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.

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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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#102 Arik
July 01 2010, 11:41AM
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@Kent Wilson

Yes and no. Biron played on the Isles, who were far far worse than the Lightning, especially on the back end. And regardless, neither was ever able to really take over the #1 spot.

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#103 Jbeach403
July 01 2010, 11:42AM
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A little late to the party this morning, but I'm LOVING the Tanguay signing at that price. He's a lot more likely to be worth more then the price then less at 1.7. Good call. I hope this doesnt mean Higgins is gone though, but is there room?

Also, good signing by toronto on Armstrong.

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#104 RossCreekNation
July 01 2010, 11:44AM
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Arik wrote:

So in the WTF files today- the Sharks signed Antero Nittymaki for $2M a year and 2 years. That's a better deal than Biron got.

I like that signing... I like Niittymaki. Figured him or Ellis would be good fit in SJ.

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#105 Lawrence
July 01 2010, 11:44AM
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@Kent Wilson

I didn't realize they didn't have Ellis. I didn't see all the details of the Kostisyn trade, I thought they both had contracts. My bad.

Nitty the starter in SJ..hmmm. not sure that's an upgrade over Nabby. Certainly way cheaper though. Nabakov is going to price himself out of a job.

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#106 Arik
July 01 2010, 11:47AM
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I've probably had a little more Nittymaki exposure here on the east coast, and he's a guy who will play VERY well for about 3 weeks, then just be straight awful for 2. Zero consistency there. He works well in a 1A-1B type role.

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#107 RossCreekNation
July 01 2010, 11:49AM
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@Arik

Agreed on a platoon-type system with Nitty (50-32 split). I think that's what Sharks are looking to do. Also, significantly cheaper than Nabokov... leaves more $ elsewhere.

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#108 Emir
July 01 2010, 11:52AM
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@ Lawrence

Nitty the starter in SJ..hmmm. not sure that's an upgrade over Nabby. Certainly way cheaper though. Nabakov is going to price himself out of a job.

Nabokov thinks he can command high dollar value because of the Oligarchs of Russia who are willing to throw money at players. As far as im concerned if him and Kovalchuck want to get 10+ mil per season they can goto the frigid, mafia infested, Crime riddled league that the KHL is.

Like seriously, any player who thinks that any NHL team is afraid of what the KHL offers needs to get real.

The KHL is a joke... There is nothing like playing infront of a home crowd, and I get that, but the only reason Nabokov of Kovalsuck are interested is just for the money. Get over there you sell outs; enjoy the 5K crowds at the outdoor rinks in Siberia.

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#109 jbeach403
July 01 2010, 11:53AM
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2.5 for malhotra? REALLY Canucks?

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#110 Arik
July 01 2010, 11:53AM
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@RossCreek

The savings will really depend on who the platoon is with. I figured the Sharks would go for someone like Ellis who will play pretty okay most of the year and spend money on a top 4 D, like Kubina.

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#111 Brent G.
July 01 2010, 11:54AM
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So, assuming Regher goes for Savard that leaves the line up as:

Tanguay-Savard-Iggy

Bourque-Langkow-Higgins

Glencross-Backlund-Hagman

x - Sutter-Moss

Buow - Gio

Sarich - White

Pardy - Staios

Pelech

Realistically Pelech will likley replace Staios and make him the 7th defender. Face it people, Staios is staying.

I dont mind that line-up though. It's intriguing. Lots of X-factors although it could turn out very good. Higgins, Tanguay, and Savard need to rebound...

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#112 Robert Cleave
July 01 2010, 11:56AM
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Manny Malholtra's PDO for 09/10 was 105.1. Buyer beware...Oh, it's the Canucks? 2.5 mil x 3 years? Why, go right ahead, Mr. Gillis.

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#113 jbeach403
July 01 2010, 11:57AM
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Brent,what about stajan? Unless im missing him there somewhere

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#114 Gange
July 01 2010, 11:57AM
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I still do NOT understand the Staios deal. What happens with this particular albatross? Even if Regher is traded? He's not a replacement...

