As of last update the New York Islanders have not annouced they were changing the name of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum to Joe Louis Arena, Madison Square Garden, whatever the Pens, Oilers are calling their facilities before we read anymore about old arena's and signing free agents.
Now that I got that out of the way I thought I would make my long list of free agents I would be kicking the tires on if I were Garth Snow with his roster and set some strategy.
Some I will be kicking like an old car before walking away from or make sure I have an unrestricted free agent fax report like they do with vehicles these days. The lemon laws may apply to some of these players also given the odometer.
Unlike last year where a lot of spots had to be filled this time around there are very few spots available. If you want to move Jeff Tambellini so you can sign Mark Recchi why bother putting years into Tambellini and putting out what would amount to empty rhetoric about your prospect developement if you made that kind of move?
If it comes down to a marginal veteran or a prospect, I'm going with the prospect.
That means given the roster spot limitations I'm able to spend big on only one or two franchise free agents who may be able to get more out of Comrie and Guerin and perhaps help the kids along quicker. I'm also looking for someone who can run a powerplay with a shot who can bring along Campoli, Gervais, Hillen, Meyer or whoever else management sees as part of that equasion.
For myself I would only be targeting a big name defender who can score and play in a top two and a free agent scorer or someone young with an upside that stands out you take a shot on. I'm targeting a center who can and will score twenty five plus goals but maybe a wing to spot another forward when necessary.
In other words it's a very short list unless it's a young player with that kind of upside. No, I'm keeing out the restricted free agents because half the league is restricted right now.
HAINSEY, RON, (III)-Eight powerplay goals last year, not because Mr Botta blogged about him, who did that here besides Bergeron?
HAGMAN, NIKLAS, (III)-I know he's a left wing but twenty nine goals and a former teammate of Guerin who does not create many assist but a solid overall game and eight game winning goals is something this roster could use badly.
BLAKE, ROB, (III)-I would absolutely want him around to teach the young players, despite his age and overpay to make it happen for a year or two.
ROLSTON, BRIAN, (III)-Obviously you take a shot at Rolston but do so knowing Jon Sim
may be out of a job or have to find another position unless you want to teach a prospect to play another position (Bergenheim, Comeau) which we saw did not work well for Comeau when he was shifted to right wing.
RYDER, MICHAEL, (III)-If you want to ignore his last season it's a risk you take because of his powerplay numbers, I'm not sure I want to take that risk.
STREIT, MARK, (III)-Thirteen goals (seven pp) and sixty two points you overpay and bring that kind of talent to your defense.
JAGR, JAROMIR, (III)-You give him his thirty million for three plus years and let him get his numbers while the negative attention from the furious Ranger beatwriters sells newspapers and tickets. Lets see him turn that down to play for Ted Nolan with Brendan Witt after all those games the Islanders have beaten the Rangers the last two years.
ROZSIVAL, MICHAL, (III)-If you can get those numbers on your backline you take a chance and overpay, would not be first on my list and a player who was marginal before arriving with Rangers.
REDDEN, WADE, (III)- Not first on my list either, only one season he broke ten powerplay goals and his point totals did not stand out on a very good team, of course you overpay and take a chance if available.
SMITH, JASON, (III)-Notable exception to sign if your looking for a Brendan Witt/Andy Sutton trade but is not going to produce for your powerplay.
VRBATA, RADIM, (III)-I almost expect this will be who Snow will sign but it's not someone you overpay for off a career year or a big time powerplay scorer. He would not make my list but he has to be bookmarked and would be the pick over Huseluis.
HOSSA, MARIAN, (III)-You spend the money and take your chances knowing he's more support player than franchise star.
ORPIK, BROOKS, (III)-Will not do a thing for your powerplay, again you look at spending for him if your moving Witt/Sutton or another defender.
RUUTU, JARKKO, (III)-The perfect player to instigate here among the retread wingers circulating (Avery, Tucker) but what left wing goes for that to happen?
CAMPBELL, BRIAN, (III)-If your looking to improve your powerplay Campbell is not your player, if your looking to move Witt, Sutton or another defender to make a spot for him, you pay him.
PROSPAL, VACLAV, (III)-I thought he played center for Philadelphia, Isles need a productive center but there has to be a limit at what he can be offered. Prospal makes my B list.
SUNDIN, MATS, (III) I know he makes the list of players I want to sign but at age thirty eight how can you overpay him to the degree that it will take to land him? Also for all his numbers Toronto has not done a lot of winning recently which is one reason why a change may be happening in Toronto.
MORRISON, BRENDAN, (III) A center but after the season he just had to you call it a fluke or a player who long-term is ready to be the club's next Josef Vasicek? I would put him at the bottom of my list if at all.
NASLUND, MARKUS, (III) Age an issue but another left wing on a club that needs a center more, of course he makes the list of players to throw money at but again who moves to take his spot?
FEDOROV, SERGEI, (III)-In a word, no. Save that money for an offer sheet to Mike Green which was why I even wrote Fedorov's name and get in a plug for a group II free agent.