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Which NHL free agent will pull off the most shocking deal?
Tue, June 24, 2008

Top forwards slated for unrestricted free agency include Ryan Malone, Joe Sakic, Mats Sundin, Jaromir Jagr, Teemu Selanne, Peter Forsberg, Brian Rolston, Pavol Demitra, Markus Naslund, Sean Avery, Radim Vrbata, Brendan Morrison, Kristian Huselius, Cory Stillman, Michael Peca and a long list of others.

Top defencemen slated for unrestricted free agency are Brian Campbell, Michal Rozsival, John-Michael Liles, Brad Stuart, Adam Foote, Mark Streit, Rob Blake, Brooks Orpik, Jason Smith, Dmitri Kalinin and Ron Hainsey.

Free agent goaltenders include Jose Theodore, Cristobal Huet and Ty Conklin. Ray Emery will also be a free agent.
Full story: Cream of free-agent crop

Which free agent will pull off the most shocking deal?


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Jagr leaving is not so shocking considering the crazy amount the Russian league is paying for an over the hill name. Still, he's made more money in the NHL than any other player in history so why not take this mantle in another league as well?

As for the state of the NHL, I have often wondered when the owners would realize that more money is actually a disincentive once you get beyond a certain point. Well, they've gone way beyond this point and the answer is they will never get it. In the Original 6 era guys like Howe were underpaid and had to supplement their incomes by working on the farm during the summer. Now fourth line players are millionaires and are more worried about their portfolios than hustling into the corner and risking damage to their bridgework.

And the GMs are frantic about trying to win it all next year. One team's underachiever that they can't justify signing at half the money becomes another team's saviour that gets double his current unearned pay. They're too busy filling holes in their lineups to think that maybe the real hole is between their ears.

Finally, why are analysts running around like chickens with their heads cut off. The poster child for success in the new NHL were the Buffalo Sabres, but no, next year it was the now mighty Ducks, but wait, the Red Wings are now unbeatable forever. Methinks they are all too willing to crown the next dynasty before it happens.

Oh, and I forgot the fans. The Leaf fans are worse than all the rest, but last year's hometown hero gets a big contract and a no trade clause so he can retire in blue and white and next thing, he's public enemy number one because he actually took all of that seriously. It's no wonder Mats can't make head nor tails of thi because I sure can't.

Say what you will about the new NHL, but I'll look back fondly to the years when 2nd, 3rd and 4th line players were not disposable and you knew that they guys on your team were going to be there again next year. Guys gutted it out for chump change and actually cared about the logo on the front of their jersey more than marketing the name on the back. Everyone felt part of the team and it's no wonder why the Red Wings have suddenly become the place to play, they actually try to treat their players this way still (aside from past mistreatment of Osgood).

But I ramble on...
Rick W., 2008-07-04 16:07:27

Who the hell is Jeff Finger!!!! Do you people in toronto want to buy some Ocean front property in Arizona also, heheheh, Fletcher makes me laugh, the best signing so far goes to the Oilers for getting Eric Cole this man came back from a broken neck, plays with his heart on his sleeve, 23 to 30 goals this year, go Oil go!!!!!
jimf, 2008-07-04 12:16:14

I like what Fletcher's doing with limited options. Demonstrate to the players that no one is untouchable - this should motivate players to perform. The Leafs have needed an A-hole as GM for a long time, with no interest in making friends - just doing what needs to be done to bring back some respectability to this once great sports franchise some day.

Hopefully we'll see Brian Burke taking over next year to continue with this type of approach.
Original Jake, 2008-07-04 12:04:03

i forgot dont forget that number one line winger one of the top players in the free agency jamal mayers..hehehee
willy, 2008-07-04 08:57:23

From what I've been reading here, the opinions are that Hossa is better than Sundin. Sounds like a collective whine from a lot of frustrated Leafs fans.

Hossa should be commended for taking a chance to kiss Stanley, but that's it. In Ottawa he was a good player but not the God of the ice that all the so called experts and media types hyped him up to be. He didn't exactly carry Atlanta, or for that matter

was the reason for Pittsburgh winning the cup.

-So hockey is still a TEAM sport -

Sundin has not been able to do the same for Toronto, but he's been consistent with poor teams and revolving wingers. If he had any chance to play with talent such as Ottawa's, the Sens probably would have a cup.

Forget Atlanta - too many holes.

As for my Habs, we've filled 2 of 3 needs with Tanguay and Laraque; and even though I ranted earlier about NHL salaries and the waste that was the lockout - since this is reality - I can still see Mat's in a Habs jersey if he decides to play.

Can you say Le Coupe Stanley a Montreal?
Andy V., 2008-07-04 08:09:00

russ he deserves it he is 29 in december and has 100 nhl games under his belt. is this not worthy of the 14 million...just kidding heheehehe..i think fletch forgot to take his medicine...
willy, 2008-07-04 07:39:20

finger,joseph,hagman,glaboski..with all the free agents that were available thats the best fletcher can,he is awesome!!!
willy, 2008-07-04 07:33:22

Penguins fans must be pissed. Marian Hossa turned down some huge offers to play for the Redwings, of all teams.

Hossa really wants to win the Cup; I guess he'd didn't think the Pens were contenders.
Russ K., 2008-07-03 22:09:51

Who is Finger and why is he did he get a $14 million deal.

Does anyone still wonder why the Leafs can't make the playoffs?
Russ, 2008-07-03 22:02:47

Sundin has just lost any respect I had for him by playing the game. Most people wpuld be satified with 1/10 of what he has been offered and I wonder how stupid the owners can be. he has never won a Stanly cup or helped any team to get it.
Eric Vehkalahti, 2008-07-03 21:31:38

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