Here is a look back to last year's frenzy on July 1st. This was our 'live blog' from that day. Thought some of you may be interested in reading this. Some of the comments I made that day were, well, stupid!
We'll hopefully be doing something like this again Wednesday through Friday...
RLD VAULT: JULY 1, 2008
*updates will appear at the top of this post.
News: Hossa's agent meeting with K-Lowe tonight
RLD opinion: I know I'm beating a dead horse here, but Hossa going to Edmonton just makes too much sense! Wherever he signs, I think he'll make a decision tomorrow.
News: Ryder re-unites with Julien in Boston
RLD opinion: Remember when Michael Ryder broke out and became a household name?? Claude Julien was the coach of the Habs. Ryder needed to get out of Montreal, and will be in a good situation in Boston. He signed a 3-year, $12 million deal earlier tonight. The Bruins likely won't sign Hossa, so they turn to Plan B and grab Ryder.
News: Valiquette re-signs in New York
RLD opinion: Not a surprise here. No idea what the contract may be. But, good move by the Rangers. Valiquette is one of the best backups in the league that no one knows about.
News: Mark Streit an... Isle?
RLD opinion: Mark Streit has just signed a 5-year, $20.5 million deal with the New York Islanders. The Islanders?? I think this may have been a reaction to what the Rangers and Devils have done. I cannot see Streit doing well there. He's more of a system defenseman, and doesn't fit well at all on the island IMO.
News: David Koci the latest to sign with the Bolts
RLD opinion: Tampa Bay signed Koci two a 1-year, 2-way deal. If he plays in the NHL, he'll make $525,000. Koci has most recently been in the Blackhawks organization.
News: Redden taking his game to Broadway
RLD opinion: Redden signs on with the Blueshirts with a 6-year, $39 mil deal. Two great moves by New York in the last hour. Rozsival and Redden make that blueline suddenly formidable.
News: Hagman signs with the Leafs
RLD opinion: Toronto has made their 3rd move of the day with the signing of Niklas Hagman. I think this is a solid move by Cliff Fletcher. The contract is for 4 years, $12 million.
News: New York Rangers re-sign d-man Rozsival
RLD opinion: Defenseman Michal Rozsival has decided to re-sign with the Rangers. The contract is reportedly worth $20 million over 4 years. Good job by GM Glen Sather...
News: Bobby Holik goes back to New Jersey
RLD opinion: Holik has signed a 1-year, $2.5 million deal with the Devils, according to SportsNet. He's disappeared since signing with the Thrashers after the lockout.
News: Flyers sign grinder Metropolit
RLD opinion: Glen Metropolit has signed a 2-year deal with Philadelphia.
News: Enforcer Hordichuk signs on in Vancouver
RLD opinion: Darcy Hordichuk has signed a 2-year deal with the Canucks.
News: Philly signs d-man Vaananen
RLD opinion: The Flyers added to their defensive depth with the signing of Ossi Vaananen. It's a 1-year deal for $1 mil.
News: Rangers bring in Patrick Rissmiller
RLD opinion: He's nothing more than a 4th-liner, but something the Blueshirts need. Terms of the contract TBA.
News: Commodore signs with Blue Jackets
RLD opinion: Good signing until you see the contract. 5 years, $18+ million. I'm sorry... Jackets just spent stupid money on an average d-man. He'll be making more $$ than Nashville's Ryan Suter.
News: Rolston to New Jersey
RLD opinion: Great move by the Devils. 4 years, $20 million... a bit too much for a 35-year old in my opinion. Still, they needed to add some offense this summer. Remember, New Jersey drafted him way back when...
News: Backes' offer sheet matched by Blues
RLD opinion: I'm a bit surprised. Backes will now make $7.5 mil over 3 years.
News: Brian Campbell to Blackhawks officially done
RLD opinion: Chicago has pulled off the biggest signing today thus far. Brian Campbell has signed for roughly $57 million over 8 years. I called this one yesterday in my UFA predictions. Campbell makes Chicago one of the best teams in the west... no doubt. Look for a run of 2nd-tier d-men tonight.
