Posted by: mdegeorge | July 1, 2010

The NHL has free agency too?

It seems everyone in the mainstream media has been so busy following every move/tweet from the likes of Chris Bosh, Dwayne Wade, and Lebron James.

But that other league that plays its game during the winter, the one with the ice skates, also opens free agency today with a flurry of activity, compared to the wait-and-see game played by the big money NBA names.

[picapp align=”center” wrap=”false” link=”term=sergei+gonchar&iid=8699852″ src=”http://view4.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/8699852/montreal-canadiens/montreal-canadiens.jpg?size=500&imageId=8699852″ width=”500″ height=”333″ /]

If you’ve been busy standing outside Lebron’s house in Akron, here’s what you missed:

– The 2009 Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins started the day unlikely to retain either of their biggest free agent names in Sergei Gonchar and Dan Hamhuis. After Gonchar bolted to the Senators, they responded with two big signings on the blueline in Paul Martin of the Devils and the vastly underrated Zbynek Michalek from Phoenix.

– Meanwhile, the other defensemen dominoes fell into place, with Anton Volchenkov and Henrik Tallinder replacing Martin in New Jersey and Hamhuis signing with Vancouver in his native British Columbia. Toni Lydman also bolted from Bufflao, signing on with Anaheim. The Flyers shored up their defense corps by adding Andrej Meszaros via trade with the Lightning and signing the ageless Sean O’Donnell.

– The Chicago Stanley Cup exodus from Chicago continued with Andrew Ladd and Kris Versteeg both departing via trades to Atlanta and Toronto, respectively. That makes seven players from the team that hoisted the Cup just under a month ago who won’t return for the title defense.

– The goaltending pieces also began to fall into place, with five stoppers on the move. Alex Auld and Martin Biron signed on as the back ups for the Canadiens and Rangers, respectively. Steve Mason heads to a revamping Atlanta team to provide a veteran presence in net, while Dan Ellis is expected to compete for the starting job in Tampa Bay, especially now that Antero Niittymaki is off to San Jose.

– It’s been pretty quiet on the forward front, with few going off the board. Ray Whitney is reportedly heading to the Coyotes, but most of the marquee names (Ilya Kovalchuk, Alexander Frolov, Saku Koivu) are still on the board.

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Responses

  1. […] Meanwhile, the other defensemen dominoes fell into place, with Anton Volchenkov and Henrik Tallinder replacing Martin in New Jersey and Hamhuis signing with Vancouver in his native British Columbia. Toni Lydman also bolted from Bufflao, …This Blog […]


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