Free Agency Begins

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


Rocco said...

Hey Kosti,

It's Rocco Aloe- I worked with Duncan and Lisa at the Sports Broadcasting Workshop @ Quinnipiac last June. Hope you've been well.

Anyway, love the blog. I'm definitely going to bookmark it.

I like your take on the Rangers moves thus far. A Westchester County newspaper writer whose blog I often visit says Sather is still shopping around for another D-man. Not really sure who's left but this is what he said during a conference call tonight:

"We still have plenty of cap room left, we knew that when we signed Redden and Rozsival, we knew there was a possibility that we'd have to move somebody. The four defensemen who are left are all capable of playing 30 minutes each, but we're still going to sign some defensemen and we're still exploring all those routes not just from free agency but from trades. When you sign two players like that, they can both log a lot of ice time, it's just the way the economics of the game work; you can't have a pile of guys making an awful lot of money, but we want to have people who can move the puck and skate with the puck. There's still a lot going on out there."

Anyway, like the Zherdev move, as well as the Rissmiller and Voros signings. We needed size for I like those pickups. Don't like the fact he re-signed Roszival @ 4 years/20 million. I'm sort of ok with him paying 6.5 mil/yr for Redden but overpaying for both of them is too much. I feel like they both are fairly strong on the offensive end but don't do enough to make a difference on the defensive end.

Also, what do you think will happen with Jagr? The longer he holds out on making a decision, the more I wonder where he really wants to go.

What do you think the Rangers still need? Maybe one big winger and a #3 or 4 defenseman? Think there will be anymore trades?

Wrath of Sanity said...

I'm not so sure how I feel about the Rangers moves. Some things are still yet to go down, I'm sure. At this very moment though, I don't think this is a good playoff team. Maybe an 7th/8th seed or something if we're lucky.

I really do like the trade they pulled off today. However, Zherdev is a RFA after the season and there have been some rumblings that he'd command a big deal or bolt to Russia, although this could just be disgruntled Columbus fans (saw that rumor on their forum at

Jeff said...

Pretty good move with CBJ, Sather played well on that one. Zherdev will definitely fit well alongside Gomez. Fritsche seems to be a good upgrade of Betts on the 4th line. And in the same time we get rid of Backman, who was far from being a fan favorite, and we clear some cap space, that's good if Sather is still after JJ.

Last words from our Captain in the NY Dailynews are pretty confusing:

"I think they're happy with what they got," Jagr said of the Rangers. "The guys they got are what they feel they needed."

I don't know what to think, Zherdev may have sealed Jagr's future with the Rangers afterall. And Hossa to Detroit for one year is another point that Sather may not sign Jagr on a 2 years contract, and would prefer to (try to) grab Marian next season.

Avery's got his juicy contract finally. 4 years... Wow. I'm not sure Dallas will bear him so long! ^^ A possible trade to NY next season? Hell yeah! That would be awesome.

Now Tyutin is gone, We need at least one or 2 NHL ready Dman to fill the blanks. Sather didn't contact you Kotsy as to come back in the NHL? ^^.

Sather has a plan, my call is that he's making everything possible to sign another top winger. said the CBJ-NYR was maybe the pre-cursor of something else involving both teams...

By the way, my blog is now in english ( Was not so difficult to implant, now I just need to find the good rhythm, my first articles in english are a bit odd and I need to work on the content...

Anyway, thanks again Kotsy to share your thoughts on the NHL and on this free agency.

captjameson said...

can't say i'm too upset to see avery leave. he was about to wear out his welcome and over rated himself to boot. he and hull can give each other mouth to mouth, a match made in heaven. but it was avery's sand paper that made him what he is and that is replaceable. so why over pay for the guy and have trouble moving a bad contract when things go south...? if jagr really wants to win a cup for NY and be the team guy, then he should sign already. if his perceived team status is related to money then he can take bardin's cheque and stuff it up his ass. quite frankly though, all the rhetoric from sather and jagr is probably just that and something will eventually get done.

brilliant trade with the CBJs. tyutin had a bad contact and needed a change of scenery and thankfully he took the chikin swede with him. be interesting to see what renney will get out of Zherdev. i would imagine his locker will be in gravey's office to solve the work ethic issues. i like redden. rozsival needs to take the first million he got and buy some hockey sense so he can live up to the rest of the contract, otherwise he's just another shoplifting Czeck.

