Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Big Moves....but not in Boston or Minnesota

Well, the first day of free agency is over and there have been some interesting signings. Once again, fans of Boston and Minnesota have to sit idly by while the big-name free agents disappear off to other teams - and later score on us. Rolston is back in Jersey, Brunette is back in Minnesota, Metropolit is a Phlyer (that's a mistake on our part - I've liked Metro, he always plays hard)

Oh, and Michael Ryder is now a Bruin. You should see him up and to the right, trying to score on a wraparound against Thomas. Searching youtube for clips, here's something I found:

Anything that makes a Canadiens fan cry is ok by me.

Hopefully, he won't have another season like last year's, but one more in line with his first three seasons. Maybe playing for his old coach, his old coach, and his old coach (that would be Claude Julien, who coached him in Montreal, Hamilton (AHL), and Hull (QMJHL, or "the Q")) will return him to scoring form. The Glen Murray buyout apparently may happen after Denis Wideman's salary arbitration. I'm still hoping.

Personally, I think the best move this offseason for the Bruins will be a getting Patrice Bergeron back. I hope he hasn't lost his touch.

As for Minnesota, they've got cap space, they lost Rolston, and they don't have four full lines of NHL forwards. Hossa, anyone? Demitra hasn't signed anywhere yet.

Mirtle has a list of who you should get your hopes up for just to get them dashed away when some other team nabs them. Speaking of those teams, ThePensBlog has a list of who still has to spend money to get up to the $40 million cap floor. I was going to quote them directly, but instead here's a quick rundown on what they had to say, since the numbers are about halfway down their post:

- Atlanta needs to spend 11 million, but they have Lehtonen to sign.
- Colorado needs to spend 3 million, with RFAs still to sign.
- Columbus needs to spend 9 million, but they have R.J. Umberger to sign
- LA needs to spend 11 million.
- NYIslanders need to spend 3 million.

And lastly, the Blackhawks are over the cap limit right now, which is fitting, since they have a dirty team right now. They picked up Brian Campbell for over 8 million/year, as well as Cristobal Huet for 5.something million/year. They still have Khabibulin, who is costing them 7 million/year. Cristobal Huet is not a backup goalie, so maybe we'll be seeing the 'Bulin Wall in LA, Columbus, or the ATL.

Tampa Bay was making a ton of splashy trades and signings prior to July 1st, so they're looking pretty alright too, but we still don't know if Melrose can coach. If he can, it could be a good year for them. If not, then Koules and Barrie are shown to be bad owners, but for the meantime y'all should enjoy the ride.

The Oilers are looking pretty good too...let's see who makes it into the playoffs from the logjam that is the Northwest conference.

Current Bruins 08-09 optimism meter: We'll make the playoffs.