Free Agent Open Thread

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.