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Roundup: Comeau, Barker and others hit the bricks

Jun 26, 2012, 12:02 AM EDT

Calgary Flames v Los Angeles Kings Getty Images

In the previous post, we collected some of today’s most interesting signings (or at least extended qualifying offers). Of course, there’s still the other end of the spectrum to account for; let’s take a look at the players whose teams allowed them to walk away, thus fattening a rather thin free agent market a bit. Peter Mueller isn’t the only interesting-if-risky player to become an unrestricted free agent today, after all.

(Note: Rotoworld was once again a very helpful resource for this post. You should keep an eye on their updates when you’re not reading PHT.)

  • The Calgary Flames quite reasonably decided that qualifying Blake Comeau at $2.5 million wasn’t a wise idea, as Vicki Hall discusses. Many wondered if Comeau’s 24-goal season in 2010-11 would be a breakthrough, but then came the breakdown. Perhaps the Flames will give him another shot at a reduced rate. If I were Comeau and/or his representation, I’d be more concerned with the team and his role on it than squeezing as much money as possible out of a deal. At 26, the window isn’t closed all the way, he just really needs to get on the right track. More than anything else, that might come down to getting his confidence back.
  • It’s hard to believe that Cam Barker once seemed destined to be a piece of the puzzle with the Chicago Blackhawks. His career has taken a serious tumble since then; Barker is now the go-to punching bag with the Edmonton Oilers. Or at least he was, that is. At 26 years old and with the pedigree of a third overall pick (in 2004), it’s not crazy to imagine him getting another shot. The clock is ticking, though.
  • Much like his former trade mate in Mueller, Wojtek Wolski did not receive a qualifying offer from the Florida Panthers. Not a big shocker considering that Florida essentially took a shot in the dark on him, but don’t be shocked if his next job comes overseas.
  • Ben Kuzma passes along the Vancouver Canucks’ long list of rejects, highlighted by evildoer Aaron Rome.
  • In sad pun-related news, the Nashville Predators said goodbye to Francis Bouillon. That’s likely the right move for the Preds, but hopefully “The Bouillon Cube” lands somewhere else so his wonderful nickname lives on.
  1. sergeikremlin - Jun 26, 2012 at 1:34 AM

    Weird. First reports were that Gragnani wasn’t qualified by the Canucks.

    Then Mike Gillis went on the radio and said the Canucks did qualify Gragnani (a 6’2, puck moving, 25 year old d-man who they raved about in the Hodgson deal).

    Now reports are that he wasn’t qualified and is hitting the open market.

    Either Gillis lied or the reports are wrong. If the former is true, this kid will get scooped up in a hurry. He showed a lot of promise in Buffalo and is still has many years in front of him.

  2. vshehane - Jun 26, 2012 at 7:37 AM

    Hope the Cube lands in a good spot. Hate to see him leave.

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