Free Agent Open Thread

Kent Wilson
June 30 2010 10:28PM

PHILADELPHIA - APRIL 20: Ilya Kovalchuk #17 of the New Jersey Devils skates against the Philadelphia Flyers in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2010 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Wachovia Center on April 20, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Flyers defeated the Devils 4-1 to take a three games to one lead in their best of seven series. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

I was going to prepare a Flames primer to free agency, but decided not to re-invent the wheel when I saw Haley had already done an admiral job of things. Make sure to visit M&G for a thorugh overview.

I have to say, this is perhaps the murkiest July 1 for the Flames I've seen since the lock-out. Previously, whether facing many or few obstacles, the obstacles were at least apparently obvious.

Not so this year. The Flames cap room is not only tenuous but also completely muddied by Dawes (buy-out?)

Kotalik (uh...waived for an as-of-right-now unclear purpose) and pending $3M+ contract of Ian White (maybe?). The lackluster free agent pool makes things even less certain - we know the Flames want "offense", but there's no clear method to acquire the requisite players. Big trade on it's way? Almost every Flame worth anything on the trade market has a NTC. And the club doesn't have much in the way of prospects or draft picks to dangle either.

As such, we enter things almost completely blind. There's a chance the coming week will end without any significant changes whatsoever. And probably an equal chance the face of the team may have been altered irrevocably. We can only sit back and watch as things unfold. And hope.

Anyways, Pat, Bob, Myself and Ross Creek will endeavor to keep up with on-the-spot updates and analysis as things come down tomorrow. Feel free to share you comments, questions, fears, hopes, dreams and reactions in the comments.

39d8109299a9795cb3b41a4e9b49d501
Former Nations Overlord. Current Fn contributor and curmudgeon For questions, complaints, criticisms, etc contact Kent @ kent.wilson@gmail. Follow him on Twitter here.
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#201 maimster
July 01 2010, 01:24PM
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Just catching up...

Good move by Pitt to get Michalek from Phoenix for 30% less/year than Gonchar (a lesser/older player) got from Ottawa.

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#202 SmellOfVictory
July 01 2010, 01:26PM
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Gange wrote:

FYII Rob Kerr tweets: "Alex Tanguay on The FAN: Last summer, I was almost a Flame again."

So it really was a Keenan thing.

It's nice to hear that players legitimately want to play for your team.

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#203 maimster
July 01 2010, 01:27PM
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Other comments…

Lot of money for Maholtra in VCR, although he’s decent. Ellis didn’t last long in Montreal. Amazing Lydman is still moving around for relatively large dollars this many years after leaving Flames. I like Colby Armstrong, but as always the Leafs overpaid.

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#204 Gange
July 01 2010, 01:28PM
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SmellOfVictory wrote:

It's nice to hear that players legitimately want to play for your team.

Easy now...

It's not like we're the Oilers.

Although in fairness Tambellini is probably changing that now

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#205 RossCreekNation
July 01 2010, 01:31PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Now we just have to hope Sutter avoids Laraque.

I have my doubts.

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#206 RossCreekNation
July 01 2010, 01:32PM
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And this just in from Ryan Rishaug...

George Laraque says he'll be back in west. 2 teams interested, 1 million dollar range. No call from Oilers yet.

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#207 Brent G.
July 01 2010, 01:32PM
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So they are reporting the Canucks are tops on the list for Hamhuis. Lets assume they pay close to 5 mill. How on earth can they afford all of this? They still have players to resign, added ballard and Malhotra. Add in the high salaries of the Sedins and Luongo. Surely this must bite them. Hamhuis, Ballard and malhotra arent going to take them to the cup.

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#208 marty
July 01 2010, 01:33PM
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@RossCreekNation

i would like to see mcgratton back for 500k and play in 20 ish games

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#209 Gange
July 01 2010, 01:34PM
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RE: Laraque

For 1 million it's still over paying but if you're looking for intangibles in the community he's your guy.

Just not on the ice.

Having stood next to him at one point he is pretty huge, is that worth 1M??

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#211 Madison
July 01 2010, 01:36PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

No enforcers please. No enforcers. If you want a guy who can scrap, at least get someone who is a functional hockey player at this level. They do exist.

PRUST!!! Losing him was one of those big mistakes that I think gets overlooked.

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#212 RossCreekNation
July 01 2010, 01:36PM
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Via Boomer...

Saddledome media scuttlebutt has the Flames in conversation with Brendan Morrison

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#213 marty
July 01 2010, 01:37PM
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@Kent Wilson

kotalik back to rangers for prust in a sign and trade? lol

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#214 Gange
July 01 2010, 01:37PM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

Via Boomer...

