Wednesday's Free Agent Frenzy lived up to it's billing with 46 signings taking place. Several big names lined up with new teams but none was bigger for their team than the return of Steve Sullivan to the Nashville Predators.
As much as Predator fans would love to be a bigger player in the free agent market, I really do not understand why teams throw around big money, long term contracts to players that are no better than the Predators can land in the Steve Sullivan moeny ballpark.
Paying top dollar to an injury prone Marty Havlat, who has only played one full season sice the lock out (18,56,and 35 games the prior three seasons), is very risky. Marion Gaborik has similar injury isues with a track record that includes 17, 77, 48, and 65 games since the lockout. As much criticism as has been aimed at Scott Gomez, at least he has played almost every game since he entered the league in 1999.
Back to Sully... After weeks of cat and mouse we found out that no offers or demands ever exchanged hands between the Preds and Sully until after the deadline when Sully let the market set the price. The Preds were able to come within a reasonable enough figure to satisfy Sully so that he could return and play in Nashville where he has consistently said is where he wants to be.
Joel Ward also signed and will return. Indications are that David Poile is finished with any signings on the offensive side but is still looking for another D-man to stabilize the third pairings while the youngsters develop. I know that Chris Chelios wants to go to an Eastern Conference team, but I would love to have him as our 6/7 defenseman to mentor all the young talent.
I personally think that another proven offensive player or power play specialist is needed as opposed to relying completely on the youngsters to move to a more productive level. However, if we were unwilling to sign Vern Fiddler for $1.1 million a year, I'm not sure what we would get for at a lower price than that.
In Pred Nation...
POTG posted our very sterile newspapery story on the Pred signings and a log of all signings of day one via Twitter posts.
Forechecker had posts of all the Pred resignings and those who didn't. The story on the Sully saga is a good nutshell of how it went down in the end.
Paul McCann has a couple of updates and has put Wednesday night's HockeyBuzzRadio up on podcast this morning which includes a visit by Sully himself.
Mark at The View from 111 had updates on the Sully and Ward signings as did Rachel at What the Puck.
Jim Diamond has his Sully story at the Examiner as well as a separate one on Joel Ward.
Preds.com had a boatload of stuff on the Sully signing, the Ward signing, a Q and A with Barry Trotz on Ward and an interview with Wardo himself.
John Glennon has a lot of information on Sully, Rads and other stuff in this Inside Preds post. His main story on the Predator resigings is here.
The City Paper has a story about the resignings and one about Radulov not coming back (not sure that is really news).
Around the NHL...
My buddy Ryan at the RedLight District was stellar all day Wednesday and has not slowed down today. I'll match his stuff with anyone's. Ryan was 11 out of 26 on predictions of FA signing on day one. That is far better than some "experts" who have a national following.
TSN probably has the most viewed signings tracker. NHL.com has a very simple list of signings that is easy to follow. They also have more details on signings broken down by Goalies, Forwards and Defensemen. The Hockey News also has a tracker with a little more detail.
Kevin Allen lists his top 15 moves of day one. Sully makes the list as it should. Not to be outdone ESPN's Burnside and LeBrun give a top ten with Sully there too.
Mirtle has a good round up from Wednesday broken down several different ways. I am somewhat surprised that with all the money thrown around (46 signings for $406 Million) that Sully's contract was in the top ten for $ spent.
Why Edmonton or anyone else would want Dany Heatley at this point is beyond me. The Canadian Press is reporting the deal "dead" as Ottawa had to shell out the $4 million bonus at midnight.
In a non-free agent story, Team Canada invited Dan Hamhuis and Shea Weber to their Summer evaluation roster this morning as the USA did earlier this week inviting Ryan Suter. A long list of other Predators are projected to be added to their national teams as we move closer to the Vancouver games.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass
Craig Custance lists three signings he likes and three that he doesn't. I disagree with Gadorik which he likes for reasons that I stated above. While the Preds are criticized for being below the cap mid-point, is some cases when you compare the production of our lower priced team with some of the cap teams, there is little difference.
Way off topic... Why you would need this I'm not sure. Cursebird is a real time feed of cursing on Twitter and will rate you as a user.