OK. So I’m so overwhelmed with free-agent signings and trades that I really can’t even process anything. I just don’t know where to begin, so I’m going to start with the signings that seems downright crazy to me.
Let’s start in Detroit. Marian Hossa for one year in Detroit at just $7.45 million? OK. Granted, that’s a lot of money. I’m sure you can live off of that. But wasn’t Boston going to give him a 12-year, $100 million deal? Didn’t Edmonton offer nine years for $81 million? And if Hossa has an off season in Detroit, which seems pretty likely to me, he’s pretty much lost all of his value. And where exactly does he fit in Detroit. The Detroit that just won the Cup with a top-six of forwards who are also defensive geniuses. And the same Detroit that still has all six of those forwards. Is Hossa going to play on the third line? Can Detroit really break up combinations that just convincingly won the Stanley Cup by beating Hossa? It’s just a weird move by Detroit. Why sign a player you don’t need? Were they scared he would go to Colorado or something?
By the way, Markus Naslund is in the mix for Hossa’s spot in Pittsburgh.
I also don’t get what Sean Avery’s role will be in Dallas. The team is almost all third-line players. It’s not like there’s a lot of offense there. In a lot of ways, the Stars are a team of Averys, only with discipline and good hockey sense. I’m very disappointed in the Stars. I expect smarter moves out of them.
I also don’t get Chicago signing goalie Cristobal Huet when they already have Nikolai Khabibulin under contract for one more year. This goalie tandem will cost almost $12.5 million next season. And let’s be honest. Everyone knows they’ll go down with injuries within two weeks of each other. If I’m Chicago, I’m going to make a play for a third goalie.
I’m not the only one complaining about signings. Adrian Dater, who saw a lot of Jeff Finger in Colorado, does not get why Toronto spent so much on him. I would answer, if I may, that Toronto loves to overpay defensemen.
And just so we don’t end on a sour note, I like Doug Weight to the Islanders because they need more centers, and they have a lot of young players who’ll benefit from his experience. I think it’s funny that everyone on the Islanders is super old or super young. There’s no middle ground there.
I also love Ollie Kolzig to Tampa. Between him and incumbent number one Mike Smith, they’re really going to have solid goaltending. Either one could start, so as long as they’re both OK with a 1 and 1A type goalie hierarchy, I think the Lightning are going to be great defensively. I’m still not sold on a second line of a rookie (Steven Stamkos), an overpaid winger (Ryan Malone) and Radim Vrbata (no opinion).