Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Wheel of Free Agency

The NHL's free agency period officially begins tomorrow at 1 pm. Usually it's the time of year when you see a lot of players switching teams, teams trading draft picks, or teams just trying to get some cap room. And in my opinion, I don't see how many insane movements we are actually going to see. The wheeling and dealing has always seemed to start the night of the draft before, with teams trying to move closer and closer to the top of the draft order to snag one of the coveted top picks. I didn't notice too much of that this year. Of course, I only watched most of the first round at the draft party. And there was free beer. And free food. And Chris Dingman. Who can be expected to fully concentrate on any deals the Minnesota Wild or St. Louis Blues are trying to cut? No offense to any Wild or Blues fans. Especially Jon Hamm.

There are some bigger questions like who is going to sign Ilya Kovalchuk to a giant contract or what goalie the San Jose Sharks are going to secure. For my own Lightning, I just don't see a lot of moving or shaking on the horizon. For a few reasons: 1) There aren't too many goalies they could get that would fit their price range. Cap room is definitely an issue, especially when a contract extension for Steven Stamkos and a new contract for Marty St. Louis are looming after the 2010-11 season and 2) everything I have read seems to indicate that Yzerman and company are going to step back and watch the feeding frenzy for a while before stepping in to make their own decisions. Not too bad of an idea, personally. Let the big players move out of contention and then get down to business.

We don't necessarily need a marquee name, we need someone solid. Like a solid backup goalie, because I do think we have seen Niittymaki's time in Tampa come to an end. He had a good year last year and I am sure someone will be willing to pay him for that. I can see Chris Mason fill that void. Add a goalie, seriously look at the defensive core and sign Kurtis Foster, and maybe ink a good and affordable third line center. I would like to see them bring Zenon Konopka back next year, but I have a weakness for the fighters.

Excited to see what happens and I know I will have twitter open to follow TSN's coverage of the action. Let the games begin!

Baseball fans.. I swear I'll talk about it tomorrow. Don't feel left out.

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