Crock said...

Disagree with the assesment from captjameson. The New York Rangers will miss Avery big time. He was the kind of guy made for NY and NY was made for him. It is too bad this has happened but great news for Dallas and their fans. This guy will be a big time hero here in Dallas. The fans are going to love this guy. He is the complete package without maybe all the fancy goals like other gifted players.

He works his bag off every shift ... he can fight .... he is a leader and the big thing from what I understand is he hates to lose. LA Kings loss and now for the the New York Rangers have goofed in letting this guy go. You will see next year that the team is missing this kind of guy that will get in anybodys face. Those kinds of players are hard to find in hockey for the way the game has become way too soft especially with all the Europeans in the league.

Knowing Kotsy he would have loved to have had the opportunity to play with and be around a guy like this when he was a player.

Every team needs role players and this guy knows his role game in and game out everyday. He is a mucker, he is a grinder, a pest and can score goals here and there sometimes scoring the big goal. He is not just a goon as he does show signs that he actually knows what he is doing with the puck.

Coming here to Dallas is going to put more fans in the stands for sure and once they get a taste of what he can do out there he will be a fan favorite. He will be a perfect fit with Morrow and from what I read in the paper today Dave Tippet can hardly wait to get him on the ice with his team.

I knew if the Rangers let this guys go that he would be picked up fast. Heck Brett Hull can get in line cause I'll give the guy mouth to mouth if that is what it takes for him to entertain the fans here in Dallas.

Can hardly wait to see this guy in a Dallas uniform. Way to go Brett Hull ................

Mark my words Ranger fans at some point and against some team next year you will be saying to yourselves "boy I wish Sean Avery was still in a Ranger uniform" especially against division rivals.

I am not a certain team fan but I will tell you this I will start to watch the Dallas Stars more with this guy here in Dallas. May be reason to get to a few more Dallas games next year.

Just love the game in general .... some days anyway.

Agree with you Kotsy on what you say about the league and the money they are shelling out. Someone better call congress cause the way these teams are shelling out millions of dollars it sounds like they think there is nothing wrong with the economy.

Trust me if gas prices keep going through the roof it is going to be interesting to see what some teams put in the buildings for a fan base. Sure the big teams like the Rangers and the original six teams will draw well but teams like Nashville, Carolina, Atlanta, St. Louis and many others will start to show who goes to the games. Heck last year Detroit how many games you would see seats half empty. And that is hockey town.

Good luck NHL and these spoiled athletes. They piss and moan about not making enough money all the time. Love to see these guys go out in the real world and get real jobs. Want to see what they are doing after there playing days are over ?? Course the way the NHL is handing out cash they will have nothing to worry about will they ??

Jagr you keep waiting for that sign but don't wait too long cause the offer may not be there tomorrow.

Enough for now ..... I need a beer !


Jeff said...

And the offer is gone... That's it, Jagr won't be on broadway next season. Pretty sad that ends this way, but Slats made him offers for months now, there's a time where that's enough. Another smart moves by our GM today. But the question is: What the hell this team will look like next season. Gomez's and Drury's era is coming for sure.

