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Holmgren’s moves, inflation hits the free agent market, and what the future holds

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Flyers acquire: Glen Metropolit, Osmo Vaananen, Nate Raduns, Sean Curry

Flyers give up:Denis Gauthier and a 2009 2nd round pick.

Solid additions across the board for Paul Holmgren.  Metropolit may not have quite the faceoff percentage provided by Jim Dowd (compare 49.4% to 53), but he’s a better two-way player and much quicker on his feet.  Osmo Vaananen is a Finnish blueliner spent last year in the Swedish Elite League after tours of duty with Phoenix and Colorado.  He could be described as a larger, more physical version of Lasse Kukkonen.

UPDATED:  Randy Jones has signed a 2-yeard deal worth a total of $5.5 million (2.75 cap hit).  Holmgren also announced that the Flyers would not pursue signing Jason Smith.

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I don’t care what Cliff Fletcher tells the rabid Toronto media tomorrow – Jeff Finger at $3.5 million is not a steal, a bargain, or even comparable to paying a little extra for bonafide Fair Trade Coffee as opposed to Folgers.  That’s too much for an unproven, midgrade D. 

And as for Wade Redden and Brian Campbell, well, the price of NHL defensemen seems to bear much in common with the escalating price of fuel for my car.

Anyone notice that we’ll see Campbell and Ty Conklin face off outdoors yet again on New Year’s?

Michael Ryder watched the Boston Bruins from the Montreal Canadiens’ section of the press box during the 2008 playoffs.  At $4 million per season over the next three years, you can bet Claude Julien will at least have him put on the jersey and lace up the skates in the postseason.

Is Chicago looking for Cristobal Huet to be an upgrade on Lalime or Khabibulin?  I’m not entirely sure he’s a replacement for either.  And that $12 million the Blackhawks have invested in goaltending can’t last forever.

Good luck to Joni Pitkanen as he heads to Carolina.  Maybe he’ll finally figure out that it takes more than skill to be successful in the NHL.  It also takes a few smarts.  Unless you work in the Florida Panthers management.

And am I the only person in the rational world who realizes that Mark Streit’s 62 points came primarily while he was playing offense for the Canadiens last season?  Good luck getting that sort of production from Streit as a full-time D-man.

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Free agency continues tomorrow – a few things to consider:
1.  Riley Cote, and Patrick Thoresen are not yet officially signed.  And remember you need to leave cap space in case of injuries, etc.
2.  With the addition of Vaananen, the Flyers open the door to trading Lasse Kukkonen.  If Holmgren can find someone willing to offer prospects and/or picks, he sheds salary off the cap and adds to the stockpiles for the future.
3.  The so-called free agent period last from July 1 to the trade deadline.  This is just the beginning.
4.  UPDATED: I have seen rumor from Eklund, the anonymous hockey blogger, that suggests the Flyers may be trying to trade from Dan Boyle of the Tampa Bay Lightning.  How that will fit in the cap and who would be offered up in return, I don’t know.  And whether Boyle is truly recovered from that severed tendon in his wrist?  I don’t know. 

 

 

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. John permalink
    Wednesday, July 2, 2008 2:50 pm

    Are you happy to see Avery leave of the Atlantic Division?

  2. John permalink
    Wednesday, July 2, 2008 3:02 pm

    I’m an Avs fan and I didn’t even realize Finger played for them. 🙂
    Just kidding there.

    Maybe he isn’t /quite/ that irrelevant, but you’re right; his 19 points (21 if you count Playoff totals) aren’t a bargain at 3 and a half million.

  3. The Frozen Fan permalink
    Wednesday, July 2, 2008 9:14 pm

    I’m actually an Avery fan. I think he’s got personality and spunk coming out his ears, and I think that’s good for hockey. There will be no safe answers or boring games with Sean Avery around. And anything that enhances the entertainment value of the game will draw new fans to the sport – which is absolutely good for hockey. As a Flyers fan, I love to hate Avery. I’ll actually miss him now he’s in the west.

    As for Finger – he’s got size and skill and speed, which is what drew attention from the rest of the league in a weak free agent market. I just think he’s too young and unproven for such a large contract. He’s not a can’t-miss guy like Mike Green. I also worry about what the Maple Leaf fans will do to Finger if he’s not abundantly successful.

    Speaking of Leafs, how about those Avs signing Tucker and Raycroft? And is Budaj ready to be #1?

  4. John permalink
    Wednesday, July 2, 2008 10:06 pm

    Yeah, now that’s he’s in Dallas, those of us on the East Coast will see less of him… which I don’t necessarily see as a good thing.
    He’s a fun guy to watch!

    If you think that is too much for an unproven guy, look at NFL rookies! At least Finger has /some/ experience in the League. Guys that have never set foot on the field are set for life.

    I’m not sure about Tucker. They already got old enough last season with Foote and Forsberg. 🙂
    As for Budaj, who knows for sure? He showed some skill and then kind of faded into the background.

    For now, I’ll say no he isn’t ready. Unless of course, he rebounds very well from that ‘benching’.

  5. John permalink
    Wednesday, July 2, 2008 10:12 pm

    Regarding the Leafs, quite frankly, after their treatment of Sundin, I say screw them.
    You just don’t do that to the face of your franchise (Not to mention a pretty loyal player)

    I personally hope they make a ton of boneheaded moves in their effort to turn the franchise around. Gary Bettman should be threatening them with expulsion, not the Rangers…

    But hey, that’s just my opinion.

  6. The Frozen Fan permalink
    Thursday, July 3, 2008 4:43 pm

    Did you seriously just compare hockey to the NFL? I think the summer heat may be getting to you . . .

    On the Sundin front, I have mixed feelings. I think Sundin has more than earned the right to do what he wants. But I also think he’s leading multiple NHL teams on right now, and I expect better from a captain.

    What is it with the Swedes? Apparently Lidstrom is the only decisive one in the bunch.

  7. John permalink
    Thursday, July 3, 2008 5:49 pm

    Well, I had to comment on it at least once this summer! 🙂

    One word: Niedermayer!

    Lidstrom also has the benefit of being on a championship-caliber team.
    But maybe being Swiss, the others prefer to remain neutral…

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