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Official 2009 NHL Free Agency Thread (Khabibulin, Heatley, Roloson...)

This post will be continually updated throughout the day, as signings and trades are announced.  Everything after the jump, to prevent it from spilling over and taking total control fo this site.

 Dany Heatley and Edmonton

I'm thinking that Steve Tambellini needs to give Bryan Murray and Dany Heatley a hard deadline (ideally, an hour ago) to make this trade happen.  This situation is simply too high-risk for the Oilers, who may miss out on signing any free agent because they're so busy trying to acquire Heatley.  It seems obvious to me that Heatley is stalling because he'd prefer another destination; Tambellini must force him to make a choice one way or the other - like he did with Dwayne Roloson.

If he choses not to waive his NTC, Edmonton should focus on Plan B immediately - because tomorrow may well be too late.

More On Heatley: From Darren Dreger's Twitter feed - "Heatley has yet to decide. Oilers are still very much in play."

Yet More On Heatley: According to Dreger, Heatley feels that the Ottawa Senators "put a gun to his head" and he wants more options than just Edmonton.  Absolutely amazing.

Tampa Bay signs Mattias Ohlund  

Terms: 7 years, 24.5 million dollars (3.5MM/yr).

I've seen a lot of Ohlund over the years and always liked the player, but I'm fairly unenthusiastic about this deal.  Ohlund has lost a step the last couple of seasons, and probably isn't more than a second-pairing guy, so the term is excessive, and the money is just OK.  That said, a move to the Southeast from the Northwest could do a lot to make Ohlund look better than he has in this division.

Florida Re-Signs Radek Dvorak

Term: 2 years, 3.4 million dollars (1.7MM/yr).

I've always had a soft spot for Dvorak, a tremendous two-way player who lost his hands a few years back.  Again, I'm not thrilled with the contract since the money seems high for a second-tier player, but this was clearly a priority for Randy Sexton.

Alex Kovalev Close To Re-signing With Montreal

Term: (Reportedly) 2 years, 8.75 million dollars (4.375MM/yr)

As per Mirtle.  This seems like a good signing for Montreal, who needed to retain some of their departing players.  Kovalev doesn't break the bank on this contract and doesn't get a crazy term either, which is nice to see.  The more I look at this deal, the more I like it - an early favourite for the best of free agency.

UPDATE: Apparently this one isn't a done deal yet.  Negotiations continue.

Toronto Maple Leafs sign Colton Orr

Term: 4 years, 4.0 million dollars (1.0MM/yr)

11 points in 245 NHL games.  I don't know why the Leafs didn't grab someone like Steve MacIntyre off waivers in September, but this isn't a ton more than league minimum so it isn't a millstone, exactly.  I still don't like it. 

Craig Anderson Signs With Colorado

Terms: 2 years, 3.6 million dollars (1.8MM/yr)

Down in Denver, Adrian Dater reports that he's heard that Craig Anderson has signed a two-year contract with the Colorado Avalanche.  This makes a ton of sense, as they probably still believe in Budaj as a 1B guy.  If confirmed, it would also make things very interesting for Martin Biron and Dwayne Roloson.

Chicago Blackhawks sign Marian Hossa

Temrs: 12 years, 62.4 million dollars (5.2MM/yr)

This hasn't been confirmed for sure yet, but Darren Dreger seems pretty confident that it's done.  No word on money or term.  UPDATE: Confirmed.  Still no idea about cap hit or contract length, though.  UPDATE 2: Cap hit above.  Very nice signing for Chicago.

Matt Walker Signs With the Tampa Bay Lightning

Terms: 4 years, 6.8 million dollars (1.7MM/yr)

The Lightning have signed free agent defenseman Matt Walker to a four-year contract for a lot of money.  I really like Walker, and this deal could work out, but I'm rather surprised that he got the dollars he did.  I wouldn't have pegged him for much over 1.3MM - especially at term.

St. Louis Blues Sign Ty Conklin

Term 2 years, 2.6 million dollars (1.3MM/yr)

A very good signing by St. Louis.  I'm one of the few Oiler fans who still really like Conklin, but after what he's done the last couple of seasons he's really established himself as a good tandem netminder.  With Chris Mason and Ty Conklin, the Blues have a cheap but effective pairing in net.  Just like I wish the Oilers did. 

