2013 NHL Free Agency: So it begins!

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July 6, 2013 by Cups n Pucks

Andy Misek:

Free agency frenzy began yesterday and there were plenty of big name players on the block. Jarome Iginla, Daniel Alfredsson and Valtteri Filppula were just a few of the big names sitting in the pool.

Bobby Ryan Ottawa Senators The biggest move came in a trade between the Ottawa Senators and Anaheim Ducks. The Ducks sent out 26 year old Bobby Ryan to the Ottawa Senators for Jakob Silfverberg , Stefan Noesen and a first round draft pick in 2014. Bobby Ryan is a four-time 30 goal scorer for the Ducks and is expected to get top line minutes again in Ottawa. He should be able to continue lighting it up with Turris and Spezza.

Ryan didn’t come cheap. Ottawa had to give up their promising player, Silfverberg, who was a 22 year old rookie last season and put up 19 points in 48 games.  Noesen was Ottawa’s first round draft pick in 2011 and put up well over a point per game on Plymouth Whalers of the OHL.

Other big news surrounded around Daniel Alfredsson, Ottawa veteran for 17 years and longest serving captain for a single team, who signed a one year deal with the Detroit Red Wings. Ottawa had their face of the franchise, the heart and soul of the team, finally part ways with the club.

The Jets and Wild also did some business to try and piece together teams to compete in the Western Conference, Division B. The Wild sent Devin Setoguchi over to the Jets for a 2nd round draft pick in 2014. Setoguchi, who is only 26, put up 20 goals three of his four years in San Jose but couldn’t put up 20 in his two years with the Wild. perhaps a change of scenery will help Setoguchi get back into form.

The Columbus Blue Jackets made a huge splash early on in the frenzy by adding Nathan Horton to a seven year 37.1 million dollar contract. Horton had some magic going in the playoffs this season on the first line with Lucic and Krejci but wanted to play on a smaller market team. Columbus is going to look great with Gaborik and Horton on the top line. Look for Columbus to make a run for the playoffs next season.

Jarome Iginla also found himself with a new home, which he probably should have gone to at the trade deadline last season. Of all the places Iginla could have signed, he signed with the Boston Bruins. This is the same team Iginla refused to go to last minute during the trade line and went to Pittsburg. Pittsburg was knocked out by the Boston Bruins during the Eastern Conference Finals, with the series winning goal going off of Iginla. Now he has a new one year 6 million dollar contract. Wouldn’t it be hilarious if it was Pittsburg who knocked Boston out of the playoffs next season?

Other big names moved were Valtteri  Filppula to the Tampa Bay Lightning on a five year, $25 million contract. TSN’s top free agent, David Clarkson, signed a seven year $5.25 million per year contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs.  Andrew Ference signed a four year $13 million contract with the Edmonton Oilers.

Did I forget to mention that the Hawks signed Nikolai Khabibulin? I don’t want to talk about it. If you want to see who else signed where, I’ll post the linked to the NHL free agent tracker here: http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=676665&navid=DL|NHL|home

Andy’s Winners of the Day

Andy Misek Cups & PucksDetroit Red Wings – Wow the Detroit Red Wings came into the free agency with a mission. They came into the eastern conference and signed new division rivalry leaders Daniel Alfredsson and Stephen Weiss (assistant captain). Detroit is going to do great in a more offensive, less-tight conference and these additions will make them even more deadly.

Columbus Blue Jackets – Columbus has made all the right moves since dumping Nash. The players they got for Nash (Anisimov and Dubinsky) fit Columbus’ system like a glove. They also traded and got Vezina winner, Sergi Bobrovsky. If he isn’t a one hit wonder, he is going to be a pillar for Columbus for years. In addition, they signed Nathan Horton. Wow, I’m actually excited to watch Columbus play! Horton will open up space for Gaborik or Johannson. With a young D core of 2nd overall in 2012 Ryan Murray, Jack Johnson and Tim Erixson (also part of the Nash trade). The Blue Jackets will be a force.

Edmonton Oilers – The Oilers made some great moves going into the free agency. They fired Steve Tambellini as their GM, drafted Daniel Nurse, they traded Shawn Horcoff. They made some moves I won’t understand (I’ll get to that Boyd Gordon contract later) but I really like the Andrew Ference signing! He will fit right into their top four defenseman and will mentor their young D. Justin Shultz, Daniel Nurse and Oscar Klefbom will learn a lot from Ference (who was mentored by Chara).

Andy’s Losers of the Day

Winnipeg Jets – Did the Jets front office just sleep past through free agency. Yes, they traded for Devin Setoguchi, but they didn’t sign anyone. This is a team that couldn’t make the playoffs in the weaker conference and in the weakest division. Now they have to deal with Chicago, St. Louis, and the up and coming Minnesota Wild. They will need to upgrade their D in order to compete with these stronger teams. Yes, I know they have Trouba coming soon, but they need more.

Boston Bruins – Andrew Ference, Tyler Seguin, Rich Peverly, and Nathan Horton are out. In comes Loui Eriksson and Iginla in. They are missing a lot of their depth from cup run. Still a cup contender, but might not be able to keep up with the deeper teams in Chicago and LA.

The Nashville Predators had one of their worst season is franchise history. It has become painfully obvious that the Preds need some offense in order to become a contender again. So they Sign Viktor Stalberg, Matt Cullen, Eric Nystrom, and Matt Hendricks? Well that’s good for about 25 goals… good work Nashville.

Andy’s Questionable Moves of the Day

For all the good moves Oilers made, I can’t figure this one out. Boyd Gordon received a contract for $3.25 million for the next four years. I won’t say anything else and let you mull over that for a little bit…

Unlike 2010, the Chicago Blackhawks were able to sign and retain majority of their 2013 Stanley Cup winning team. Oh and bring back Nikolai Khabibulin. What is this 2005? Khabs probably pulled his groin signing the contract.

Philadelphia Flyers – The revolving door of goaltending in Philadelphia reaches a low with Ray Emery and Steve Mason manning the nets in Philly this season. They needed to make a trade like Toronto and New Jersey did. Ryan Miller is still said to be available, and maybe that will that will end up being the solution. Tim Thomas is also available and might be worth a cheap risk. If they stay with this tandem, look for Philly to struggle this upcoming season. Maybe sticking with Bryzgolov for one more year wouldn’t hurt. Time will only tell.

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