Jul 8, 2013, 12:07 PM EST
Feel free to check back in a few years to see if these verdicts still hold, but for now…
Winner: Detroit Red Wings
Yes, there are questions about Daniel Alfredsson (isn’t he kind of old?) and Stephen Weiss (didn’t he have, like, one goal last year?), but the fact these two guys picked Detroit showed the Red Wings are still a destination franchise.
In explaining his tough decision to leave Ottawa, Alfredsson said he liked the style Mike Babcock coaches, how stars Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg perform “extremely well” when the games count, and the way the organization is committed to winning.
“Everyone knows Detroit’s goals are always to be at the top of the game and to win championships,” he said. “I’m really excited to get this opportunity at this stage of my career to go for a Stanley Cup and fulfill a longtime dream.”
Loser: St. Louis Blues
General manager Doug Armstrong targeted centers Weiss and Valtteri Filppula on Friday; he ended up with Derek Roy on Saturday. No disrespect to Roy, but when you don’t get the guys you want, it’s hard to call you a winner in free agency. As much regular-season success as the Blues have had the past two years, and as much young talent as they continue to boast, they’re still a budget-beholden team with a coach in Ken Hitchcock that offensive-minded players don’t line up to play for.
Winner: power forwards
Nathan Horton, David Clarkson, and Ryane Clowe all signed huge deals on Friday. The money they got (combined around $100 million) was one thing, but the term (combined 19 years) was the real eye-opener. Horton and Clowe each have detailed injury histories (including concussions), which makes perfect sense given the way they play. The risk the Blue Jackets, Maple Leafs and Devils assumed, respectively, shows how important this type of player is considered when it comes to having success in the postseason.
Mike Smith being the exception after signing a $34 million deal with the Coyotes. The non-exceptions include Ray Emery, Anton Khudobin, Jason LaBarbera, and Nikolai Khabibulin, all of whom put up good to great numbers in 2013 (albeit in backup roles) and signed for peanuts. Of the four, Emery is the most likely starter next season; compete for the number-one job in Philadelphia with Steve Mason, all the while making just $1.65 million. Emery hasn’t been a full-time starter in the NHL since undergoing surgery for avascular necrosis in 2010 — a factor that no doubt went against him in negotiations.
Winner: Phoenix Coyotes
We already mentioned Smith’s deal; the Coyotes, with a new owner (finally), also got center Mike Ribeiro for four years and $22 million. It’s worth noting that the one big thing Ribeiro wanted was term, and it was Phoenix — a team that’s been known for anything but stability in recent years — that was able to give it to him. “I’m trying to be stable somewhere for a while, that’s important,” Ribeiro said. “The fact that they confirmed they’d stay there for a few years, that’s a good thing. Obviously that was a big part.”
Loser: Washington Capitals
All of a sudden, the Caps are looking a bit thin down the middle. No more Ribeiro. Also, no more Matt Hendricks, who went to Nashville. Washington GM George McPhee wasn’t in the best position cap-wise to give those two big deals, but he still has to address the departures. Could Mikhail Grabovski, bought out by the Maple Leafs, be an option?
Dec 19, 2013, 1:28 PM EST
Andrew Alberts will get another shot tonight in Dallas.
Dec 19, 2013, 1:21 PM EST
This after he played less than five minutes against Phoenix last game.
Dec 19, 2013, 1:03 PM EST
“Things are going well, let’s just let things happen,” said GM Dale Tallon.
Dec 19, 2013, 12:53 PM EST
“He’s a young player still, and sometimes you have those seasons.”
Dec 19, 2013, 12:23 PM EST
Flyers host Jackets.
Dec 19, 2013, 12:13 PM EST
Shakeup time in Detroit.
Dec 19, 2013, 12:01 PM EST
Dec 19, 2013, 11:49 AM EST
He’ll face the Preds tonight.
Dec 19, 2013, 11:37 AM EST
Mathew Dumba and Jonathan Drouin will serve as alternates.
Dec 19, 2013, 11:19 AM EST
He played less than five minutes against the Coyotes.
Dec 19, 2013, 9:58 AM EST
The Vancouver Canucks have put him on unconditional waivers.
Dec 19, 2013, 9:06 AM EST
There was some controversy surrounding the goal.
Dec 19, 2013, 8:02 AM EST
Thursday’s collection of links.
Dec 19, 2013, 7:30 AM EST
Nine suspensions totaling 38 games, with more likely on the way.
Dec 19, 2013, 12:55 AM EST
If all goes well, he could be back on Dec. 27, according to Fletcher.
Dec 18, 2013, 11:57 PM EST
Pittsburgh’s forward got a penalty.
Dec 18, 2013, 11:30 PM EST
Dec 18, 2013, 11:12 PM EST
New York comes back but can’t get two points.
Dec 18, 2013, 10:05 PM EST
Dec 18, 2013, 9:41 PM EST
It’s not a concussion.
- Habs healthy scratch Briere for first time this season 0
- Chiarelli says he’s not trading Marchand 3
- Schenn to play tonight; Oates maintains Wilson hit was ‘totally clean’ 18
- Video: ‘The message is not being heard’ when it comes to illegal hits, suspensions 37
- Video: Kunitz collides with Rangers’ goalie Lundqvist in overtime (Updated) 49
- Discuss: Penguins outlast Rangers in the shootout on NBCSN Rivalry Night 43
- Video: Jagr passes Yzerman for eighth on NHL goals list 12
- Wild put Harding on IR to undergo change in MS treatment 15
- Nonis: I’m not firing Carlyle 15
- Steen agrees to extension with Blues — three years, $17.4 million 17
- Updated: NHL suspends Thornton 15 games for Orpik attack (155)
- Janssen: Orpik should’ve fought Thornton, then ‘everything would have quieted down’ (123)
- Reports: Thornton will appeal 15-game suspension (107)
- Lucic addresses fight video, says he’s ‘disgusted and outraged’ by Vancouver (101)
- Cam Neely questions length of Thornton’s suspension (78)