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Free Agency Recap, Day 1: Every Move, Every Team

A look at the day's move, one move at a time.


I tried to write the recap in the same order that we learned of the signings and trades from Twitter and television today. Read on for my move-by-move recap of the day:

Player POS From To Yrs Avg/Yr
Tyler Kennedy F San Jose San Jose 2 $2.35M This is a nice deal. The Sharks significantly upgrade their 3rd line from recent years - Kennedy isn't an offensive force, but he can push possession. Huge upgrade over slugs like Michal Handzus. Doug Wilson made out by trade Douglas Murray for Tyler Kennedy and a 2nd.
Lauri Korpikoski F Phoenix Phoenix 4 $2.5M Don Maloney overspent a bit on Korpikoski with the fourth year, but Dave Tippett uses Korpikoski in all kinds of situations and with a number of linemates. He's a good PK guy.
Evgeni Nabokov G NY Islanders NY Islanders 1 3.25M What is it with the Islanders and goaltenders? This is a pretty terrible deal, even at one year. I hope the Islanders are able to find some phenom in camp. If not, they'll need to score 5 a night.
Shawn Matthias F Florida Florida 2 $1.75M Dale Tallon signs the longest-serving Panther to a very nice deal. Yes, longest-serving. Tallon trashed this team, and is hoping to have young talent save his bacon.
Andrew Ference D Boston Edmonton 4 $3.25M What in the…this is a miserable signing. Ference is a bottom-pairing defensemen with no high-end skill. The Oilers, masters of long-term deals for older players, do it again by two years with the 34-year old.
Peter Regin F Ottawa NY Islanders 1 $1M Strong bet by Garth Snow. Regin was once an adequate possession guy, but injuries have robbed him of speed. If he can bounce back, Regin can pay off. He'll play bottom three competition.
Ray Emery G Chicago Philadelphia 1 $1.65M Hm, a great signing by Philadelphia means they have a solid team, but need to work out from under some cap issues. Emery gifts Holmgren a deal here and Holmgren shows all GMs how the goaltender market should work.
Ryane Clowe F NY Rangers New Jersey 5 $4.85M This is horrendous. This is one of the worst deals of the day. Clowe might be able to survive in the East, but his lack of speed and penchant for tripping and holding aren't going to cure themselves with age.
Kyle Chipchura F Phoenix Phoenix

Still can't find terms on this one, but I can't imagine it's for more than six figures. He faces weak competition and breaks even. He's a decent bottom line option.
Daniel Alfredsson F Ottawa Detroit 1 $5.5M Alfredsson can still play and is a significant upgrade over Dan Cleary and Todd Bertuzzi. The new Wings have three very good lines and a bunch of young players waiting to step in.
Thomas Greiss G San Jose Phoenix 1 $750K Excellent deal by Don Maloney, swapping Jason LaBarbera and Chad Johnson for Griess. As long as Greiss makes 15 starts, the Coyotes will be fine.
Mike Komisarek D Toronto Carolina 1 $700K Komisarek gets another chance at the NHL after Toronto exile and Jim Rutherford made a very low risk, but very high reward bet. Even if Komisarek is only capable of serviceable 7th D minutes, it's a good contract.
Michal Handzus F Chicago Chicago 1
I'm not a fan of this signing at any price. Handzus was the slowest player on the ice most nights in the playoffs, and he's not going to gain a step. The Blackhawks had a number of other, better options and kept the slow guy. I see them trading for a centre next season.
Mike Ribeiro F Washington Phoenix 5 $5.5K Don Maloney started well, but the wheels went off of the wagon. This deal challenges the Clowe deal for worst of the day. Ribeiro is in decline and switching to the tougher conference isn't going to help. He'll get protection from Hanzal, but he might need softer minutes than that.
Boyd Gordon F Phoenix Edmonton 3 $3M After the botched Ference contract, Craig MacTavish rebounds a bit with a slight overpay and 1 extra year for Boyd Gordon. The downside to Gordon is what happens if he suffers from the Dave Tippett effect?
Jason Labarbera G Phoenix Edmonton 1 $1M The Oilers finally rid themselves of The Maginot Line and his horrendous contract and replace it with a fantastic deal for LaBarbera, knocking $2.5 million off of the goaltender payroll and getting better at the same time.
Andre Benoit D Ottawa Colorado 1 $900K Colorado doesn't spend money anymore, so I was surprised to see their name pop up. I was even more surprised to see them sign Benoit. He's a neat player, small and older at 29, but he's always had a ton of offense in his game. Colorado grabs a guy who could be sort of a specialist 7th defenseman and worked a great deal.
Nathan Horton F Boston Columbus 7 $5.3M Sweet electric moses. Columbus throws out a ton of cash and a ridiculous term for Horton, an injury risk every time he walks down the runway. If he's healthy, he would give Columbus 30 goals a year, but that's a huge 'if'. Horton said all the right things about coming to Columbus, but he will be out until December recovering from surgery.
Pierre-Marc Bouchard F Minnesota NY Islanders 1 $2M Garth Snow pulls off another outstanding non-goaltender contract. Bouchard should be good for 50 points if he can stay in the lineup and the Islanders, except for Nabokov, look like a contender.
Rob Scuderi D Los Angeles Pittsburgh 4 $3.375M Ray Shero and Craig MacTavish gave two older defensemen two too many years on their deals. Scuderi, which not as slow as Douglas Murray, is aging and less effective. I wonder if he makes Brooks Orpik expendable.
Scott Hannan D San Jose San Jose 1 $1M The Sharks drafted future Scott Hannan in Mirco Mueller, so Doug Wilson must really like this player profile. It's a nice deal for an older, bottom-pairing/7th defenseman.
Clarke MacArthur F Toronto Ottawa 2 $3.25M MacArthur spent the last two years driving puck possession in Toronto, a remarkable feat. Naturally, the Leafs kick him to the curb because of BSOD and the Sens scoop him up with one of the better contracts of the day.
Jesse Joensuu F NY Islanders Edmonton 2 $950K The Oilers sign a big player, as is their custom and plan to use him on the 3rd line in a shutdown role. It's a mistake. They also gave a guy who can't stay in the NHL a $300k raise and guaranteed two years.
Karri Ramo G Omsk (KHL) Calgary 2 $2.9M ⊙.☉
Kris Russell D St. Louis Calgary
Trade What happened? I passed out and thought Jay Feaster gave an unproven…holy crap he did. Oh, but he made up for it by trading a 5th-round pick for Kris Russell, nice trade. Except that he could've had Russell for free on waivers last week! Ken King, my phone is always on.
Yann Danis G Edmonton Philadelphia 1
Philadelphia went from a goaltending laughingstock to respectability. Danis will be a strong AHL starter with the ability to spell an NHL starter for a game or two. If the Flyers were interested in a true tryout, he would probably beat Steve Mason.
Mike Mottau D Toronto Florida 1
Mike Mottau was a greatly underrated defensemen three years ago. He's now solid AHL defenseman and will help in San Antonio.
Joey Crabb F Washington Florida 2 $600K
Dale Tallon, hidden from the hockey world in the corner of Florida, plays in his personnel lab, doing random things all day…
Michal Rozsival D Chicago Chicago

