Woof woof. Free agency has slowed to foraging for apples that have rolled far from the talent tree. Salvage pickups Peter Mueller (Florida, $1.75 million) and Wojtec Wolski (Washington, $600,000 (!)) have now been signed at opposite ends of the Brad Boyes price point.
Wolski in particular is interesting, because he's been discarded by enough teams to scare you off yet has shown enough flashes that $600,000 is an absolute no-brainer bet any NHL team should make. Further, he was just with the Panthers, who decided to pay Mueller nearly three times as much. (Not that factors of two or three in the Boyes section of the catalog are all that costly.)
With those guys off the market, you have Kyle Wellwood and Carlo Colaiacovo taking up the store window slot at forward and defensive, respectively. Neither is exciting, but both are useful. (Yes, there is Shane Doan too, but his free agency comes with caveats, petitions and just a few chosen partners.)
Otherwise, the arbitration schedule is set, but even there TJ Oshie and Sam Gagner represent the only somewhat interesting cases.
- So let's depress ourselves about Nassau politics, shall we? Gallof at CBS NY has a reset of just how silly the latest "news" is. They might as well be warring over a shopping mall, because they sure aren't serious about an arena or a hockey team.
- I loved the Boyes signing and didn't love but could hear arguments for not paying P.A. Parenteau $16 million, but even I don't think Boyes is a literal upgrade over Parenteau. Should be fun to see how their seasons go though.
- Fun Matt Martin clinic video at the official site.
- Ryan Strome is fearless ... at least when properly harnessed.
- The description of kneecap dislocation (Dylan McIlrath this time, but remember Kevin Poulin two seasons ago) makes ya cringe.
- If you missed it, Darius Kasparaitis is among those expected in uniform for a Lokomotiv memorial benefit.
- Hopefully all saw this, but it's another reason the Isles are very, very fortunate to have Tavares.
- NEW: And now Tavares is a coach (h/t reader Ajay). Man, that guy is everywhere. What a kid.
The General Hockey
- Friedman argues against eliminating long-term contracts.
- This insider player perspective on CBA negotiations was good, albeit not surprising.
- Pretty surprising and a little disappointing for the Panthers: Nick Bjugstad is staying at Minnesota.
- If you follow soccer, it's hard not to love this sync of soccer announcing with hockey highlights.
- Quite fun: Name that draft bust. (Kind of butchered the Isles one though)
- On football and sports and armor and Kevlar and such.
- Olli: Explaining Jokinen's Terrible Last Quarter | NHLNumbers.com
- Grantland: Don Imus, Mike and the Mad Dog, and the fall and rise of the first all-sports talk station, WFAN
Way too much praise for WFAN and those characters for my tastes, but sports talk radio has never been my thing.