Skip to content

2010 NHL Free Agency: Winners and losers after day one

Jul 1, 2010, 11:15 PM EDT

After one day of free agency, you start to get a sense for just who
the “winners” and “losers” will be free agency. And today, it looks like
there’s more losers than anything as teams grossly overpaid for
mediocre players. Our list:

Winners:

Pittsburgh
Penguins –
The Penguins lost Sergei Gonchar, but arguably upgraded
on defense anyways. It came with a price however. The Penguins landed
two of the top defensive free agents as they signed Paul Martin and
Zbynek Michalek for $9 million between the two players. Both signed
five-year contracts, with Martin’s ($25 million) worth more overall than
Michalek’s ($20 million). Neither will produce the same offense as
Gonchar, but the Penguins now have two relatively young defensemen
locked up as the cornerstone of their defense for the next few seasons.

Vancouver
Canucks -
Dan Hamhuis took a bit of a discount to head to
Vancouver, where he was promised top minutes and the chance to play with
a team that always has the opportunity to head deep into the
postseason. Hamhuis could have certainly signed elsewhere for more, but
settled for a six-year, $27 million contract with Vancouver. Hamhuis
might not have been the big free agent target in other years, but this
summer the deal that Vancouver got for him has to be a positive.

Atlanta
Thrashers:
Nothing earth shattering happening down in Atlanta
today, but two nifty moves by Rick Dudley definitely helped the team.
First, the Thrashers traded prospect Ivan Vishnevskiy to Chicago for RFA
Andrew Ladd, who they should have no problems signing. Dudley says that
Ladd is the scoring winger they’ve been needing, and consider him a big
piece of the team moving forward. They also acquired Chris Mason for a
steal, signing the goaltender for almost half of what he was about to
make in St. Louis.

Losers:

Calgary Flames: Don’t
ask me what Darryl Sutter was thinking today. I have no clue. But he
signed two players today that have been wholly disappointing the past
few years, and who have both spent time with Calgary in the past. Yes,
Ollie Jokinen and Alex Tanguay are back in Calgary, which has to be the
most head-scratching decisions I’ve seen in a long, long time. I don’t
even know how to opine on this. Ridiculous.

New York Rangers:
Good job in signing Martin Biron to be Henrik Lundqvist’s backup.
Horribly bad job in giving Derek Boogaard a four year contract worth
$1.65 million per season. Every year there is one contract handed out
that ruins it for the rest of the NHL, completely skewing the market and
opening the door for horrible contracts all over the league. For some
reason, it seems that it’s the Rangers that do this every year.

St.
Louis Blues:
It seemed the Blues were on the cusp of being big
spenders in free agency, and were poised to do so. They have nothing but
massive amounts of room under the salary cap, but other than extending
Alex Steen and signing Vladimir Sobotka to a one-year contract, were
very quiet and didn’t make any noise in the first day of free agency.
Perhaps they were spooked by the big contracts being handed out to
fringe players, but the Blues needed to make some moves — especially on
defense — in order to get the team back to the playoffs next season.
Still some time over the next few days, however.

  1. StakeX - Jul 1, 2010 at 11:59 PM

    Man I wish Sather would retire already… the game has passed him by so bad, and he is quite likely the worst GM in NHL history. I know there are some other stinkers out there, but two words… Wade Reden. Enough said.

  2. Karl - Jul 2, 2010 at 2:10 AM

    Ditto Darryl Sutter. I don’t think that the franchise will go anywhere as long the Sutters are in charge. I feel for Jarome Iginla. He deserves much better.

  3. Mich - Jul 2, 2010 at 8:34 AM

    The Pens had a big day!
    Check out a great breakdown by this guy!
    http://bleedblackandgold.com/blog/2010/07/01/gonchar-goes-but-pens-hit-it-big-2/

  4. Matt - Jul 2, 2010 at 8:57 AM

    Losers: Buffalo Sabres
    Sign Leopold to three years when Regier refused to sign Lydman more than two? Yeah, that makes sense.
    And then turn around and basically tell Tallinder to F off when he WANTED to return to Buffalo and gave the Sabres a chance to match the Devils’ offer?

  5. nick - Jul 2, 2010 at 11:04 AM

    Regier has to go they do that time and time again.

  6. Jo - Jul 2, 2010 at 3:12 PM

    Agreed. Spoken like a true Ranger fan! Why is he still here?

  7. mike - Jul 2, 2010 at 3:51 PM

    Boogaard isn’t 35+ so the rangers can send him down at anytime and take if contract off their cap.

Featured video

Are Penguins vulnerable vs. Columbus?
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. E. Malkin (4509)
  2. T. Oshie (3479)
  3. M. Duchene (3316)
  4. M. Brodeur (2864)
  5. B. Bishop (2863)