So the free agent craze started today, and it took a few hours, but the the shit has finally hit the fan. One of the most interesting points right now is how, in a matter of hours, the Atlantic Division just got turned completely upside down.
The Rangers are going to be a serious contender in the East next season. TSN is reporting that they have signed Chris Drury (*cough* I rule *cough*) and Scott Gomez. Gomez will receive a massive $51.5 million over seven years. No details on the Drury contract just yet (as of 7:55 PM). My hunch is that it may be similar, and due in part to the Gomez signing. Add these guys to Jagr, Prucha, Lundqvist, etc., and they are a mother fuckin' force to be reckoned with.
UPDATE: Drury gets five years at $35.25 mil.
Philadelphia is already a much improved team from last season, landing Martin Biron, Scott Hartnell and Kimmo Timonen in the past few months. They added Jason Smith and Joffrey Lupul via trade today, and have signed Daniel Briere to a lengthy eight-year deal valued at $52 million... With all these long contracts being handed out, it will be interesting to see if they end with Cup raises or buyouts... I also wonder what the chances are that Peter Forsberg returns to Philly. I don't see it happening, but if it does... Yikes.
The Islanders have lost a major asset, as Jason Blake has signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Blake will receive $20 million over four years, which I bet is probably more than anything the Islanders were willing to offer. Ryan Smyth is still unsigned (as of 7:55 PM), which plays in the team's favor. It won't be an easy sign, though. Tom Poti has also left the Island for Washington, a deal valued at $14 million over four years. As it stands, I'm going to be pissed if the Islanders don't re-sign Smyth or make a serious signing with another player.
UPDATE: The Islanders have also lost Victor Kozlov to Washington. Fuck.
There is no news out of Pittsburgh so far today, but that doesn't mean things are going downhill. They've still got this, that and, oh yeah, him.