It's Canada Day folks, and whoever thought to combine NHL free agency with our country's celebrations either thought such was somehow appropriate or figured Canadians can do two things at once.
I found the most fitting video I could, Kathleen Edwards' "I make the dough, you get the glory", which rhymes the line, "I'm the great one, you're Marty McSorley." The clip begins with Blue Rodeo's Jim Cuddy picking players for a pickup game, of course, getting stuck selection Edwards last!
I'll be on here today, on and off, to update today's signings and mention the odd rumour from good sources.
The first deal of the day, from Bob McKenzie from TSN, is goalie Martin Biron, signing a two year deal with the New York Rangers.
Ottawa Senators reportedly have inked D Sergei Gonchar for 3 years, $5.5M per. Ouch!
Busy Bob reports that Braydon Coburn has resigned in Philly at S3.2M per.
RDS is reporting that F Alex Tanguay has resigned in Calgary after a two year absense.
Some minor resignings, Daniel Paille with Boston and Erik Christensen with the Rangers.
Pittsburgh rebounds well from the loss of Gonchar by signing Zbynek Michalek from the Coyotes to a five year deal.
The Toronto Maple Leafs have gained some forward depth with yesterdays acquisition of Kris Versteeg and the signing of pesty Colby Armstrong to a three year deal.
The Tamba Bay Lightning smartly re-uped with F Martin St. Louis, on a four year deal that could see him finish his career in Tampa.
You gotta be kidding me!
The Canadiens, out of the Dan Ellis running, have turned to suitcase goalie Alex Auld as a backup to Carey Price.
I don't like it - Auld's a sieve. Here's the basic stats from hockey DB.
Auld is known to the Canadiens brass through the Jacques Martin Pierre Groulx connection in Florida.
As it stands, the Canadiens are not improved from last season at this point.
More minor deals: Alexander Steen stays in St. Louis, Jesse Winchester remains in Ottawa and Anton Babchuk with Carolina.
Funny that Biron, Leighton, Auld and Niittymaki all find work before Marty Turco, Evgeny Nabokov, Dan Ellis, Chris Mason and Jose Theodore.
Ellis was in play with Detroit Red Wings it seems, but looks headed to the Lightning.
CKAC is reporting that Christopher Higgins is garnering interest from many teams, but the offers are said to be low.
Jody Shelley is heading to the Philadelphia Flyers.
Paul Martin has signed with Penguins, a very, very good move! Martin gets $5M a year for five with the Pens.
CKAC's latest chatter: Simon Gagne of the Flyers is being offered around to clear some cap room. Ilya Kovalchuk, as per agent Pat Brisson, is in discussion with the Kings for a mega long term deal. Marc-Andre Bergeron was received several offers. The Canadiens discussion with Dan Ellis may have been brief due to Montreal not wanting to consider more than a one year deal.
Dan Ellis has signed with the Tampa Bay Lightning.$1.5M for two seasons.
Derek Boogaard signs with the Rangers. Boo gets $1.65M for four years.
The Flyers had offered Marty Turco a three-year, $2M per deal which he turned down.
One noticeable fact from this day, the most recent Stanley Cup final has lowered the worth and market for goalies.
TSN is reporting that Dan Ellis has stated that the breakdown with Montreal occurred over term, money and playing time. Bottom line, he was looking out for himself, with a job giving him a shot at being a number one.
The Anaheim Ducks have signed D Toni Lydman long term.
Sean O'Donnell is also headed to the Flyers.
MAB has three teams interested in him. Montreal is not one.
Ray Whitney has found a new home in Phoenix, inking a two year deal with the Coyotes for $3M per.
CKAC and The Hockey News are reporting that the team most susceptible to sign D Dan Hamhuis, with $5M available in cap space. Hamhuis is from Smithers, BC.
As per RDS, the Canadiens have resigned goalie Curtis Sanford on a two way deal. Sanford played last season with Hamilton and did very well. It's an insurance policy for sure. He'll make $250,000 in the AHL and $750,000 with the Habs. Apparently, there could be a battle with Auld possibly for the backup job.
Calgary Flames must be in a panic mode if they are considering Olli Jokinen a second time. CKAC is cracking up over this news, saying it's akin to a husband taking back a cheating wife.
Buffalo has to be hurting after losing Tallinder and Lydman.
Derek Morris stays in Phoenix, signing for four years.
Hamhuis is officially a Canuck. Smart move! He did well for himself on this day, getting himself $4.5M.
Kurtis Foster signs with the Edmonton Oilers for $3.6M over two seasons.
Anton Volchenkov looks to be heading to Jersey for six years at $5M per. Ouch! he's good, but all he does excellently is block shots. Was Mike Komisarek worth $4.5?
Jeff Tambellini signs with the Canucks.
Olli the joke is in with Calgary, signing for two years, $3M per.
Goalie Chris Mason has signed with Atlanta, two years ($1.6 and $2.1).
Chicago has traded F Andrew Ladd to Atlanta, more to come. Ivan Vishnevsky and a second rounder are heading to Chicago.
Volchenkov gets $4.25M for six years from New Jersey.
Jordan Leopold to the Buffalo Sabres, three years.
Saku Koivu resigns with the Ducks for two at $2.5M.