Countdown to UFA Mania!

There is less than an hour until July 1, the beginning of UFA season and anticipation is mounting as to what moves teams will make.

July 1st, draft day and trade deadline day have got to be the most exciting time of NHL season aside from the team hoisting the Cup. I can hardly wait.

My questions to you are, who do you think will be the first free agent signed after midnight?

What do you think will be the most surprising move of this UFA crop?

What do you wish for your team?

And what do you wish not to happen for your most hated rivals?


34 Responses to Countdown to UFA Mania!

  1. wingerxxx says:

    I’m wishing for the Rangers not to go splurging on a lot of names, to upset the chemistry of the team. Getting all of the RFA’s back under contract ill be very good. Elias would be great. I’m also hoping that neither the Isles, Flyers or Devils manage to sign Chara!

  2. Jrugges says:

    I want the redwings to sign a goal scorer someone like samsonov or maybe a goalie, I rather they trade for Biron out of Buffalo though.

  3. Lint07 says:

    I expect Jovanovski to be the first and sign as soon as saturday… with Florida.

  4. LeafsLeafsLeafs says:

    I am hoping the Raps get Villanueva back, dumb trade Colangelo.

    The Leafs to atleast try to get one of either Elias or Samsonov.

    Hopefully to get McKee and Spacek.

    For Ottawa to sign JR and have him screw up their dressing room.

    My bet will be that McKee will be the first UFA to sign and it will be with Toronto.

    I think you will be surprised to see Dwayne Roloson sign with a team other than Edmonton, thats my guess.

  5. wingerxxx says:

    They do have Lidstrom under contract now, that’s a big boost. I’d give a lot to have a guy like him on the blueline. Goaltending should be number one on their agenda.

  6. bleed_penguins says:

    I keep hearing that Jay Mckee is going to the leafs. However I have heard a different rumor that says the Pittsburgh Penguins are the most probable team to sign him.

  7. 92-93 says:

    the leafs should, and really can only get 2 UFA guys – and a stay-at-home defenseman is priority #1.

    my picks:

    Defence

    1) Jay McKee

    2) Willie Mitchell

    3) Danny Markov

    Forward:

    1) Langebrunner

    2) Arnott

    3) McCauley

    4) Carter

  8. 92-93 says:

    oh – and smart move by JFJ to hold off on trading for Roberts – if that is what he is doing (sportsnet.ca suggests that anyways).

    its better to see what younger UFAs you can get and leave that cap space open and THEN make a decision on the older Roberts.

  9. DJTOKid says:

    That isn’t a dumb trade by Colagelo, I know evryone one loves Charlie including me. Especially sine I share the same disorder of alopecia areata as he does, so I had a real soft spot in my heart for the guy. But the raptors gotta do what the raptors gotta do and they desperately needed a good point guard and T.J. ford is sick. This guys gonna help bosh average damn near 30pts a game, hes one of the fastest guys in the nba and will break down guys night in and night out. love where the teams heading…

  10. 92-93 says:

    i think the leafs need guys like Mitchell and McKee over Spacek.

    Elias will be too expensive i think and there might be more affordable forwards out there. mind you, if the leafs didnt sign McCabe, I would think Elias would be a top priority (from a PP perspective).

    i hope you are right about McKee being the first to sign.

  11. cwthrash says:

    It officially starts at noon.

    I believe everyone (players, GMs, coaches, staff, etc) agreed that it would be much more convenient to start it at a reasonable hour, instead of the wee hours of the morning.

  12. mikster says:

    First free agent to sign:

    Jovanovski

    Wish for my teams:

    Rangers- Elias. There is a lot of free agency depth for defensemen and the Rangers are not in such a desperate need to go out and get a big name like Chara. Elias would fit in with the style, and the Rangers are in big need of another scorer on the team because if Jagr is injured next season, bam…major problem. Peca would also be a nice fit.

