Thursday, June 28, 2012

BoNY Announcement: Free agency livecap Sunday!

Normally for the trade deadline or free agency, I'm following the activity sporadically...perhaps refreshing my phone or work computer when I get a chance, but it isn't usually minute-by-minute.  However, since the first day of NHL free agency is on a weekend and I have no plans, I'll be able to be around for the festivities this time.  And now that I finally have a high-speed connection, and the NHL Network on tv, I can follow everything at once, and that's what I intend to do on Sunday.  Especially with a ton of FA's on the Devils, it will be an important day in franchise history that's for sure.  Granted, some guys like Zach Parise and others may wind up taking more than a day to sign, but history's shown that a ton of guys do sign during the first twenty-four hours of FA.  With FA's like the captain, both goaltenders, our entire fourth line and other role players, it will certainly be a more anxious time for the Devils than it will be for the Isles and Rangers.

Looking through the FA lists on TSN, the Isles' most important unrestricteds are winger P.A. Parenteau and injury-prone goalie Al Montoya, who will probably be let go with talented kids Anders Nilsson and Kevin Poulin in the system.  With the cap floor expected to go up to $54.2 million (and the cap celing at $70.4 million), the Isles will still have to spend on someone though, especially if Parenteau walks.  As far as the Rangers, their most important UFA's are winger Ruslan Fedotenko, backup goalie Martin Biron and fourth line fan favorite Brandon Prust, reportedly looking for a deal north of $2 million per year.  If anything the Rangers' real action might come in the trade market, where the Rick Nash rumors just won't go away.  Perhaps in this case there's a method to Scott Howson's madness at not trading him during the most recent trade deadline or at the draft, since teams that miss out on Parise and other key unrestricteds like the Coyotes' Shane Doan will be desperate to look for improvements via the trade market.

A couple of big non-FA signings today took place when the Penguins announced a lucrative extension for Sidney Crosby, giving the face of the NHL a 12-year, $104.4 million extension that kicks in after next season.  Yes, that works out to an $8.7 million cap hit, so certainly the deal's a good one from that standpoint though you have to wonder what happens if Crosby takes one more knock in the wrong spot, after missing the better part of the last season and a half with concussion and neck issues.  And in the last hour, the Kings announced a 10-year extension for Conn Smythe winner Johnathan Quick, a deal that reportedly comes in at just under $60 million, a bargain really.  Lengthy yes, but Quick is only 26 and is about as sure a thing in net as anyone at this point.  Also, the Bruins have extended Tuuka Rask for one season, perhaps a bit of a cautionary signal for Rask's long-term prospects in Beantown after drafting Malcom Subban last weekend.

Back to talking about Sunday though, I'll be posting not only confirmed deals but rumor, speculation and other random thoughts as well, but of course I'll be sure to differentiate between all of them.  Ideally I'd like to wait until seeing something reported in two different places before reporting it as confirmed, but if it's someone reputable like TSN's Bob McKenzie, I'll likely just go with that.  Perhaps whatever gets reported on the NHL Network also qualifies...not to mention Devils' twitter for our own signings, since it was the Devils' own twitter that initially broke the Ilya Kovalchuk signing two years ago.  That news was so stunning, people thought the Devils' twitter account was hacked!  I rarely use Twitter at all, and never tweet personally but I'll keep my shadow account open to keep track of Devils news (as well as looking on message boards).  An example of what I plan to do will go like this:

Rumor: According to St. Louis's Andy Strickland, the Devils will re-sign Cam Janssen to a two-way deal
CONFIRMED: 6/27 at 7:46 PM - Devils re-sign Cam Janssen to a two-way deal at $575,000 (NHL) and $105,000 (AHL)...and yes that actually happened lol.

Or for non-Devil deals:

CONFIRMED: 6/28 at 3:32 PM Predators re-sign Hal Gill to a two-year, $4 million deal
CONFIRMED: 7/1 Rangers sign player X
CONFIRMED: 7/1 Islanders sign player Y
Rumor: Former Ducks draft pick Justin Schultz has reportedly narrowed his list of teams to the Canucks, Maple Leafs, Senators, Oilers and Rangers

I'll try to cite everything and include links, but things will happen at rapid-fire speed no doubt once the festivities get under way so bear with me.  Especially if a certain player with a C and a number 9 winds up bolting on Sunday afternoon...I might have to count to ten before posting lol.  Either way, it should be interesting.  I'll update throughout the day, from just before noon when I begin my post on throughout the day, then after I finally get to bed near midnight I might update once more in the morning if I have time before resuming a life work.

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