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Free Agent Frenzy! (Open Thread)

Well, today is the day. At noon EST, the free agency period will officially begin, and we all watch with bated breath to see what General Manager Glen Sather will do. Sather’s track record on July 1 post-lockout is, well, uh, bad. With news that Redden is almost certain to be waived unless he has a tremendous camp, that will give the Rangers an extra $6.5 million to play with come noon today. That also worries many of us. Most of the prime free agents are gone, but guys like Ilya Kovalchuk are still available, albeit to the disdain of Rangers fans.

Personally, I would like them to avoid any UFA defensemen on the market. There is incredible depth in the system, and signing any UFAs might make Ryan McDonagh avoid signing for this season. As for forwards, I would prefer the Rangers get someone like Pavol Demitra or Vinny Prospal for a year at a relatively cheap price as a stopgap for guys like Derek Stepan and Evgeny Grachev. For backup goalie, I would like to see Johan Hedberg. He’s competent, and a real Rangers killer.

I’ll be updating this until about 5pm EST, at which point I have to head out to play softball. At that point, either jurgenno or Jeremy will be updating. So stick around for all the big news. Rangers signings/news will be in bold.

Kicking things off was a trade that happened late last night, as Toronto acquired Kris Versteeg and the rights to Bill Sweatt from Chicago for Viktor Stalberg, Chris DiDomenico and Philippe Paradis.

Update 11:40am: Darren Dreger is saying that if he were a betting man, he would bet on Martin Biron to the Rangers.

Update 11:47am: Larry Brooks is reporting that Marty Biron will sign with the Rangers.

Update 11:50am: The Flyers have acquired Andres Meszaros from TB for a 2nd round pick.

Update 12:30pm: The Rangers have signed Martin Biron to a two year, $1.8million contract ($900,000 per). They have also come to terms with Erik Christensen at two years, $925,000 per. There are rumors of a NYR/CGY trade. Sergei Gonchar to Ottawa for 3 years, $5.5 million per year, at a 35+ contract.

Update 12:40pm: Alex Tanguay signs with CGY, 1/$1.7 million, NMC.

12:47pm: Anton Babchuk returns to Carolina for 1 year, $1.4 million.

12:51pm: Blues re-sign Alex Steen to a four year deal.

Update 1:02pm: TB re-signs Marty St. Louis to a four year extension at $22.5 million ($5.625m per). This will be a 35+ deal. Jesse Winchester re-signs with Ottawa for two years, $750,000.

Update 1:10pm: Paul Martin Zbynek Michalek signs with Pittsburgh at 5/$20 million ($4 million per). Crap.

Update 1:30pm: Missed this, but Braydon Coburn re-upped with Philly for 2/$3.2 million. How’s Alexei Zhitnik working for you Atlanta?

Update 1:35pm: Alex Auld to Montreal, 1 year, $1 million. The Rangers saved $100,000 in cap room by signing Biron over Auld.

Update 1:38pm: Colby Armstrong to Toronto for three years $3 million per year (!!!), Antero Niittymaki to San Jose for $4 million a year for two years.

Update 1:40pm: Joel Perrault to Vancouver for 1 year, $510,000. Sean O’Donnell to the Flyers for one year, $1 million plus games played bonuses.

Update 1:50pm: Manny Malhotra to Vancouver for 3/$7.5M and a NTC.

Update 1:57pm: Derek Morris returns to Phoenix for 4/$11 million ($2.75 million per). That’s ridiculous.

Update 2:20pm: And I’m back after a quick conference call. Jody Shelley to PHI for 3 years, $1.1 million. Again, crap, but glad the Rangers didn’t give him that kind of money. Dan Ellis to TB on a two year deal, $1.5 million per.

Update 2:23pm: Joey Crabb to Toronto for two years.

Update 2:30pm: Paul Martin goes to the Penguins. So they lose Gonchar, and get Michalek and Martin. Crap.

Update 2:33pm: Larry Brooks is reporting that the Rangers are targeting Derek Boogaard.

Update 2:36pm: The Rangers have signed Derek Boogaard. Contract details coming. Rumored to be Deal is 4 years, $1.65 million. That’s an awful lot for someone like Boogaard. (Update: On second thought, it’s only a $400,000 raise on last year for him. Though 4 years is questionable. Boogaard is an absolute monster though.)

Update 3:00pm: Toni Lydman to Anaheim, 3 years, $9 million.

