July 1st, Free Agents Column

Good morning my hockey friends. This will be an updated post throughout the day on signings and possible trades, much like we do on draft day.

Redden signs with the Rangers, six years $6.5m p/s

Devils sign Bobby Holik, $2.5M; 1 year.

NYR re-signs Michal Rozsival, $20M, 4 years. Toronto signs Niclas Hagman

Rolston signs back with the Devils: a four-year, $20 million contract

Columbus signs UFA defenceman Mike Commodore to a 5 year deal worth $18.75-million; Flyers bring back Ossi Vaananen

Campbell signs with Blackhawks, 8 years at $7.1M p/s

(Minor signings are updated in post, click “read more”).Vancouver Canucks sign UFA forward Darcy Hordichuk to a two-year deal

Philadelphia Flyers sign UFA forward Nate Raduns to a one-year

Philadelphia Flyers sign UFA forward Glen Metropolit to a two-year deal

Ossi Vaananen signed by Flyers, 1 year, $1M.

Ottawa signs UFA goaltender Alex Auld to a 2 year deal worth $1-million

Colorado signs UFA forward Darcy Tucker to a 2 year deal worth $4.5-million

Vancouver signs RFA forward David Backes to an offer sheet, 3 years $7.5-million. St. Louis has seven days to match or accept a 2nd round draft pick as compensation.

Cory Stillman signs with Florida, $10.6, three years.

Hawks signs with Chicago; $5.625 million Length of contract:
4 years

Jeff Finger signs with Toronto, four years $3.5M

Detroit Red Wings sign Ty Conklin, one year.

Fan 590 reported that Andy Raycroft signed 1-year with Colorado.

Kurt Sauer either signs with Coyotes (4 yrs, $1.75M p/s).

Jose Theodore has signed with the Capitals, two years $9M.

Olaf Kolzig signs with Tampa Bay according to Fan 590 (Toronto).

RDS.ca reports Flyers trade Denis Gauthier and a second round choice in 2010 to LA for Patrik Hersley and Ned Lukacevic.

NY Rangers sign UFA forward Aaron Voros (undisclosed)

Pittsburgh signs UFA forward Eric Godard (undisclosed)

Tampa Bay signs UFA forward Adam Hall to a 3 year deal worth $1.8-million

Montreal re-signs RFA forward Andrei Kostitsyn to a 3 year deal worth $3.25-million a season

Todd Fedoruk signs with Phoenix.

Kyle Wellwood signs with Canucks. Brunette signed with Minnesota and Minnesota acquires Marek Zidlicky from Nashville.

Radim Vrbata signs with Tampa Bay, $3M a season (Sportsnet.ca)

Rene Bourque traded to Calgary for a 2nd rounder.

Bryce Salvador re-signed with the Devils for four years, $2.9M p/s.

Brian Rolston will test the market, according to TSN.

Caps d-man Mike Green re-upped for four years worth $21M.

Corey Perry re-signed, $5.3M p/s, Dupuis re-signed $1.4M p/s.

Kukla’s Korner reports Curtis Joseph signs with Toronto.

Oilers traded Pitkanen to Carolina for Erik Cole.

Sportsnet.ca reports that Jay Pandolfo re-signed with New Jersey Devils.

As per TSN, the Oilers traded Raffi Torres to the Blue Jackets for Brulet.

Pittsburgh Penguins re-sign UFA D Mark Eaton to a 2 year deal worth $2-million

184 Responses to July 1st, Free Agents Column

  1. leafsrule31 says:

    fair enough

    however.. my point is that these signings are just as insignificant as they are significant in a negative way. know what i'm sayin?!

    i fail to see how these signings affect any of our kids. the whole point is to develop the players properly, and not rush them into a losing situation and play with their confidence. the other half of my point, is that this summer is far from over, and theres nothing to prove that any of these kids have lost a roster spot as of now. assumptions and irrationalitys among the fanbase is partially responsible for the situation we're in in the first place.

    we are rebuilding, take the losing years as a time to properly develop our young stars.. what little we have at the moment. we have a new coach and a new system, who is a fan of both players. as i said before.. if you can't trust that things are going in the right direction and at least make an effort to be positive about the situation, you do nothing to benefit the team as a fan of the toronto maple leafs.

    your entire position as to why these are bad signings is based on assumptions. assuming whos going to get what icetime, and in what capacity. theres no assumption nessacary that a spot has to go to a higher paid player.

