Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Free Agency frenzy is about to begin

It was just a year ago that Mats Sundin was the hottest commodity on the free agent market and we know how that ended. What a difference one year can make. Sundin has yet to decide on his future and really no one actually cares.

The hot tickets belong to a pair of Swedes, the Sedin twins who have yet the sign with Vancouver as the clock is about to strike 12. Supposedly both Montreal and Toronto are hot after the pair although no one will confirm that. It would be tampering. But the boys want 12 years which is way too long for these two. The Leafs can afford to spend close to $5 million per season on 2 forwards but they also need to add some muscle up front (eg, Colton Orr on the Rangers) and a plugger (eg, Sami Paulsson).

The future is clearer for Jay Bouwmeester who just hours ago signed for the next 5 years with Calgary. He will be making the same money has the Flames stud defenseman Dion Phaneuf, $6.5 million. If you compare this to the Brian Campbell signing last year, Bouwmeester is 5 years younger, more talented and will cost $600,000 less per season. Great deal for the Flames.

Glen Sather has indicated that Nik Antropov was asking for at least $5 million per year so he has bid Nik farewell. Russian agent Mark Gandler certainly knows how to over price his clients. So that second round pick is looking much better already.

Sports Illustrated called the Scott Gomez contract the worst signing in recent memory so kudos to Glen Sather for making any kind of deal to move Gomez. I can't believe that Gainey gave up Ryan McDonagh, a first draft pick, on what should have been a salary dump. Maybe Gainey would be interested in Jason Blake too?

There were rumours that Dany Heatley was heading to San Jose where he could have joined the Sharks' existing under performers, Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton. Now it appears the Oilers will have to honour.

Don't be surprised if the Leafs are quiet on free agent front. Burke will not likely overpay for free agents (eg, Jeff Finger) unless it is someone he dearly wants. The Leafs also have most of their roster already signed but if Kaberle and/or Kubina are traded then things can change. Can't wait to see what tomorrow brings.