Friday, July 30, 2010

Rangers In The Red(den)

(Click on the picture above for a more detailed look)

Simply a classic.  Worth the re-post.


Thursday, July 29, 2010

Staal Talks Stalled?

What the hell is holding up restricted free agent defenseman extraordinaire NYR Marc Staal from being signed to the Rangers this season?  DARK reader Bill P. shot us a quick note and pondered:

I hear that San Jose is contemplating signing Staal to an offer sheet in the 6 year 30+ million range. The compensation would be a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd round pick. They are apparently in love with his game and feel he is the missing piece. The question is: how would Sather respond? If the picks were ...higher than San Jose's typical finish it would be worth considering. Here's one link I caught from another great Ranger website regarding this scenario. As DR points out, something fishy (no pun intended) seems to be going on here. How would you respond if this scenario pans out? 

This very realistic rumor is making the rounds on hockey talk radio XM Sirius NHL and various radio shows -- and NY Rangers fans and bloggers are not talking about it.

Let us know.  How would you, the fan, respond?


Frolov Adds Firepower To The Rangers

You've all heard by now that Alexander Frolov, a free agent from the Los Angeles Kings, is now a New York Ranger --- something our fellow NYR bloggers have highly criticized as 'just another Slats acquisition (with the exception of Blueshirt Banter).

The Dark Ranger thinks the nay-sayers are all wrong -- because this was one hell of a signing, especially for one-year at $3 million!   If Staal is signed, along with the Frolov signing, this virtually guarantees Wade Redden will not make the roster.  (You asked for it, you got it).

Yes - Frolov's stats were declining last season, and because of it everyone jumps on the 'declining stars go to the Rangers' negative bandwagon, but I don't see this as the case at all when it comes to Alexander Frolov.  He has been a loyal and constant force as part of the Kings -- yes, there is attitude -- but how different is that from our own management and locker room?  He is a two-way player, who scores on the power-play, a dirty-goal guy who plants himself in front of the net (didn't Drury do that for Buffalo?), and throughout his career as a King he averages 20-25 goals a season -- and a plentitude of assists.  Furthermore, at half the cost of either Chris Drury, Wade Redden and Mickey Mouse Roszival, I find little to complain about.  If anyone questions his motivation as a player in the NHL, perhaps you ought to think about his turning down a multiple-year-20-million-dollar offer in the KHL for a 'one-year for $3mill to play on the New York City stage' as a damn obvious motivating factor --- this guy is hungry and wants to prove himself.  That works for me.

Go here for an interview with Frolov and why he chose The Rangers.

And stop it Rangers fans who think youth will not be served this season!  Frolov answers the age-old question "who is going to score goals on this squad?" and playing on the Gaborik line will only take pressure off Gabs and limit opposing teams triple-covering him every other game.  The goal scorer needed is 'check'.  
The young'ens in the system will prove themselves in camp and Torts will allow any Baby Ranger to step up to have their chance to play as long as they're NHL-ready and fit in the system.

With the exception of Staal not being signed and a continued much-needed D-man quarterback, most of the Rangers issues have been addressed this off-season and The Dark Ranger is especially looking forward to camp and the exhibition games to see who fills the missing pieces.

I post all this via Paris, one of the only countries without hockey (makes me so sad, except for a loyal devoted group of Canadian ex-pats), so I'll be off the grid the next couple of weeks as I am painstakingly posting this very post from a Parisian internet cafe'. Everyone around me is looking suspiciously French (and thank God not in a Montreal kind of way).

Hopefully our Dark Ranger brethren, Graying Mantis and J_Undisputed will come out of hockey hibernation and entertain the hockey masses in hockeyland when there is Rangers news to report.

So until camp, Happy Summer Rangers fans and see you soon.

p.s.  I am sure Alexander Frolov will be missing many things about being an LA King, or maybe it's just me that would miss certain things below...


