Early Free Agency Thoughts
Well, that Sutter gamble paid off.
Calgary GM Darryl Sutter took a chance at the entry draft last weekend and gave up the rights to unrestricted free agent Jordan Leopold and a third round pick just for the chance to talk to free agent Jay Bouwmeester a couple days before the rest of the league. Thus, Sutter looks like the smartest guy in the room today having inked the big defenceman to a multi-year deal worth an average of $6.68 million per season.
Bouwmeester is to the Flames now what Roberto Luongo was to Vancouver when he came over from Florida several years ago, a player of immense talent but no exposure to meaningful NHL competition, specifically the playoffs.
Calgary can now line up Bouwmeester, Dion Phaneuf and Robyn Regehr across the blueline, something akin to what Colorado once had with Rob Blake, Adam Foote and Ray Bourque, but not quite as accomplished.
Then there's Montreal. So Saku Koivu is probably not coming back, the club desperately needs a big body and Bob Gainey somehow thinks Scott Gomez is the answer? C'mon. Gomez has a truly ugly contract and is no more productive a player than Koivu, at least not lately.
Strange move for the Habs, and an expensive one.
Then there's the Dany Heatley trade to Edmonton, one that might land more for the Senators in return than seemed likely until Heatley decided to use his no-trade clause.
Gotta love this dude. Signs a long-term deal, demands a trade after one year and then has the gall to also retain his right to pick and choose his new team.
Can't win with people like that.