Some Free Agent Destinations are Intriguing.
Well I thought that I would weigh in on the talk of who is going where. I spend alot of time working on my NHL Free Agent site, so I have some ideas about rumors of the destination of some current unrestricted free agents. I have listed in the brackets the teams I have heard from legitimate media that are interested in the players. I also have noted where I feel they may end up at. But I could be way off too. It should give you all something to read, as I have noticed that hockey media is slow these days.Glen Murray (TOR, DET) – This is a move that I think will start the domino effect of the bigger name free agents. Murray certainly can chip in for whoever is able to sign him. In the end I really would not be all that surprised if he ends up in Detroit replacing Brett Hull. My pick: DET
Teemu Selanne (MTL, PHX, SJ) – He did not live up to potential last year. I saw two Avalanche games last season, and he was invisible in the first game and was a scratch in the second. What he needs is a change of scenery and this is his chance. Montreal would be a great move, but will only happen should Kovalev sign elsewhere. My Pick: MTL
Paul Kariya (LA, TOR, VAN, STL) – I like the idea of him going to his hometown in Vancouver. He could fill in right where Sanderson or Rucinsky played last season. As for the Toronto rumor, I think it would be a move to avoid it. The Leafs are built like Colorado, but older. It didn’t work lat year why this year? My Pick: VAN
Micheal Nylander (BOS, CHI) – I think finally someone will stay with Boston. He fit in really well last year. This one is easy. My Pick: BOS
Valeri Bure (CHI, LA) – Did not do much in Dallas after the trade deadline deal from Florida. He needs to be in a similar situation where he is relied upon to be the go to guy to succeed. However I have a feeling that he will end up someplace not yet spoken. He wants to get close to Hollywood again for his actress wife so My Pick: SJ or ANA
Brett Hull (DAL, STL) – I like either one. But he desires to retire a Star and he will. My Pick: SDAL
Brendan Shanahan (DET, TOR, STL, FLA) – Detroit is pushing hard for him, Toronto thinks he is the missing piece and Florida wants him for leadership. I don’t think anyone will pry him away from Detroit though. My Pick: DET
Petr Nedved (EDM, VAN, LA, FLA, TOR) – Very sought after! He played excellent for the Oilers and had Sather gave him away a little sooner the Predators would have had to wait one more year to see the playoffs. The Oilers really need him back and he wants to be back. Pick: EDM
Jason Allison and Adam Deadmarsh – There has not been one rumored destination for either one. I think Deadmarsh might actually look at Colorado, and Allison may end up getting the call to go back to Boston.
Zigmund Palffy (DET, LA, STL, NYR) – The Kings top scorer last year had a good deal offered to him by LA but he refused. Bad move Ziggy! He will not get anywhere near that from anyone, and may end up being one of the later signings. If so, then Pick: STL
Alexei Kovalev (MTL, PIT, LA) – The most talked about player from what I have seen. Montreal wants him back, Pittsburgh wants him back, but I don’t think either will offer him enough to return. Pick: LA
Pavel Bure (FLA) – He’s done… Pick: Russian Politics
Eric Lindros (TOR, EDM, NYR) – Mentioned as a possible replacement for Nedved in Edmonton. I would admit he would look good in the blue, red and copper, but Toronto is where his heart is and he will go there. Pick: TOR
Peter Bondra (WAS, STL, LA, FLA) – I doubt he’ll consider anything but Washington in the end. Pick: WAS
Alexei Zhamnov (PHI, PIT, ATL) – Changed his value after the trade to Philadelphia. I doubt he’d even consider Atlanta, though the concept of playing with Kovalchuk could help. But this may seem to be from out in left field but I wonder if Boston will eventually think they need to do something to give the fans some hope. Pick: BOS
Pavol Demitra (STL, FLA, NYR) – I think this is the player that Florida is targeting to bring the offence. Kennan got him from Ottawa years ago and got his career going, he may be interested in giving it another shot. Pick: FLA
Scott Mellanby (FLA) – Just tonight I learnt that Keenan was playing hardball with Mellanby by changing the offer that was agreed to Saturday night, twice. I don’t see it happening now, and there is another team interested. My Pick: OTT
Vincent Damphousse (COL, VAN, TOR) – Drawing interest from a number of teams. I think Colorado will swoop in and grab him to replace Forsberg, who I think is leaving for Sweden. Pick: COL
Ron Francis (CAR, TOR, Retirement) – Will not even consider Toronto. Quinn benched him is the final game last year. He probably will return to Carolina, Mario may also inquire about a Pittsburgh return. Pick: CAR
Bill Lindsay – Worth mentioning that he should end up in Washington as they thought they had him last year but because of an injury the move was cancelled.