Here's the official FROM TSN if you missed it:

The New York Rangers made it official on Tuesday, announcing they had agreed to terms with free agent forward Alexander Frolov on a one-year deal worth $3 million.

"Alex is a highly skilled player who we feel will play a key role in improving our offense and play in all situations," Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather said in a statement.  "He is strong competitor and has the ability to play either wing position."

The 28-year old Russian sniper suffered through a down season in Los Angeles last year, scoring only 19 goals, his lowest total since his rookie season, and adding 32 assists.  He was also made a healthy scratch by Kings head coach Terry Murray, who openly criticized Frolov's desire.

In an interview with Russian newspaper SovSport on Monday, Frolov's agent Sergei Isakov blasted the Kings for the way they handled his client, stating that they deliberately spoiled his season.
Frolov reportedly turned down a four-year deal worth approximately $20 million to return to Russia and play in the KHL, as his agent stated that he wanted to play one more season in North America before deciding his long term future.

In 536 career games, all with the Kings, Frolov has 168 goals and 213 assists for 381 points, along with 210 penalty minutes. He also helped Russia capture a silver medal at the 2010 IIHF World Hockey Championship in Germany.

Monday, July 26, 2010

"No MSG" Is Now More Than Just Chinese Food

Next time you drop forty five bucks for a couple of beers, a bowl of chili and a pretzel at The Garden, you might want to forget what you're about to read.  Over at ESPN there is a "you get the point" study of arenas and how dirty the food they are selling you is.  Would you be surprised to know The Garden is one of the worst offenders?

Here's a taste:
But at Madison Square Garden -- home of the NHL's Rangers, NBA's Knicks and WNBA's Liberty -- 61 percent of vendors were cited with violations. At one stand, inspectors found "53 mouse excreta" (38 on top of a metal box underneath the cash registers in the front food-prep/service area and 15 on top of a carbonated-beverage dispensing unit), according an inspection-report excerpt.
So not only are we eating the garbage they put on the ice every game, but we are literally eating garbage food behind the counters.  Fun stuff.  And to tell you the truth, it probably won't change all my eating habits at The Garden (though, I'll pass on the bowl of chili) and I wouldn't mind a little excreta if the team were better this year -- because we as Rangers fans have been fed crap for about three seasons already --- what's stopping us now?  Why would we expect if they weren't putting a superior product on the ice/court that we'd expect a superior product behind the countertops?

Maybe we don't really care, but this study was certainly more interesting to read than another retread on the Ilya negotiations....

(ho hum)


Thursday, July 22, 2010

A Hellava Shootout Goal

Though not a Rangers prospect, this goal by prospect Jarod Palmer in the Minnesota Wild camp is worth the watch:  Enjoy.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Most Old School Moment

Puck Daddy this morning released the Alternative NHL Awards proclaiming The Vancouver Canucks and The New York Rangers as the 'Most Old School Moment' of last season.  It's nice to watch this because it reminds you that this team does have the capability to defend it's own (someone tell Girardi).  On a non-news days, enjoy some old-time hockey....


Friday, July 16, 2010

The Only Cupcake I Know Is Wade Redden

When there is absolutely nothing to talk about, when free agency seems to have freezed - and we're all resigned to Kovalchuk'ing with indecision and nothingness, hockey fans are crazed with friggin cupcakes?  Here is a twitter link about yesterday's craze.

Who has time for sweets and treats when we still have Wade Redden on the roster?

Nothing else to report accept that we are relatively the same team that didn't make the playoffs last April.  (sigh)


Friday, July 9, 2010

Men with Plans | In a Transitional Period

Back in the spring of my senior year in college, a loud knock on my door from the captain of the baseball team got my early morning attention. "We have a problem," he began. "Mono has wiped out most of the team and the j.v. We need bodies and I remember watching you pitch a couple of years ago. Can you still?" Such is the life in a league without athletic scholarships that leads the captain to seek out the likes of me.

