Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The Good the Bad and the Ugly

With over $400 million getting thrown around yesterday in contracts its hard to belive that only 4 years ago owners were complaining about contracts being too high. How the times havent changed. Here is a breakdown of the best, and the worst, deals from Tuesdays Free Agency activity.

The Good

Ryan Malone – Malone is a great all around player who isn’t amazing at one particular aspect but does everything very well. He is tough as nails and has gotten better offensively every season in the NHL. Plus at $4.5 million a year for 7 years he will eventually become a bargain.

Tampa Bay Lightning sign forward Ryan Malone to seven-year, $31.5 million contract.

Mike Green – Green is quickly becoming one of the premier defensemen in the NHL and the Capitals managed to keep him for just $5.25 million a season. He will also become a bargain and could easily emerge as the best defensemen in the league.

Washington re-signs defenseman Mike Green to a four-year deal worth $21 million (average of $5.25 million per season).

Cristobal Huet – The Blackhawks get a great goalie in Huet who is big upgrade in net. Combine Huet with the signing of Brian Campbell and the immense amount of young talent this team has and they look dangerous going forward.

Chicago signs UFA goaltender Cristobal Huet to a 4-year, $22.4 million.

The Bad

Jeff Finger – The Maple Leafs did their usual thing on Free Agency and that’s overpaying for mediocre talent. Jeff Finger got 19 points in 72 games last season with the Avalanche and earns himself a cool $3.5 million a season. Way to go Fletcher.

Toronto signs UFA defenseman Jeff Finger to a 4 year deal worth $3.5-million a season

Curtis Joseph – Why on earth do the Leafs go out and sign Curtis Joseph when they have Justin Pogge sitting in the minors? Pogey proved he can dominate in the AHL but has yet to be given a chance in the NHL. This was his chance though since Raycroft left it would be Vesa Toskala starting with Pogge backing him up. But once again the Leafs prove that they are still the dumbest organization in hockey.

Toronto signs UFA goaltender Curtis Joseph to a 1 year deal worth $700,000

Brian Campbell – Don’t get me wrong he is a great player and the money isn’t even that big of an issue but the reason this deal is bad is because Brian Campbell is 29 years old. The deal is 8 years long, which will keep him in Chicago until he is 37. At the age of 37 he will still be making $7 million a year, which no 37 year old in the NHL should get paid.

Chicago signs UFA defenseman Brian Campbell to an 8 year deal worth $56.8-million

Brian Rolston – Once again another deal that is far too long in my opinion. He gets 4 years at just over $5 million a year but he is 35. So when he is 39 he will still be making over $5 million a year. Also his production isn’t worth the money in my estimation as besides the 2005-2006 season he has yet to break the 65 point mark.

New Jersey signs UFA forward Brian Rolston to a four-year deal worth $20.25-million

The Ugly

Andrew Raycroft – What were the Avalanche thinking signing Andrew Raycroft? I don’t care that the deal is worth less than a million dollars he is still a terrible goalie. Andrew Raycroft does not deserve to be in the NHL and by the end of the season I predict that he won’t be around anymore.

Colorado signs UFA goaltender Andrew Raycroft to a 1 year deal worth $800,000

Wade Redden - $6.5 million a year for a 31 year old who plays like he is 40. Redden definitely is not the player he used to be and was quickly losing his place as the best defensemen in Ottawa. He averaged roughly 40 points a year quarterbacking the powerplay for one of the best offenses in the NHL so his numbers are a bit skewed. Not worth the money at all.

New York Rangers sign UFA defenseman Wade Redden to a six-year contract worth $39 million

Michael Ryder – I guess 31 points merits $4 million a year eh Boston. Since his rookie season Ryder has not showed that he has what it takes to be a premier player in the NHL and yet he gets a fat contract from the Bruins. In his first two seasons he averaged 30 goals a year but last year he only got 14 and that’s playing for Montreal who is an offensive powerhouse.

Boston sign forward Michael Ryder to a 3-year deal worth $12 million

Best Performance by a GM - Dale Talon of the Chicago Blackhawks

Brought in Critobal Huet and Brian Campbell. Huet is an upgrade from Nikolai Khabibulin and they are paying him a little bit more than Jeff Finger (again nice job Fletcher). Brian Campbell is a hard working defenseman who can hit and score and will help sure up the blue line in Chicago. In one day Talon managed to turn the Black Hawks into a serious contender.

Worst Performance by a GM - Cliff Fletcher of the Toronto Maple Leafs

After cleaning house by getting rid of Darcy Tucker, Kyle Wellwood, and Andrew Raycroft Cliff Fletcher fails to bring in anyone who is going to make a significant contribution to the team. You bring in Curtis Joseph instead of just using Jusin Pogge. You pay Jeff Finger $4 million a season when you didn't even have a need for a defenceman since you haven't moved Bryan McCabe yet. You also get Nikolas Hagman but who really cares? Hes not going to replace the offense your losing in Mats Sundin and it wont distract the fans from the fact your top line, and the other 3 lines for that matter, are going to be a complete joke.

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