Wednesday, July 2, 2008

UFA Signings - Day One Recap

Welcome Back, Bruno.

The Wild also traded away college uber-star, Ryan Jones to Nashville for an (gasp!) offensive minded defenseman, Marek Zidlicky. They also signed Craig Weller (??) to a two year, $1.2M contract. (UPDATE - YouTube video of Craig Weller being badass.) Look for the Wild to make moves for at least one more guy with most signs pointing to Calgary wing Kristian Huselius, but also possibly Sean Avery or Brendan Morrison. Huselius was kicked off of the Swedish national team for "allegedly" raping a 22 year old woman in 2005. (I'm sure that everyone who damned Risebrough for signing Chris Simon will continue their outrage if the Wild signs Huselius. What, you don't think so? Me, neither.)

Brian Rolston, as expected, vanished - although in a pleasant surprise, was signed by Diablo Hockey's second team, the Devils. The Devils also resigned Jay Pandolfo and brought back Bobby Holik from Atlanta. Rolston is 34 and signed a 4 year $20 million dollar deal while Holik is 37 and signed for 1 year and $2.5M. Sensing a trend, I was able to get a hold of Devils GM, Lou Lamorillo last night and inquired about signing John Driscoll. Lamorillo wasn't interested until I told him that JD just turned 40. Lou's listening now! JD's been offered 2 years at $1.4M, but I'm holding out for at least $2.5.

Aaron Voros signed with the Rangers and Todd Fedoruk signed for 3 years (3 years?!?) with Phoenix. Whoa, that Wayne Gretzky really knows how to build a team!

Back to Bruno - nice to have him back, but more interesting was Risebrough commenting that it was nice to be able to "correct a mistake". Mmmm... which mistake are you referring to Dougie? A.J. Thelen? Benoit Pouliot? Kyle Wanvig? Alexandre Daigle? Roman Voloshenko?

The following is a list of notable players drafted after A.J. Thelen(12) with the overall draft position in parenthesis.

Drew Stafford(13), Alexander Radulov(15), Travis Zajac(20), Wojtek Wolski(21), Andrej Meszaros(23), Mike Green(29), Chris Bourque(33), Brandon Dubinsky(60), Alex Goligoski(61), Johan Franzen(97).

Other notable signings - Rangers sign Wade Redden and re-sign Rozsival, Columbus signs Mike Commodore, Washington signs Jose Theodore, Chicago signs Cristobal Huet and Brian Campbell for 8 years and $56 million (bust - Campbell's soft and will get pounded because he'll have a huge target on his back. In the meantime, I'm getting Wild / Blackhawk tickets as soon as they come out).

And finally, since guys like Eric Godard, Matt Cooke, Georges Laraque, and Jeff Finger have left or are leaving the Northwest conference, it's tough to really bring the hate to the X night in and night out. Fortunately, the Avalanche signed former Maple Leaf, Darcy Tucker, who's hated by everyone in the Northeast (Adams?) Conference, and that includes most of the Maple Leaf fans.

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