 2 years/4.5 per.  I don't get it.  Why not spend the extra 1.1 million for Huet, which could have gotten done earlier so his price would not be that much.  Theodore is inconsistent, and does not seem able to put back to back good seasons.  He is talented, but 4.5 for a guy two seasons ago was looking like he could be done as a starter is a steep price.  I think Washington made a mistake not taking their guy Huet.  B-

Andrew Raycroft to Colorado, 1 year/800k.  Ouch, Razor is really that bad now.  The former rookie of the year was bought out by the Leafs and has found a new home backing up Peter Budaj.  Colorado made a huge mistake.  Aside the fact that Raycroft sucks, they did not get a veteran to back up Budaj, who has only played 1 season as a starter.  They should have spent some coin on a guy like Kolzig or went the trade route to sure up the goaltending.  C-

Ty Conklin to Detroit, 1 year/750k. Great signing by Detroit.  Conklin was so valuable to Pittsburgh in the regular season when Fleury went down.  He is a former starter and a veteran who can get the job done, not to mention that he comes at an extremely cheap price.  The only issue is, if Osgood goes down, is Detroit that confident with Conklin?  In the past they have always had 2 all-star goalies whether it be Legace, Hasek, Jospeh or Osgood.  B+

Todd Fedoruk to Phoenix, 3 years/1.0583 per.  A banger who gets under peoples skin.  Phoenix wanted to be more tough and improved that with Fedoruk.  He can score as well, career high 6 goals and 11 points last season, and has a career high of 23 points.  Fedoruk comes at a cheap price, and since his game has a little offense, he costs more than just a Shawn Thornton type.  B

Jeff Finger to Toronto, 4 years/3.5 per.  Who?  Wait Jeff Finger, haha imagine the headlines.  Wait, they already have them.  Toronto gives the Finger to its fans.  I thought Toronto was going to be responsible with its money.  3.5 million for a guy who has played 1 full season, and scored a whopping 19 points.  He also has played in a whopping 94 NHL career games.  What was Toronto thinking?  D-

Curtis Joseph to Toronto, 1 year/700k.  Good signing by Toronto, rare good signing that is.  Cujo can be a much better and affordable backup to Toskala than Raycroft.  Comes at a decent price and still get the job done.  B

Cory Stillman to Florida, 3 years/3.53 per.  Stillman has been consistent throughout his career, being a 20+ goal scorer for pretty much his entire career.  I am not astatic about the length, again Stillman is 34, but Florida is a young team and needs some veteran leadership.  B

Cristobal Huet to Chicago, 4 years/5.6 per.  I don't get it.  They have Nikolai Khabibulan already at 6.75 per season.  Why not just let him play out the final season of his deal?  Spend the 5.6 million on defense or offense.  They did not need help at goalie and now have over 12 million between 2 goalies.  Huet is a decent goalie, but should not be making top 10 goalie in the league money.  C

Darcy Tucker to Colorado, 2 years/2.25 per.  Good signing by Colorado.  Tucker is a pest on the ice, but loves to play the game and can score 20 goals.  Cheap money, and could really contribute to the team.  B

Olaf Kolzig to Tampa Bay, 1 year/1.5 million + incentives.  Good deal by Tampa.  Kolzig solidifies the goaltending, which with just Mike Smith could have been disastrous.  While Kolzig isn't the goalie he once was, he will help this team and brings a mentor to Smith.  B+

Alex Auld to Ottawa, 2 years/1 million per.  I loved Auld while he was here, and he is talented as proven with Vancouver, but 1 million for a guy last season who was in the minors?  Conklin only got 750k.  I am not sure why Auld should be making 100k less than Tim Thomas, but Ottawa needed a backup for Gerber after Emery was bought out, and Auld is a proven starter incase Gerber falls out of favor again.  B-

Patrick Lalime to Buffalo, 2 years/1 million per.  Lalime was great with Ottawa early in his career, then had 2 bad seasons with Chicago and St. Louis.  Bouncing back last year, he is a proven starter and is a good backup for Miller.  I like this more than the Auld signing because Lalime has proven more over his career than Auld.  B

Brian Campbell to Chicago, 8 years/7.1 per.  For the top defenseman to get 7.1 is not bad considering Chara got 7.5 as the top guy and usually the top guys at their position get 7+.  The issues is the years.  Campbell is 29, so he is locked up until 37, and unless he is Ray Bourque or Nicklas Lidstrom, which I don't think he is, 35+ defenseman don't play that well, not to mention he is an offensive guy, and isn't that sound in his own zone.  He was a 45 point guy until this season, when he blossomed into a 60+ point guy.  Campbell is in his prime, so for the next 4-5 years, it'll be a good deal.  Chicago needed to make a splash, and they did, even though they went 2-3 extra years.  A-