Saddledome media scuttlebutt has the Flames in conversation with Brendan Morrison

I think I threw up a little in my mouth.

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#215 marty
July 01 2010, 01:38PM
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@RossCreekNation

oh f me!! i hope not

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#216 RossCreekNation
July 01 2010, 01:39PM
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Latest vibes... PUT. THE. PHONE. DOWN. DARRYL.

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#218 RossCreekNation
July 01 2010, 01:41PM
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Ummm...

Via Bruce Garrioch...

Olli Jokinen close to signing with the Flames. Working on a two-year deal.

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#219 Brent G.
July 01 2010, 01:42PM
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# Olli Jokinen close to signing with the Flames. Working on a two-year deal. by SunGarrioch via twitter at 1:39 PM

They must be lying...

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#220 Gange
July 01 2010, 01:43PM
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Ok someone needs to help me with this as panic has set in:

"If that Garrioch/Jokinen/Calgary rumor is true...words cannot express..."

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#221 Gange
July 01 2010, 01:44PM
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WTF IS GOING ON IN CALGARY????

SOMEONE CUT THE PHONE LINES!!!

Just reported by TSN

Bob McKenzie echos my sentiment "I'm speechless"

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#224 RossCreekNation
July 01 2010, 01:46PM
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@Kent Wilson

Garrioch is the MSM equivalent of Eklund.

Via Darren Dreger...

Flames going hard after Jokinen. Working on a 2 year, $3 to 3.5 million per year deal. Is there another deal to make room?

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#225 dotfras
July 01 2010, 01:46PM
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Please don't tell me the Sex Panther is coming back.

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#226 Gange
July 01 2010, 01:47PM
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So let me get this straight...

You trade jokinen for Kotalik (in essence) only to banish Kotalik and re-sign Jokinen as a UFA???

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#227 Lawrence
July 01 2010, 01:48PM
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Darn,

There goes Sanford again. 550k to the habs, to play in the AHL with Hamilton.

Tell me the Flames couldn't have offered a gig in the bigs (albeit behind Kipper, but still) for the same cash and got him.

30 years old. 100+ nhl games played. ~.915 ev sv%.

How much of a gamble would that be? Jeez, he was one of the top goalies in the AHL last year.

He would be an ideal contract/great potential backup.

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#228 JF
July 01 2010, 01:49PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Good god...TSN is lending credence to the Jokinen deal. 2 or 3 years for $3M per!!

I will f'ing lose it if that happens.

Heh, is it bad that the second I saw that rumor online I immediately clicked here to see if Kent's head had actually exploded? Seriously, Olli... go back to Florida the SE was kind to you, the NW... not so much.

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#229 Gange
July 01 2010, 01:49PM
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In 5 minutes I've heard the statement "Makes No Sense" 5 times on TSN. Agreed.

Maybe Darryl's on the Spruce Moose with Slats. Maybe he's trying to out crazy the crazy.

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#230 Brent G.
July 01 2010, 01:51PM
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I swear to god if this happens I will be a Philly fan first and Calgary second. I may show more interest in the Maple Leafs over the Flames. At least they seem to have a plan there...

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#231 marty
July 01 2010, 01:54PM
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@Kent Wilson

well that makes me feel better

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#232 Gange
July 01 2010, 01:55PM
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Tweeted by Duthie: Never seen a studio full of analysts more confused and speechless than the moments after this "Jokkinen back to Calgary" story

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#233 Gange
July 01 2010, 01:58PM
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Kurtis Foster signed for 1.8x2 in Edm. Good pick up for them

A Button draft ;)

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#234 Brent G.
July 01 2010, 02:00PM
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OMG the owners need to get on the phone RIGHT NOW and can his A$$. What a F*#@ing farce this is becoming. I was starting to feel kinda good about Sutter. He got Tanguay, was lookin to trade for Savard. The potential was there. He needs to be fired right now though.

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#235 Lawrence
July 01 2010, 02:03PM
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Ok, I know this all sounds insane and I would love the money to be spent elsewhere but I do think this:

IF, Joker came back, surely they would have some guarantee that Kotalik was off the books, yes? Like gone for good to Russia, without earning a dollar more kinda gone.

THEN, I would rather have Joker at 3million per, than I would Kotalik at 3 million per.

In fact, I think Jokinen would be a good signing if we could get him for 2 million per. 3 not so much....5 like before was terrible.

but then again, I was a defender of Joker's 35pts and 12 posts in 56 games.