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#115 Lawrence
July 01 2010, 11:57AM
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jbeach403 wrote:

2.5 for malhotra? REALLY Canucks?

Yeah, that's just after aquiring Ballard @ 4.2 to replace Mitchell.

Is it just me or is Ballard not and upgrade over Mitchell (when he was healthy) and 2.5 not an overpay for Malholtra. I'd take Tanguay at 1.7 over Malholtra @ 2.5 6 days out of 7.

good... I hate the canucks.

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#116 Robert Cleave
July 01 2010, 12:00PM
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Gange wrote:

I still do NOT understand the Staios deal. What happens with this particular albatross? Even if Regher is traded? He's not a replacement...

Down to Abby, hopefully. His actual pay is less than his cap hit.

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#118 Sherw88d
July 01 2010, 12:01PM
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Sorry, late starter

What's our cap situation like? Any word on Higgins?

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#119 Gange
July 01 2010, 12:02PM
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Robert Cleave wrote:

Down to Abby, hopefully. His actual pay is less than his cap hit.

I'm just not sure, unless Kotalik goes to the KHL or actually plays, how much salary is the ownership willing to bury in the AHL? That's a huge chunk of change to bury both of them.

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#120 Brent G.
July 01 2010, 12:03PM
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I forgot about Stajan. Realistically I would assume he is going to be traded is Savard is added. I just dont see how he fits in. Not even from a salary cap standpoint just from a pure space stand point. You dont pay a 3rd line center 3.5 mill and Backlund needs to be there.

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#121 Gange
July 01 2010, 12:05PM
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Brent G. wrote:

I forgot about Stajan. Realistically I would assume he is going to be traded is Savard is added. I just dont see how he fits in. Not even from a salary cap standpoint just from a pure space stand point. You dont pay a 3rd line center 3.5 mill and Backlund needs to be there.

The caveat around Savard is his limited NMC. Calgary is reportedly not on his list in any of his years.

He can certainly nix this deal and the rumour is that he wants to be around Ontario for family concerns...

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#122 jbeach403
July 01 2010, 12:06PM
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Sutters on a 2 way isnt he? I dont think hes NHL ready (or will ever be a very good NHL player frankly)

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#124 Emir
July 01 2010, 12:07PM
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Brent G. wrote:

I forgot about Stajan. Realistically I would assume he is going to be traded is Savard is added. I just dont see how he fits in. Not even from a salary cap standpoint just from a pure space stand point. You dont pay a 3rd line center 3.5 mill and Backlund needs to be there.

Where does Langkow fit into all of this? I really feel like we pay way too much for him and he isnt a goto guy. Langkow feel liks a second player, like he compliments somebody.

So in my opinion, i'd rather see Langkow go if Savard comes.

One thing I will also add, is that Langkow is a good two way player.

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#125 Gange
July 01 2010, 12:08PM
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jbeach403 wrote:

Sutters on a 2 way isnt he? I dont think hes NHL ready (or will ever be a very good NHL player frankly)

Yes, I'm sure he is.

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#126 RossCreekNation
July 01 2010, 12:08PM
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Mark my words...

... I've been saying it since they got Kotalik - he WILL play in KHL next year. Sutter will loan him out to a place of Ales' choosing in Russia and he'll be off the books.

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#127 Brent G.
July 01 2010, 12:10PM
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Emir wrote:

Where does Langkow fit into all of this? I really feel like we pay way too much for him and he isnt a goto guy. Langkow feel liks a second player, like he compliments somebody.

So in my opinion, i'd rather see Langkow go if Savard comes.

One thing I will also add, is that Langkow is a good two way player.

Haha, RO's meltdown will begin in:

5...4...3...2..

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#128 Emir
July 01 2010, 12:10PM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

Mark my words...

... I've been saying it since they got Kotalik - he WILL play in KHL next year. Sutter will loan him out to a place of Ales' choosing in Russia and he'll be off the books.