Eight hours later and nearly 3 years after my last time in a uniform, I was standing on a pitching mound in Connecticut, about to start the 9th inning in relief to preserve a 1-0 lead against a rival. Six pitches later, the bases were loaded thanks to the combination of Roy Smalleys and Bill Buckners that constituted my defense. Nothing had changed since the last time I pitched.
Time to Cry Wolfe. 6 pitches in and carnage everywhere.
I signalled to the catcher for a visit. "Listen," I started, "I have a plan. The key to executing the plan is your catching every frigging
pitch I throw -- wherever it goes. The butchers behind me aren't touching the ball again. If I walk in the winning run, too bad." Reaching back for the remnants of my Bronx accent, I snarled, "By the way, that ain't happening."

My next 2 pitches were knockdown pitches - never miss an opportunity to exact some vengeance at a school that rejected you. My coach looked in my direction quizzically but I never looked over.

My catcher, however, had my back: "It's ok, coach; he has a plan!" Such is life on a cellar-dwelling team. 9 pitches later, or I should say, 9 swinging strikes later (including 3 checked swings), I walked off the mound, my Moonlight Graham college career finished after 17 pitches.

This little bit of summer fluff has much in common with a certain GM of the Blueshirts. Like me, Glen Sather is thrust into an unenviable and potentially untenable position (although his is due to his own ineptitude) of bailing out a team. We both scan the situation to identify and determine how to counteract obvious weaknesses.

For me, it was a leaky defense; for Slats, an overpaid leaky defense that just got more overpaid today. We both institute a plan that is conditioned on plowing ahead, taking no prisoners, and most importantly relying heavily on our backstops, to succeed.

I took care of business easily, with a touch of theatricality (what the hell did I have to lose?) and without comment to teammates or my coach. Similarly, Sather goes with precious few comments of substance to the press and fans, making people wonder if he knows what he is doing when in fact he does, acting with the showmanship of P.T. Barnum as the Rangers drain hard-earned dollars from the suckers known as season subscribers.

Trying to work one's way through the buzz on the Internet is difficult these days.
With the recent contract talks with Marc Staal and then Dan Girardi (now resolved) coming to the forefront -- Rangers bloggers and fans have raised the buzz level to levels unseen since the great Biblical plagues.

Just because you can type does not mean I need to see a jet stream of capital letters shouting your dismay, or ridiculous rumor-mongering so you can perhaps one day say you once scooped everyone else or the endless imperative voice commands to ownership about what to do about management. "Commentators" may criticize me for being so clinical in my analysis but this is sports we are talking about.

The endless drivel that permeated the airwaves, blogs, Facebook and then ESPN about the draft and free agency for the NHL and NBA, all of which culminated in an orgy about some NBA choke artist, has given me a lifetime full of what I can only call "internetual specjaculations."

Please Ranger fans, please bloggers, please anyone with opposable thumbs that bleed blue -- Chillax, baby. It's OK, Slats has a Plan!!!

We have seen the Ranger contract machinations before -- like last year with Brandon Dubinsky. By the way, after all that crying about possibly losing him, how did that all work out? I thought so -- I still could take him or lose him. He's nothing special. Some would argue that he is not even a nice player or a nice person.

Marc Staal? He's a decent defenseman that would anchor a second pair. Staal's misfortune is he is the one player that Slats can fiddle with. Glen's delay with signing Staal enables him to keep the team's overall salary lower -- why commit to raises when you don't have to. He has a greater cushion to chase big game out there thanks to the recently increased cap, the ability to have salaries exceed the cap by 10% until October, and not having a higher contract value assigned to Staal.

