OT: NHL Free Agency Discussion, Day 2

Submitted by pasadenablue on July 2nd, 2011 at 3:54 PM

Brad Richards signs a blockbuster deal with the Rangers, getting 60 mil over 9 years.

Mike Commodore is thrilled to be a Red Wing, and is hungry to prove the doubters (and Columbus) wrong.  Think of him as the anti-Boren.

Dave Tallon has gone nuts this year, adding Sean Bergenheim to an already insane haul.  After years of lingering near the cap floor and the Eastern conference cellar, the Panthers are taking a page from their neighbors in South Beach, and making a push through free agency to be serious competitors.  We'll see if they can make the chemistry work.



July 2nd, 2011 at 4:24 PM ^

Last couple days it looks to me like Florida's need to make the cap floor has exceeded their collective hockey wisdom. Versteeg and Upshall make some sense althought Tallon heavily overpaid. Jovanovski was past his prime three years ago while Fleishmann who has a serious blood clotting illness must feel like he won the lottery.

I don't mind the Wings pickup of Mike Commodore; plays the position with toughness but last couple years has tended to play a little out of position and/or get taken by speed players to the wall too much. If you don't expect too much, just a solid contributor, then he'll be an okay 6th or 7th defenseman.

I like the Leafs pickup of Tim Connolly who, while not awesome, will pick up a lot of assists by feeding Phil Kessel. See Savard, Marc.

From the department of crazy:

James Wisniewski 33 million dollars. I can't believe that's the going rate for journeymen these days but credit to him for getting it.

Jaromir Jagr 3.3 million to Philadelphia...well, I guess this is the going rate for an aging headcase future Hall of Famer. For instruction on Jagr's future in the NHL see below...

All Aboard

July 2nd, 2011 at 4:52 PM ^

Ian White is an upgrade from Rafalski (defensively) and plays much tougher. He is pretty solid offensively, too. Replaces Raffi's RH shot on the PP.
Commodore is an upgrade from Salei and also plays much tougher. He'll teach Ericsson and Kindl how to use their size and block shots, which he is very proficient at.

Right now, the Wings have 7mil to spend on a backup goalie and MAYBE a top 6 forward, if they feel they need it. Our youth SHOULD improve (Helm, Abby, Kindl, Ericsson, etc) and we hopefully are done with Osgood. Howard has another year under his belt and was a stud in the playoffs.

The Wings look MUCH better going into next season.


July 2nd, 2011 at 5:17 PM ^

I don't know that I'd categorize Ian White as an upgrade on Rafalski. I enjoy TSN coverage in Ontario (read Leaf games) and accordingly I had the chance to watch White for a number of years. It's possible that the role expected of him in Toronto was too great but, really, his offensive upside is passable but he's very limited in the defensive zone and makes brutal decisions with the puck.

The idea he's a defensive upgrade from Rafalski is ludicrous; Rafalski was by far the more responsible player.

I think you'll enjoy watching Commodore's physical game much more.

All Aboard

July 2nd, 2011 at 6:37 PM ^

I said defensive improvement. He is- Rafalski was god awful defensively last year. And yes, you're right. He's not here to be a top pair guy. Honestly he's here to be the #4 dman until Kindl and Smith are ready for big minutes in about two seasons. His RH shot on the PP is also huge


July 2nd, 2011 at 4:55 PM ^

I know ever one is getting overpaid, but this was a horrible deal. Connelly can not stay healthy...concussion injuries are a reoccuring thing too.

skunk bear

July 2nd, 2011 at 5:30 PM ^

I think the Wings need a star. Someone to rejuvenate the team. A difference maker.

Promoting a bunch of guys from GR and hoping that they turn out to be major league hockey players just delays the inevitable.

Flawed or older free agents ditto.

Datsyuk and Zetterberg are soon going to be past their prime. Lidstrom is going to retire soon.

Think of all the great players that have come into the league the last eight years. The Wings have how many? Maybe Howard.