Steve Gainey – Listed for one reason, he is free to sign anywhere. An interesting fact, he was drafted by his Dad, Bob Gainey. Guess what? Bob runs Montreal. Could he be heading to Montreal?
Brett McLean – Chicago took Barnaby from the Avs, the Avs will take McLean.
Alexei Zhitnik (TOR, BUF) – Someone else will sign him. Many teams are seeking defencemen, and I think he will land someplace that nobody would expect. Florida, Nashville, Atlanta and Philadelphia are all strong possibilies. Don’t look at Dallas, they have spent too much money on players. PICK: PHI
Teppo Numminen (DAL, PHX) – He will return for one more year in Phoenix before retiring.
Andy Delmore and Dan McGillis (DAL) – One will become the new depth defenceman in Dallas.
Lyle Odelein (NSH, NYI) – The Predators will take a run at him.
Vladimir Malakhov (PHI, NYR) – A return to the Rangers would not shock me. The move opens up space for the Flyers to add Zhitnik. Malakhov would be great for the younger Rangers defence. Pick: NYR
Murray Baron – No teams have been named here, but I have a thought: He played for Keenan with the Flyers, Blues and Canucks. Pick: FLA
Marc Bergevin (VAN) – Once again, no rumors yet. But I would not at all be surprised to see him land in either Vancouver or Pittsburgh. He is really good friends with Lemieux, and the Canucks are very interested in keeping him and Mike Keane for another year.
Kevin Weekes (TOR, NJ, ANA, NYI, VAN) – All the teams named there were mentioned today. Some do not make sense to me. The Ducks, Islanders and Devils are in need of backups. But Anaheim has Bryzgalov and the Devils have Ari Ahonen. Vancouver is set with Auld and Cloutier, and if they walk away from Cloutier or even consider a goalie, it will not be Weekes. Pick: TOR this week
Chris Osgood – While not much has been heard of Ozzy, that will change in a month. When the Canucks make a solid decision on their situation, he will be an option. Also if Garth Snow leaves the Islanders for the Rangers, the Islanders are also an option.
Garth Snow (NYI, NYR) and Felix Potvin – I don’t doubt that Snow returns to the Island and Potvin back to Boston. Both served as good mentors to DiPietro and Raycroft respectively. But there are rumors of Snow heading to the Rangers.
Some players who I feel could be pickups who would be the best bang for the buck however are not those who routinely are put up on the scoresheet. The Ducks Jason Krog is a hard working player, with a great ability to win the faceoffs. Frantisek Kaberle, Yannick Tremblay and Chris Tamer from Atlanta, Jason Strudwick of Chicago, Darren Rumble from Tampa and Scott Ferguson of the Oilers are all dependable solid blueliners who can chip in for a team in different ways. Travis Brigley and Steve Moore from the Avalanche have the ability to chip in on a regular basis and put in a significant amount of time on the NHL roster. Moore, however, I would expect to rejoin the Avalanche if for no other reason than the fact the team stood behind him after the Bertuzzi attack. And in goal Jean-Marc Pelletier was once a top prospect for the Flyers but has since moved to Carolina and Phoenix, and would be a good pickup for an emergency goalie, or minor league starter.
And Jim *****mins, Shayne Corson, Steve Thomas, Donald Audette, Rem Murray and Cliff Ronning are heading to retirement.
I will weigh in later this week on the upcoming labour dispute too, as I think there are a number of things that could be discussed there.