    fact of the matter is, the summer is far from over. if any 2 of kubina blake or mccabe were to be moved in the near future, we need at least one of these signings to stay above the cap floor, off the top of my head. nothing is concrete right now, and you, and any other leaf fan has nothing to lay claim to anything being set in place as of the first of july. these are 4 year contracts, and we're not doing anything of significance in the next 4 years. this team is in a far better position than it was in 6 months ago. things can only get better. you need to pull your head out of your ass and thank cliff fletcher for walking into a situation that was a no win for him, a complete mess, and probably something no one with any credibility would have touched with a ten foot pole. none of us have managed any professional sports teams lately and have no basis to judge.

    for the record, its not like colorado is a pressure free city.

  2. leafsrule31 says:

    eeeh thanks fella. as i would imagine, you'd have to be a fan of another team to understand the rational.

  3. leafsrule31 says:


    you do nothing for the team when you hang our players before they even play a game as a leaf, and you certainly do nothing that hasn't already been done.

  4. passionch says:

    Man, everyone so expensive, it pains me to see better players play for less.  I always enjoy the first day of free agency but deals, year after year, (after the cap salary was introduced) just seem to skyrocket.  Only difference is that it's not only the NYR that does it now.  XD

  5. habsrock99 says:

    Theirs just no pleasing Leaf fans. All year long on almost every Leaf article written on this site, a lot of Leaf fans were saying they'd sign Niklas Hagman to that same 4 year/12 mill contract and would give Finger a 3-4 year/12-14 mill contract. And Leaf fans were saying those would be great signings. But now that it's actually happend, everyone's pissed about them.
    Niklas Hagman is a goal scorer with tremendous defensive abilities. He'll net you 20 goals playing on the 3rd line and around 30 playing on the 2nd. Plus he's great on the PK. Jeff Finger is a steady, reliable and solid defensive defenceman and was Colorado's most consistent defender last year. Yeah, he isn't flashy and won't score as much as Kubina or McCabe but he'll give you everything he's got and can log 20-30 minutes a game. And isn't that the point? To decrease the amount of time Kubina and McCabe are on the ice so that it minimizes the amount of mistakes they do?

    You want a bad signing?
    NY Islanders signing Mark Streit to a 5 year/20.5 million dollar deal(he makes McCabe look like a defensive wizard).

    NY Rangers signing Wade Redden to a 6 year/39 million dollar contract(he's been a shell of his former self the last few years).

    New Jersey signing Brian Rolston for 4 years(he's 35 and if they honestly think he'll keep scoring 25-30 goals at 38 or 39, Lou's off his rocker).

    Washington signing Mike Green to a 4 year/21 million dollar contract(just 3 career goals prior to his 18 goal outbreak last year).

    Washington signing Jose Theodore to a 2 year/9 million dollar contract(too much for a goalie who sucks after the 1st Round) 

    Chicago signing Cristobal Huet to a 4 year/22.5 million dollar contract(too much for a goalie who's going to start his decline this year) 

    If you think that signing Radim Vrbata would of been better then signing Hagman, you know nothing about Vrbata. Vrbata is very much like Paul Kariya in that he has a difficult time performing well in front of a media driven market but if he plays for a team that has minimal media coverage, he thrives. Vrbata in TO would of been great now but 25 games into the season when he has just 2-3 goals, you guys would be all over him and Fletch saying that was the worst signing of the year.

  6. mojo19 says:

    Ya Vandermeer would have been good. Who knows, maybe Jim turned the Leafs down along with Hainsey, Orpik, Streit, and other guys and finally Cliff was forced to overpay for a guy who he thought could be useful. We don't know the whole story and we dont know who rejected the Leafs.

  7. the_word says:

    We nothing for the team? No shit, nor is it our responsibility to put a decent product on the ice or an adequate rebuilding plan. Our role as fans is to cheer or boo or criticize or praise the Leafs as we see fit. Its the sum of our collective interest that make the Leafs. We owe them nothing just as surely as the Muskoka five reminded us they owe us notice. They get paid to entertain us and MSLE and its players have been doing a half ass job for years.

  8. the_word says:

    If the Gainey signed Hagman and Fingers to those deals would you be pleased?

