Again, some random thoughts on free agency as we head out into the hockey wastelands of summer.
Cap floor – I went on Twitter for a little while yesterday (not usually something I like to do) and it seemed like there was much discussion and confusion on just how far under the cap floor Ottawa is after these first couple of days of free agency. According to Capgeek, Ottawa has to spend almost $4.3 million to reach the cap floor. And other than Jim O’Brien and Kaspars Daugavins, there are no additional free agents that need signing.
That means that there has to be another move pending from Brian Murray, doesn’t there? Do we trade for the ghost of Tim Thomas? Did Jonathan Cheechoo sell his house in Orleans?
Who’s left? – other than Parise and Suter, I mean. I read somewhere that Parise wants $12M in each of the first two years and at least a decade-long deal, so let’s not touch that with a ten foot pole. Suter would be an amazing pick-up, but will probably get something similar. The rest is a whole lotta mixed nuts. Anyone want a slightly used Wojtek Wolski or Marco Sturm? Can only hope Ottawa is in on these Bobby Ryan sweepstakes. Apparently Anaheim wants a second line center back in return. We have a couple of those (kind of) in Turris, Regin, maybe Zibanejad. They probably don’t want prospects though.
Toronto Maple Leafs – hilarious to see Brian Burke pontificate on how July 1st brings out the worst in GMs when he so memorably said “July 1st is our draft” only a few years ago. So, let me get this straight: he doesn’t use the draft to build, doesn’t use offer sheets, doesn’t offer front-loaded contracts, and doesn’t rely on July 1st. How can any GM abstain from so much on principle and still hope to build a team? What’s left except to trade mediocre players for different mediocre players?
Didn’t stop TSN from dedicating a few too many words on the Leafs signing a third line centerman, though.
Derek Roy – sort of can’t believe Buffalo only got Ott and Pardy for Roy. Sure, Roy had a stinky last season, but Buffalo is a team with a permanent coach. Surely there was a GM out there who thought Roy could be productive in a different system with different linemates, especially on such an affordable deal and with only one year left on it. Instead, the Sabres get a pesk who can put up a few points, and an enforcer. It’s like trading Chris Neil and Zenon Konopka for a former first line center. Seems totally weird to me.