    Panthers- Jovanovski is a big deal for the Panthers. They need to get a recognizable face on the team, one that has a lot of fans cheering. Still a lot of fans go to games with #55 on their jerseys. He would lighten up the bitter departure of the much beloved Luongo. After Jovo, goaltending is a huge issues. Manny Legace would be a great choice, but the Panthers want to give Auld a shot. Still, back up plan is needed. Chris Mason, former Panther, would be a good goalie to get as back up. He did quite well for the Preds. If they want to go younger, Sebastien Caron may be a good project to work with. Another solid goalie is Richard Divis, not too bad with the Blues.

    Panthers need a very solid back up for assurences. After that, they could use a 2nd tier scoring winger.

    These are names worth looking at (for any team too):

    Jeff Friesen, (III)

    Eric Daze, (III)*

    Jason Arnott, (III)

    Radek Dvorak, (III)

    Mark Parrish, (III)

    Jamie Langenbrunner, (III)

    Aleksey Morozov, (III)

    Friesen is good depth and gives a good package. I doubt he’d return to the southeast though. Daze is an interesting choice. This guy may need to get out of Chicago to play a healthier season. He has always been a good scorer except for his last two seasons. A four time 30+ scorer and four time 20+ goal scorer. He would come in cheap. Though he’s a concern for his health, he may be worth it. If injured in more than 20 games, his salary won’t count against the cap. If he stays healthy, then talk about size on the Panthers and solid scoring with Jokinen, Horton and Bertuzzi.

    Arnott would be a solid addition. Dvorak did quite well as a Panther, maybe he’d like to join Czech-mates Olesz and possibly Frolik may make the squad. His speed is a great asset, especially for the PK.

    Parrish was rumored to come to Florida for quite a while. Another power forwardish type of player who’d fit in so well with the Panthers current roster.

    Langnbrunner would be a good fit for Martins, great player for him to use.

    And Morozov is almost like the forgotten player. He’s a scorer, and continued great scoring in Russia. I’d take a gamble with this guy in the new NHL.

    For my most hated rivals?

    Devils lose Elias and they can’t re-sign Gomez because he wants out.

    Tampa can’t sign more depth and enter the season with a weak team!

  13. reznorwings says:

    Hey what do you know, my account is still active!, Sweet!

    Anyways in answer to your questions

    1. First free agent signed = Jovo to Florida

    2. Most suprising = Roenick/Kubina

    3. Detroit is my team so i’d like to see Gerber, Samsonov and maybe Dvorak but that ‘s probably a stretch so an affordable but good starter and a winger or two that can score. I also became a closet Flames fan during thier run because i live outside of Calgary. For them i’d like to see an affordable backup that could step in and play if needed and another first/second line center. I believe Sutter could try to sign an older center (Allison, Roenick, Weight?) to play either with Iggy and Tanguay or between Huselius and Amonte. One of them might be a more affordable option than say Savard or Arnott. But you never know with Sutter so….have to wait that one out.

    4. As far as rivals go i wish no malice on any team….. But I would sure be sour if any team signed sean avery. GODDAMMIT I HATE HIM I HATE HIM!

  14. sharksfan3991 says:

    i think the first free agent to sign will be Jovo to the panthers.the most surprising move will be where chara goes.i think he will end up in the pacific division either in anahiem or los angeles or san jose.i want my sharks to resign our free agents.also to trade nabokov for a solid scoring winger to play with joe thornton and johnathan cheechoo.also the sharks need some experience on the bluline so a guy like chara, pronger, jovo or even second tier defencemen such as jay mckee, brendan witt, or willie mitchell.

  15. OilersRush says:

    http://www.rushockey.com/events.php?i=sl&stream=sl_interviews&id=500

    Morozov signed a 3 year deal without a out clause to stay in Russia with Ak Bars Kazan, so cross his name out of the list.

  16. Veggetto19 says:

    Id like to see the flyers make a run at Vinny Lecavalier for Esche and maybe johnsson or try to get giggy for esche and a pick id like to see jagr take a season off like usual when he doesent feel like playing and to see NJ loose all of its talent

  17. LeafsJaysRapsBillsManU says:

    Safe bet…I would be shocked if he ends up elsewhere.