So what's the rush with signing Staal? If there is a team out there that wants to pay him more than $4 million, Slats will have to decide whether to keep him (although with the Girardi signing, we know Staal's value may be even higher). The GM postured today that he would match any offer sheet put out there. If another team wants him that badly, I am not so sure that I would not say let them overpay. He's not Beukeboom, he's not Leetch, he's not Park, he's not Pronger. It's likely when push comes to shove, he will be signed just like Dubinsky was. Sather may not know how to spend, but he certainly knows how to free up the money before spending it unwisely. Let's give him his due there.

But I think Slats has a plan and I am going to let it play out. We all know that one (if not 2) defenseman will be off the books come opening night -- either Michal Roszival (who has some trade value after his gold medal efforts in the World Championship) or Wade Redden (Hartford or bust, it appears) or perhaps both. The Rangers are stocking up on defensemen and some of them are coming cheap.

Meanwhile, Del Zotto and Gilroy got their introduction to what major league hockey looks like instead of the softer college and Ontario Hockey League schedules, respectively. As defensemen mature later than other players, both should make a nice jump this season. I am guessing Girardi and Staal will as well. Others are waiting in the wings for the overpaid to be paved over.

Some of the loudest screams have been for the Rangers to sign Kolvachuk. Really? Good grief. At $6, 7, 8, 9, or 10 million per year? I can hardly wait for the fans screaming for him the loudest to turn on him when they see what dreck he is.

Are you kilting me?? I can see Avery & Ilya getting along real well

Just what the Blueshirts need -- another overpaid, defensively impaired Kotalik who cannot take criticism, fades into the woodwork and has not mastered the art of defending -- at twice Kotalik's price? What is his team's playoff record as number 3 seeds in Atlanta and New Jersey? Oh, yeah, 1 and 8. When Ron Greschner puts the kabosh on this idea, I know I am in good company. Such a signing is right up Slats' alley given the dearth of marquee talent at MSG. That petrifies me.

Fans, please buy a ticket to the clue train. This team, even if the latest and greatest soft Russian were to be signed, is going to be at best a 7th place team next season and that may be highly optimistic. There are too many hurdles right now to overcome to join the elite (Pitt, Wash, Philly to name 3 obvious ones).

Rebuilding time is here in earnest for this season. I am hoping for an entertaining team; I am hoping for a team that will develop. I am willing to be patient this year to see what transpires. I may be the only Ranger fan with patience but so be it.

--- The Graying Mantis

p.s.: By the way, while the above game did in fact occur, we were compelled to forfeit the game for failing to get my five ragtag teammates and me properly authorized by the NCAA by game time. As far as the NCAA was concerned, we were technically ringers and thus ineligible.

Rangers Trade Aaron Voros to Ducks for Steve Eminger

As first reported by Arthur Staple at Newsday via Twitter, the Rangers traded Aaron Voros (and Ryan Hiller) to the Anaheim Ducks for Steve Eminger. Voros, who started off his Ranger career like a scoring machine at the beginning of the 2009 season, has become expendable with the addition of a more talented Brandon Prust. Sean Avery & Henrik Lunqvist will miss their 3rd Musketeer in their revelry

Eminger is 26, and signed through next season for a salary of $1.125 million, or about 2/3 less than what the Rangers decided to pay Dan Girardi today. He is on his 5th team and is paid like defenseman should be who is at the bottom of the roster.

Presumably, the Rangers are in the process of looking to take care of Marc Staal. You get the feeling that one of the overpaid defensemen will be going soon. Right now, without further moves, there appears to be something in the neighborhood of $4.5 million to take care of Staal.

What's in your closet? Sweater #6 for this guy.
With the fact that Kovlachuk is still unsigned, a couple of roster moves could open up some cap space. I have some thoughts on that which I will share later.

---The Mantis

The Blueshirts Salary Cap Takes It's Toll

Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!

I couldn't help it.


Dan Girardi A Ranger Again

Daniel Girardi has signed a four-year/$13.3 million contract extension with the New York Rangers.
Girardi filed for arbitration, but it was always assumed that he'd be able to work something out with the Rangers before it came to that. Girardi has scored between 22 and 28 points in each of his last three seasons. You should expect much of the same from Girardi through the life of this contract, providing he doesn't mind bloodying his knuckles once in a while.

