So what did you think of the Free Agent Frenzy? Tons of signings, but not many of the big ones, which makes today more interesting.

The Devils re-signed Johan Hedberg for two years. At the end of their two-year contracts, Hedberg and Brodeur will be a combined 83 years old.

I added this note to my PA Parenteau analysis:


PA Parenteau had 49 of his 67 points last year with Tavares on the ice. So 73% of his points playing 63% of his shifts with JT. Now it's time to do that with Matt Duchene (or so goes the thinking).



Martin Brodeur has signed with the Devils for two years at $9 million. I think other teams made a mistake here. I know that Brodeur's skills have eroded and as you know I've been his No.1 critic. I thought that he was around 20th in goaltender talent this past year, but after that postseason I bumped him up to about 12th (in that endless ranking system that I call my brain). And any team that offered him a three-year deal would have got him - three years, $10 million would have done it. And what they would get is a 12-15 (rank) starting goalie this year, a 20-win 1B goalie next year and a backup and the best mentor money can buy in his final year. I just think it would have been the perfect situation for a team with young or unproven, but talented netminders (i.e. Toronto or Chicago). If they let this deal go because of that third year, it was a mistake.

As per Chesnokov - Alexander Radulov has signed a four-year contract to play for CSKA Moscow. And that's the end of that chapter. Drop him. Final answer. There is no hope. Zero percent.


All of the piddly little signings I listed here in yesterday’s ramblings. The bigger signings I posted a fantasy analysis on (and I sill plan to do ones for Sheldon Souray, Jason Garrison, Damien Brunner and Mikael Samuelsson). As always, you can also access prior ramblings via the “next” button below, or in the menu along the top under “Free Features” and “Archived Ramblings”.


I don’t mind Jason Garrison. I was hard on him yesterday and that can be misconstrued - there's a difference between liking a player and liking the contract. I'll make it up to him (and Canucks' fans) by sticking a couple of clips at the bottom here. Now I know why Angus was defending him/pumping his tires all morning!

I think he’s an above average defensive defenseman who has size (6-2, 218), toughness (127 Hits and 124 Blocked Shots) and can even fight. Scoring 16 goals is impressive. I just think the skill set, based on one truly great year and one “okay” year, warrants something around $3 million on the open market. If he was worth $27.6 million, then the Panthers would have given him $27.6 million – and nobody has scouted him more than the Panthers. I hope for Vancouver’s sake that he scores at least 13 goals and posts 30-plus points for four of those six years. Not a high standard I’m setting, but I’m afraid of the “bust” probability. Keith Ballard Part II? Or the second coming of Dan Girardi?


Loose ends that I didn’t note yesterday:


Michael Leighton signed with the Flyers for a low cap hit of $900,000. That’s a great backup price tag and if Bryzgalov struggles again, Leighton can probably do even better than Bobrovsky did last year – because Leighton can come in cold a little better.


Derek Meech (WPG), Greg Rallo (FLA), Brett Sutter (CAR), Steve MacIntyre (PIT), Darcy Hordichuk (EDM), Ryan Hamilton (TOR), Michael Blunden (MTL) and Brian McGrattan (NSH) each re-signed with the same club.


Joey Crabb signed with the Washington Capitals as they plug in some scoring hustle for the third/fourth line.


Anaheim signed Jordan Henry.


Buffalo signed John Scott, overcompensating for their need for size (ha ha).


Dustin Penner’s deal with the Kings was for $3.25 million (one year).


Missed this yesterday – the Devils re-signed Ryan Carter, Stephen Gionta, Steve Bernier, Cam Janssen and Peter Harrold. If I’m reading Cap Geek correctly, Gionta’s contract is one-way this year, but two-way NEXT year. Have you ever heard that? Usually that situation is reversed. Bernier’s deal, after his tough penalty proved costly in the Cup Final, was a two-year deal worth $775,000 per.


Hey, I also forgot to make fun of the Lee Stempniak signing. But then I see the number $2.5 million on Cap Geek directly under Matt Stajan’s $3.5 million… and the funny joke I had on the tip of my tongue just fizzled out.


Besides Jeff Zatkoff, the Penguins have Brad Thiessen to a contract. To me, those are two great AHL goaltenders. Can they take it to the next level? They probably won’t get a chance to. Zatkoff is 25 now and Thiessen is 26 – if they don’t get a chance to make their mark this season, it may never happen.


The Coyotes have re-signed Andy Miele to a two-way contract, which means he’ll likely be in the AHL this season. We assumed that anyway.


Thanks to On the Forecheck for this graphic – it shows how far salary goes in each NHL city in terms of “after taxes”. The hardest hit by taxes – Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa and Winnipeg. The least hit? Florida, Tampa Bay, Nashville, Dallas, Calgary and Edmonton! In fact, the difference between Toronto and Florida on a $7 million contract is $600,000 – that’s cash out of pocket!