  18. LeafsJaysRapsBillsManU says:

    If TJ is healthy, this is going to be a steal…you’ve got CB4, Bargnani, and this other Spanish kid (whose name escapes me and we’ve supposedly signed him) to play 4…Charlie, as good as he was last year, is expendable in this scenario…Ford is definitely a question mark considering the neck injury, but it’s a case of high risk/high reward…I hope it works out, and I think it will, because Bryan Colangelo is no dummy.

  19. BlueOrangeWhite says:

    What do you wish for your team? …

    My team is the Islanders:

    I’d like to see them sign 2 goalies. A solid starter, and a pro back up. Good choices would be Gerber, Turco, or Biron. For back up spot Sebastion Caron, or Brian Boucher would be fine. (Although some of these may be via trade as opposed to FA)

    A solid vet, quarterback defensemen. Pronger would be perfect.

    And a 20-25 goal scoring forward. Guerin could possibly work out.

  20. flyerjim says:

    Flyer won’t go after Chara……he’s got “Rangers” all over him. No sources, just a feeling.

  21. flyerjim says:

    Johnsson is an UFA….he won’t be traded or signed (TFP.com) by the Flyers.

    Forberg, Primeau, Nedved, Handzus, Richards, Carter AND Vinny!! A little too deep at centre maybe??

    If they’re going to take on a big contract, I’d like to see them sneak in there and send Esche, Handzus and something else (pick or 2nd tier prospect…Potulny??) to Edmonton for Pronger. Though it doesn’t get the same coverage and speculation as the Leafs, but the Flyers supposedly been in talks with Edmonton.

    The Flyers need a D-man, and a second line scoring winger. i don’t care if they have to sign or trade, but that’s what they need. Witt and Anson Carter are my picks….their contracts won’t be too big as to not leave cap space for later in the year.

    I’d like to see the Rangers get Chara, the Isles be a legit playoff team, and the Atlantic to be a tight, competitive race all year. the last day positioning was great this year.

    I want the Leafs to miss out on every name that’s been “rumoured” to be going there. I hope they have to sign bums like Khavanov and Czerkawski last year…..and absolutely not JR. That guy CAN’T go to T.O.

  22. Aetherial says:

    I suspect Jovo will be signed first. I think that *seems* to be the biggest slam dunk out of the big names.

    I also expect the Leafs to strike quickly at someone as JFJ took a lot of heat last year for being asleep at the wheel at the beginning…

    People forget that he also didn’t grossly over pay, or exceed the cap, or sign long term, painful, deals like some other GM’s… Tie Domi being the exception and was not *too* painful, but bad enough.

    I think it is telling that there may be a delay in trading for Roberts. I believe the Leafs have a few different guys in mind and are trying to gauge the market beore committing 2.25 to Roberts… Keenan will trade him for not much as Florida also wants to shed that salary.

  23. LeafsLeafsLeafs says:

    Rick DiPietro……

  24. muckies says:

    Maybe Ottawa will sign B. Shanahan and Keith Carney – Maybe Gerber and Peca – they aren’t going after Roenick Muckler said.

  25. LeafsLeafsLeafs says:

    Ok so the Sens say they can’t spend the full cap yet you think everyone is going to Ottawa. Move over Leaf fans, we have a new set of crazies.

  26. hockeytonkgirl says:

    For my Predators…

    #1 need: a top-2-line center

    There are a lot of possiblities including Arnott, Roenick, Lindros, Savard, Chouinard, etc.

    GM Poile might also look to a trade for a center.

    #2 need: a back-up goalie who can sit on the bench and watch Vokoun play

    The Preds will probably wait to see what happens with Chris Mason unless they can get someone like Johan Hedberg cheaply.

    #3: One veteran defenseman with size and grit, though the Predators could stand with the defense we’ve already got (Timonen, Zidlicky, Hamhuis, Suter, Weber, Klein, Lehtonen/Zanon) and be just fine.