Kotsy's Korner said...

rocco: Rocco, great to hear from you and thanks for checking out my blog! It looks like Jagr is done, the Rangers have made plenty of changes. I certainly feel it looks like it's out with the old and in with new(although Naslund is not a puppy anymore). I wish they would of picked up at least one tough, physical, intimidating defenseman. Check back and spread the word Rocco! Stay in touch.

wrath of sanity: Zherdev is the wild card. If a consistent effort is given, he could blossom in to what he was projected to be when drafted(4th pick overall 2003). If not the fans of New York will let him know!


captainjameson: Unfortunately I am going to agree and disagree with you about Avery. I agree that to overpay him might have ended up disastrous, but at the same time too many people forget the positives he brought to the team and emphasized the negatives. Do you want nice players? Or players that win? I'll admit, I can't put a finger on why... but I just like his style of play (Who is going to replace him?) As for Jagr who knows what this guy is thinking? I still think he would of been the No.1 star on the team, but he obviously has overplayed his value this late in his career. When it comes down to it, "business" always prevails over the player. As for the trades, who really knows? We all have our opinions. So far it looks like the Rangers got the better end of the deals. Just remember it's a "what have you done for me lately" world that we live in. Thanks for the good read.


jeff: Jeff, great to hear about the blog. I will add it to my links section. So much to talk about, where do I start? If Zherdev plays up to his potential - he's a steal. Scotty Gomez: here's your chance to take a big step and show you can lead a bonafide NHL hockey team. I'm hoping he can, but he has not proved to me that he's capable. Sorry, it's just how I feel. On to one my favorite EX-RANGERS... I'm going to miss Sean Avery. I Loved the way he played. He had balls. It didn't work out as a fan your sad or happy, so you move on (I know one person who will be in attendance when Dallas comes to town). As for Jagr, what is he thinking now? I'm not 100% sure the door is closed... but it sure looks like it might of slammed right in his face. I'll be checking out your blog! Good luck with it.


crock: Crock, the Dallas Stars took one of my faves away from my beloved RANGERS. I understand it's a business and sometimes things happen for a reason. I'm sure that former teammate and head coach Dave Tippet will have his hands full. But, at the same time he will appreciate what Avery brings night after night. As for the finances of the league, this has happened before and it might just happen again (crying about money). Remember the lockout? I sure do. And it wasn't that long ago. Like I have always said, I never begrudge what players receive salary wise. I just don't want to see another stoppage over the out of control spending (it's that simple).

Mr. Hockey said...

Where do you srart? Plenty of moves some of them make us happy some piss us off.Still don't understand the Avery fiasco-was it years-was it money-was Avery pissed when Sather gave tons of loot to Redden and Rozy after he was basically told to pound sand with his demand - so he jumped at the first caller? I know this--Sather is a HOF builder-there has to be a good reason, but as far as Avery over rating himself or wearing out his welcome??? what are you kidding me? If he over rated his game that would be because no other Ranger seemed willing to pay the price of playing that way -that makes him very valuable to the team and the fans--how can a player who plays hard in all 3 zones every game , every shift--a player who makes the other team well aware of his game and they have to account for it -- ever wear out his welcome?? --as far as giving him a bad contract?? what the hell does that mean now ?? have you seen the contracts being signed? there aren't any good ones (good thing they had a lockout_saved the game and the owners from themselves)But with all that said -as Jimmy Conway was told by Vinny in Good fellas--We had a problem -and he's gone -and theres nothing we can do about it.(Were all going to miss him being on our team-even him)
I kind of liked Tyutin's play--lots of fans wanted Orpik --I didn"t think Tyutin"s game was very different from from his --Orpik was getting lots of credit for taking the body,but 51 had very similar numbers when it came to the hits and was (i think )a better d man than Orpik-- I guess a Salary Cap Hit was the only hit the brass really cared about-close to 3 mill--3 mill is like 3 strikes -your out.
Zherdev??? ok but I don't like players who have to be coaxed to show a good work ethic-- it seems they always fall back to their bad habits when you need them the most.Fritsche I've read some folks think he's an upgrade from Betts--take it easy--This guy has got what it takes --he knows his role as a 4th line player and beyond that this guy is a top face-off man-very fast- great on the pk- all that combined I feel the coach can be confident in his play no matter what line he happens to be out against.
Naslund?? Richard Nixon was President when this guy started..
Jagr is lookin for the "Bat sign"forget it just give him the Bat
Hey Kots I read that someone wanted to know if Sather got in touch about a come back?? Idon't know about the NYR, but if you interested, it seems like the Avs might be going that route!!-Darcy Tucker 2 years --for guy who was getting 4-6 minutes, when he wasn't a healthy scratch!!----GOOD THING THEY HAD THAT LOCKOUT --

Kotsy's Korner said... Mr.Hockey, I think every one knows my thoughts on Avery by now. I will miss his style of play big time next season. As for Jagr, I really believe he blew it and deep down is going to kick himself every day he wakes up in Omsk.