New York Islanders Sign Dwayne Roloson

Terms: 2 years, 5.0 million dollars (2.5MM/yr)

Very, very interesting.  Roloson did indeed get his second year, and suddenly the Oilers need to find another goaltending option.  This is going to be an interesting day for Edmonton, one way or the other.  Oh, and I'm guessing the Islanders don't trust DiPietro's health either.

Tomas Kopecky Signs With Chicago

Terms: 2 years, 2.4 million dollars (1.2MM/yr)

This is a lot of money for a fourth liner from a good team.  Kopecky's 27 and scored a career-high 6 goals last season.  I really don't think that I like this deal, at least not on first glance.

Steve Montador Signed by the Buffalo Sabres

Terms: 2 years, 3.1 million dollars (1.55MM/yr)

Depth defensemen seem to be the order of the day.  At first glance this looks like a lot of money but Montador is one of the better #5/#6 options out there and should fit in well with the Sabres.  I like this signing on the whole, although it's hardly a steal.

Mike Knuble signs with the Washington Capitals

Terms: 2 years, 5.6 million dollars (2.8MM/yr)

I love this signing.  Knuble's still a big body who generally scores between 25 and 30 goals a season.  He played tough minutes last year and put up a decent Corsi number (although whether he was driving the bus is debateable) altohugh he's getting long in the tooth at 37. 

Donald Brashear joins the New York Rangers

Terms: 2 years, 2.8 million dollars (1.4MM/yr)

Terrible signing.  Brashear really doesn't bring much other than an ability to hurt people with his fists, and at this point a one-dimensional goon really shouldn't be getting more than six figures.

Joel Ward re-signs with the Nashville Predators

Terms: 2 years, 3 million dollars (1.5MM/yr)

Good deal for Nashville, I think.  Nothing too outrageous dollars-wise for a late-bloomer that they had to like a lot.

Jaroslav Spacek Signs in Montreal

Term: 3 years, 11.5 million dollars (3.83MM/yr)

I really like Jaroslav Spacek.  Always have.  I was very disappointed when he elected to move to Buffalo following a late season run with the Oilers in 2006.  I phoned a friend who is a big Canadiens fan to get his reaction - "I quit.  It's just one thing after another with Gainey.  I quit."  He won't of course, but this is an overpay.  Still - Spacek did have 45 points last season, but at 35 he's on the downswing. 

The Edmonton Oilers Sign Nikolai Khabibulin

Term: 4 years, 15 million dollars (3.75MM/yr)

This isn't horrible.  This isn't horrible.  This isn't horrible.  It sure isn't good, though.  The 36-year old has put up .919, .909, .902 and .886 SV% since the lockout.  He's probably a league average goaltender; I'd expect that he slides in at around a .910 SV% average for most of the next three years, with one bad year and one good year.  I'd guess the good year is four years from now, and the bad year is next season.

Too much money and for too long - especially for a goalender who has always been overated.  More on this a little later.  Jay Feaster likes this deal, along with Doug MacLean.  A G.M who could never get the goaltending position straight on his team after the lockout, and one of the two worst GM's in the last twenty years.  Marvellous.

Erik Cole Re-Signs In Carolina

Term: 2 years, 5.8 million dollars (2.9MM/yr)

That's right around market value for Cole.  I hope he continues to enjoy putting points up in the Southeast division alongside excellent linemates.

Florida Panthers Sign Scott Clemmensen

Term: 3 years, 3.6 million dollars (1.2MM/yr)

I don't get this move at all.  Tomas Vokoun is one of the best starters in the NHL; go super cheap on a backup and hope for the best.  Still, not a horrible contract.  I'm guessing that Clemmensen was also talking to Edmonton, as this happened really fast after the Oilers signed the STANLEY CUP CHAMPION goaltender.  Sigh.

Philadelphia Signs Ian Laperriere

Term: 3 years, 3.5 million dollars (1.17MM/yr)

This is a fairly decent contract for one of the better fourth-liners in the league.  He brings grit, energy and experience to the Flyers roster, and shows that Paul Holmgren is committed to making his nasty team even anstier.

Montreal Signs Hal Gill

Term: 2 years, 4.5 million dollars (2.25MM/yr)

Finally, a good signing by Bob Gainey!  Gill's a quality defenseman with some things going for him who can play on the second pairing, and these are very reasonable dollar figures.