News: Lalime in as backup to Ryan Miller
RLD opinion: The Buffalo Sabres have signed goaltender Patrick Lalime to a 2-year deal. The goaltending merry-go-round continues!
News: Did I call it from left field?? Hossa close to deal with Oilers
RLD opinion: According to HockeyBuzz.com, K-Lowe is about to send shockwaves throughout the whole NHL with the potential signing of Hossa. It's rumored he may offer $9 mil per year... stay tuned!
News: Ottawa signs Auld to backup Gerber
RLD opinion: So... Bryan Murray is going with Gerber. We'll see if they make the playoffs. Auld's contract is for $2 mil over 2 years. Auld was average with Boston last season, sporting a 2.68 GAA in 32 appearances. The Sens could've done better.
News: Kolzig jumps on board in Tampa
RLD opinion: Veteran netminder Olaf Kolzig has signed a 1-year, $1.5 million deal with the Lightning. He could make a nice duo with Mike Smith, and will be a good tutor to Karri Ramo.
News: Darcy Tucker signs with Colorado
RLD opinion: Tucker has signed a $4.5 million deal over 2 years. Solid signing by the Avs. I'm a bit surprised he went there. I had heard New Jersey and Calgary as favorites for Darcy...
News: Pens and Rangers add grinders
RLD opinion: Pittsburgh has signed Eric Godard to a 3-year deal; New York has signed forward Aaron Voros (Terms TBA).
News: Canucks sign Backes to offer sheet
RLD opinion: Vancouver has reportedly offered Blues RFA David Bakes to an offer sheet. It's a $7.5 million deal over 3 years. St. Louis has 7 days to match it. If I were GM John Davidson, I'd let Backes go... he's not worth $2.5 mil a year.
News: Cory Stillman going to South Florida
RLD opinion: The Florida Panthers have signed veteran Cory Stillman to a 3-year deal. Nice signing by GM Jacques Martin, but he still has some work to do...
News: Cristobal Huet signs with Chicago
RLD opinion: Surprise #2 of the day. GM Dale Tallon deserves a big pat on the back for this signing. SportsNet is reporting that the contract is worth $22.5 mil over 4 years. Big payday for Huet! The 'Hawks are essentially a lock for the postseason next year. How will the rest of the Central Division respond?? Will Khabibulin be moved??
News: Tampa continues shopping by adding Adam Hall
RLD opinion: Hall has signed a 3-year, $1.8 million deal with the Bolts. Hall wasn't too impressive with the Pens during the regular season last year, but showed great grit in the finals against Detroit. Under the radar signing by GM Jay Feaster.
News: Phoenix signs enforcer Todd Fedoruk
RLD opinion: Fedoruk has signed a 3-year deal with the Coyotes. Solid move by Gretzky and company. Fedoruk was an impact for the Wild late in the year last season.
News: Toronto has signed defenseman Jeff Finger
RLD opinion: TSN is reporting the deal is worth $14 million over 4 years. You gotta wonder if McCabe or Kubina is about to get traded.
News: Colorado replaces Theodore with Raycroft
RLD opinion: I called this one! The Avs have moved quickly after losing Jose Theodore to the Capitals. Andrew Raycroft has signed a 1-year, $800,000 deal with Colorado. We'll see how Raycroft responds after getting out of Toronto... I think this could be good for him.
News: The Canadiens have re-signed RFA Kostitsyn
RLD opinion: Andrei has signed for 3 years, $9.75 mil. Good job by Gainey before he received an offer sheet from someone.
News: Conklin signs with the Wings
RLD opinion: Detroit got some help for Ozzie (not named Jimmy Howard) today with the signing of Conklin. This was a move they needed to make. The deal is for 1 year at $750,000.
News: Coyotes pickup veteran d-man Sauer
RLD opinion: Sauer has signed a 4-year, $7 mil deal with Phoenix. They needed to bring in some more defensemen after trading Boynton and Ballard for Jokinen.
News: Caps sign Jose Theodore
RLD opinion: First shock of the UFA period. Theodore has signed a 2-year, $9 million deal with the Capitals. I guess talks between Huet and Washington broke down. Good recovery by GM George McPhee. Now, where will Huet go??