Those of you who were afraid of the KHL risk for Alexander Khokhlachev, not to worry – the Bruins signed him to an ELC yesterday. So odds are, at some point, he’ll make his way to the Bruins. Not guaranteed, but much more likely. The KHL rumblings sprung up a couple of weeks ago. Update - hat tip to fzusher - Khokhlachev has a one-year contract in the KHL that he will honor first.


Funny stuff – check out what the Wild Tweeted about how they submitted offers to Suter and Parise. Then check out what the Kings Tweeted for a joke.


The Senators have signed Shane Prince to an ELC. I’ve never understood why teams negotiate on July 1st or 2nd with players who can wait a few days. Prospects, minor-leaguers, etc. Shouldn’t they focus on the market? Unless, of course, they’re done. Update - Evan Hotham, a writer at, informs me that the deal with Prince was agreed to a couple of weeks ago, but made official yesterday.


The Penguins signed Trevor Smith to a two-way contract.


Jason Garrison wires one:



Garrison takes David Clarkson out of the play:


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Anze said:

... jer 33

Sorry, the 1% pay a lot more taxes than you're made to believe by activists and Occupiers of all stripes. Tax shelters doesn't help that much...

It's true that the sponsorships might be better in Canada, but for most players it probably doesn't add much to their salaries, except for the stars...
July 03, 2012
Votes: +0

JHM said:

Taxes/Country & Bure The first I became aware of the 'Taxes Issue', was back when Pavel Bure signed in Florida. Not surprisingly, Florida and Montreal were the comparison at that time. Now that's a while ago, but at the time Montreal had to pay him about twice as much money to put the same cash in his pocket. The biggest difference at that time, was the Canadian dollar versus the U.S. dollar. The dollar figures don't ring clearly in my head, but Montreal needed to ante up $25.0M to Florida's 10.0M (something along those lines) (22.5 to 12.0 - whatever).

Roughly speaking, a Canadian dollar was worth 65 cents. Although not on par today, this is much closer. So... these players signing the big UFA contracts will be considering the element of taxes. A town like Montreal is in a lot of trouble when one adds in taxes, language/culture, weather, media/public pressure. The only compensation for them, is that it's a hockey hot bed, so some players would like to return home to play - thereby fulfilling a childhood dream. Not so much so a situation that helps the sunbelt teams. The taxes are actually a bit of a sticking point between the owners. Something to squabble about.

So, ultimately, the level playing field isn't perfectly level. No surprise in that thought!
July 02, 2012
Votes: +0

outcast said:

... Not only do Floridian's not pay state income tax; but a million dollar home next to the Bank Atlantic center where the Panthers play buys you a substantial home, as opposed to a duplex in Toronto.

I suspect Brodeur wasn't leaving NJ at any rate, he simply let the market dictate what NJ should be paying him.
July 02, 2012
Votes: +0

Steviek35 said:

... After Tax Dollars Part II

I'm probably a little biased being a Winnipegger, but I'm curious how the comparisons stack up if you were to put in quality of life measures (i.e. - cost of housing in Winnipeg is substantially lower than Vancouver/Toronto/NY/LA/etc.).

Of course, that comparison only works if the player makes the city their year round home, and even then, most players will have a summer home elsewhere. But it is a factor nonetheless.
July 02, 2012
Votes: +0

jer_33 said:

After-tax dollars You really think that an NHL player/agents are dumb enough to pay full tax? These guys are the 1%, they know how to work the CDN/US tax services.

Also, any Canadian market would offer significant sponsorship opportunities to far exceed the tax savings of playing in the sunbelt.
July 02, 2012
Votes: +0

Anze said:

After-tax dollars That is why some teams always "overpay" ( that plus sheer stupidity ). If Montreal wants a 4M player, they have to give 5M,since 4M will leave you 2.46 in Florida but only 2 in MTL. MTL has to pay 5M to leave you with 2.5. If you think the players don't know, think again. With agents, lawyers, accountants... they know. Look how much it costs MTL to attract Hamrlik, Gionta, Cole...
July 02, 2012
Votes: +0

fzusher said:

Khokhlachev See this report

Khokhlachev will honor his 1-year contract with his dad's team in Russia then come over to the fight for an NHL spot. The Bruins' depth made it unlikely that he makes the team this year, he is ineligible for the AHL, and he felt his development would be better served playing against men in the KHL than playing a third OHL season.

What the article doesn't say, but I am wondering/suspecting, is whether he is on loan to Moscow or not. This matters in case he comes to play in the AHL (or even NHL) at the end of the KHL season next spring. If he's on loan, that eats up a contract year. If he's not on loan then the possibility is open for him to play in the AHL on an ATO without eating up the year.

(Of course, all this is per the expiring CBA; who knows what the new one brings)
July 01, 2012
Votes: -2

Big Ev said:

Big Ev
... sens agreed with Prince like 2 weeks ago. just made it official today. i.e. sign here, basically, since he is in town for camp.
July 01, 2012
Votes: +0
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