Montreal Signs Mike Cammalleri

Term: 5 years, 30 million dollars (6MM/yr)

Montreal is on a spree.  Cammalleri scored 39 goals last year, but he's probably a 30-goal scorer on average.  This isn't a horrible deal but not exactly a bargain either.

Greg Zanon Joins The Minnesota Wild

Term: 3 years, 5.2 million dollars (1.73MM/yr)

A very nice singing by Minnesota.  Zanon is a defensive type who gets signed at a very reasonable rate for what he brings to the table.  This deal most closely resembles the Sauer deal from last year (although it isn't quite as brilliant).

Toronto Maple Leafs Sign Mike Komisarek

Terms: 5 years, 22.5 million dollars (4.5MM/yr)

Komisarek is a nice upgrade on Pavel Kubina in Toronto (Kubina was moved earlier for Garnet Exelby, although the details aren't clear yet), but we'll see what the money is.  Update - the money is reasonable; this is a nice set of moves by Brian Burke.

Steve Sullivan Returns to the Nashville Predators

Terms: 2 years, 7.5 million dollars (3.75MM/yr)

The money's a little steeper than I would have thought, given the risk the Predators are taking here, but it's nice to see Sullivan return there.  If healthy, this could be a very good deal for Nashville.

The Columbus Blue Jackets Sign Samuel Pahlsson

Term: 3 years, 7.95 million dollars (2.65MM/yr)

Great signing by Columbus, although they didn't get him all that cheap.  Pahlsson's a physically imposing shutdown centre who I was hoping would end up in Edmonton.  Well done, Scott Howson.

Marian Gaborik Joins The New York Rangers

Term: 5 years, 37.5 million dollars (7.5MM/yr)

Gaborik managed to get his 7.5MM annual salary, but only for five years, not ten.  He's an incredibly capable scorer who will likely post better totals in New York than he did in Minnesota - assuming that he can stay healthy.  As an aside, this firmly takes the Rangers out of the Dany Heatley race.

Brian Gionta to Montreal

Term: 5 years, 25 million (5.0MM/yr)

Brian Gionta just got a ton of money as Bob Gainey continues to overhaul Montreal's forward corps.  Montreal is not better today than they were last week, and the 20-goal scorer is simply not worth this kind of money.

Chris Neil Re-Signs With Ottawa

Term: 4 years, 8 million dollars (2.0MM/yr)

Thank goodness.  Neil turned down New York, Toronto, and Edmonton to sign with the Senators.  This would have been a disastrous signing for the Oilers, and can safely be called a bullet dodged.

John Madden Sign with Chicago

Term: 1 year, 2.75 million dollars (2.75MM/yr)

A good signing by Chicago to bring in one of the better third-line centres in the league.  Chicago is clearly gearing up for a cup run, and Madden is a good ingredient.

Martin Havlat Signs In Minnesota

Term: 6 years, 30 million dollars (5.0MM/yr)

Martin Havlat was one of the best available replacements for Marian Gaborik and he comes considerably cheaper.  Of interest is what Havlat said in a pair of comments from his Twitter feed: "Excited to be in Minny where I was welcomed and appreciated by management. The real story about what happened in Chicago to come out." and "There's something to be said for loyalty and honor."


Small Stuff

  • Scott Niedermayer re-signs in Anaheim on a one-year/6MM deal.  Yawn.
  • Aaron Rome signs in Vancouver on a one-year/550K deal.
  • Lukas Krajiecek re-signs for one year with Tampa Bay.
  • Brian Boucher signs a 2 year contract at 925K per season with Philadelphia.
  • Mike Rupp signs a 2 year contract at 825K per season with Pittsburgh.
  • The San Jose Sharks sign Kent Huskins to two years at 1.7 million per season.
  • Colorado signs David Koci to a one-year/575K contract.  That's a little more reasonable.
  • Vernon Fiddler signs a 2 year, 2.2 million dollar deal with Phoenix.
  • Jason Strudwick re-signs in Edmonton on a one-year/700K deal.
  • Columbus signs Mathieu Garon to a 2-year/2.4 million dollar contract.
  • Calgary signs Fredrik Sjostrom to a 2-year/1.5 million dollar contract.