Update 3:25pm: After a quick coffee break, Ray Whitney to PHX for 2 years, $3 mil, 35+ contract.

Update 3:55pm: Devils sign Henrik Talinder, 4 years, $3.375 per.

Update 4:00pm: Edmonton signs Kurtis Foster, 2 years, $1.8 million. That’s a great signing by them.

Update 4:10pm: Dan Hamhuis to Vancouver, 6 years, $4.5 million.

Update 4:20pm: Anton Volchenkov is headed to the Devils on a whopping six-year deal, $25.5 million total, NTC.

Update 4:26pm: Jeff Tambellini signs with Vancouver.

Update 4:30pm: Olli Jokinen to Calgary for $3 million per for two years (BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAH!!!!!!!!). Chris Mason to Atlanta for two years, $3.7 mil total.

Update 4:40pm: Andrew Ladd has been traded to Atlanta for Ivan Vishnevsky and a 2nd round pick.

Update 5:08pm: The Rangers are apparently talking with Alex Frolov.

Update 5:11pm: Sabres sign Jordan Leopold to a 3 year deal. Rangers are closing in on a deal with Vinny Prospal.

Update 5:18pm: The Rangers have re-signed Vinny Prospal, terms are en route. The deal is for $1 million base salary, with $1.1 million in incentives. It is a one year deal. This is a fantastic signing. Great contract.

Update 5:26pm: Johan Hedberg to the Devils, 1 year, $1.5 million (including bonuses), NTC.

Update 5:49pm: Anaheim signs Saku Koivu, 2 years, $2.5 million per, 35+ contract.

Update 6:25pm: Matt Cullen is signing with Minnesota.

138 Responses to “Free Agent Frenzy! (Open Thread)”

  1. jurgenno88 says:

    good deal for Leafs, because Sweatt is a legit prospect too. Dunno how they got him included. Its not a bad deal for Hawks if Stahlberg pans out.

    If we come out of today with Hedberg, Prospal AND demitra all on 1 year deals (unlikely i know) i’ll be delighted. I think we can accommodate all 3 and still bring through additional youth.

  2. Dave says:

    It’s funny, because I guarantee you if the Rangers stay silent, and they let the kids play, and the Rangers are not good, people will be calling out Sather as to why he didn’t make moves.

    That’s my guarantee.

    Personally, I don’t want anything major.

    • jurgenno88 says:

      there’s absolutely nothing wrong with stayng pat and im ok with it, just as im ok with a few (short term) depth moves.

      But… without defending Sather’s past i do think there’s an element of ‘you’re damned if you do damned if you don’t’ in NY sports.

      If we came away from the UFA season with just a back up i wouldnt be distraught. Im not expecting much other than development of youth for next season anyway.

  3. Dave says:

    I’ve defended Sather’s plan for the post-lockout Rangers. It was very clear he was rebuilding, and needed veterans as a stop gap.

    It was the emergence of Hank that got us all spoiled and expecting playoffs. Without that, the Rangers are in the top-10 in the draft for a few years.

  4. Jordan says:

    For what it is worth, GVT didn’t like Biron last year. -5.5 GVT

  5. becky says:

    gonchar to ottawa wahhh

  6. Jordan says:

    I am incredibly happy Christensen is back…without knowing the contract details. I have faith that Slats got him on a good deal though.

  7. Dave says:

    I wonder what this CGY rumor is. I’m hoping Bourque.

  8. Dave says:

    Babchuk returns to Carolina.

  9. Dave says:

    Steen re-ups with St. Louis. That’s going to be a hefty contract.

    • jurgenno88 says:

      if they over pay shame on them. he’s top 9, 20 goal guy. nice roster player but not at ANY price

  10. Jordan says:

    Remember this time last year? Everyone hoping for something awesome and then BOOM, Gaborik. I was so happy.

  11. Dave says:

    That’s a whole lotta money for St. Louis.

  12. Dave says:

    Shit. Michalek to Pitt.

  13. jurgenno88 says:

    4m for Michalek? Pit can have him

  14. Dave says:

    Auld to MTL for $1 million. Rangers saved money.

  15. Dave says:

    Colby Armstrong got $3 million?!?!?! Nittymaki got $4 million?!?!?!?!

  16. Dave says:

    Morris got $11 million over 4 years from PHX. Wow.

  17. Jordan says:

    Boogaard is bad idea. Hope they stay far far away.

  18. Dave says:

    Had a quick conference call. If we get Boogard, I’m going to kill someone.