Remember last year when the Hawks were deciding between Rozsival and Colaiacovo? Rozsival has a new life in Chicago and is a superb stopgap in place until one of the three young Blackhawks defensemen are ready to step in.
Keith Aucoin F NY Islanders St. Louis 1 $625K St. Louis sure likes replacement players.
Tyler Bozak F Toronto Toronto 5 $4.2M Dave Nonis kicks up the crazy by buying out Mikhail Grabovsky, a better player compared to Bozak, then dumps $21 million into Bozak's lap. Bozak's dependence on Phil Kessel has been established and Nonis still pulled this. Amazing.
David Clarkson F New Jersey Toronto 7 $5.25M Eeeesh. 7 years for a guy that has one decent season on the books. This is torturous now - Nonis had the makings of a team there, and he's disappeared it in a day
Matt Hendricks LW Washington Nashville 4 $1.85M Nasvhille has far too many bottom line forwards as it is. Hendricks makes zero sense in Nashville, which makes the 4 years even more confusing.
Dan Ellis G Carolina Dallas 2 $900K Ellis serves as insurance for Lehtonen's fragile groins, and the Stars got a great price on the backup goalie.
Viktor Stalberg F Chicago Nashville 4 $3M This is a bit less than I thought Stalberg would make, so it's not bad. The big challenge for Stalberg is going to be the top-end minutes playing with either Legwand or Fisher. He beat up the bottom minutes protected by Chicago's great forwards - can he handle much tougher playing time?
Matt Cullen C Minnesota Nashville 2 $3.5M Cullen is aging, but you'd never know it against the Oilers. He plays like a 22 year possessed against Edmonton. If he was signed to play 3rds and take defensive zone draws and play tough matchups, it's a nice deal. If they're expecting more, it would be curious.
Stephen Weiss C Florida Detroit 5 $4.9M Let's assume that Dale Tallon's roster-wrecking affected Weiss in the same way it did all of the other Panthers refugees. If Weiss turns back the clock to the fantastic, do-it-all centre, this is a great contract for Detroit. Weiss gets the best linemates of his life. If he can't recapture the past, this is a big overpay. I'm betting on the former.
Valtteri Filppula LW Detroit Tampa Bay 5 $5M He's a linemate-dependent guy leaving Zetterberg and Datsyuk, but he's going to a team with Stamkos, St. Louis, Drouin. If those guys can keep the heat off of Filppula, he may produce. I don't see him being worth $25 million over the next five years, however.
Dominic Moore F San Jose NY Rangers 1 $1M New York quietly adds another solid depth player.
Anton Khudobin G Boston Carolina 1 $800K Carolina lost Ellis to Dallas, but replaced him with the equivalent for $100k less than Ellis signed for.
Bobby Ryan F Anaheim Ottawa
Trade Anaheim was supposedly trying to trade Ryan every off-season since he's been in the league. They finally did it, and grabbed a decent haul for the guy. It's almost impossible to win a trade in which you send away a perennial 30-goal scorer, but the Ducks grabbed a couple of solid young fowards (Noesen and Silfverburg) and a first-round pick.
Eric Nystrom LW Dallas Nashville 4 $2.5M There's no explanation for the deal. Nystrom is a replacement player. I can't fathom how he got a multi-year deal and $10 million guaranteed. One of the worst of the day.
Yannick Weber D Montreal Vancouver 1 $650K Vancouver's cap situation is such that they're relegated to picking up the Yannick Weber's of the world. Next up: Jason Strudwick.
Travis Hamonic D NY Islanders NY Islanders 7 $3.86M Whoa. Garth Snow talked Hamonic into a 7-year deal? And for so little? He's already a top-end defender who will only grow. This is already one of the better deals in the league.
Craig Adams C Pittsburgh Pittsburgh 2 $700K And so it goes..
