Canada Day (Fête du Canada) has nothing to do with Free Agent Frenzy except that most Canadians have the day off to watch many of these GM’s and Owners play the part of fools and yesterday was no exception.
Not all of this has directly to do with the Penguins but let’s start with the list of future snafu’s in the making :
Hossa – I’m not going to cut down Hossa’s ability to play the game but what was Dale Tallon thinking ? Did he really watch the Finals ? Ken Holland did ! Hossa really could be a player who wanted to be with his boys (the Euro’s) and would have played there but the Red Wings watched Hossa choke in the big time. In fact, other than his short stint with the Penguins… Hossa has been a no show in the playoffs his entire career. And for 12-friggin years. This is not the player nor the commitment that the Blackhawks should have made with all those young kids in the program. Towes, Kane, Versteeg and a relative young group of players will frustrate Maid-Marion for quite a while… for 12-friggin years long !
Havlat – has our ex-assistant GM learned nothing with his time here in the ‘Burgh ? To be fair Fletcher was going to lose the M*A*S*H - Unit Gaborik. But to replace him with a player that is likely more of M*A*S*H - Unit candidate ? What was he thinking. Havlat played 81 games last season and that is a truly amazing statistic for him. The 3-seasons previous he played in 18, 56, and 35 games. At $5 million a year for six years this is not the way to start out your GM career signing a player who has a history of skating like Erik Lindros… with his head up. This is a possible big disaster signing in the making. Why take the risk.
Gaborik – What would it be for Glen Sather not to participate in his annual sign a dud FUBAR move. It’s not like Gaborik isn’t a good player when he’s healthy but here is yet another player with a track record of playing over 65 games once in the last half-decade. Yet, Sather dishes out $7.5 million for these next 5 years. To be fair, Sather did dump a mistake he made two-years ago (Gomez) on to Montreal but also has last-years FUBAR Redden on the books from the previous season. If you don’t think most of these Euro’s don’t sign for the money… Gaborik claimed he wanted to play in a more high powered offense than in Minnesota yet the NY Rangers scored less than the Wild did last year. To make sure he lived up to his reputation for possibly being senile Sather also signed an over-the-hill goon, Mr Donald Brashear for 2-years at $1.4 million per. You have to be there to believe it.
So, what are some of our other EASTERN CONFERENCE Rivals doing :
Montreal gets Gomez, Cammalleri, and Gionta and will be paying out close to $20 million a year for these three… attacking us with the seldom used midget strategy. Are the attempting to ‘get under’ our skin.
Philadelphia goes out and gets another mercenary in Pronger but at the expense of both Niitymaki and Biron, 2-goalies that actually held that poor defense in check. They don’t have much room left under the cap so they’ve brought in Ray Emery and re-tread Brian Boucher and the merry-go-round of goalies will continue. The Flyers are one of the few teams that actually don’t need goalies as they’ve been basically playing without one since Pelle Lindbergh ended his life with a few too many drinks and a Porsche. Losers since 1975 and as usual Ed Snider and Bobby Clarke’s replacement Paul Holmgren go back to being the same of Flyers… throwing money at their problems hasn’t been the answer for almost 40-years now. Even then they only won the Cup by beating people up. You would think they’ve learned – but then again, other than cheese-whiz steak-um hoagies there isn’t much more to that area of the Commonwealth. They also gave a 3-year contract to Ian Laperriere – I guess Danny Carcillo will have someone other than Riley Cote to share those penalty minutes. LOL… penalty minutes – something that allows your team a better opportunity to score short-handed goals !
New Jersey re-signed Johnny Oduya, lost a coach, lost the real NHL MVP, Scott Clemmensen, Michael Rupp, John Madden and Brian Gionta. Lou Lamoriello says “rebuilding” is not in the Devil’s vocabulary… maybe it should be.
The NY Rangers are well, the NY Rangers and once again spin around like a top and because of the population in the area there is still a waiting list for season tickets. That says a lot for all those (other) things to do in New York City. This team needs a total brain transplant.
NY Islanders have got draft picks and now have signed Roloson for 2-years which should give a pretty good idea of how the 25 year contract with Rick DiPietro is going. The over and under on how long it takes before John Tavares asks to be traded is 4 years. They are doing one really Wang-up job over there.
The Washington Capitals have lost Kozlov, Fedorov, and Brashear. The two Russian’s jumping to the KHL instead of hanging-in with their Russian bud Ovechkin. Brashear had to jump ship because someone (the RAG$) made an offer he couldn’t refuse. But, George McPhee and big-ego owner Ted Leonsis signed FA Mike Knuble from Philadelphia. Knuble is a player that the Penguins could have used but not at $5.6 million over 2-years. The guy will be 37 years-old on the 4th of July. It’s too bad all those Hershey Bear teams can seem to feed the system there. Again a team with an Owner with a big head and a GM that doesn’t know what he’s doing… but the fans love them – for the moment.
As we go into the season things aren’t settled by any means but I think the signing of Rupp and re-signing of Guerin indicate that Talbot has found a spot on Malkin’s right wing. The 4th line as it exists right now will be Rupp, Adams, and Dupuis and they play kind-of interchangeable positions. We’ve lost Hall Gill to the Canadiens who got a 2-year deal @ $4.5 million… we’ve got some mixed feelings on Gill’s worth here but for sure winning a Stanley Cup does increase the value of all the free agents and that’s why Guerin’s signing is so pleasantly surprising.
So, we have Fedotenko and Scuderi to deal with – and we might not have enough in left in to paycheck vault to sign either without a generous hometown discount. That’s why I think those spots will have to be replaced from within. The prospects in our system I believe are very underrated by outside (Pittsburgh) sources and I think we will be pleasantly surprised at who fills those positions during camp which should be starting after a couple months of well earned rest.
It’s good to be the King.
This is DR Hook… carry on