Tuesday, August 07, 2007


Bloggers Poll #1: The Worst Free Agent Signing This Off-Season

by Jes

On a lark, I decided to poll a few of my fellow hockey bloggers with a selected question. This could become a regular feature, since it offers the chance to get a spectrum of views in a nice capsulated format.

The first question: What was the worst free agent signing of the NHL off-season?

The one with the most answers with mighty-mite Daniel Briere, for which the Flyers were panned heavily for giving out such a long-term deal to a shrimp.

Mike Chen:

I'm going with Daniel Briere. Who the hell gets an EIGHT-YEAR term not named Crosby or Ovechkin? (Jes: Rick DiPietro) Couple it with the fact that the Flyers don't play Buffalo's go-go-go system, nor do they have the same offensive depth as the Sabres, and you're looking at a marked point drop and a bad cap hit for years to come. I could be wrong, but I see Briere's skills tapering off around year four of his deal.

Snoopyjode, from The Sidney Crosby Show:

BY FAR, my choice is the Daniel Briere signing. The Flyers basically bet the entire ranch on him. He's a somewhat decent and reliable player, but he's only had one really notable "standout" season in the NHL, so he's not even close to being worth what he got in that deal.

AND, Earl Sleek from the Battle of California:

In my opinion, the worst free agent signing this offseason was Philly's signing of Daniel Briere. I don't watch a ton of eastern conference hockey, but looking at the dollars and years committed, I think he's a guy who's very likely to underperform over the life of the contract.

Ritch Duncan, the American Hockey Fan (yes, the only one), had a very unique choice: Kevin Garnett to the Boston Celtics.

OK, how is a basketball trade the worst move of the hockey off-season? I'll tell ya. If there was one consolation for Bruins fans living in a town dominated by the Sox and Patriots, we could argue that with the Celtics around, the B's weren't the most pathetic team in town. It wouldn't have been a strong argument, but one could make it. Now, thanks to Mr. Garnett ( who has 2 inches on Zdeno Chara, by the way), the Boston Bruins are the least interesting sports draw in New England.

My fellow FanHouse cohort, Greg Wyshynski, wasn't too excited about the Habs paying heavily for a 2nd line defenseman.

Roman Hamrlik, four-year, $22-million deal with Montreal. He nearly had Mark Streit's stats, and now he has Sheldon Souray's money.

Michael the Hockey Fanatic chastised Kevin Lowe for his crazy RFA bids. I have to disagree about the 'playing nice' part, however. Hockey is war, on and off the ice ...

"I think the Vanek/Penner signing was the worst this off season because it exposed a loop hole in the FA rules when everybody is supposed to play nice and focus on the big picture of winning back fans."

JP Swenson, my San Francisco tour guide, and webmeister of the long-running Sharkspage.com agrees with me that the Ducks signing Todd Bertuzzi was dumber than Eddie Murphy thinking we want to see him making bad jokes in a fat suit for the third time.

Instead of hanging on to a young, dominant physical power forward and matching Edmonton's offer to Dustin Penner, Burke signs an aging Bertuzzi to a contract that hamstrings the Ducks financially. Bertuzzi has yet to regain his previous form after returning from injury, and there are too many off ice issues that might cause distractions down the line. Burke did not want his players to develop in a "fear free" environment, but now they may have to fear how the loss of a Niedermayer and Selanne will effect the team down the stretch run and in the playoffs.

The Acid Queen loves to hate (the Red Wings) and is predicting woe to those who sign Peter Forsberg and his "glass ankles".

It's going to be whoever signs Peter Forsberg--hopefully that'll be Detroit, so I can laugh at them. The guy has glass ankles, and he's breaking down rapidly. Peter The Great is no longer so. He should just retire from the NHL and head back to Sweden so he can try to win an SEL title with MoDo.

As for myself, I almost agree with my girlfriend, who suggest that "Anyone who doesn't sign Jan Bulis" is the answer to the worst FA signing question, but I'll have to go with Dustin Penner.

As much as I like the big lug, he is nowhere near worth $4mil per season AND all of the draft picks the Oilers gave up to get him. The Flyers will give up just cap space, while the Oilers give up that and some future assets for a 2nd line winger.


One more year and he can legally drink in the US of A.

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The canadians picking up breezeby has to rank pretty high, the guy flat stinks.
Obviously Drury, Gomez and Briere are risky because in 5 years one of those teams wasting a ton of money but its too early to tell. The signings that as of right now are be horrible are Bertuzzi, Penner and Hamrlik, as all 3 got paid way more than they are worth. One makes the Penner deal the absolute worst is that Edmonton gave up 3 picks to get him.
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