I agree; only thing that makes any sense.

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#129 Brent G.
July 01 2010, 12:11PM
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Gange wrote:

Yes, I'm sure he is.

Even if thats the case and he isn't on the 4th line, that is a cheap replacement they can get in 3 weeks.

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#130 Sherw88d
July 01 2010, 12:12PM
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I hate how Vancouver seems to make bad moves on UFA day, and never really suffers for it.

Demitra, Sundin, Schneider....

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#132 Sherw88d
July 01 2010, 12:12PM
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edit: any time they acquire players. Not just UFA day.

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#133 Arik
July 01 2010, 12:15PM
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Gange wrote:

Yes, I'm sure he is.

He's on his entry level contract, so yes. 2 way.

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#135 Sherw88d
July 01 2010, 12:15PM
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LeBrun says nothing new on Savard front. Maybe he's still a little confused from his Cooke-cussion, and can tell him that Calgary is East of Vancouver.

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#137 Sherw88d
July 01 2010, 12:16PM
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@Kent Wilson

Sort of. They didn't really miss out on too much other than getting crushed by Chicago (for the first time)

Demitra was awful, and so was Schneider - but the team didn't really suffer any sort of setback.

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#138 Sherw88d
July 01 2010, 12:17PM
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Jody Shelley at 1.1 per YEAR?

What is Philly thinking?!?!?!

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#139 Gange
July 01 2010, 12:19PM
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Just stumbled on this: "Boomer reporting that the Flames are kicking the tires of a "veteran centre." Modano?"

SIGH...

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#140 B
July 01 2010, 12:19PM
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...Savard will probably go to the Leafts.

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#141 RossCreekNation
July 01 2010, 12:20PM
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Via Mike Russo...

Agent's calling around telling teams Boogaard's got four-year deal on table worth $1.65 million per. We'll see if true or "agentspeak"

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#142 Arik
July 01 2010, 12:20PM
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@Kent Wilson

I definitely had a complete misreading of Cap Geek there.

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#143 Emir
July 01 2010, 12:20PM
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Sherw88d wrote:

Jody Shelley at 1.1 per YEAR?

What is Philly thinking?!?!?!

Clearly Philly wasnt thinking lol

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#145 RossCreekNation
July 01 2010, 12:21PM
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Via Ian Mendes...

B. Murray just told me "Please pour cold water on the Spezza rumors." His intent is not to deal him. Will speak with him again in 2 wks.

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#146 Arik
July 01 2010, 12:21PM
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Sherw88d wrote:

Jody Shelley at 1.1 per YEAR?

What is Philly thinking?!?!?!

Oh Philly, never change.

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#147 Gange
July 01 2010, 12:22PM
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RossCreekNation wrote:

Via Mike Russo...

Agent's calling around telling teams Boogaard's got four-year deal on table worth $1.65 million per. We'll see if true or "agentspeak"

???

For a guy that can barely skate?? This better not be a Darryl deal after 20 years I may hang up the jerseys.

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#148 M F
July 01 2010, 12:25PM
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If the Flames get Savard, they would be very deep down the middle with Savard, Langkow, and Stajan, maybe one of the best in the west (outside of Van, SJ, LA). And if Higgins resigns, all of the Flames top 6 would be tough minute capable, not bad considering what a disaster last year was.

Another thing to keep in mind is the Flames would be better at driving possesion with the additions, thus put less of a need of having tough minute dman due to less zone time in the defensive zone. In my mind, Sarich slipping back into the top 4 wouldn't be awful.

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#149 Emir
July 01 2010, 12:25PM
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What if its Sutter offering that contract to Boogaard.... If so, mass suicide taking place in Calgary lol

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#150 RossCreekNation
July 01 2010, 12:25PM
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Uh-oh. Via Ryan Rishaug...

NYR, Flames and Oilers likely in the mix on Boogard. Rangers lost shelley to Philli, they like their knuckle chuckers out there

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