One down, one to go...


Thursday, July 8, 2010

If Kovalchuk Was Offered Less Money Than He Wanted....

Here's a random funny clip that made me think of Ilya Kovalchuk being told by his manager that The Devils were offering him less money than he was asking....and his subsequent reaction.

With everyone closing the door on this schmuck, the Los Angeles Kings taking themselves out of the running and now the rumored NJ Devils closing the door -- he is most likely preparing to take a trip to the KHL.

So enjoy my visualization of Kovy getting upset, or maybe it represents a Knicks season ticket holder's reaction to watching LeBron's special at 9:10pm tonight on ESPN....or maybe your crazy Uncle George on the Fourth of July after one too many.....

With no news on the Blueshirt front - enjoy.


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

A Defense In The Red (den)

Everyone should head over to The Rangers Tribune, as Nick Montemago details the evolution of our current defensive signings and how that probably means Wade Redden is taking a trip north to Hartford, or whatever club we align ourselves with....

Here's a taste:
First off, the Blueshirts currently have approximately $7.89 million in cap space, partly due to the escalator that was approved by the NHLPA a few weeks ago. This is before RFA defensemen Marc Staal and Dan Girardi are re-signed, however, and that is a main priority at the moment. Assuming each player gets the money they want, most of that $7.89 million will be gone rather quickly. What does that mean? Well, it means the Rangers will again be very limited in what they can do as far as roster adjustments go throughout the upcoming season and at the deadline. Waiving Redden would obviously change that. 
Poor, poor Wade....don't worry kid, my mother always said don't marry for money, divorce for money.  Slats knows all about it.   Forget about making lemonade, as you'll always be our' lemon in Blue'.   


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Securing the Blueshirt Blueline, McDonagh Signs

New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the club has agreed to terms with defenseman Ryan McDonagh.

McDonagh, 21, skated in 43 games with the University of Wisconsin Badgers this season, registering four goals and 14 assists for 18 points, along with 73 penalty minutes and a plus-22 rating. He ranked second on the team in plus/minus rating, and ranked third among team defensemen in assists and points, and fourth in goals.

Although he could have returned to Wisconsin as captain of a Badgers team that he helped lead to last spring's NCAA championship game, McDonagh felt the week he spent at the MSG Training Center made his decision to leave much easier.

"The camp was important for a lot of reasons," he said. "First and foremost, I got to meet some of the Rangers staff members face to face and to have them meet me as well. Second, I got to know some of the other players in the organization. I thought it was important to build some relationships with them during a tough week of camp and getting to know them. The third thing was more for myself. I know the pro game is different from the college game, and I wanted to see if I was physically ready and mentally ready and everything like that."

McDonagh was one of the best players on the ice throughout the four days of scrimmaging, and his fitness level was never in question, since Gordie Clark, the Rangers' Director, Player Personnel, still marvels over McDonagh's performance at the NHL Combine three years ago prior to the 6-foot-1, 222-pound defenseman's draft day. Clark was one of the many people that McDonagh spoke with extensively while at the Training Center.

"The camp went really well, and it got better every day," said McDonagh. "I just felt great after the camp and felt like this was definitely a spot for me. And they felt the same way as well. It worked great. It was perfect."

Girardi Elects Salary Arbitration

Dan Girardi, "our deer in the headlights defenseman" certain that he could make-good on last season's unforgivable non-enforcing performance while Flyer's Daniel Carcillo beat the pulp out of Ranger's star Marian Gaborik,  has elected for salary arbitration over the weekend.

Obviously, Sather didn't quite feel he was worth what he was asking for.  Girardi is a restricted agent, so once again the Evil General Manager Glen Sather, who feels he has the leverage, will make public why he think Girardi is not worth the money, why he should be making four times less money than Wade Redden (I'd love to be a fly on the wall when that comes up).  There aint nothing like airing someone's dirty laundry.   And so it goes...