    • jurgenno88 says:

      shelley to flyers 3 yrs1.1m/yr. WOW
      Im glad we didnt give him that and how are flyers fitting all these players in?!??!

  19. Dave says:

    Very glad we didn’t give Shelley that kind of money. Not worth it for a 4th line guy. Philly will have major cap issues.

    • jurgenno88 says:

      I have no idea how Philly are doing this. Inc ODonnell, Meszaros, Leighton and Shelley they must be over cap!

    • Dave says:

      However, if the Rangers sign Boogaard fro $1.65 mil, I’ll be pissed.

  20. Jeremy says:

    Little late, but love Biron deal. Finally, a French Canadian player.

    Christensen is a good deal–right price

    Am I going to miss Shelley? Yeah. Does it hurt to see him go to Philly? Sure. Is it an inexplicable blunder like Larry Brooks says it is? Hell no

  21. Dave says:

    Paul Martin to Pitt. Shit.

  22. Jeremy says:

    Paul Martin to Pittsburgh. Shit just got real

    • jurgenno88 says:

      So long as the kids develop im ok but im sensing lottery pick next year. Big time.
      Pens improved. Flyers (cap allowing?!) improved. Islanders drafted well.
      Today = URGH. and if we get Boogaard for rumoured 1.65(!) i may murder Sather

      • Dave says:

        I don’t mind the Rangers standing pat. But if it’s really $1.65 million per year for Boogaard, I’m going to set Sather on fire.

  23. Jeremy says:

    Boogard to the Rangers. Don’t hate. He’s 6-8

  24. Jordan says:

    FIRE SATHER.

    • jurgenno88 says:

      if its really those terms my support is waivering. seriously. this is disgusting.

  25. Jeremy says:

    I don’t get the uproard over Boogaard. Sure, it’s a lot of money, but the dude is an enforcer, and he’s good

    • Dave says:

      $1.65 million over 4 years for a guy who won’t play more than 5 mins a game. This is a terrible move if that’s the contract.

    • jurgenno88 says:

      he will play 4min/game. for same money as Cally!

      • Jeremy says:

        I get the money issue. I do. It’s a lot of money. But this isn’t a jump off the bridge signing. This is signing probably the best enforcer in the league to a contract a bit over market value. He’s 28, not 38. This isn’t Brashear. This is better.

        • Jordan says:

          No, it isn’t. Boogaard has no real skill. He’s just big. You know who else is big? Boyle. He sucks. They both suck. If you can’t put the puck in the net and you can’t play defense, you shouldn’t be on the NY Rangers.

    • Jordan says:

      He’s good at what? Fighting? He sure as hell sucks at everything else.

      We had Brashear. It was terrible. Now we have Boogaard. He is terrible.

      • Jeremy says:

        HE’s not BRashear. He’s better. He made $1.2 mil last season. This is the expected jump. It’s a lot of money and years. It’s not a signing that’s gonna set the franchise back 10 years.

        • matt says:

          for a guy with 2 goals in 255 games? I know he’s decent, and the money thing isn’t so much my beef…but it’s the years for me.

        • Jordan says:

          How is he better? What skill(s) does he have that make him a good hockey player?

        • Dave says:

          You’re right Jeremy. Thank you for not not over reacting like everyone else (myself included). When you sit back and look at it, yes, the term is longer than expected, but the $$ isn’t.

  26. matt says:

    orr/brasher like shelley/Boogaard?

  27. Dave says:

    I’m going back on my initial reaction a little bit. Boogy made $1.2 million last year, so $1.65 isn’t that much of a raise. I have an issue with the four years though.

    • jurgenno88 says:

      i dont like him, i dont like 1.65 but i COULD live with that for 1 year, 4 YEARS!?!?! oh god.

      • Dave says:

        Yea, that length is questionable at best. Maybe the structure of the contract means he can be a buyout candidate at the end.

        At least it’s not a 35+ contract.

      • Jordan says:

        Agreed.

        • jurgenno88 says:

          when 5 minutes after a deal the positive is:
          At least it’s not a 35+ contract

          …. you know times are bad.

  28. Kyle says:

    curious to see what they offer Staal. Still cant believe they offer an enforcer 1.65 for 4 years. I really liked Shelley, although he couldnt really fight much. I guess they still have the haunting memory of Gaborik “fighting” carcillo

  29. the duke says:

    Right now sather’s toughest decision is which brand of cigar to smoke

  30. Jordan says:

    via @ NYP_Brooksie As of this moment, Rangers will be cap-charged with $3.05M for Boogaard and Brashear.

