July 1 has never been a big day in Jackets land, nor will it ever be. Sure we might sign a Rick Nash to a long-term deal, but he was ours to begin with. As a budget team, we will never be in the market for one of the elite free agents. A big market team will frontload the heck out of a deal to make sure that doesn't happen. Tack on a few 500K years on the end of a deal and Columbus is officially out of the mix.
Now while most teams see the greener grass in the UFA and spend their money...players happen to become available.
Snapshot: 2008. Wade Redden is a free agent. WE BID ON HIM. We commit to landing a #1 defender (who has since faded)... of course we our outbidded by the Rangers. They then secure Michal Roszival for a nice 5 million per.
Well sure enough the Rangers realize they are bumping with the salary cap and they have no forwards! Except of course for Gomez and Drury who they spent 16 million a year on. GASP. Suddenly, the once off the market...Fedor Tyutin, becomes tradeable. We know how that turned out.
I prefer to remember the 08-09 version of my Tyutin for the sake of this argument.
What this boiled down to was would you like Redden for 7 years...7 million per. OR Fedor Tyutin for 4 years...3 million per?
Today...given that choice I do not know anyone that would pick Redden.
Now in order to this, we did have to part ways with Nikolai Zherdev and we did have to take a year of Christian Backman, but deals of this sort will become available in the coming days. I guarantee it.
1) Vancouver signs Dan Hamhuis, which officially gives them 2 NHL bluelines. They need to move someone and they are looking for Bottom 6 forwards. Do we have any of those? I'd love, love, love to trade for Christian Ehrhoff, but it's just not going to happen. (For giggles I'm offering Filatov, Pahlsson, and a 2nd).
Kevin Bieksa (3.5) for Chris Clark (2.5) + 2nd Round Pick + Cody Goloubef
Logic: Vancouver needs the cap space more than anything. We take on an additional million in salary, but pick up a top 4 defender. Bieksa bring an offensive, aggressiveness that we have never had in our top 4. He would pay dividends on the PP and if partnered with one of our defensive guys could produce good numbers. A high pick and a prospect. Now, Nuck fans you can't try to drop Clark out of this deal. If he's not in the deal, I'm not giving up both of those assets. He's in the deal to balance money (on our end) and provide bottom 6 help. Dan Hinote's addition to the team makes Clark redundant.
A more realistic deal might be Andrew Murray + 3rd, because Vancouver wouldn't be taking as much cash back...but what's the fun in that?
Sheldon Souray (4.5, 4.5) for Mike Commodore (3.8, 3.5, 3.35) + Jared Boll (~1) + Teddy Ruth
Logic: Souray hasn't been happy in a long time in Edmonton and his cap number is actually 5.4 million. He's a huge shot that would instantly make our powerplay feared. He is not as strong defensively as Commodore, but he's certainly a Top 4 defender. Teams love players like Boll, I don't. For the last three season I don't feel like he's grown as a player. He spoiled me with a breakaway goal during his rookie year, a real beauty. It's been the high point of his hockey career for me. I add Teddy Ruth otherwise known as Sergei Fedorov. Ruth is an interesting prospect. I'd probably be more excited about it if we didn't currently have 8 d prospects in about the same realm right now.
In this plan we take on 700K in salary, assuming we would sign Boll for a million.
Huselius - Brassard - Nash
Filatov - Vermette - Voracek
Umberger - Pahlson - Dorsett
Moreau - MacKenzie - Calvert
Souray - Bieksa
Hejda - Klesla
Tyutin - Russell
Other targets to watch.
Pittsburgh currently has 5 nice defenders. The most tradeable to me looks to be either Letang or Goligoski. They would want wingers. They'd most likely target Umberger. If that's the price, I probably pass. If they'd be interested in Filatov + Grunt... I'd put more thought into it. I'd really only move Filatov if it lands us that piece...I'm not sure either of those defensemen are that piece.
Philadelphia would drive Daniel Briere here, but there's no way we are interested. They are bumping the camp and rolling with Boucher and Leighton in net. They'd love to have Mason...but they can't. All we could offer them is salary cap relief. Jeff Carter, Scott Hartnell or Matt Carle would seem to be the odd pieces out if someone moves...and I suspect one of these players does move. The problem with Philly is that we'd have to take on a bunch of salary and I'm not sure we are in position to do that.
Minnesota, I look at their roster and I cannot imagine how they are so close to the cap. I wouldn't touch most of those contract for anything. Two I would look at would be Brent Burns or Cam Barker. I doubt they'd move Barker since they traded for him down the stretch. I can see Burns possibly being in play. They'd want offense. Similar to Pittsburgh, they'd be looking at Umberger...I pass. Filatov...maybe can work something out, but again I don't feel great about it.
As other deals are made and Chicago purges the rest of their roster, more players will become available. July 3rd...I've got a feeling.
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