Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Wow! That's what I'm thinking right now. The NHL's free agency period began with an astounding 300+ million dollars being spent (Also, may be more by the time this is posted). Is this the same pro sports league that not long ago cried like little babies over the finances of the NHL and where it was going? We gotta change this! We must change this! Apparently the NHL is doing just fine when it comes to doling out the "loot" for this years free agent crop.
The crop was led by Brian Campbell's signing in Chicago (8 Years, 57+ Million), Michal Rozsival (4 years, 20 million to stay in blue), and a real odd one - Marion Hossa signing a 1 year deal with the Detroit Red Wings for 7.4 million dollars (this is a head scratcher). This one really hurts though... Sean Avery has agreed to a 4 years 15.5 million dollar deal to play in Dallas. I wish he would of re-signed with the Rangers, but it takes 2 to agree on terms and obviously it didn't work out. I'll miss his presence on the Rangers next year. He would of helped greatly, but as a fan you must move on.
As for Jaromir Jagr, who knows? I for one want him back in the Ranger fold - big time. I hear Jagr's "waiting for a signal". What signal? The bat signal? What signal does he want? If he doesn't realize by now, the Rangers, the city, and the majority of the fans are in his corner and would gladly welcome him back immediately (like yesterday)! As for the signal... I'm sure Commissioner Gordon... oops, I mean Sather has expressed to Jagr that he's wanted back. The ball is in your court, Jaromir. Don't drop it.
On to the next order of business, the re-signing of Rozsival might have some people in an uproar and some not. Rozsival was the Rangers leading point getter - defenseman wise - and the going rate for an offensive defenseman was set by Brian Campbell's contract. Sometimes you got to pay, sometimes you don't. In this case - you had to pay. Now, the Wade Redden story is almost the same as Rozsival's. Even though his game has fallen lately, the market basically said he's a 6.5 million dollar player. I say the jury will still be out in many of these signings by the NHL and the Rangers, only time will tell if these moves were the right ones or not.
Oh, and by the way, the re-signing of Steve Valliquette was a good move. He's capable when called upon and is a very good team guy. As for Rissmiller, Jamtin, and Voros... it's their opportunity to take advantage of Avery's departure and fill a void (a big one)! Check back soon, it's not over til it's over! I will also post some updates as certain signings or trades happen.
Update: Orpik was re-signed by the Penguins apparently for 5 years, 22 million dollars. That's a shame. Would of liked to see him on the Rangers for sure. The initial reports on this were for 4.5 million a year, that would of been far too much for Oprik in my opinion.
Update: The Rangers traded Fedor Tyutin and Christian Backman to the Columbus Blue Jackets for Nikolai Zherdev and Dan Fritsche. I like the move for the Rangers. Not only do they gain some cap space in the deal, but they aquire a much needed young winger. Maybe they pair Zherdev with Gomez? That remains to be seen. except the Jagr picture.
Update: Rangers sign Markus Naslund and Dmitri Kalinin. It also appears Jaromir Jagr will not be returning due to comments made by Glen Sather. Thoughts on this later.
*Jagr Signal Image made by Cody Kotsopoulos
* Other images from Google Images