Another restricted agent, Marc Staal remains unsigned too.  (ggggrrrr)

I find it strange that anyone would elect to salary arbitration -- such was the case of Sean Avery two seasons ago, Nick Zherdev last season and now for Dan Girardi this season, where the management and team you are negotiating to be part of takes a very loud and visible position as to why you are NOT worth the money; how you are NOT part of the core, why you are NOT being awarded a reasonable contract like those (less-talented) around you on the same team....  The list goes on.  But eventually, after public feuds and agents and press people looking in -- you hopefully end with a contract, mutually agreed upon - everyone walks away a little unhappy which makes for a good deal in the end.  But here's the rub for the player and management...

You now hate each other.

So may the 'Dan Girardi arbitration' of 2010 be short & sweet.  Not sure if this was even necessary, as Slats probably has you mixed up in some random trade with Dallas or Calgary and before you know it, you get that Redden-ish contract and years from now you end of playing for the Bismarck Bobcats, dreaming of the days of playing in the big city in front of the savage fans and big lights.

Girardi may be looking at his options, but I suspect the Jedi has other plans for you, kid!


Friday, July 2, 2010

Can Our Baby Rangers Win a Cup?

Good, thoughtful reading from Nick M. over at the 'up and coming' The Rangers Tribune --- I have been enjoying his site and insightful commentary, so check him out.  He conjectures on how the Rangers organization is on the right track (and even suggests trusting management along the way --- what do you think of that readers of DARK?).  Go here for the post, but below is a snapshot:
The Blueshirts have one of the better systems in the NHL when it comes to their prospects. They have more depth than most organizations and the plan is to eventually bring that depth to the professional level where they will have the chance to develop into a solid contending squad. This is the process that the Chicago Blackhawks had to go through. This is the process the Pittsburgh Penguins had to go through. This is the process the Washington Capitals had to go through. Well, look how those teams turned out. Just look at them now and for once, imagine the Rangers finally being that good. 

As Herb Brooks once said "Great moments are born from great opportunity." That is what the Rangers have here. They have great opportunity to slowly but surely become a contending team again. One that will actually have fans at the edge of their seats instead of slouched down ashamed to show their faces. Whether management and staff realize that, I cannot confirm for you, but I will say that is the correct direction to move this team in. It is the right way of doing things and it will eventually lead to success on the ice of Madison Square Garden; something we are not used to at all.
I couldn't agree more -- and from your lips to the hockey Gods' ears, may we find the re-building we've all been asking for.  Though, it would still be nice to dump Redden in the minors, free up 5 to 6 million in the cap and bring in a Bobby Ryan or untouchable Ilya Kovalchuk, wouldn't it?  Remember we still need to score goals...and free agency can allow that to happen.


Want a Piece of Me? A Look At Our Newest Blueshirt

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Call the movers....First day of Free Agency Post

The first day of free agency... We'll be checking the Free Agent trackers and rumor mills for signs of life and whats going on around the league.

Lets start this off with some news from yesterday:

Michael Leighton - Resigned in Philly for 2 years averaging out to 1.55 per [TSN's Free Agent Tracker] - Looks like the flygirls want to invest two more year in Leighton to see if he can hone his skills while he splits time with a Vet. Rumors had the Contacting the Nabakov's People and looking into Khabibulin. Affording Nabakov would likely require them to move someone big.

Kris Versteeg - to Leafs with rights to winger Bill Sweatt in exchange for forwards Viktor Stalberg, Chris DiDomenico and Philippe Paradis going to the Hawks [ESPN's Pierre LeBrun via Twitter] -

Martin Biron - From the barn on Long Island to The New York Rangers for 2 years averaging out to 875K per [TSN's Free Agent Tracker] - Looks Like Larry Brooks was right (wow does that phrase leave a bad taste in your mouth or what...) Biron a pick up supports Torts cause in cutting back Henriks work rate. Biron came at a very affordable price for the number of games he can play as a back up... An upgrade over Valiquette and buys time for Chad Johnson to polish his game.