    Nuff said

  9. leafsrule31 says:

    also fair enough.

    is that the attitude that fixes it? things are going in the right direction, its a process. spazzing out like a little kid 3 months before the start of what is to be an agonizing season doesn't help. toronto is a different market than most, the fans have dictated the direction of the team. it was the fanbase that screamed for mccabe to not be let go of. it was the asses in the air canada center that screamed for tucker and sundin to stay. get over yourself and not only be happy with progression, but realize the team is never going to get better when you spend 3 months cutting acquisitions to bits before they can even step on the ice.

    according to the reaction they get out of some of you clowns, entertain is exactly what they've been doing. take your own advice and cheer for once. you we're booing 6 months ago, the team is being decimated, and your booing because you don't like how its being done. get over yourself.

  10. habsrock99 says:

    I would gladly take Jeff Finger for 4 years/14 mill over Francis Bouillon and Mathieu Dandenault and I'd happily accept Niklas Hagman at 4 years 12 mill anyday of the week over Steve Begin, Maxim Lapierre, Tom Kostopoulos, Bryan Smolinski and Michael Ryder.

  11. habsrock99 says:

    'Nuff said

  12. RIP_Dimebag says:

    Mark Streit to the Islanders…..

  13. mojo19 says:

    Haha, maybe not a steal but Kubina's salary looks better and better every time another d-man is signed somewhere.

  14. mojo19 says:

    I hear your frustration, I actually liked Aki Berg but that's okay.

  15. the_word says:

    Spazzing out like a three year old? Ok, but its ok when you use the juvenile discourse, huh?

    Would you perfer a fifteen hundred word essay, dressing the corpse of MLSE, praising these a respectable moves going forward?

    Fans have dictated the direction of this team? Actually I don't know if you ever bothered to read any newspaper or article on this site concerning the Leafs for the last three years, but whats been pretty uniform is the consent that MLSE has ignored the experience of the fans. It actually degenerated to the point that SI named the Leafs product as the second worst fan experience in all of the major four professional sports with only the Knicks being worst. So its hard for me to get my head around this claim.

    So I should get over myself, and praise your meta-level breakdown of fan behavior in Toronto. Its my attitude that is responsible for Finger and Hagman are going to be busts.

    Can fans ever be critical of this team or should we just get excited about these signings.

    Six months ago I was looking forward to see what this organization was going to do to move forward at the deadline and during the off season. What they've done is reminded me how their inept. Now you can't handle this team being criticized, perhaps your on the wrong site.

    If Cliff Fletcher walked up to you in the street and spit in your face would you thank him?

  16. leafsrule31 says:

    don't take it personally.. well take it personally. i don't care. i don't say it to offend anyways. just seriously wondering.. but are you female?

    you prove my point without me even having to say it. you would much rather sit there and be as meladramatic as possible, and assume that hagman and finger are going to be busts, as opposed to staying rational and waiting to see what the rest of the storm has to offer?

    newsflash pal, the entire leafs team is going to be a bust for a few years. you can be as critical as you want, and all the whining in the world isn't going to change it.

    i have no problems with the team being criticized. its in the manner that its done. its funner to ***** about how these guys are going to be worthless before they even have the opportunity to prove themselves, when in the end, it doesn't matter if they're busts or not. its regardless, they are here to fill roster spots. what was wrong with what fletcher did at the deadline? plain and simple, this is the first opportunity you've had to sook and whine about something the leafs did in a few months. and your aaaall over it. you.. are the reason leaf fans get lumped into a pile and crapped on my friend, because your irrational, immature, and logically unsound. having something to pout about is the key here.

    i have things i'm unsure about to. the difference is, i can realize i don't get paid to make the decisions, and i don't see what situations brought him to the decisions that were made. at the end of the day, things are headed in the right direction, and fletcher has managed to turn a complete shitshow into something that even fans of neutral teams can admit is going in the right direction.


  17. robster11 says:

    Michael Ryder to the Bruins

  18. RIP_Dimebag says:

    I bet they overpaid.

  19. wingerxxx says:

    Way overboard for this guy. He was steady during the regular season, but he was absolutely horrific in the playoffs.  Really did nothing to prove himself worthy of a deal like this. 

  20. wingerxxx says:

    Finger is a decent defenseman.  He is steady as long as he's not playing against top caliber forwards.  He really looked awful in the playoffs, and the Avs were definitely right in scratching him. 

    Getting Finger was a step in the right direction for Toronto, but the deal itself was ludicrous.  Too much money invested in a relatively unproven defenseman.  At best, Finger is a gamble.

  21. the_word says:

    So you're a misogynist too, big surprise. Staying rational? Um, everyone on TV , in newspapers and pretty much everyone on this site besides you, are calling them busts. So we're all irrational and you're rational. Sureeeeeeeee

    So being critical is irrational. Newflash, you're a hack.

