Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Live Blog: Off the Cuff Reactions to Free Agent Signings

Well, it's a little late in the day. A lot of signings have already happened but there are still a lot to come. The big name players -- the Jagrs and the Sundins -- have yet to sign making this one of the most boring July 1sts in recent memory. To try and spice things up a little I'll be around here for the rest of the day giving you my spot reaction to every signing that comes through the wire. By 'the wire' I pretty much mean TSN's Signing Tracker. They've been just about the best all day and, let's face it, I have no contacts when it comes to these sorts of things.

So here we go. I'll start us off from the top and work my way through the day's action. If anything new comes up, you'll be sure to hear about that stuff too.

  • Mike Green re-signs in Washington for four years worth about $21 mil. Good one here for the Caps, a guy they needed to hold on to. But he was an RFA so he probably wasn't going anywhere anyway. Kevin Lowe is upset he couldn't make an offer.
  • New Jersey signs Bryce Salvador and Jay Pandolfo. There is no other combination than could sound more 'Brooklyn'. Ey, Pandolfo. Get me one of dems, you know, new yawk cheescakes. I loves dose dings.
  • Red Wigs hold onto Brad Stuart. He played nine regluar season game for Detroit after coming over in a trade from Los Angeles. Worst to first and just in the nick of time. Never has there been a better swing of luck from a deadline day trade. Well, there probably has, but I can't think of it so fuck it.
  • Pittsburgh re-ups with Pascal Dupuis for three years. He did a great job challenging Andy Hilbert for title of Player Who Team Believes in But Frustrates the Hell Out of the Fans for Never Being Able to Finish 'Gimmie' Chances.
  • Corey Perry gets five years and $26.625 million from the Ducks. I think that was Brian Burke giving a big 'up yours' to Kevin Lowe. "You're not stealing my boys this year ya bastard! Now get off my lawn!!"
  • Tampa Bay finally chimes in. They grab Radim Vrbata which just looks like someone threw a bunch of letters together and came up with a name.
  • Andrew Brunette goes back to Minnesota for three years and $7 million. Bruce Ciskie is all over this one.
  • Washington signs Jose Theodore for two years. Huet and Kolzig are clearly out in the Capital. So is the whole notion of 'stopping pucks'. Theodore basically saved his career this past season. He was a running joke around the NHL and only around until time passed and nixed the mega contract he signed with Montreal. A year ago I would have never thought he would be the answer to a team's goaltending situation. Clearly, I was wrong.
  • Almost instantaneously, Colorado signs Andrew Raycroft. I would rather have Raycroft.
  • Ty Conklin goes to Detroit as the goaltending chips start to fall. I start to feel like a few teams were waiting to see if they could grab Theodore before they committed to anyone else. That's a scary thought if you're a fan of those teams.
  • The Leafs give Jeff Finger four years at $3.5M per. I am now going to go Google Jeff Finger.
  • Toronto signs CuJo for a year. Wow. Surprise of the day, maybe. I know they needed a netminder but this is a name I didn't think would come up.
  • Pittsburgh signs Eric Godard for three years. He was a real good guy when he was on Long Island, they're getting a class act along with a boxer.
  • STOP THE PRESSES!! THE RANGERS MAKE A SIGNING!! COULD IT BE JAGR OR SUNDIN!? The lucky winner is... Aaron Voros. I need to go Google him too.
  • Going back to Jeff Finger for a second... He was a career minor leaguer (or late bloomer) until this past season when he played 72 games for the Avs. He has played 92 NHL contests in his career. He has exactly 22 NHL points. He's 28. And, somehow, someway, he's worth $3.5 million per. That's really hard to believe.
  • Florida makes a nice signing. They get Cory Stillman for three years at $10.6 million. They're still going to suck this year.
  • Chicago takes the biggest goaltending chip off the market: Cristobal Huet. Chicago is going places folks. They're like that kid that worked hard in high school but didn't have amazing grades or get girls. They get into college and then BAM, all of a sudden it clicks and they've got the grades, girls and are dropping out to start the next Nike or something. And no, I did not just replace "Bill Wirtz's death" with "BAM". It only seems like it.
  • Colorado signs Darcy Tucker for two years at $4.5 million. Not too bad.
  • Tampa Bay signs Olaf Kolzig for a year at $1.5 million. TSN notes "plus bonuses". That means he probably has Gary Roberts-like bonuses. Lucky guy, probably gets paid for SHOWING UP TO WORK.
  • Ottawa grabs Alex Auld for two years at $500k per. Now, finally, we have a deal that is financially sensible. Are all the goalies gone now?
  • And that finishes catching you (and me) up with everything that has gone on so far today. So far, nothing too huge. I will now officially commence liveblogging in 5...4...3...
  • Around the Horn is on ESPN now. Until something entertaining happens I'll be live blogging that. Gotta stay entertained somehow.
  • Jay Mariotti is not on the show today. That's got to be a first or something. I imagine this will likely be the best ATH ever.
  • The panelists are discussing the possibility of LeBron James going to New York or New Jersey in a few years. Did you know that the Nets cleared some of their payroll so that they would have enough room to sign LeBron in 2010? Are you serious? Are the Nets just going to sell off their team until they have a chance to sign LeBron? And then what if he doesn't sign with them??? What a joke.
  • Bringing in Rob Stone to fill in for the vacationing Tony Reali may be the acquisition of the week.
  • Right now ESPN's Signings Tracker is 11 signings behind TSN. That's awful.
  • Wow. I was just about to say that we have now officially been an hour without any action. In the final seconds, TSN comes through. Apparently at 5:04 the Sabres signed Patrick Lalime for two years, $1 million per. It's now 5:27. They're trying to re-write history or something. WTF. I completely forgot Lalime was even in the NHL. Apparently he's been hiding out in Chicago the last couple years. Lalime is now 33 and I think it's safe so say that this sixth round pick has lived up to the hype.
  • When Patrick Lalime gets signed, you know the free agency pool of goaltenders is very, very shallow.
  • OH GOD NO!!! I found Jay Mariotti. He's filling in for Kornheiser on Pardon the Interruption. I'm now turning off ESPN.
  • Well, I hate to say it but that's going to be it for this short lived live blog. Things have really quieted down after a hectic afternoon. But, make sure you stay tuned to BMR. If anything important happens I'll be on it like Alex Rodriguez on people who are not his wife (reportedly).
  • WHOA and just as I say that Houston we have a big one! Brian Campbell signs with Chicago! It's a whopping eight-year deal worth $56.8 million! I'll be on this one shortly...


  1. Voros is a great story - look him up. He beat cancer while playing at UAF in college.

  2. With Zidlicky and Brunette now in the fold, can the Wild be stopped?

    Yes. Yes they can.

  3. Goodbye Brian Campbell. Thanks for taking a 1st round pick and my favorite Shark with you. Thanks for a great end of the regular season and one highlight reel goal. Wish I'd seen you during the playoffs. Best of luck and burn in hell.


  4. Now that's what I call a fitting tribute!

  5. As a long suffering Chicago fan (last Cup in 1961 ... 1961!!!), I am feeling really good about next year.

    So does Chicago dump Khabibulin and go with Huet/Lalime ... or let Lalime go? Tough call. Nice dilema to have.

  6. Opps, I missed Lalime going to Buffalo. I guess it about has to be Khababulin & Huet (unitl Khaby's contract ends after this season - maybe they bring Crawford up then and free up Khaby's salary money).