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Free Agent Frenzy
by Colin Van Osch (NHL)
Posted on June 30, 2009, 5:31 PM

All is quiet on the Western Front. Ederer is skipping out for the most part, under the assumption that today will be a letdown equal to Trade Deadline Day or Draft Day.

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The Sedins have signed 5 year/30.5M contracts. 6.1M a year on average. Had to happen if you're the Canucks, and great for you if you're a Canucks fan, but disappointing as this really would have brought the excitement today.

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Penner, Cogliano and Smid going to Ottawa is still sounding possible. They have until 11:59 EST tonight before Ottawa has to pay the 4M bonus due to Heatley and have made it clear that if he doesn't take a deal today, he's a Senator. Heatley did not waive his No Trade Clause yesterday, which frankly should be rescinded automatically when you demand a trade, but there is still time for him to accept. Heatley has really done his best to burn every bridge available, he's certainly not wanted back in Ottawa after his behavior, and now he's spurned the only team to make an offer that pleases Ottawa. New York Rangers are apparently interested, but they want to move Roszival and his stupid contract, which Ottawa won't have, and Ottawa wants Brandon Dubinsky, which New York is having none of.

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Dwayne Roloson has decided to test the Free Agent Market and will not be signing Edmontons offer. For now. I'm thinking the market for a 39 year old goalie who has had 1 good year who wants a multi-year contract is slim.

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Heatley is hanging himself here. Edmonton can't leave this offer on the table and plan for next season. If they start making moves to sign a big fish, this offer is leaving and Heatley might have no option but to be a Sen next year. I'm proposing that if it doesn't get signed in 3 hours (2 CST) then the deal is dead and Edmonton is going to start moving so they're not handcuffed. AGAIN.

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Mattias Ohlund signs in Tampa, who get the defenseman that they desperately need. Word is that Marian Hossa is signing with CHICAGO. Neidermayer is kicking tires around the league, and may not return to the Ducks.

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Ohlund deal is 7 years, 3.5M a year. Fantastic, fantastic signing. Ohlund/Hedman for President. 22.5M of the 24.5M will be in the next 5 years, last 2 years will be 1M apiece.

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Dvorak and Booth resign with Florida. Word from multiple sources are showing Hossa in Chicago within the hour.

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Great little exchange on TSN. Talking about how Cogliano, Smid and Penner must feel knowing that Edmonton offered them in the trade. After mentioning it was kind of like the Habs/Lecavlier situation during the year, James Duthie just frankly says 'That was partially our fault' and everyone bursts into laughter. Cute.

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Maple Leafs sign Colton Orr to a 4 year/4M dollar contract. That's almost as good as getting the Sedins. Seriously though, a good price for a 3rd or 4th line guy, but I'd really like to know who the Leafs intend to have scoring all of their goals next year?

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Word coming out of Habtown is that Kovalev is resigned to an extension. Early word is 2yr/8.8m but now this is being refuted.

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Pavel Kubina may have been traded to the Atlanta Thrashers. No word on the return to the Leafs.

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Booth contract is 6 years, 25.5m dollars. Dvoraks contract is 2y/3.4m. Florida has done well so far, at least today. Their conduct in the Bouwmeester efforts is still more than questionable.

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Marian Hossa is signed with Chicago. Report is currently 12yr/62m, for an average hit of 5.16M. This is now 100% official, with the first 53M of the payout coming in the first 7 years. Expected. Good price for Hossa, but a terrifying prospect considering the money they are paying out. Byfuglien is 3m, Bolland at 3.4, Campbell is 7.1, Huet is 5.8, Seabrook is 3.5, Hossa is 5.15 and they need to get Kane, Toews, Versteeg, Keith and a real goalie into the fold in the next year. Bad news.

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Tampa Bay Lightning have signed Matt Walker for 4yr/6.8m contract. Tampas blueline is looking sickeningly good. Ohlund, Hedman, Walker, Ranger, Meszaros? Well done.

