The dust is still far from settled on the NHL free agent market, but some major players have changed teams already. Read on…
Andrew Brunette – $2.5 million per season, three seasons. This is a very reasonable contract for a consistent 60-80 point player. Brunette thrives in the Northwest division and definitely took a discount to play in Minnesota. He will help replace some of the production lost from the departures of Rolston and Demitra.
Marian Hossa - $7.45 million per season, one season. Hossa took a big discount to sign in Detroit (apparently he was offered eight, but didn’t want to overshadow Lidstrom). He immediately becomes a 50-goal threat once again, and gives Detroit the ability to roll out two dangerous, dangerous lines. Check this out: Zetterberg-Datsyuk-Holmstrom, Franzen-Filppula-Hossa. Wow. He turned down an apparent nine-year, $81 million dollar deal.
Ron Hainsey - $4.5 million per season, five seasons. This is a big overpayment, but one that needed to be made. The Thrashers missed on Brian Campbell and desperately needed a puck moving defenseman. Hainsey is inconsistent, but he comes in a lot cheaper and he still has some room to develop. The deal is a lot of money for a number four defenseman, though.
Nicklas Hagman - $3 million per season, four seasons. Hagman is a very good player, but he doesn’t’ really fit the Leafs. He is fast and surprising offensively, but he will need to repeat his 20-25 goals to earn the deal. The Leafs already signed the wrong type of player with Jason Blake last off-season.
Wade Redden - $6.5 million per season, six seasons. Redden has played like a bottom-pairing defenseman the past two seasons in Ottawa. The Rangers must have some inside information about him, because as it stands this contract is ludicrous. Redden used to be a solid top pairing defenseman with a ton of offence, but as of now his is a big question mark. At one or two years, this contract would be half decent. Six years? Give me a break.
Brian Campbell -$7.1 million per season, eight seasons. Eight seasons? Are you kidding me? Look at Chicago’s roster from eight seasons’ ago. See any interesting names? Eric Daze, Boris Mirnov, Reto Von Arx? Trying to predict the NHL environment eight years down the line is impossible. This deal is awful, awful, awful. I would have given Campbell $12-13 million (annually) over two or three years if I really wanted him.
There were a number of awful contracts, so I won’t touch on all of them. Lets just say I am against long-term deals big time, unless you are locking up a franchise player. I wonder how long it will be until Chicago is trying to pawn of Campbell to help afford all of their young talent?