Friday, July 10, 2009

Stalking the Remaining Free Agents

Quietly. Quietly teams are picking up the last few quality free agents.

Quality. Quality is being used leniently here.
After re-examing Mirtle's Top 100 Unrestricted Free Agent list posted at the beginning of the week, there were quite a few names that hadn't been signed as of yet that jumped off the page. Maybe not jumped, hopped? Skipped? Scampered. Okay they crawled off the page. But now that we've hit the afternoon here on the left coast, a few of those names have actually left the vacuum of nothingness and signed with some poor schmucks, I mean new teams.

If you go down the list from the top, the first name you'll hit is Alex Tanguay at #10. So what's up with him? Well Kukla's has an excerpt of Pierre LeBrun's blog for ESPN that basically tells you that they're reviewing several offers. Whether that's agent speak for "We got nothing," or Alex is just being really choosy, who knows.

Next up is veteran defenseman, and the owner of a brand new plastic hip is Sergei "Blue" Zubov. There's a few posts on the 'sphere that have Zubov mentioned with several teams. Pagnotta has him talking to the Jackets, re-kindling the love affair with portly Ken Hitchcock. Gulitti's Fire & Ice blog has him associated with both the Devils and a possible Rangers re-uniting, excerpt from KK. And my boy Tom over at Here Come the Bruins floats the idea of him coming to Boston with the unknown of Phil Kessel's situation looming out there. In his prime, Zubov was a dangerous offensive defenseman with good wheels and crisp passes, but those days are long behind him as he seeks one more year in the League, so he can then move on to the other league.

Marty Biron. Poor, poor Marty Biron. Philadelphia would rather have ticking timebomb, locker room killer Ray Emery instead. And it appears as though everyone else is satisfied with their goaltending situation to leave him be as well. Seth Rorabaugh nails it with his "Curious Case of Martin Biron" article on Empty Netters. The Kings and Lightning seem like the most viable opportunities, yet still highly unlikely. Maybe he'll take Emery's spot in the KHL.

Robert Lang was having one hell of season in his late 30's, (38 to be exact), until he went down with a torn achilles tendon. Shit don't heal that quick when you're old kids. There's been no word from any of the media on his status, and whether or not he's fielding offers, or if teams in the league are just scared off altogether.

Another goaltender, Manny Fernandez is still on the market, or is he? Reports from way back when had stated that Manny was seriously considering retirement due to lingering back problems. While he's still open to the idea of continuing his playing career, those comments may have been enough to chase any potential suitors away.

As for the rest, I'll break 'em up into categories since I'm feeling lazy.

Just signed, as of today...
Paul Mara and Travis Moen heading to Montreal. Moen is a head scratcher for me with Wyshynski saying it best, "'s sort of amazing he's a Hab and not a Leaf ... was it the money or the term?" Moen's one of Burke's boys from Anaheim, for those of you who don't give a rat's ass about Southern California hockey.

Kurtis Foster and Antero Niittymaki heading to Tampa. Eh, whatevs.

Brendan Morrisson to Washington. I was planning to put him in the retirement pile.

Yann Danis heads across the river, and maybe the sound too, on his way to New Jersey.

And apparently its official that Jay McKee has been picked up by Pittsburgh for a bargain of $800K. McKee was bought out of his last year of a rather sizable contract with the Blues just last week.

Probably KHL bound...
Petr Sykora, Miroslav Satan, Maxim Afinogenov, and the "Can't Miss" prospect Radek Bonk.
Probably headed for Senior Housing, hopefully...
Mathieu Schneider, Michael Peca, Brendan Shanahan and Bret Hedican, (again).

Of course there's always...
Mats Sundin. Let's not talk about that.
P.J. Axelsson
Jason Williams
Taylor Pyatt
Manny Malhotra
Dominic Moore
Mike Comrie, anyone?
Mike Grier
Blair Betts
Rob Niedermayer, how did he get into the league anyway? Oh yeah, that's right.
Todd Bertuzzi

Derek Morris
Dennis Seidenberg, with eyes bigger than his playing ability.
Jassen Cullimore
Andrew Alberts
Martin Skoula
Marc-Andre Bergeron
Francis Bouillon
Phillippe Boucher
Christian Backman
The only other goaltender I see is Martin Gerber.

Sorry Martin.

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