I'm still hoping that Sean Kelly contacts me, as he won the Oakley's sunglasses. Shades can be seen by clicking here.
The Panthers have acquired Sergei Shirokov from Vancouver for Mike Duco. As you know, the Panthers’ roster is already filled with modest contracts and Shirokov will not steal a job. However, if someone gets hurt in camp, then he gets his shot.
The Panthers have also acquired Angelo Esposito from the Jets for Kenndal McArdle. The latter didn’t have a home on the roster, and Esposito is a long shot from making it to the NHL. But in the new system, perhaps in two years he can fully turn his game around.
Some minor deals – The Habs have signed Brian Willsie. The Red Wings have signed Chris Connor. Anaheim has signed Brian McGrattan to a two-way contract. Buffalo has signed Colin Stuart and Drew MacIntyre. Montreal has acquired Michael Blunden from Columbus for Ryan Russell (Kris Russell's twin brother, now teammate). Vancouver has signed Matt Climie and Alexander Sulzer.
I'll analyze the Eric Fehr deal later Saturday.
Further to my Florida Panthers article, I noticed some comments indicating that the length of most of the contracts that were signed were for four years, and as such they hold no trade value this year. Absolutely correct. And I'm a little embarrassed because I think I said right in the article that they signed for four years and that's because Tallon's plan is for four years. The proper way for me to present it would have been to say "Prediction: five of ANY player on the team will be dealt by the deadline." I can name some: Versteeg, Clemmensen, possibly Weiss, and the rest would depend on how great (value up) or bad (value down) the rest of the crew plays. But the plan is for four years, and the hope is that one or two of the long-term signings emerge as better players than we all thought. My guesses there would be Fleischmann and Bergenheim.
The one truly bad signing for the Panthers to me was Jovanovski. He is a shadow of what he once was and I would not pay him a penny over $2 million. I think out of all of them, this one is going to hurt the most.
Sergei Kostitsyn signed for one year at $2.5 million. While the money is decent, his signing for one year was absolutely insane. His agent should know better. His agent should better read the situation. The situation is this – Kostitsyn is one of the streakiest players in the league. He is completely useless for 20+ games of the year, and he is a Top 30 forward in the NHL for the other 60. On a team like Nashville, with a dozen guys who can post 55 points, he is easily replaceable when he goes into a funk. If he goes into a slump and the guy who replaces him makes a splash, Kostitsyn will have trouble getting that spot back. If he was signed for two years, he would have no trouble at all. I'm not saying he's a bust now. Not at all. But as a Kostitsyn owner, I was 95% comfortable with him setting a career high this season and because the deal is only for one year, my comfort level just went down to 75%.
When I ramble and muse about the subtleties of fantasy hockey, that is all that they are – subtleties. So if I get you all excited or down on a player from what I say, take it with a grain of salt. Like in the above example, if I left that blurb without that final sentence, and on some days I may have, you would possibly be scared to own SK. But when I say something hurts or helps, it's generally ju