    Poile may not make the splash this year that he did last year with Kariya.

  27. crazzzy says:

    My wish list of free agents for the pens to sign would be these guys:

    Patrick Elias: I know he’s more expensive then they want, be we need snipers to put the puck in the net when Sid and Malkin put it on their sticks

    Sergei Samsonov: More realistic to land than Elias, and also younger with therefor still some upside. He worked well with Thornton, and I think could be a huge addition for Sid or Malkin on their wing.

    Mike Peca: I didn’t understand why the Pens didn’t go for a defensive defenceman and one or two two-way forwards last year. Peca would give great veteran leadership, and would be able to kill penalties, as well as give us a third-line center (behind Sid and Malkin respectively).

    Zdeno Chara: Hey, we can all have our pipe dreams, right? Honestly, I know we’ll never spend the 7 mil a season for him, but he might just be worth anyways. Never will happen though.

    Rob Blake: See above.

    I’d also like to see Shero make a play at trading Gonchar for Pronger.

  28. Enigma says:

    Roberts should definitaly be an “icing on the cake” type of thing. You sign younger players first, and if the leafs still have some decent cap room left, you go after a Roberts as a mentor type of thing. Although the leafs are paying their captain about 7Mill. to hopefully do that already (along with many other aspects).

  29. habs_punk says:

    Tampa already got themselves a goalie. Marc Denis will be the starter for the Lightning next season. The Denis for Modin trade effectively killed any trade rumors involving goalies going to Tampa for a star player. Besides, I don’t see Esche bringing a star player in return to the Flyers no matter what team he gets traded to.

  30. BosBrn77 says:

    I don’t mean to send this in at the wire… but here goes.

    I think either Jovo or Savard will go first.

    As for surprise…. seeing Chara in a different jersey.

    As for my team….

    Boston needs a lot of help. They have some great core players to build around.(Bergeron, Boyes, Stuart, Mara, and Toivonen) They need a number one center, first line LW to play with Murray, and another big name defense man.

    For wingers…..

    Straka, Samsonov, Ruutu, and Daze

    For centers…..

    Savard, Weight, Arnott, Lindros or Allison

    For defense…..

    Jovonovski, Chara, Witt, McKee, Ward, or Poti.

    If I were Gorton/Chirelli… I would make sure to resign Alberts, Bergeron, Boyes, Jurcina, and Tanabe, and get LaCouture and Reasoner signed. I’d consider Leetch if he would take a considerable pay cut from the 4 million he made last year. His leadership alone would help.

    For UFAs…. I would make a splash and go after a big name defense man. I’d give either Jovonovski or Chara big money.

    Next I would go after either Savard or Lindros to center my top line. Murray needs someone to feed him the puck. I think Lindros would come a little cheaper, and would like being the number one center again. So either one would work.

    Finally I would try and get either Samsonov to come back or sign Straka. so the top line would have some quickness.

    Adding a gritty player would be helpful too. Peca, Barnaby or the likes would work.

    Boston has plenty of young defensemen, they just need a seasoned veteran to help them along.

    Now, that is what I would like…. but will probably happen is Boston will sign Arnason, Rivers and Young.

    As for rivals…… I wish them all luck. Without rivals, you don’t have great games!!!

  31. Habfanforever says:

    Habs should make an offer to Elias like many other teams, hopefully he’ll realize what a great city this is and sign here. They should then get a powerplay d-man like Kubina for example, to help out Markov. They should then trade away Souray for a solid 2nd line winger.

    It doesn’t matter what the Laughs do, they’ll suck more than ever as it seems JFJ still doesn’t know where he is or what he’s doing.

  32. 92-93 says:

    and Sundin is doing about as good of a job as any captain in the league.

    you cannot put a price on his kind of leadership.

  33. Marky2Fresh says:

    I rather have McCauley over Arnott

  34. BlueOrangeWhite says:

    …is NOT the big time goalie Milbury gambled on him being!

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