    • Dave says:

      Yea, but that’s emphasizing the Brashear signing, which was horrible, more than anything. Boogaard isn’t that terrible of a deal.

      And btw, it’s $2.95, the Rangers save $100,000 by sending Brashear to Hartford. Don’t listen to Brooks for salary numbers.

      • jerry says:

        just go to capgeek and do the numbers yourself your better off

        • Dave says:

          I don’t think Matt includes the $100,000 demotion in the calculations.

        • jerry says:

          woith voros and boyle gone we have 11,140,833 left to spend and sign staal and girardi if we sign them at staal for 3.5 and girardi at 2.5 we have about 5,140,833 available and if we dump redden to the minors(we could only wish for this)then we have 11,640,833 left.besides prust.

          • Dave says:

            I think Redden gets dumped. I’m going to have to eat my words on that one. And I will never be as happy as the day I will have to do that. I’m looking forward to it.

            • jerry says:

              you finally caved are you ok dave lol

              • Dave says:

                I think that an article published in a Dolan owned entity means that he’s on his last life as a Ranger. They don’t need to waive him yet, but I think they will.

  31. Dave says:

    Great signing by EDM for Foster. That’s going to be the best bargain out there.

  32. Dave says:

    Volchenkov to the Devils pretty much ensure the Rangers are not finishing in the top-three of the division again.

  33. Dave says:

    CHI trades Andrew Ladd to ATL. That team got dismantled quick.

    • jerry says:

      talk about a house cleaning now we need one in the management area.

      • Dave says:

        It’s actually kind of funny. We need Sather gone, but the next GM walks into a cushy situation with a stocked farm system and a team that will be great in 3 years.

    • jurgenno88 says:

      nice prospect back though. And a solid pick. Its a roster gutting but they’ve acquired good picks and prospects (Morin etc) going forward

      • Dave says:

        Yea, this will be an off year for Chicago, but they will be back in full force in a few years. That Tallon gaffe really hurt them.

        • jurgenno88 says:

          yes it did. Alot of people underrated Morin in the Buff deal. He’ll end being best player in the deal. 30-35 goal potential, especially if he gets a center like Toews.

  34. Dave says:

    Rangers talking to Frolov…

  35. Section 121 says:

    Orr for 1M per for 4
    vs. Brash and Boogie for 2.95M per?
    you decide

    • Dave says:

      Well, when you put it THAT way…LOL.

      Sather has butchered his deals with the tough guys the past two years.

  36. Dave says:

    Rangers closing in on Prospal

  37. Dave says:

    Prospal has signed, awaiting terms.

  38. Section 121 says:

    Drury should play left wing as he did with Briere in Buffalo;
    Lines
    Prospal Duby Gabby
    Drury Christensen Cally
    Avery Anisimov Prust?
    Boogie Boyle Weise
    switch Christen and AA if necessary
    if Duby plays the wing, his career will be stunted

    • Dave says:

      Swap Anisimov and Christensen, and Prust and Weise, and you got yourself a lineup that will place 4th in the Atlantic.

      • jurgenno88 says:

        i also think, despite the deal, Boogaard only dresses for 45-55 games.

        • Dave says:

          Probably, but that depends on the Voros situation.

          • jurgenno88 says:

            Well hopefully the Voros situation is that he’s an AHLer. we need his cap hit more than ever.

            • Dave says:

              Yea, I think that’s what’s going to happen. Or he may get dealt to a team with cap space but an internal salary cap ceiling.

  39. Jeremy says:

    Let’s face facts: We could have Daryl Suter as GM. Things are looking up

    • Dave says:

      Exactly. And we wanted them to stay status quo. We got what we wanted, even if Boogaard is questionable in length.

  40. Jeremy says:

    But, seriously, Pens and Devils got a lot better. How do the Pens have this much cap room?

    And there’s plenty of time for the Rangers

    • Dave says:

      The Rangers cannot compete with Philly, NJ, or Pitt yet. Let them get better, then let the kids in the Rangers system develop, maybe get another top-10 pick.

      • Jeremy says:

        I’m fine with what the Rangers are doing. Stepan, Grachev, AA, MDZ, Krieder, McDonagh, Borque, Werek, the list goes on. Slats just said theres money to re-sign Staal and Girardi, and get a UFA. The day is not over. The month is not over. People are panicking for no reason