How does one describe Daniel Alfredsson’s move to Detroit? Most people call him a traitor for leaving Ottawa after being the Captain and spending his entire career there. Others, like new Boston Bruin Jarome Iginla (I’ll get to that in a minute), say the move is a good thing, stating that the elder statesmen like himself and Alfredsson, want to win Stanley Cups, and that their time is fast running out. However, is Detroit more of a Stanley Cup contender than the Senators? Especially after the Sens traded with the Ducks for Bobby Ryan. Detroit did also sign C Stephen Weiss from Florida, to replace Valtteri Flippula, who signed with the Tampa Bay Lightning, and possibly lost Damien Brunner and Daniel Cleary. Ottawa also traded away the rights to Sergei Gonchar to the Dallas Stars during the playoffs, meaning they have now lost two very skilled and experienced players from their roster, only adding Clarke MacArthur from Toronto, that isn’t a prospect.
The plan for Ottawa, was to pick up Ryan, and keep Alfredsson. Ryan was never meant to be the replacement. But now Jason Spezza has a new younger right wing beside him, and maybe, just maybe, and surprisingly, losing their captain may be the best thing that could happen to the Ottawa Senators.
Speaking of marquee iconic players at a franchise, Vincent Lecavalier’s contract was bought out by the Tampa Bay Lightning. Vinnie had so much of an impact in Tampa, that there is a children’s hospital that exists, because of the contribution that Lecavalier provided. The veteran will now line up with Claude Giroux for the Flyers.
Boston on the other hand, finally claimed the guy they thought they had at the trade deadline last season. Jarome Iginla. After switching to Pittsburgh at the eleventh hour, and missing out on a Stanley Cup ring, Iginla joins the Eastern Conference Champions, hoping to lead the Bruins to the final step, to which they were beaten to last season by the Chicago Blackhawks. However, they will have to make that step, missing several pieces that got them there. Rich Peverley and Tyler Seguin were traded to the Dallas Stars, Nathan Horton signed with Columbus, backup Goaltender Anton Khudobin, now becomes the backup to Cam Ward in Carolina, Andrew Ference signed with the Edmonton Oilers, and they don’t look like re-signing Jaromir Jagr either. They may have gained Loui Eriksson in the Seguin/Peverley trade, but is he enough to cover the losses?
In other Free Agency news of significance, St. Louis added substantial depth at center, signing Maxim Lapierre and Derek Roy. Ray Emery became the replacement for Ilva Bryzgalov in Philadelphia, contesting the goaltending with Steve Mason. Dallas traded for Seguin and Peverley as mentioned earlier, but they also traded for more experienced middle ice depth in Shawn Horcoff from the Oilers, and signing solid backup Dan Ellis from Nashville.
Minnesota signed Matt Cooke and Keith Ballard, but lost Pierre-Marc Bouchard to the Islanders, and traded away Devin Setoguchi. Michael Ryder and Ryane Clowe will apply their trades in New Jersey, after the Devils traded in Cory Schneider from the Canucks during the draft. Toronto added David Clarkson, but bought out Mikhail Grabovski, and Phoenix added Mike Ribeiro, and Goaltender Thomas Greiss, who was the backup to Antti Niemi at San Jose.
Don’t think Free Agency is over yet, many good names are still on the board, with Goaltenders Ilya Bryzgalov, the returning Tim Thomas from hiatus, and Forwards Brenden Morrow, Jaromir Jagr and Mikhail Grabovski, leading the list of players still available. Many teams still have plenty of cap available, so you would think it wouldn’t be too long, before theses names find new homes.