Lebda…Leopold…Tallinder…Lydman…Park…Jokinen…Sim…Kariya…Bergenheim…Whitney…Mitchell…Turco…Theodore…Lalime…and on and on. I don’t know what the rest of the week has in store, but the Point Blank 2010 Free Agency blog starts…now! Thoughts on today’s events in free agency ONLY are welcomed in Comments.
9:55 am: In about seven hours, it will be nine years from today. My cell phone rang. “Hi, it’s your new goaltender. They told me to give you a call. Look forward to working with you.” My, what time has brought in those nine years. Today, that former goaltender has the responsibility of spending the money and cap floor space (about $6-7 million) to fill the Islanders’ four or five holes to make the playoffs in 2010-11 – and in the process, not hurting the slow and steady rebuild.
Garth Snow is at the Coliseum, with Kenny Morrow and a small handful of staffers at his side, ready to make his moves. As I wrote the other day, this won’t be a two-day process. Could take the entire two months before training camp starts.
10:15 am: If the Islanders cannot get one of the top defensemen available in the $3-5 million per year range, there could be a reunion with Andy Sutton. The contract would almost certainly be for just two years or one, and for less than he signed with the Islanders three years ago. While Andy is 35 and his return would not exactly be a forward-thinking move, at least the Islanders would know what they were paying for. Scott Gordon is also a supporter.
11:25 am: I’ll be interested to see where Sean Bergenheim ends up. I believe that if his agent is on top of his job, he should be able to get a good one-year contract to prove himself in a new setting. New Jersey could be a good place for him.
11:35 am: Andy Sutton texts, “I would love to be an Islander again.”
12:35 pm: Martin Biron to the Rangers. Starting around the Olmpic brean, there was a 0% chance he had the Islanders were going to do another year.
12:40 pm: Alex Tanguay back to the Calgary. I thought he might be a good cheap fit for the Islanders last season. I was wrong.
12:43 pm: Sergei Gonchar for three years, $5.5 mill a year at Ottawa. Amazing how a deal like that gets done within a half-hour after opening of the market.
12:53: The Islanders will not get big boy Jesse Winchester. Re-signs with Ottawa.
12:55: Paul Martin to Pittsburgh? Update: No, not yet. They are in the mix.
12:57: Gritty-gutty, Rangers-connected Steve Zipay reports that the Blueshirts are $11 million under the hard cap. They will spend some of it, even if they are committed to youth.
1:11: Pittsburgh signs the very reliable Z Michalek from Phoenix. Volchenkov still available.
1:13: Garth Snow gave Martin Biron permission to negotiate early. He went next door and got two years. Good for Garth and Marty.
1:20: Paul Martin is looking for five years. He’s young enough. Should be able to get it.
1:35: Colby Armstrong comes off the list. Three years at $3 mill a year to Toronto.
1:36: Antero Nittymaki, who wasn’t in play here, signs with San Jose.
1:40: Sean O’Donnell to Philadelphia for one year.
1:48: According to a report, the Islanders have contacted the agent for oft-injured free agent defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo.
2:25: Manny Malhotra to Vancouver. Dan Hamhuis will be signed in the next few hours.
2:27: What you usually see the first day is that most fans rip on every team’s signing – they over-paid – until their team signs a guy.
2:30: Winning a game eventually in Pittsburgh just got a little harder, unless the Islanders make strong improvements this season: Paul Martin is a Penguin.
2:37: The Boogeyman is a Ranger.
2:58: Toni Lydman gets over-paid – like everyone else! – by the Ducks. Three year, $9 mill.
3:17: Ray Whitney to Phoenix for two years.
3:25: No news to report yet on discussions between the Islanders and Pat Morris, the agent for Andy Sutton. The Islanders are likely focused on their top targets for now.
3:55: New Jersey signs Henrik Tallinder.
4:00: Kurtis Foster comes off the list. Signs for two years with Edmonton.
4:01: As long as Volchenkov is still on the list, the Islanders have a shot.
4:20: Agent Jay Grossman tweets that Anton Volchenkov is on his way to New Jersey on a six-year deal. Dan Hamhuis to Vancouver for six years.
4:25: Jeff Tambellini to Vancouver. Player personnel man Lorne Henning is close friends with Steve Tambellini, which is purely a coincidence.
4:35: Looks like Lou got Volchenkov for a manageable $4.25 million per.
4:40: Chicago losing more salary – this time Andrew Ladd to Chicago. Hey, Stan Bowman got good value in the Byfuglien trade. Would have liked to have seen Islanders get in on Versteeg or Ladd, but many disagreed.
5:13: All the D are flying out now. Jordan Leopold gets three years from Buffalo, hurting after saying goodbye to Lydman and Tallinder.
5:15: And to think, some of my cherished readers we annoyed that I had written about – but to be sure, did not stump for – players like Sutton, Nystrom and Asham the last few days.
5:20: Katie Strang reports that she has just checked in with the Islanders again and “nothing is brewing.”
5:28: New Jersey signs Johan Hedberg.
6:55: Catching up after dinner and a few beers – Tim Jackman gets two years from Calgary, which is really great news for a solid guy. Matt Cullen going to Minnesota on a three-year deal. Dallas gets Point Blank favorite Adam Burish, who would have been a blast just for the trash talk.
7:02: As you might have seen if you follow me on Twitter, agent Allan Walsh tweeted that he is speaking with Garth Snow about a number of clients. Of those still available, his best is the concussion-healing ace defenseman Willie Mitchell. Allan also reps Miro Satan. Allan also likes to do his best to make his friends on the GM side look good. There’s nothing here that would classify as major.
7:15: I’ll be here until about midnight, writing for FanHouse and waiting on an Islanders move if one comes. We made it this far; will start new thread with Day 2. Thanks for continuing to stop by.
7:20: On conference call, Lou Lamoriello says Volchenkov brings something “in our own zone” the Devils haven’t had since Scott Stevens.
7:55: Great, great news for Eric Nystrom, who signed for three years with Minnesota. Very happy for him and his family. It’s not the East, but Minny gets him a lot closer than Calgary.
10:10: If you follow me on Twitter, you might have seen my reaction to the blame being thrown on decrepit Nassau Coliseum. The short version: ridiculous. Paul Martin got $25 million for five years to sign with a team led by Sidney Crosby and run by Mario Lemieux. The overrated Dan Hamhuis got $4.5 mill a year to play on a contending team in his home province.
Eight hours into free agency, and we’re blaming the Coliseum for not signing players? What does that say about the guys who do sign in the next few days? More later.
10:58: The Islanders are not going to extend an offer sheet to Marc Staal, you have to understand that. Anyone who knows the relationship between the owners of the Islanders and Rangers knows why. And do you really want to leave yourself open to revenge from one of the deepest-pocketed franchises in the NHL?
11:52: Nine minutes to go and nothing to report. Will start a new thread with Day 2.