    You'd obviously haven't read anything I've posted here if you think I've been whining about the Leafs all season. Not that I expect you too but emphases what a tool your fixated on proving yourself to be.

    Awww, are your friends giving you a hard time? I can actually can talk hockey with mine despite the fact I'm a Leafs fan. Maybe its because we're not in grade seven.

    Again the neutral fans and media are calling today a disgrace for the Leafs, but you're right and everyone else is wrong.

    Suck it up? I'm not the one prattling on with the vocabulary of a birth defect.

  22. nordiques100 says:

    the guy making 3.5 mil or the guy who can clear waivers when sent down to the marlies? who's getting the ice time? you're darn right its the guy making the millions. thats the unfortunate byproduct of these signings.

    thats the issue i have. they've done it again. sure you need time to develop but players like newbury, williams, ondrus, kronvall and even earl and foster to an extent have paid their dues with at least 2 seasons in the minors. its time they got a shot right? instead its two players marginally better who are automatically going to get premium ice time and lineup spots.

    that is what bothers me. they could have signed hossa or whomever and i still would be saying the same things. signing anybody this summer was pointless. if the whole point was to clear the decks, these signings do nothing but.

    before the signings, the team was over the cap minimum by 1.5 million. the re-signing of stajan would have bumped them to 3 plus million over the cap min. any move of blake, mccabe or kubina would have left the leafs with roughly 1.5 to 2 million to make up. not much at all if you ask me. if you throw in cujo's contract with 3-4 more players to round out your 22-23 man roster, that would easily make up the difference if they happened to go under.

    there was no need to go out and immediately sign someone. they could have sat this out and waited until much later and picked up a few other bodies to round out their roster (like re-sign moore). they needed not to make a big splash. they are supposedly rebuilding. they are supposedly going to give their young players a chance. they are supposedly building within. i see no evidence of this.

    the last thing the leafs needed was more long term contracts. 4 years is a ton of time for players who simply have not proven they deserve it. fletcher appears to have taken it upon himself to build the team he wants, not doing what he said out to do and cleaning up the mess ferguson created and opening up the roster, the cap and the flexibility for the new guy coming in.

    fletcher did a good job last week and the last few months for that matter getting rid of the dead wood. he undid that the last 24 hours.

    are cujo, finger and hagman that much better than raycroft, gill and tucker? i dont think so. so whats the goal here? isnt it to improve the team? it doesnt look that way. so is it building for the future? well they are hedging their bets a 1 year wonder like finger can turn into a something more and a guy who overacheived can continue to overacheive. they are a bit younger than those they are replacing but thats about it. to me, they have players within who could have the talent to do what finger and hagman can provide.
    a player like kronvall for example. he is big and if he can stay healthy, plays a simple enough game to excel on the 3rd pair. he need not be paid 3.5 mil to do so.

    a player like earl. good size, good speed, can kill penalties, maybe score a few too. just like hagman but not yet given the opportunity to prove it. now would have been the time. same goes for a guy like williams or darryl boyce. opportunity knocks but the door was slammed shut.

    the team is no better than where they were when fletcher took over. he overpaid for bit players. look at the wings. players like cleary, holmstrom, samuelsson, franzen are all making less than 3 million. i would say they are superior players to hagman. and is finger really worth 750K less than kaberle? i think not. kaberle is 100 times the player.  

    no i am not going to thank cliff. he doesnt deserve it. the team didnt need anyone signed beyond 2010. their hands are tied with 3 long term deals they are trying to get out of. now they've added two more. its different if they were well under the min and could afford to take a chance. here they didnt. they could have left themselves with a ton of flexibility to do whatever they please. instead this hinders them further.

  23. leafsrule31 says:

    i see your point,

    i stand by my original position. this is only the beginning of july. these signings seem senseless now, all i'm saying is that in a couple months they may not. it does no one any justice to make assumptions that this is the team thats going to be iced in october. by then these signings, and the young players might be getting the spots to.

    i'm not looking it up im in a hurry, but off the top of my head after these signings we still sit approximately 8 million below the cap. and thats with stajan figured in.

    as i said, i see your point.