One of the secrets of teams that have won for a long time is to continue to bring in new star players. That includes this stretch for the Red Wings.

They need to either get lucky with a draft pick or sign a big-time free agent if they want to continue being good going forward.  IMHO.

I Bleed Maize N Blue

July 2nd, 2011 at 5:56 PM ^

Well, this is the result of a couple decades of playoffs, isn't it?  No early first round pick to get that star, and you can't always find diamonds in the rough.

Also, the salary cap means you can't simply just add a star for big money.  So you're left with your developing players and lower level free agents.

When Lidstrom retires, that will free up a lot of cap room.  Hopefully there's a good free agent signing then.

skunk bear

July 2nd, 2011 at 6:11 PM ^

Yep. It is a big reason that sustained excellence is tough. I believe that the Wings have the longest streak of consecutive post-season appearances in North American sport. Part of the reason they do is that they have found ways to add new stars.

If they don't find a way, again, soon, then they shall stop being the exception and have to rebuild like everybody else.

All Aboard

July 2nd, 2011 at 6:43 PM ^

Well..I meant to negatively moderate you, so I'm sorry about the upvote. You want a star? Tatar. Jarnrok. Pulkkinen. Nyquist. Smith. Jurco. The list goes on dude, the Wings have a fantastic group of prospects that will garner some serious talent. Yes, teams are good for long periods of time by continuously having new talent. But that isn't achieved through overpaying in FA. It's through the farm system.


Chicago- Toews, Kane, Keith, Seabrook. ETC

Pittsburgh- Crosby, Fleury, Malkin, Staal, ETC

Washington- Ovechkin, Backstrom, Semin, Green, ETC

Vancouver- Sedins, Kesler, Bieksa, ETC

The Wings have been the best team in the NHL at turning prospects into pros over the past two decades. The best organization in sports has a pretty good idea of what they're doing.

skunk bear

July 2nd, 2011 at 7:31 PM ^

Yes, once you moderate you are stuck with it.

All the teams you mentioned went through extensive down periods. Do you want that for the Wings? As I Bleed Maize N Blue pointed out, if you play well, you don't get a high draft choice.

The Wings have done well.

IMHO if they want to continue to do well, they need a new star. So, yes, I want one. I hope you are right about Tatar et all.

BTW: I said nothing about overpaying. It seems to me that the Wings are content to plug holes. What I have been voicing in this thread is my belief that that is not enough to sustain success much longer.

skunk bear

July 2nd, 2011 at 6:20 PM ^

I didn't say that they were past their primes, but rather that they are getting close. Pavel is almost 33. Henrik is almost 31. Most great players have their best years behind them bby 31.

They'll still be good players for some time, but they won't be able to continue to carry the team much longer.

I know the Wings win in part because of depth, but it isn't enough all by itself. They have gotten beat by a team with a bunch of terrific players each of the last two years in the playoffs. It isn't a coincidence. IMO.

This run started with Yzerman, they added Federov and Lidstrom and Konstantinov, traded for Shanahan, got Hull a series of good enough goalies, finally "Z" and "D". It has been awile.

Maybe they have another Cup in them, but a star added to the mix wouldn't hurt would it? And if they wait too long they'll end up rebuilding like the basketball team in Detroit that was going to rebuild on the fly.



EDIT: This is supposed to be a reply to goblue20111. Sorry.

Randy Marsh

July 2nd, 2011 at 6:04 PM ^

1) Both White and Commodore add toughness, which is what the wings need.


2) Using comparisons, I would say White is a little bit of a drop off from Rafalski, but Commodore is definitely an improvement over Salei. So they kind of even out in a way.


July 2nd, 2011 at 6:05 PM ^

Don't forget the Raffy also had his best years playing along side Lidstrom. Lets hope White has that kind of increase as well. It doesnt hurt you when play along side perhaps the best defensemen in NHL history.