Friday, July 1, 2011
The Pittsburgh Penguins and Detroit Redwings have both pulled their offers, expected to be around $2M each for Jagr's services.
As we have stated often here, Jagr is just crazy enough that there is at least a 2% chance that he will do pretty much anything. Montreal has shown some interest, but it seems more and more like this 'comeback' was just a ruse to up his value to a Russian club. At 39, if he doesn't comeback this season, I don't forsee him ever getting another shot at playing in the NHL again.
Here are some links to prior Jagr stories we have covered here:
Jagr Comeback Watch: 6/29
Jagr Comeback Watch: 6/22
Jagr Comeback Watch: 6/21
Jagr Comeback Watch: 6/20
Jagr Comeback Watch: 5/12
This has already been an intriguing offseason for the NHL, and things can get even more interesting today.
Here are some notes I’ve collected on various teams, players, and situations:
*Brad Richards is interesting, but the real drama surrounds Steven Stamkos, the 21 year old restricted free agent from the Tampa Bay Lightning. After a surprise trip to the Conference Finals this year, Steve Yzerman is probably going to match any offer thrown Stamkos’ way, but it will be interesting to see at what price the market bears, and if there is any line that Yzerman will not cross to retain his young franchise Center. According to Capgeek.com, at least 19 teams have the available cap space to offer Stamkos a league maximum $12.86M contract.
*Speaking of all that cap space: some GMs are going to make utterly stupid, franchise soul crushing deals today. It’s just a given, with the weak crop of FAs and the amount of space created with the surprising increase in league revenues. Giving Glen Sather $25M of cap space on July 1st is like putting Charlie Sheen in front of a small mountain of cocaine on his birthday. Come December there will already be hoards of fans looking back in regret at some dumb moves made today.
*Even some traditionally lower spending, less aggressive, teams have been throwing some weight around in the pre-July 1st buildup. The Florida Panthers have taken on over $10M in salary from the Chicago Blackhawks in the form of Brian Campbell and Tomas Kopecky. The Buffalo Sabres traded for the rights to, and then inked Christian Ehrhoff to a 10 year deal and added tough blueliner Robyn Regeher to go with him. The Columbus Bluejackets dealt for Jeff Carter, formerly of the Philadelphia Flyers, and brought in James Wisniewski to sign for a big deal. And even the lowly New York Islanders have been making some noise about trying to bring some marquee talent back to Long Island.
*One of the reasons we have seen some trades, is that after the big guy (Brad Richards) at the top, there is not a lot of premium talent out there at the UFA level this year. Simon Gagne is intriguing, but a definite injury concern. Erik Cole might be able to help bolster some teams offense, but proved in his stint in Edmonton that he can’t carry a load himself and needs some good supporting guys on his line. After that it’s a bunch of mid-tier guys like Tyler Kennedy, Scottie Upshall, Tim Connolly, Ville Leino, Brenden Morrison, and Sergei Samsonov. Those are all guys who may have some potential, but none of them are elite game breaking talents. They are either really talented 3rd liners or fill in quality top 6 forwards.
*Then you have the older guys looking for one last deal. For Mike Modano, Kris Draper, and Doug Weight that magic # of 40 may mean the end of the road. Teemu Selanne proved he still had it last year, but for him its supposedly the Ducks or nothing. Alexei Kovalev will probably find warmer welcome in the KHL than any North American rink this fall. John Madden, Andrew Brunette, Cory Stillman, and Jason Arnott are all in their late 30s and could fill in well in a role for a contending team, or chase the most money on a retirement deal in say, Long Island.
*On the Defensive side of the zone, Tomas Kaberle is the big “get.” Ask any Toronto fan how much they want him back. Ed Jovanovski could be an intriguing pickup for some teams looking for blueline help. I irrationally hate Roman Hamrlik. Ian White is versatile. Bryan McCabe and Sean O’Donnell are old, and play like it.
*If a team is looking for help between the pipes, some options are available. No big names are out there, but plenty of 1A type guys who will get you through. Tomas Vokoun and Brian Boucher are the most solid of the bunch. After that it is a mismash of former Senators, Redwings, Bluejackets, and Avs.