I completely disagree with your thoughts on Tyutin. Tyutin's game is solid, but his hitting would never be considered bone rattling or intimidating at all. Orpik's game is all the above and he would of looked good in Ranger Blue.

The rest of the moves look good on paper. Zherdev might turn out all right (Work ethic?). As for the rest, we'll have to wait and see. Oh ya, nice one about Goodfellas. That was a great movie!

Jeff said...

Hey Kotsy, thanks for adding my blog to your list, you wasn't forced to. I'm going to do the same right away, and will probably write an article soon as to present your blog(no need to do the same he he... ;).

Like Redden and Naslund, I think some fresh air might be salutary for Zherdev. A team welcoming him arms opened (I guess...) is better regarding his young age, than a team that was apparently criticizing him.

What do you think Kotsy, as a former defenseman, about Paul Mara's return. I like that personally, at least a known face. The guy produced a great effort in the playoffs last year after his injury, he's definitely a good reinforcement.

Kotsy's Korner said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kotsy's Korner said...

jeff: jeff, i think Mara's decision to take a cut in pay and return to the fold is a wise move on his part. He is still a valuable player and he's good to have around for depth. As for linking your blog to mine no problem at all.

Mr. Hockey said...

Kots- you are right about the "quality" of Orpik's hits as compared to Tyutin's--but they had just about the same amount--I guess I'd rather have the guy who can make your snot come out--but it dosn't mean squat anymore--the ink is dry for both of them.
Ifeel you will most likely disagree, but --
68 did not reach "fairly easy goals" for an offensive player like himself, for his contract extension to kick in, so instead he hits the free agent market.
The way this mutt played ALL YEAR, do you think he may have been in bed with this Russian mamaluke all along?
I mean come on ---35 mil tax free would tempt a nun! How many games was this guy off the score sheet??Shaking his big head saying" I don no I play same, why no goal?? I don no"
Good thing for us he turned it on the last handful of games,to help us make a jump into the playoffs.(was it ok at that point to exhibit your skill,since the contract triggers were out of reach?
I don't know (now I sound like Jagr).He left Sather hanging --waiting to hear from him--it just seemed like he wanted out . How do you feel about it ?? Do you think I may have a valid point or do you think I need a straight jacket?

Kotsy's Korner said... Mr.Hockey I'm not positive on just how exactly the Jagr situation came to be. I really believe no one expected Jagr to leave the way it happened. Hockey is at times a strange business and strange things happen.(on and off the ice) That being said Jagr under achieved, as well as some other free agent pick-ups from last season. (Oh like Scotty Gomez for instance) I could go on and on about it, its time to move on. Sather made the right move, Jagr overplayed his worth and now he's off to Omsk. I will miss 30-40ft glides to the bench on a line change.

Jeff said...

Dubi Silverstein, at blueshirts bulletin, is going pretty hard against Cherepanov after what he said to Russian journalists. I hope that JJ will put some sense in his head, he looks like such an assh*le. Besides that, I like the way he describes our prospects and young guns, that's exactly what we saw on the ice last year.

Jeff said...

*Blueshirt Bulletin

Kotsy's Korner said...

jeff: Jeff, I feel from my past experience that players from Europe get a little longer rope than North American players. It's a fact and nobody is going to tell me different. There are many reasons for this. Time and finances are a big factor. To scout a player like Cherepanov (Who from what I hear is pretty damn good) takes a lot resources and way more money than it would for scouting a player in North America. Cherepanov's young, so I will cut him some slack on his outburst at Dubi and the Bullettin. It's really a nothing story, but he better get used to the NY media - who might not baby him like he is in Russia.

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