News: Kings acquire Denis Gauthier from Philly
RLD opinion: LA receives Gauthier and '10 2nd round pick; PHI receives prospects Patrick Hersley and Ned Lukacevic
News: Wellwood signs qualifying offer
RLD opinion: It is a 1-year, $997,500 contract...
News: Sundin receives lucrative offer from Canucks
RLD opinion: TSN is reporting that GM Mike Gillis may have offered Mats Sundin a multi-year deal worth around $10 million per. 3 other teams are believed to be in the running: DET, MTL, NYR.
News: Andrew Brunette back to Minnesota
RLD opinion: Solid signing by Brunette. He was a good fit there in his first stint, and brings some much-needed leadership to the locker room. Terms of the contract have not been announced.
News: Sergei Brylin and Devils part ways
RLD opinion: Long-time Devil Sergei Brylin has parted ways from his 13-year stint with the Devils.
News: Penguins re-sign Mark Eaton
RLD opinion: Minor move by Pittsburgh... it's said to be a 2-year deal for the defenseman. Is a bigger move coming for the Pens?? Jagr and Huselius have reportedly received offers.
News: Preds trade Marek Zidlicky to Wild
RLD opinion: Prospect Ryan Jones and a 2nd-rd pick come back to Nashville in return. No surprise... Zidlicky hasn't played too well since the lockout. Good cap-clearing move by GM David Poile.
News: Cujo and Leafs come to terms
RLD opinion: Solid, reliable backup for Toskala. The contract is for one year... money is TBA. Joseph played for Toronto from 1998-2002.
News: Vrbata signs with Lightning
RLD opinion: SportsNet is reporting this... I can see him doing so well there. Tampa is definitely the winners of the frenzy thus far. The contract is $9 mil over 3 years.
News: Rene Bourque traded to Calgary for draft pick
RLD opinion: Roster-clearing by Chicago? Maybe for Campbell... I didn't expect this many trades. It's like the trade deadline and UFA day mixed into one! The jury is still out on Bourque, in my opinion. A conditional 2nd round pick going back to Chicago.
News: Oilers trade Pitkanen to Carolina in exchange for Erik Cole
RLD opinion: K-Lowe is active today, and we're 11 minutes into the UFA period. Carolina needed to make this trade. I have my doubts about Cole in Edmonton, but we'll see.
News: Dupuis back to Pittsburgh
RLD opinion: HockeyBuzz.com is reporting that Pascal Dupuis has agreed to a 3-year deal with the Pens. Hey, they signed someone! Malkin is next...
News: Corey Perry officially re-signs in the OC
RLD opinion: Initially reported by TSN last night, today it becomes official. Perry signed a 5-year, $26+ million deal.
News: Brad Stuart back to Detroit
RLD opinion: TSN is reporting that the contract is worth $15 mil over 4 years. I expected this... he loved playing there after the trade deadline.
News: Raffi Torres traded from Edmonton to Columbus for Gilbert Brule
RLD opinion: This move gives Kevin Lowe an extra million to spend.... Hossa on his radar?? I believe so. Brule is good for the Oilers. The Oil just keep getting faster! As for Torres, well, I'll take a wait-and-see approach. Kind of a jeckyl-and-hyde player...
News: Pandolfo and Clarkson re-sign in Jersey, also
RLD opinion: This is from a very reliable source. No details of the contracts yet.
News: Rolston to test market
RLD opinion: I almost expected it after the Bolts couldn't sign him yesterday. Tampa is still one of his choices, though.
News: Mike Green re-signs with Washington
RLD opinion: A move that needed to be done by the Caps. TSN says the contract will be 4-years, $21 million. A bit too much I think, but that's what they had to do before Kevin Lowe offered $6 mil per, ya know?
News: Bryce Salvador re-signed with Devils
RLD opinion: Solid move by Lou. I think Salvador is a good fit in Jersey. The contract is a 4-year deal. Good start for the Devils!
It's the best time of year!
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