Tuesday, August 02, 2005

More Free Agent Signings

Every team is an instant contender after this free agent frenzy - isn't that the NHL's plan?

Many more signings today. I am trying to keep up, but I am sure i will need a while to catch my breath and decide which teams are contenders now.

Adam Foote leaves Colorado to sign in Columbus. TSN's story is here. Tom Benjamin explains why giving a 34 year old defender who has become injury prone a big bucks three year contract is a bad idea, so I won't have to give the details (they should be obvious).

The Chicago Blackhawks signed Adrian Aucoin from the New York Islanders. TSN's story is here. Although Chicago has a long way to come to be a respecatble franchise, Aucoin is probably a better signing then Foote is in Columbus.

The Philadelphia Flyers signed a whole new defence. They signed Darian Hatcher from Detroit, Mike Rathje from San Jose, resigned Chris Therien and they signed forward Jon Sim who last played NHL for the Pittsburgh Penguins and was a key player in the Philadelphia Phantoms Calder Cup victory. They also trade Danny Markov to Nashville for a third round draft pick to free up salary cap room. TSN's story is here. On the whole Philadephia did well, but they overpaid Rathje. Nashville is an example of the smaller market teams taking the bigger market leftovers.

Bobby Holik has left the NY Rangers to sign in Atlanta. TSN's story is here. Holik could do well here. He is best when he is allowed to be a defensive agitator instead of play an offensive role and with Kovalchuk and Heatley in Atlanta he should get his chance.

Boston resigned Glen Murray and signed Shawn McEachern from Atlanta. TSN's story is here. These could be solid signings for Boston.

Steve Yzerman resigned in Detroit. TSN's story is here. Detroit gets the ultimate discount. He's far cheaper than a Joe Nieuwendyk signed by Florida yesterday and a far better player.

Los Angeles signs Pavol Demitra from St. Louis and Jason LaBarbera from the New York Rangers. TSN's story is here. Demitra will be a good addition to the Kings. LaBarbera might be a capable NHL backup, but he hasn't proven it yet. They also signed Tom Kostopolous of Pittsburgh. TSN's story is here.

Florida signs Martin Gelinas from Calgary. TSN's story is here. They also signed Joel Kwiatkowski from Washington and Greg Jacina. TSN's story is here.

The Ottawa Senators re-signed Denis Hamel. TSN's story is here.

Do any of these moves make any significant difference to the success of their clubs? Time will tell. For the most part, I am skeptical. It takes more than a signing or two to turn a franchise around. Hockey is a team game, not an individual one. Its still to early to imagine what teams will look like this season, when we get a better idea I will post my predictions for next season and I will have to decide if I think these signings make any significant difference.

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