George Parros F Florida Montreal
Trade Montreal traded for one of the worst players in the league. I know they're loaded with short and slight forwards, but this is so bad.
Saku Koivu C Anaheim Anaheim 1 $2.5M Selanne bait.
Jeff Schultz D Washington Los Angeles 1 $700K This isn't a 1-for-1 replacement for Rob Scuderi, but Schultz will take Scuderi's roster spot. Alec Martinez and Jake Muzzin will cover the minutes. Excellent signing for a bottom-pairing guy.
Brad Richardson RW Los Angeles Vancouver 2 $1.15M Vancouver lost Lapierre, so they upgrade with Richardson, a guy who beats weak competition night in and night out.
T.J. Brennan D Nashville Toronto 1 $600K Nonis signs T.J. Brennan which prompts a look at Toronto's roster. Holy crap - does everyone realize there are only two NHL defensemen on this roster?
David Van Der Gulik
Colorado Colorado 1
His passes to Dennis Bergkampf were sublime.
Aaron Johnson D Boston NY Rangers 1 $600K New York quietly adds another solid depth player.
Rostislav Olesz C Chicago New Jersey 1 $1M This is an interesting contract. Olesz used to be a decent possession player in Florida. Then Tallon started blowing up the team, Olesz got hurt and he couldn't play the game anymore. Now he goes to a really good possession team and may end up being a fantastic investment if he remembers how to get and keep the puck.
Maxim Lapierre C Vancouver St. Louis 2 $1.1M Shitty player, belongs in a division with Matt Cooke and Daniel Carcillo, and that's what he gets. I hope they all cheap shot each other out of the league.
Michael Ryder RW Montreal New Jersey 2 $3.5M I don't get this at all. Ryder wanted to stay in Montreal and Bergevin didn't want him. Montreal's loss is New Jersey's gain. He should get a look or three as a linemate for Patrick Elias.
Benoit Pouliot LW Tampa Bay NY Rangers 1 $1.3M Glen Sather quietly snags another depth player on the cheap. I'd much rather have this guy than Clarkson.
Alexandre Bolduc C Phoenix St. Louis 1 $550K Pushed aside by Kyle Chipchura, the Blues need some bottom-of-the-roster guys.
Mark Mancari RW Buffalo St. Louis 1 $600K St. Louis sure likes replacement players.
Nikolai Khabibulin G Edmonton Chicago 1 $2M $2 million for The Maginot Line? Are you kidding me? Welcome to the worst deals pile.
Jarome Iginla RW Pittsburgh Boston 1 $6M It's an incentive laden contract, so they get some flexibility this season in exchange for less next season, but Iginla is a decent bet on a single-year deal, as long as it doesn't cost them any roster players.
Devin Setoguchi F Minnesota Winnipeg
Trade Minnesota is in cap hell, and if they want to have some flexibility, they're going to have to move some guys. Setoguchi is victim #1, which probably means a skilled for…
Matt Cooke LW Pittsburgh Minnesota 3 $2.5M not coming in. This signing makes no sense at all. They've added Mike Rupp, Zenon Konopka and now Matt Cooke in the last two seasons. Non-sensical.
Jonathan Bernier G Toronto Toronto 2 $2.9M Someone needs to do a physical and mental well-being check on Dave Nonis right away. His day got progressively worse. This is a really bad bet and a waste of cap space and salary dollars with a better, more proven goaltender in front of him.
  • Worst moves: New Jersey - Ryane Clowe, Toronto - All, Nashville - Eric Nystrom, Calgary - All, Chicago - Nikolai Khabibulin, Phoenix - Mike Ribeiro, Columbus - Nathan Horton, Monreal - George Parros, New York Islanders - Evgeni Nabokov
  • Best moves: New Jersey - Michael Ryder, New York Rangers - All, New York Islanders - Pierre Marc Bouchard & Travis Hamonic, Philadelphia - Ray Emery, Edmonton - Jason LaBarbera, Detroit - Daniel Alfredsson, Carolina - Anton Khudobin