Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Another Day's Signings

Lots more free agent signings today. How much will this affect the results in the NHL next year? You couldn't buy a championship team under the old CBA. Unless you already had a good core, adding free agents didn't make you a contender. This was because the only guys you could buy were 31 or older and in the decline phase of their careers. This year, there is a record large group of free agents but they are still all in the decline phases of their careers. Most likely, the contenders this year will be teams like Ottawa, Tampa Bay, San Jose, Colorado, Calgary, Vancouver teams that were contenders before the the last CBA expired and still young enough to be contenders two years later. Some of the other contenders from two years ago like Detroit and Toronto have aged - and they would have regardless of any CBA.

So lets try to catch up with the major roster moves since my last post of roster moves.

Peter Forsberg has left Colorado to sign in Philadelphia. TSN's story is here. This move puts Philadelphia over the salary cap. They are expected to make a salary dump trade soon, most likely involving Jeremy Roenick. If Forsberg is healthy (and thats a big if) Philadelphia made a big signing.

Jarome Iginla resigned with Calgary. TSN's story is here. since he was a restricted free agent, this is not unexpected. Calgary also resigns Jordan Leopold.

Markus Naslund resigned in Vancouver. TSN's story is here. This is a bit unexpected since he was unrestricted. Vancouver also trades Brent Sopel to the New York Islanders for a conditional draft pick.

The New York Islanders have traded Mike Peca to Edmonton for Mike York and a conditional draft pick. TSN's story is here. This clears up some salary space for the Islanders and costs them essentially nothing in talent. Not sure why Edmonton made the move. The Islanders then used that salary room to sign Miroslav Satan from Buffalo. TSN's story is here.

Sergei Gonchar signs with Pittsburgh, leaving Boston. TSN's story is here. Pittsburgh has a long way to go to be a serious contender. At best they will compete for a playoff berth and likely miss out.

Montreal resigns Alexei Kovalev. TSN's story is here.

Boston signs Brian Leetch from Toronto, TSN's story is here. Like many free agent signings, he's a good player when healthy, but at his age health is no guarantee.

Detroit resigns Mathieu Schneider. TSN's story is here

Columbus signs Bryan Berard from Chicago. TSN's story is here. Berard is a better fantasy player then a hockey player because his eye problems limit his defensive prowess.

Mathieu Dandenault leaves Detroit to sign with Montreal. TSN's story is here. Dandenault is at best only a utility player and this signing makes little sense.

Minnesota resigns Manny Fernandez and Marc Chouinard. TSN's story is here.

St Louis cleared some cap room by trading Chris Pronger to Edmonton for Eric Brewer, Jeff Woywitka and Doug Lynch. TSN's story is here. Edmonton then signed Pronger for five years. Edmonton fans are celebrating this trade, but this is exactly the kind of trade that usually was an abject failure in the past. Pronger has shown some injury problems lately, and the trio of Oilers have an awful lot of potential.

These are the highlights of the past signings. There are more of them. It will take a while to fully digest which teams have improved and which have dropped relative to one another.

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