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Craig Anderson has signed with the Colorado Avalanche. 2y/3.6m. Another great signing, Anderson held Florida together at points last year. This seems to spell the end of the Avs in the Gustafsson sweepstakes. Another congratulations to Colorado, who managed to get Duchene, O'Reilly and Elliot in the first 2 rounds of the draft this year. They're going to have a good year.

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Conklin is....with the Blues? 2yr/2.6m. But they're not playing in a Winter Classic. I guess this means they're going to lose in the Stanley Cup Finals. Except Chicago already has Hossa? This is confusing and I don't like it.

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Mike Komisarek reportedly received TEN offers in the first hour of Free Agency. Say goodbye, Montreal.

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Dwayne Roloson has signed with the Islanders for a paycut. Edmonton offered 1yr/3m, Islanders have signed him for 2yr/5m in case Dipietro is a no go at any point next season. Edmonton is going to be in a mad scramble to get a goalie, and I expect this is the point where the Heatley offer is accepted or removed so they know what their budget is. Roloson just came onto TSN and said, outright, that he signed with Long Island explicitly because he wanted the contract and the security. Nothing nice to say about the team.

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Tomas Kopecky signs with Chicago, 2y/1.2m contract.

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Steve Montador signs in Buffalo, 2yr/3.1m

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Great signing in Washington. Mike Knuble, 2yr/5.6M.

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Brashear gets 2yr/2.8m to sign with New York Rangers. That doesn't seem right at all. Blair Betts must be pleased.

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Scott Neidermayer signs with Anaheim, 1yr/6m plus incentive bonuses. He stays because he cares, but also because they pay him insane salaries. It's not that I don't like him. In fact, I love him. I think that if you're coming back, considering the precedents being put forth by everyone else, you sign a 4 year/9m contract. Average out the cap hit, and if you get bought out, you get the remaining money owed to you, 100%, as per the CBA. It's hurting your team a lot less. The saving grace, I guess, is that Bobby Ryan isn't due until this day next year, and Neidermayer almost certainly will not return after the Olympic year, so this is the last year he'll suck up this much space.

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Updating on the Neidermayer situation, I was wrong. There is no immediate resign needed in Anaheim, and they had the space to give it to them. He might get the full contract if he agrees to this, but it also takes 2.25M in phantom salary against the cap for 4 years if we go with my plan. I still think that Neidermayer is at a point where he might want to consider taking a little less and go, instead, for one last Cup run, but the right play on him is not to spread his cap hit and take money out of a potential Ryan/Sbisa/Wishniewski signing in the next year or two. So there's that, I didn't think my complaint through.

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Some small potatoes. Aaron Rome from Columbus to Vancouver, 1yr/550k. Lucas Krajicek, resigns with Tampa, no details, and Joel Ward resigns with Nashville, 2yr/3m.

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Brian Boucher is signing to backup Emery in Philadelphia. Still no details.

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Jaroslav Spacek, 3yrs/11.5m to Montreal. Not a bad deal, but as Spacek is over 35, they're on the hook for 100% of that payout, no questions asked. This is who will replace Komisarek. Not a fair trade, but suitable.

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Erik Cole resigns in Carolina, great decision. Details are in, 2yr/5.8m.

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Khabibulin to Edmonton is a 4yr/13m contract and might be the best signing of the day.

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Boucher to Flyers is 2yr/1.8m contract.

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Scott Clemmensen has signed to Florida, 3yrs/3.6m. Glad to see no one blew their wad over a guy who is a perreniel backup goaltender who was lucky enough to have a good stretch playing in a great system for goaltenders. 1.2m a year is a good hit for Clemmers, and he'll be a good backup for Vokoun

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Philadelphia signs Ian Laperriere, 3 year deal at 3.5M. Really strong pickup for Philly, they're making up for some major Free Agency errors in recent years.

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Hal Gill to Montreal. 2yrs/4.5m. I will be putting all of my Habs merch in a box later, and putting that box in a hole, and covering the hole with dirt.



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