July 02, 2011

Jeff Angus

2011-07-01

 

Many fans are wondering why their team didn’t give Gagne the same contract LA did? A free agent has to sign a deal for it to happen, and Gagne likely wanted to go to LA – a contender, and a place where he could reunite with former linemate Mike Richards.

 

Ian White perhaps stands to benefit more on DET than any other free agent with their new team. Right handed shot, logical replacement on the top PP unit. Lidstrom/Datsyuk feeding him passes for 82 games… Could see 12-15 goals and 45-55 points. Analysis to come.

 

The Jets have signed former Manitoba Moose Rick Rypien. Rypien has gone through some off-ice stuff but appears to have his issues sorted out. Not a great hockey player, but he is a fantastic fighter and will be a good draw with the fans (as if the Jets needed any help attracting fans at this point…)

 

I don’t mind the Connolly deal for TOR. Money is really high, but cap space only matters if you need it. The Leafs have a lot of room and lacked any sort of veteran top six center after Grabovski. The term is a solid one and won’t handcuff them at all. Extensive analysis to come tonight.

 

Interesting signings today: Connolly to TOR, White to DET, Gagne to LAK.

 

The Rangers have a huge opportunity available on the top line. Who lines up with Richards and Gaborik? Dubinsky? Avery? Stepan? Wolski?

 

Any major signings/trades that occur today will have analysis posted at 6pm EST or later. I am at work for most of the day and Dobber is on the road.

 

Goldie Says: Here’s my Free Agency Mailbag for the weekend. I was in the chat yesterday, but once it hit about 350 readers, it crashed my laptop. So check out the mailbag and drop your questions for me all Saturday. Big winners were clearly Smith, Theodore and Dekanich. Losers are Vokoun and Boucher. The less I say about Varly, the better.

 

Late signings, and some that were missed during yesterday’s craziness – Sean Bergenheim signs with the Panthers. I’ll have to do a full-blown piece on the Panthers (this is Dobber) much like I did with the Flyers a week ago. Just too many changes to do them one at a time. Look for that early in the coming week. Also, Michal Handzus signs with the Sharks, which is exactly the role player that they need. Ryan Potulny signed with the Capitals, a two-way deal this year, but a one-way next year. Unfortunately that is pretty much a Hershey deal. Cody McCormick re-signs with the Sabres. And I’ve been keeping track of all the UFA’s and RFA’s (the notable ones) in a nice, neat chart here.

 

Angus here – July 2nd ramblings up early. About to head out to celebrate the birthday of this fine country. I did a quick breakdown of each team after a busy and interesting day…

 

Anaheim

The Ducks didn't do a whole lot. They moved Sutton for Foster, who will likely see spot duty on the bottom pairing and some time on the second PP unit behind Fowler and Visnovsky. Anaheim is top heavy up front and on defense. So much of their playoff potential rests with Jonas Hiller and his health.

 

Boston

The Bruins lost Michael Ryder and likely Tomas Kaberle. They have some prospects on the way, most notably Jordan Caron. They signed Benoit Pouliot from Montreal, continuing to strengthen their Quebecois presence. Pouliot is a major, major project. Could turn into a sound depth scorer but he lacks the consistency required to play at the NHL level.

 

Buffalo

Ehrhoff signing was the big news before July 1. The Sabres missed the Brad Richards train, but they paid handsomely for Ville Leino – $4.5 million for the next six years. Ugly contract, but the nature of free agency is overpayment. Leino gives Buffalo another second line winger to go along with Boyes, Stafford, Pominville, Ennis, G