Monday, July 02, 2007


The Free Agency Madness. Get Used to it!

by Jes

I've had myself wrapped up in a case report for the last week, so I haven't been nearly as deep into the UFA madness as most of my other blogging peers.

Quite frankly, it would probably be best to wait until the dust settles before trying to figure out just how insane this market has really been.

We should have expected this when the UFA age was lowered like it has been. Fine.

The salary 'cap' isn't much of a cap now that it's so high that many teams won't/can't spend to it. Fine.

What chaps my ass is that we were forced to endure a season without hockey, and be spoonfed crap about 'cost certainty' and 'parity' and levelling the playing field, etc etc etc... And, in the end, we get the exact same bunch of headless chickens tossing around insane money like we did before the lockout.

As much as Scott Gomez is a fine playmaking center, how can he possibly be worth $7mil a season? Well, I know he is to the Rangers, but that's just stupid stupid stupid!!!

Just some randumb thoughts ...

1. The Leafs got a great deal on Jason Blake for $4mil a season. Blake is truly a great 2-way player, a hard worker, and fun to watch. I really wish Blake would have been in a Canucks uniform, but now he's playing for Team Evil North. Bah!!! The Leafs finally did something right...weird

2. There is loyalty: to the $. It's amazing just how few players are re-signing with their old teams. Schneider, Rafalski...well, just about everyone has a new uniform.

3. Joe Thornton is a bargain!! Yes, the Sharks got him to re-sign early for $7mil a season. Watching inferior players like Gomez get that kind of dough must be making Sharks GM Doug Wilson all giddy inside.

4. Weirdest signing? Paul Kariya to the Blues. I am amazed the Blues got a big fish, especially Paul Kariya. It just doesn't seem right. Oh, I like the move, though. Kariya is teh bombz0r.

5. The Oilers got totally punked on Michael Nylander (who went to Washington to play with a real scoring winger), and have ended up with NUTHIN! So much for that well-produced DVD.

6. It must suck to be a Sabres fan right about now. Drury = Gone. Briere = Gone.
Tom Luongo is such a fan, and gives his thoughts on the recent losses.

7. Scott Hannan sucks. The Avalanche suck. Good on them.

8. Bertuzzi to the Ducks. Blech... now I have a reason to hate that club.

Typical Burke. He's got a hard on for Brad May, and now Bertuzzi.

9. Don't put the blame squarely on Bettman. It's not his fault that so many GM's are willing to dish out large&long-term contracts for any player who can score .75 points a game. He actually helped give the GM's and owners a chance for some sanity, but clearly they just want to ensure that the owners get their constant % of profits.

10. Habs give Hamrlik $5.5mil a season for 4 seasons? WTF? They play hardball with Souray (not a bad move, mind you), and then they give superstar money to a 2nd line defenseman?

11. Penguins have a great time of things getting Sykora, Sabourin, and Sydor while re-signing Roberts and Recchi.

12. The Avs will regret the last 2-3 years of that Smyth contract.

13. I'm glad the Canucks are avoiding this insanity. They re-signed Krajicek and Cowan to reasonable deals, and maybe can pick up a bargain (Jason Allison) when the other GM's are done overspending.

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The interesting point about the Kariya signing is that his brother signed with the Blues earlier. Whether Martin has the goods to crack the lineup remains to be seen, but it does look like STL is following the Ducks in getting the brothers in.
"The Avs will regret the last 2-3 years of that Smyth contract."

I don't think they'll *regret* it. Veterans aren't always there to be impact players, especially at a later age. Obviously, it's a different story with Sakic, but for Smyth... He will be there to provide some heart and soul, some experience and leadership, etc. Besides, age isn't that big of a deal when you can deflect the puck that well. Whether or not you think Smyth is a good player, he WAS a big part of the Oilers squad that made the finals last year, and I don't know where you get the idea that having an older player on the roster puts a team in a bad position. Look at how many veterans Carolina had when they won the Cup.
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