Dan Paille - Re-signed in Boston averaging 1.075 per on a 2 year contract.[TSN's Free Agent Tracker]

Sergei Gonchar- Goes from the Pitts to Ottawa for 3 years averaging 5.5 per.[TSN's Free Agent Tracker] - We knew this was gonna happen. Pittsburgh didn't seem interested in keeping Gonchar. Apparently anyone over 25 creeps out the kiddies. Ottawa gets a vet on their blueline, though there isnt much hope for a return to their defense's heydays. Just for the hell of it. I say they give it a shot. We hear at the the Dark Ranger would like to contend that Redden was the catalyst for that Ottawa defense and they'll need him back if they ever want to get back to those times. Make us an offer... REALLY!

Alex Tanguay - Signed in Calagary for a 1 year deal @ 1.7 mil.[TSN's Free Agent Tracker] - Calgary continues the shuffle and fold waiting for the click that makes the team greater that the sum of their parts.

Zbynek Michalek - Signed with Pittsburgh for 5 years at 4 million per. [TSN's Free Agent Tracker] - Apparently the Yotes were strapped for cash despite prioritizing this kids contract. Clearing Gonchar's money by not re-signing him freed up some cash for the pens.

Marty St. Louis - supposedly resigned with the Bolts for 4 years [ESPN's Pierre LeBrun via Twitter] - Just a rumor at this point as the news was tweeted by the bolts organization. - Not at all surprising seeing as the have seemed quite content to remain stagnant the past few seasons. The latest brass seems to be linked to this mentality.

Alex Auld - Signs with Montreal for 1 year at 1 Million,[TSN's Free Agent Tracker] - I actually liked Auld for the short time he was here. He's not the top guy to have in net, but he won't be the cause of any riots in Hab Land. Don't quote me on that.

Colby Armstrong - Signs with Toronto for 3yrs at 3M per.[TSN's Free Agent Tracker] - Good player that can score or sit back in a team dynamic. It may have finally sunk in that All knuckle draggers all the time won't work for the Leaves in the "new" NHL.

Antero Nittymaki - Signs with San Jose for 2 years at 2M per. [TSN's Free Agent Tracker]. This may be good move for Nittymaki as the bolts were just hanging on at best towards the end of the past season.

Joel Perrault- Goes from the scorching deserts of Arizona to Vancouver for 1 year at 510K. [TSN's Free Agent Tracker]Just enough to buy a sweater and a cup of Tim Hortons in one those resort towns up there.

Sean O'Donnell - To Philly for 1 year at 1 million.[TSN's Free Agent Tracker] - From LA to Philly.. let us know how that sub tastes with wheat grass and a soy latte. On second thought, don't...Blech.

Manny Malhotra - Signs with Vancouver for 3 years averaging 2.5 per.[TSN's Free Agent Tracker]

Derek Morris - back with the Yotes for another 4 averaging 2.75M. Something about the desert and warm weather makes this guy play better. Well that and Jovanowski.

Jody Shelley - After telling Sather to cram his 100k raise, signs with those cheapshot artists in Philly for 3 years at 1.1M per.[TSN's Free Agent Tracker] I knew there was a reason I didn't like this guy. This Rivalry just got uglier, for us anyway. We need a heavyweight who isn't on the slide, can actually skate and patrol the ice and send a message. Instead we'll get someone like that douche, Andrew Peters... Thanks again Slats..$%^#$@%!@

Derek Boogaard - The Boogeyman is a Ranger! 4 yrs @ 1.625 each. Ok, I may have been a little hasty in calling Sather a tightwad that would get us Peters instead of a Name enforcer. No I wasn't, even a blind chicken finds a worm sometime. Anyway, Stogie Face went out and got us the BOOGEYMAN, BOOYAH! At least this evens the odds in the division rivalries a little and reunites Master (Gaborik) and Blaster (Boogaard). Can we hold those preseason bonding exercises at his fight school?

