A Carolina Hurricanes blog with occasional news about the rest of the NHL.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

A lot of action today.

There was a ton of action today in the free agency market. Too much to mention all of it.

The first one I'll mention is the one that matters the most to me. The Carolina Hurricanes jumped into the free agency pool, snagging Cory Stillman, who had a spectacular season for the Bolts in 2003-04. He was seventh in the league in points scored (80), third in the league in assists (55), and was among the league leaders in powerplay goals (11) and game-winning goals (6). In addition, he has a really accurate shot. All of which are things we really need. The beef on him is that he dogs it sometimes, but if a guy can score 80 points while dogging it, so be it.
According to rumor, and from a pretty reliable source, the Hurricanes are expected to ink Roman Hamrlik at some point. The source indicated that Hamrlik and the Canes were "very close" to signing. This is a guy who would really improve the steadily improving Carolina D. What we have is a bunch of guys who play their tails off, but they're getting old. Hence all the d-men in the draft and all the trades before the FA period. He's also a guy who is familiar with coach Laviolette, having played for him on the Islanders. If this is true, I'd be pretty happy.
Actually, the addition of Stillman should be awesome. We still need some more forwards, though.

In other free agency news...
The Thrashers signed Bobby Holik to a three-year $12.75M contract. There are those who think Holik isn't worth that, but I think it's a great move by Atlanta. They're really starting to shape up offensively. The first line of Kovalchuk/Holik/Heatley scares the crap out of me. We've gotta play them eight times.

The Islanders took a step backwards (in my opinion) when they lost Adrian Aucoin to free agency (Blackhawks)and signed Alexei Zhitnik in a span of minutes. In my opinion, Aucoin is a much better balanced player, but on paper they're about the same.

The Red Wings re-signed Stevie Y to another season, his 22nd. I'm kind of surprised by this, but kind of not. I hate the Red Wings, but I respect the hell out of this player. He's awfully close to some significant milestones, so it would be kind of neat to see him reach those.

The Flyers had to have made the biggest move yet, signing four players. The significant ones were former Red Wing Derian Hatcher who plays an unspectacular but very solid defensive game, and former Shark Mike Rathje, who plays a fairly solid defensive game. Although I'm not crazy about Hatcher, he's a good add for them, and I really don't know about Rathje.

The Bruins also made a fairly big splash, signing three. They retained Glen Murray, which is a terrific move. The perennial 30-goal scorer was being eyeballed by many clubs. The Bs also picked up Shawn McEachern, whose contract was bought out by Atlanta. Although not a household name, McEachern is a nice pickup.

The Kings scored big, picking up Pavol Demitra. The three-time All-star and winner of the 1999-2000 Lady Byng trophy led the crack-smoking St. Louis Blues in scoring four of the last six seasons. The rub on him though, is that he's prone to concussions and other injury. What is it with the Kings and their love for concussion-getters? Speaking of Jason Allison, I'm sort of surprised that he hasn't landed anywhere yet. I haven't even really heard any rumors.

Calgary landed Tony Amonte and Darren McCarty, which should beef up their offense quite nicely.

Meanwhile, former Flame (and former Hurricane) Marty Gelinas became the newest Florida Panther. They're starting to look really good. Old as hell, but good.

Oh, and then there's that guy in Dallas. The Stars have retained Mike Modano, re-signing their alternate captain to a five year deal. After a good deal of speculation, the seven-time All-star is staying put. Throughout his illustrious 15 year career, Modano has averaged better than a point a game, and every game of his career has been with the Stars organization. He was selected by the Minnesota North Stars with the first overall pick in the 1988 Entry Draft. In all likelihood he will retire as a Star and will be a sure-fire Hall of Famer. Although his production is tapering off, I don't think there was any choice in the matter but for the Stars to retain him. As a side note, I love this guy.

Plenty more happened, but I can't go on about it all. I didn't mean to go on like this, in fact. This was supposed to be a post (I thought about this all night at work) about the Columbus Blue Jackets, the impact these new-fangled composite material sticks have had on the game, and I was going to work in professional tennis and Andy Roddick. I'll write that post later.

Keep your eyes peeled Wednesday. Expect to see some really big names find new homes. Miro Satan, for example.


greatwhitebear said...

Not sure if you know the answer to this, but do you know if the league has figured out if Mathieu Dandenault is a restricted or unrestricted free agent yet? The Wings can hardly afford to lose his speed on D, even if Dimitri Bykov is apparently coming back from Russia.

d-lee said...

It's my understanding that Dandenault is a class II (restricted) free agent. Don't quote me, though.


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