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NHL Free Agency, Day 1: Team-by-Team Recap & Grades

Some surprising teams did well for themselves and some short-handed teams sit and wait.

We're devils and angels, which one will I be today?
We're devils and angels, which one will I be today?
Bruce Bennett

Anaheim : Saku Koivu - C, Jakob Silfverberg - RW, Stefan Noesen - RW, Sens' first rounder in 2011

  • Losing Ryan is brutal, and if they don't get Selanne to come back, this will be a difficult summer for fans. Murray did okay with what he had - Silfverberg has a scorer's touch and should score 20 goals this season. The Ducks are trying to ditch Jonas Hiller to help fill in, but with Ryan Miller out there as well, the return is going to be small.

Boston : Jarome Iginla - RW

  • Iginla is a short-term replacement for Horton, and doesn't appreciably alter their roster for his salary. The Bruins need defense, just like everyone else.

Calgary : Karri Ramo - G , Kris Russell - D

  • The Flames are lucky the Leafs decided yesterday was a crazy day, because this is a joke. Jay Feaster pays a below-average goaltender $2.9 million and traded for a defensemen he could have had for free last week via waivers.

Carolina : Anton Khudobin - G , Mike Komisarek - D

  • Carolina's moves were tied up in Jordan Staal and Alex Semin's new contracts, but I can't help but mention how the Hurricanes spent just $1.5 million to sign a backup goaltender and a 7th defenseman. Jim Rutherford has some cap room left, and could still trade Tuomo Ruutu, but sticking to small moves to strengthen the bottom of the roster is a luxury he can afford this off-season.

Chicago : Nikolai Khabibulin - G , Michal Handzus - F , Michal Rozsival - D

  • The Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup, so they should get a pass for a short while, but the Khabibulin contract is awful, and Stan Bowman is betting on a pair of ancient legs with Handzus.

Colorado : David Van Der Gulik - , Andre Benoit - D

  • I really like the Benoit signing. It's nothing major, but given the budget and how little defense the Avalanche had last season, it was a smart move. It seems like Joe Sakic will move Paul Stastny eventually and he still needs defense.

Columbus : Nathan Horton - F

  • Every time I look at the Blue Jackets roster, I think "how are they ever going to get rid of that Wisniewski deal?" Now I have something new to look at. If Nathan Horton stays healthy for the next seven years, this is a marvelous signing. If Nathan Horton had a chance at staying healthy for the next seven years, he would have signed a contract elsewhere.

Dallas : Dan Ellis - G

  • Dallas went crazy on the eve of the draft, landing Tyler Seguin and Shawn Horcoff for very little and now Jim Nill has to find some defense. He especially needs a right-hander who can defend odd-man rushes. If he doesn't find one, he turns the Stars' hopes over to a bunch of 20-year olds to save his defense. Tom Gilbert fits this roster perfectly.

Detroit : Stephen Weiss - C , Daniel Alfredsson - F

  • Detroit never dies. The NHL gifts the Red Wings a move to the the junior loop, and Ken Holland lands two of the top forwards available yesterday. The top 9 in Detroit looks like it's in great hands, but the defense looks shaky and Holland forgot to buy out Samuelsson and Bertuzzi to clear the cap space to stabilize the team.

Edmonton : Ryan Hamilton - LW , Andrew Ference - D , Boyd Gordon - F , Jason Labarbera - G , Jesse Joensuu - F

  • The Oilers filled desperate needs in goal and and centre and missed on Andrew Ference. Craig MacTavish now needs one of Anton Belov or Andrew Ference to play top 4 minutes. Edmonton still needs another centre and could use a strong bottom-end forward a la Daniel Winnik.

Florida : Shawn Matthias - F , Mike Mottau - D , Joey Crabb - F

  • The Panthers' roster is bizarre. Dale Tallon is relying on scads of teenagers and barely 20-somethings to drive play in Sunrise, but it's a tall order, even for Jonathan Huberdeau and Alexander Barkov.

Los Angeles : Jeff Schultz - D, Keaton Ellerby - D

  • They lost Scuderi, and signed Schultz. It's a downgrade, but the Kings don't have a ton of cap space and Dean Lombardi has to sign his RFAs.

Minnesota : Matt Cooke - LW , Jared Spurgeon - D

  • Devin Setoguchi is better than Matt Cooke, and the Wild overpaid Matt Cooke. Chuck Fletcher is stuck in cap hell, his own creation, and his second move to get out of it was yet another failure.

Montreal : George Parros - F

  • Marc Bergevin has been excellent in his time with the Canadiens, but this is awful. It's bad enough that other teams sign goons to multi-year deals, but to trade assets for one? Terrible.

Nashville : Matt Hendricks - LW , Matt Cullen - C , Eric Nystrom - LW , Viktor Stalberg - F

  • The four-year deals for Hendricks and Nystrom are bad. But then David Poile turns around and signs strong deals for Stalberg and Cullen. The Preds are already jam-packed with bottom end talent up front, the four year deals are inexplicable.

New Jersey : Rostislav Olesz - C , Michael Ryder - RW , Ryane Clowe - F

  • I have Ryder down as one of the best deals of the day and Clowe as one of the worst. Olesz gives the Devils a chance at a reclamation project, but what was Lou Lamoriello thinking with the Clowe contract?