Dan Ellis - Heads to Tampa Bay for 2 years @1.5 each. [TSN's Free Agent Tracker]

Paul Martin - has left the barren industrial wastelands of Newark for the Barren industrial wastelands of Pittsburgh for 5 years at 5M per. [TSN's Free Agent Tracker]If nothing spectacular, Martin has always been a solid defenseman. His transition from trap to run and gun will either highlight him or expose him.

Toni Lydman - To the ducks for 3 yrs at 3M per.[TSN's Free Agent Tracker]

Ray Whitney - Signs with Phoenix for 2 years at 3M per.[TSN's Free Agent Tracker]- Whitney was a sought after guy by a few teams.

Curtis Sanford -Resigns in Montreal for one more year at 550K. [TSN's Free Agent Tracker]. Rumor has it, Hab fans threatened to torch a Cop car if he didn't.

Henrik Tallinder signs with New Jersey for 4 years at 3.375!?!?! [TSN's Free Agent Tracker]umm ok..

Kurtis Foster - is off to Edmonton to be coached by Mr. Rogers err. Tom Renney for 2 years at 1.8M.[TSN's Free Agent Tracker] Kurtis, every time he says "battle level" just nod and smile. If he pisses you off, refuse to shake his hand, he hates that...

Dan Hamhuis - the wait is over and he's headed to the Nucks for 6 years at an average of 4.5M.[Pierre Lebrun, then TSN's Free Agent Tracker]. What, no hometown discount? For that type of money, he better perform for the nuck fans... No pressure though, just ask Naslund.

Chris Mason - is headed out of saint Louis and over to equally obscure Atlanta to tend goal for 2 yrs at 1.85M.[TSN's Free Agent Tracker]

Olli Jokinen - is going home to Calgary, where they apparently have a short memory, for 2 yrs at 3 mil a piece. [TSN's Free Agent Tracker]Yowsa. Glad our name isn't on that deal. Perhaps for him and Iggy the distance has made the heart and hopefully the hands grow stronger. I won't besmirch him. When he first got here, he seemed to quickly grasp the situation that our team didn't have any balls or worked hard enough at playing a well rounded game... and quite frankly, for that its better that he's not here if he wasn't given a role where he could do something about it...those would be big skates for him to fill anyway... Noone shrugs like Drury.

Anton Volchenkov - Signs in New Jersey for 6 years averaging 4.25M per.[TSN's Free Agent Tracker]. Don't really know what to make of this. Its a good sign but considering the mass exodus out of Newark, is this the foundation for a rebuild or case of having the money and desperation at the same time... Considering they brought Arnott back, I'd guess the latter.

Alexander Frolov - Apparently we are singing this guy a song, but he can't hear us over the cash registers sounds in his head.[ESPN'S Pierre Lebrun via Twitter] We're either too hoarse or too broke to sing any louder.

Vinny Prospal - He's back for another season as a Ranger. 1M up front and the other 1.1M in bonuses. - As predicted, he got the Shanny treatment and we'll see how much he has left. With Frolov being a Gold diggin' !@#$@!#$, this is a secure move to make, I suppose... because of how he responds to Torts and as secondary scoring he still elite enough on this team to do some primary scoring.

Johan Hedberg - Licking the spoon in New Jersey with a patchwork contract, that includes bonuses and a no movement clause... amounts to about 1.5M for a year.[ESPN'S Pierre Lebrun via Twitter] Adds another piece to the Newark Puzzle. Could all this be a ploy to keep money free to sign Kovalchuk and bait him with being able to play with Volchenkov?
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