But again, I would prefer it not to happen again.

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#237 RossCreekNation
July 01 2010, 02:05PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

I can't comment on anything else until this Jokinen rumor is proven true/false.

Me, as well. New thread when that happens.

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#238 marty
July 01 2010, 02:07PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

I can't comment on anything else until this Jokinen rumor is proven true/false.

it will be false please baby jesus let it be false

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#239 Gange
July 01 2010, 02:07PM
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Lawrence wrote:

Ok, I know this all sounds insane and I would love the money to be spent elsewhere but I do think this:

IF, Joker came back, surely they would have some guarantee that Kotalik was off the books, yes? Like gone for good to Russia, without earning a dollar more kinda gone.

THEN, I would rather have Joker at 3million per, than I would Kotalik at 3 million per.

In fact, I think Jokinen would be a good signing if we could get him for 2 million per. 3 not so much....5 like before was terrible.

but then again, I was a defender of Joker's 35pts and 12 posts in 56 games.

But again, I would prefer it not to happen again.

IF Jokinen is re-signed you can't defence the trade for Kotalik in any way unless they resign Higgins. The only thing that makes sense is that Darryl wanted Higgins and had to take Kotalik. How bad do you want Higgins though?

I mean seriously.

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#240 Brent G.
July 01 2010, 02:09PM
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My god. If its not true they better fire Sutter an hour later. Ken king too. Hes just as much the problem.

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#241 RossCreekNation
July 01 2010, 02:10PM
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Haha... I have to post this first (courtesy Eklund)...

It is rare that I am afraid to report a trade rumor, but what Calgary may be about to do is terrifying

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#242 jbeach403
July 01 2010, 02:12PM
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no. please no. god no.

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#243 Gange
July 01 2010, 02:12PM
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Hamhuis to the Canucks.

Mitchell on the way out?

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#244 Lawrence
July 01 2010, 02:12PM
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Gange wrote:

IF Jokinen is re-signed you can't defence the trade for Kotalik in any way unless they resign Higgins. The only thing that makes sense is that Darryl wanted Higgins and had to take Kotalik. How bad do you want Higgins though?

I mean seriously.

Oh, I'm not defending that trade. I'm one of the only ones in this forum (or others) who didn't want Joker traded for fear we would get something back like what we got back.

Listen.

The Jokinen trade resulted poorly to bring him here.

Jokinen for 5 million/yr is terrible value

The Jokinen trade to ship him out was an unmitigated disaster.

That doesn't mean Jokinen isn't an NHL player.

It also doesn't mean that if we could scoop him for ~2million, it wouldn't be worth it.

But if we could get both Tanguay and Joker for sub 4-4.5 million. I would take that. If that's Daz's strategy, then the money makes sense IMHO.

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#245 R O
July 01 2010, 02:12PM
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I'd prefer to pay Higgins 3M. Though I'd prefer not to pay either player that much.

That said, these TSN bobbleheads should shut their trapholes. Obnoxious clowns, especially that Barnaby. Waste of oxygen.

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#246 walkinvisible
July 01 2010, 02:14PM
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so, let me just get this straight. the canucks sign hamhuis and darryl sutter is seriously dicking around with olli jokinen ? wake me in 11/12, i'm going back to bed.

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#247 Lawrence
July 01 2010, 02:15PM
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I was really hoping the nucks wouldn't get Hamhuis

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#248 Gange
July 01 2010, 02:18PM
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Lawrence wrote:

Oh, I'm not defending that trade. I'm one of the only ones in this forum (or others) who didn't want Joker traded for fear we would get something back like what we got back.

Listen.

The Jokinen trade resulted poorly to bring him here.

Jokinen for 5 million/yr is terrible value

The Jokinen trade to ship him out was an unmitigated disaster.

That doesn't mean Jokinen isn't an NHL player.

It also doesn't mean that if we could scoop him for ~2million, it wouldn't be worth it.

But if we could get both Tanguay and Joker for sub 4-4.5 million. I would take that. If that's Daz's strategy, then the money makes sense IMHO.

If they can't divest themselves of Kotalik you pretty much have to add his salary onto Jokinen's for the total cost.

Does that make his salary 6? 6.5?

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#250 R O
July 01 2010, 02:19PM
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Hamhuis is a good D, not sure if he has enough offense to earn significant scratch but it's close enough to what I think is the UFA median value for first-pairing D that it's fine.

It's the Ballard contract that'll kill the Canucks. That and the benchmark-setting overpays to depth forwards.

Though I fear the Flames are going down the same path (Stajan anybody?)

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