How insane were those first few hours of free agency? I've never seen anything like it. Just an impressive amount of player movement in both volume and magnitude. Of course, with all that early movement there isn't much left for the rest of summer. But I think we are all willing to accept that trade off.
I didn't love all the moves that went down the past few days. And I'm going to rant about a few of them.
Did Paul Stastny just decide to leave Colorado or were they really that cheap that they couldn't find the money to keep him?
Stastny signed for four years $28 million ($7 million AAV). Meanwhile, Colorado turned around and signed Jarome Iginla for three years $16 million ($5.333 AAV). Could the Avalanche really not afford the extra million or so to bridge the gap for a superior player in Stastny? Seems to me like they cheaped out for no reason.
But this does allow Nathan MacKinnon to move to center full time so maybe that's part of the logic here. I just know I'd rather have Stastny than Iginla at this point so that's a net loss.
Something to keep in mind with Iginla in Colorado is that he'll be re-united with Alex Tanguay who you may have forgotten plays for the Avalanche but was injured essentially all of last season. Who knows if Tanguay has anything left in the tank but stick him on a line with Iginla and one of the good young centermen that Colorado has you might see a revival. I'd make Tanguay a definite sleeper.
I also thought that the Willie Mitchell signing by Florida was ridiculous. They literally just bought out Ed Jovanovski who was making the same amount as Mitchell is now. What gives? Granted Jovo is just completely finished but how much does Mitchell have left to offer?
If Florida really needed to get to the cap floor they should have just stuck it out with Jovanovski instead of giving the same money and more term to Mitchell. They are now essentially paying over $7 million for that one roster slot.
And don't even get me started on their David Bolland signing. Some teams never learn.
Of course, this team also has about a dozen brilliant young hockey players so maybe it doesn’t matter who they sign.
Finally on my shit list, the Washington Capitals and their absurd spending spree. How completely short-sighted and just plain stupid were the signings of Brooks Orpik and Matt Niskanen for all of the money in their coffers. They now have $26 million committed next season to a blueline that I'm just not sure is any good. And they'll have much of that blueline for the next half decade too. Only Mike Green is set to reach unrestricted free agency in the next three years and seems likely on his way out given the Niskanen signing.
I actually didn't hate the Niskanen signing but just really hate the Orpik one. The fact that these two were just teammates with the Penguins leaves them connected in my mind for all eternity. And you know how impressive that Penguins playoff flameout was the Capitals just had to get their hands on these two. Just a no-brainer, as in, I’m not sure they utilized their brains.
The two free agents I am most interested in at this point are Mike Santorelli and Steve Ott.