Mike Commodore to Columbus, 5 years/3.75 per.  Commodore is a solid defenseman, as proven with Carolina.  He isn't offensively gifted, but can contribute a little bit on offense.  Commodore is 27, entering his prime and 5 years is long, but he will only be 33 when his deal is up, so he isn't ancient.  The money is fairly good, and Columbus needed some help on D which they accomplished.  B

Ossi Vaananen to Philadelphia, 1 year/1 million.  Don't like it.  1 million for a guy who DID NOT play in the NHL last year, has 57 career points in 430 games, and isn't anything great.  Why not give a rookie a chance?  Vaananen projects to be a 6th-7th defenseman.  He is good in his own end, but nothing special.  D+

Brian Rolston to New Jersey, 4 years/5.05 per.  Like Rolston going back, and the money isn't too bad, but 4 years for a 35 year old?  I don't think he will be worth it in years 3 and 4.  3 years was pushing it, 4 come on.  Rolston will definitely help them out, but the years are too much.  B-

Glen Metropolit to Philadelphia, 2 years/1 million per.  Metro has shown over the past 2 seasons he can play 3rd line duties.  He can give you 10+ goals and 30 points, and is worth the money.  Good signing by Philly.  B+

Niklas Hagman to Toronto, 4 years/3 million per.  It could go either way.  You either guy the 30 goal scoring Hagman, or the under 30 point Hagman.  Well, only 1 season has he cracked 30 points, which was last year.  It is sort of like the Vrbata signing, since Hagman is 28.  Only time will tell if it works out.  B-

Bobby Holik to New Jersey, 1 year/2.5 million.  Going back to where he was most successful.  Holik adds leadership and is a fan favorite.  He scored 15 goals last season and 37 points, he has been consistent throughout his career so you know what you are getting.  Good money and good signing.  B

Wade Redden to New York Rangers, 6 years/6.5 per.  Redden was supposed to get a paycut from his 6 million salary, but insane money in the UFA market said otherwise.  Redden needed a new home, and if he can get up back to his 50 point days, it won't be as bad a signing as if he continues his recent struggles over the past 2 seasons.  He is good in his own end, but that isn't worth 6.5 million.  B-

Mark Streit to New York Islanders, 5 years/4.1 per.  Will the Isles ever learn?  Streit has played 2 full seasons, is a 10-15 goal scorer at best.  He isn't a pure defender, and can play offense on the wing.  Is a PP guy in general.  Has never had a positive +/- rating and while he had 49 assists, it is tough to judge whether than will continue or if it was a one year wonder type thing.  C+

Michael Ryder to Boston, 3 years/4 per.  Is it good or bad?  He scored 25, 30, 30, 17 in his 4 seasons of full time.  If not for a bad last season, in which he fell out of favor of his coach in Montreal, Ryder could be looking at 5+ million.  He is pretty much a 25+ goal scorer and could take his game to the next level to score 35+.  He is very good on the PP as well.  B

Marian Hossa to Detroit, 1 year/7.4 million.  The rich get richer, and richer, and richer.  Detroit got the best player in the market on a 1 year deal at a reasonable price.  He won't kill them in the wallet when they need to re-sign their other guys down the road.  He may just be there for a year, but what's to lose?  He will be on one of the best offensive and defensive lines in the league with Zetterberg and Datsyuk.  This solidifies Detroit's team that just won a Cup and did not lose anyone via free agency.  They will likely repeat in my opinion.  A+

Sean Avery to Dallas, 4 years/3.875 per.  I don't know.  Avery is annoying as hell and is a locker room cancer to some people.  While he is the agitator all teams need, he could grow out of favor quickly, which is why he hasn't spent more than 2 full seasons with one team in his career.  He can score though and if he doesn't bring down his team, it'll be a fine signing for a 15 goal scorer.  B

Jarkko Ruutu to Senators, 3 years/1.3 per.  Ruutu is a 5-10 goal scorer who gets down and dirty.  Big PIM from this guy and will be a favorite in Ottawa.  Adds toughness and grit to the team.  B

Ron Hainsey to Atlanta, 5 years/4.5 per.  A little expensive, but after losing out on Campbell they had no choice but to overpay.  At 27, he is like an older Dennis Wideman, making some strong strides and being a good puck moving defenseman.  B+


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