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Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Lots of movement on busy day

So far, this offseason has been more exicting than the last few previous on-ice NHL seasons. Some key signings and player movement today:

Vancouver - Markus Naslund re-signs with the Canucks and suddenly the wind in BC picks up from the collective sigh of relief. As I stated yesterday, I didn't think that he was worth the maximum salary, and thankfully Dave Nonis didn't shell it out - apparently no team offered more than Vancouver. $6 million/season is reasonable for him, and I can live with that.

The Canucks also traded Brent Sopel - thank God - to the New York Islanders. I'm not a big Sopel fan, but I can honestly say that I will miss his hair. Cripes, there's enough grease in there to lube a race-car.

The Canucks also lost Marek Malik to the Rangers yesterday, so the Canucks have a little bit of work to fill out the backend. No significant rumours abounding about who it may be, however, and given the dollars put aside for Naslund, it likely won't be a star like Niedermayer.

Edmonton - Chris Pronger is a major addition to this club and I'm glad that they locked him up long term. This may be the first truly dominant blue liner that the Oilers have had since Paul Coffey. Suddenly eight divisional games per season doesn't sound like too much to me.

Calgary Flames - had a busy day yesterday with Amonte and McCarty, and today they locked up Jarome Iginla for three years @ $21 million. The best player in the league, in my opinion, and he got huge bucks, but still not the league maximum - further illustrating my point that perhaps many GM's may simply not think it's worth it to shell out 20% of the overall budget to one player.

Pittsburgh Penguins - Sergei Goncahr is a Pen for the next five years. The reported salary is $5 million/season. Fairly good chunk of change for Pittsburgh to shell out, and I'm not convinced that it's money well spent. Lemieux is another year older and although he's truly Superman on skates, there will come a time - and soon - where he packs it in. Add to that, Sidney Crosby probably won't have a significant impact at the NHL level right away (who knows for sure when or if he ever will), and I'm not ready to call the Penguins contenders yet.

Philadelphia Flyers - probably the biggest name acquisition of the day, Peter Forsberg signs on for two years at a very reasonable $5.75 million/season. To make salary room, Jeremy Roenick was given his walking papers - to the LA Kings. In my opinion, definitely a major upgrade at centre for Philly - if he can stay healthy. Big if.

Still on the market - Scott Niedermayer. Given the salaries that Forsberg, Naslund, Pronger and Gonchar signed on for, I'm completely convinced that he won't get anywhere near his reported asking salary of $7.78 million. He won't get it, nor should he.


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