  24. leafsrule31 says:

    when was the last time the media didn't call the leafs a disgrace? anyone on tv.. or the internet? thats the market fuzzlenut. if the leafs traded for crosby today they would have overpaid for him according to the media. that whole defence right there is what makes you a freaking donkey.

    your vocabulary is so tough and intimidating fella, i'm sure you have the hottest online girlfriend around. if your not female, you rock out the small man syndrome like your at the sms olympics.

    freaking donkey. go hang out with aaaall your friend then.

  25. passionch says:

    Detroit just got a whole lot better with Hossa (1 year for 7.4M since he HAS to be paid lower than captain Lidstrom).  Quite ironic since he did play against them and lost.  You know what they say, if you can't beat them, join them!  :]

  26. passionch says:

    Oh forgot, sources are are from TSN and RDS.


    I'm quite surprised they didn't opt for Sundin but hey, I actually wouldn't be surprised if they did a few deals to free cap space and sign Mats to a super discount contract… 

  27. the_word says:

    Last time media didn't burn the Leafs, last year signing Blake, praise was pretty much universal and fans were pretty much cautiosly optimistic.

    Yeah, the Leafs are trading for Crosby, I'll hold my breath. Your arguments are soooooooo compelling.

    Donkey, k there Hellmuth, you're so clever. Troll on you bitter little alpha taking out your mediocre over a hockey fan site. Impressive.

  28. leafsrule31 says:

    brisebois for 9 mil? let tavares drop to 8th? yours are so much more rational. give your head a shake god, your on the same level i am whether you like it or not.

    the media did burn the blake signing. offering a guy whos 35 and a one hit wonder a 4 year contract at 5 mil a season? i don't know where you were.. i heard it every day for a month. but i'm glad that the only circumstance you could find to defend yourself was a year ago.

    your twice as clever you shleprok. which is why your arguing with me. your doing the exact same thing i am, yet your nose is actually far enough in the air to sit back and judge, and think your better because of it?

    i guess.. whatever gets you through the day champ.

  29. the_word says:

    Brisebois and Tavares were hyperboles…. You'll learn that word when you finish grade nine. Oooops, I'm also making another assumption that you're not in a remedial class, I'm probably wrong as usual on that one.

    Nope, they praise getting a 40 goal score at a reasonable price. Its what those guys on TSN said. I actually praise the deal at the time (not making that mistake this year) and argued for the Leafs to sign Tucker long term and was disappointed with his buyout because I'm such a prototypical Leafs fan huh.

    Oh yeah, you're not judging me at all….

    That you about work through your fustrated agnst yet? Or must we continue.

  30. leafy says:

    Actually I think it's the 49th parallel, but we hear ya!

  31. leafsrule31 says:

    yes.. another wrong assumption. at least your starting to catch up.

    ooooh i guess we're watching a different show. i could've sworn that the mass consensus was signing a 35 year old forward to a 5 year deal, after his only 40 goal season was risky at best. other than that.. are you being sarcastic? cause your hitting nails on the head all over the place.

    i can fullfledgidly admit that i'm judging you. you do an amazing job of coming off as an omnipotent prick. i'm not trying to act like i'm better than anyone, and know anything there is to know. your trying to convince me i'm arguing with god. who's making themself look like a clown?

    you managed to spell frustrated and angst wrong, you rocket scientist you. is this where i insert a high school joke?

  32. the_word says:

    I know, my posts are always full of typos, I should start reading them over before posting, but the ***** do I care, people can still read'em.

    Its kinda petty to call someone on typos, especially if you're a person who doesn't know the difference between 'your' and 'you're'. It take a special brand of ignorance to say 'your a child', when you can't even do it properly.

    I distinctly remember Bob MacKenzie being asked who were the bigger winners in last year's trade deadline special, and he began with saying, 'The Toronto Maple Leafsfor signing Blake'. So here simply pointing out you're wrong.

    You're (a contraction for you are and is distinct from your which is the possesive form of you) trying to establish yourself as being better than myself. Its rather arrogent, a tad annoying and ultimately futile. Its so cute when you try to talk down to me with your self delusion of grandeur.

    Keep lecture the world on negativity you miserable *****.

  33. leafsrule31 says:

    fustrated champ? no typo there, just a dumbassed spelling mistake from the king of criticizing vocabulary and intelligence.

    i make mistakes quite a bit, i'm just not trying to convince someone they're stupider than me as i'm doing it. i'm simply point it out in a minor attempt to bring your ego down a few notches, so some other poor bastard won't have to deal with the god complex you carry in your front pocket. its also arrogant, not arrogent. would you like to jab my vocabulary now mr spelling bee?

    keep being a prick, prick.

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