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Free Agency, Day 3: Market Waits for Suter, Parise; Islanders Fans Ponder Scraps

They don't make you wear that in Winnipeg.
They don't make you wear that in Winnipeg.

Movement has slowed around the NHL as the third day of free agency dawns, with the methodical decision-making by the most-wooed Zach Parise and Ryan Suter apparently keeping other dominoes from falling. After at least 40 players switched locales on July 1, according to TSN's UFA tracker just six players changed teams on Monday.

Darren Dreger says the many decade-long, cash-rich offers to those two has teams waiting for their decision before they'll move on to Plan B, which can include trades (Oh, is Rick Nash available?) or consolation free agents like Matt Carle. Carle is apparently waiting for Suter's decision before the suitors put extra cherries on their offers to him, but if that's the case he may be waiting a while 'cause that honey badger Suter is on his own time.

Shane Doan too is waiting, though he has reasons related to getting a better sense of where the Coyotes ownership situation is going, which surely feels like Groundhog Day to him. And then Alexander Semin will field offers from teams that don't share the TSN panel's view.

Still, there has been movement, with Olli Jokinen taking two years, $9 million from the Jets, Jiri Hudler getting "the Parenteau" (4 years, $16 million) from Jokinen's former team -- and in re-signing news, RFA Carey Price stays put for a gargantuan $6.5 million cap hit but not-gargantuan length in Montreal.

UPDATE: Bryce Salvador has re-signed with the Devils, three years and $9.5 million according to Dreger. There were reports that the Islanders were pursuing him, though it's unclear whether that was strictly before or continuing after they signed Matt Carkner.

And a look at the Fourth Period's handy Top 30 free agents list has just about all of the other marquee names off the list. Much smaller but of interest to Islanders fans, ex-Isle Jack Hillen signed a one-year deal with Washington.

The Island: Quiet, or Patient?

Are the Islanders done? Well, the standard response is they're "never done looking for ways to improve the club." But any further moves will likely be of 1) housekeeping variety; 2) A target whose price or willingness to come to Long Island suddenly changes, or 3) "The Big One" come to roost.

With the big free agents shooting for decade-long deals from perennial contenders, "The Big One" for the Isles at this point can only be a blockbuster trade, one that's not in any way likely but which the Isles are nonetheless obliged to probe. Rumors of Isles interest in Bobby Ryan surface now and then, but Dreger tweeted that the Ducks are looking for "a few pieces and a second-line center," and while the Isles have a few pieces, they have not second-line center to give.

On that note ... the Isles could still use center help themselves for next year, but I'm not seeing options out there unless you buy Kyle Wellwood's redemption story in a soft minutes role. I think that's why Jokinen pulls down $4.5 million per from Winnipeg.

Free agency is funny that way though: Everyone breathlessly awaits for the top names to move, everyone wants the same thing, but supply is inherently limited -- that's why those big names take home so much coin and so many crazy years in the first place. So while just about every team is forever looking to upgrade its top 4 and each team's fans anticipate the same, sometimes the only news a fanbase can get is Jeff Woywitka.

Ah well, while you're waiting for a needle to move, for a nice read on how Doug Weight helped the Isles woo Brad Boyes on Sunday, check this CBC story [FanShot here].