NY East: Evgeni Nabokov - G , Peter Regin - F , Pierre-Marc Bouchard - F , Travis Hamonic - D

  • Garth Snow had a brilliant day, except for that Nabokov contract. The writers here have admired snow for awhile now and the rebound bet on Regin shows why. But the Hamonic deal is one that the Islanders should trumpet far and wide. Snow is already getting value out of that deal. Snow's achilles' heel is goaltender and the Nabokov contract exposes that, again. But the Islanders have cap space, so if Snow can land another solid goaltender, the move is excusable.

New York : Aaron Johnson - D , Benoit Pouliot - LW , Dominic Moore - F

  • This is not the Glen Sather we've all come to know and love. The Rangers are normally "in on" every player, wildly throwing money around and embarrassing their smart fans. Maybe all of the RFA contracts are hanging over his head, but Sather grabbed depth left and right and strengthened his lineup with actual NHL players for peanuts.

Ottawa : Clarke MacArthur - F , Bobby Ryan - F

  • Outstanding day for Bryan Murray. After Daniel Alfredsson told him ownership was too cheap to win, Murray salvaged the day with one of the best signings of the day in MacArthur. Then he traded Silvferberg and non-roster things for Ryan, who should go nuts on a line with Jason Spezza.

Philadelphia : Ray Emery - G , Yann Danis - G

  • Paul Holmgren's sane side showed up yesterday and he signed one of the best contracts of the day with Emery and plugged the AHL goaltending (and NHL third string) hold with Yann Danis. Holmgren may have saved the Flyers with Emery.

Phoenix : Lauri Korpikoski - F , Kyle Chipchura - F, Thomas Greiss - G , Mike Ribeiro - F , Michael Stone - D

  • The Coyotes are throwing money around like they aren't losing money for the BoG and City of Glendale. The Greiss deal is excellent, and Don Maloney kept Korpikoski and Chipchura which keeps the bottom of the roster in competent hands, but blowing so much money on a fading Ribeiro hamstrings the owner of the team in Seattle.

Pittsburgh : Craig Adams - C , Rob Scuderi - D

  • Ray Shero brings an older and run-down Rob Scuderi back, though he may have more luck in the little sister conference, but Orpik and Scuderi are redundant. Neither are capable of playing tough comp, neither move the puck on their own and both are too expensive for the bottom pairing. I wouldn't be surprised to see Orpik move in the next week and give the Penguins some room to add a more versatile defender.

San Jose : Tyler Kennedy - F , Scott Hannan - D

  • Martin Havlat's pelvic floor killed Doug Wilson's off-season. The Sharks have no cap room and Havlat was a perfect buyout candidate. Still, if Hannan is around to play on the bottom pairing, and Kennedy improves the bottom six, the Sharks will be okay.

St. Louis : Maxim Lapierre - C , Alexandre Bolduc - C , Mark Mancari - RW , Keith Aucoin - F

  • St. Louis still has Chris Stewart and Alex Pietrangelo to sign, so free agency was nothing more than nibbling at the edges until Pietrangelo's huge deal is done. They did manage to sign noted idiot Max Lapierre, so they have that going for them. The Oilers are slobbering for forward size and St. Louis doesn't really need Chris Stewart, so I wouldn't be surprised to see Hemsky + 1st for Stewart.

Tampa Bay : Valtteri Filppula - LW

  • Tampa is now running low on cap space and could use a couple of players to strengthen the bottom of the roster. So naturally, signing Filppula makes sense? Filppula depends on his linemates, so he should hope Stamkos likes him. Steve Yzerman needs to make a trade to give the Lightning some room to breathe and Ryan Malone sticks out like a sore thumb as a trade candidate, especially given the Oilers' drooling mouths. Malone and a pick for Magnus Paajarvi?

Toronto : T.J. Brennan - D , Jonathan Bernier - G , Tyler Bozak - F , David Clarkson - F

  • Honestly, Toronto's day looks like an HF Boards reader got into some cocaine and was granted control of the Leafs' personnel department. Dave Nonis made a complete mess of a team that did have a couple of nice building blocks. And the Leafs don't have any defense. Aaron Ekblad will make a great Leaf at age 18.

Vancouver : Yannick Weber - D , Brad Richardson - RW

  • Mike Gillis has no cap space to work with considering his needs, but upgraded from Lapierre to Richardson and added a 7th defender in Yannick Weber. The Canucks need another defender, two legit forwards, David Booth to come back and the Sedins to duplicate one of their best seasons ever. No worries.

Winnipeg : Devin Setoguchi - F

  • Winnipeg has cap space and could be in a position to make more of these types of deals. Kevin Chevladayoff just has to sit tight and wait for his colleagues to cringe, then swoop in and grab the players the Jets need to be competitive.

Did well for themselves: Detroit Red Wings, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Ottawa Senators, Philadelphia Flyers,

One more move needed: Anaheim Ducks, Boston Bruins, Carolina Hurricanes, Dallas Stars, Edmonton Oilers, Pittsburgh Penguins,

Not much to judge: Colorado Avalanche, Florida Panthers, Los Angeles Kings, San Jose Sharks, St. Louis Blues, Vancouver Canucks, Winnipeg Jets

Jekyll & Hyde: Nashville Predators, New Jersey Devils,

Tough day: Chicago Blackhawks, Columbus Blue Jackets, Minnesota Wild, Phoenix Coyotes, Tampa Bay Lightning

Clown Shoes: Calgary Flames, Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs