Get the PUCK outta here…

4 08 2007

So the NHL season begins end of September… and I’m just not a huge hockey fan. But, I have a friend who is – so here’s his input on the start of the season…

by Zneaky

NHLArghhh… NHL hockey, the greatest competition in the world, (maybe across the ditch in Europe they may disagree…) 6 teams from Canada vs 24 from the US; the 06/07 was supposed to be the dream come true for a little team from upstate New York. The Buffalo Sabres ended last year in the eastern conference finals just 1 game shy of a trip to the Stanley Cup to meet the Edmonton Oilers.

Fast forward: Stanley Cup finals 2007. After aQuack attack! flying start at the beginning of the season the Sabres were out-skated by the Ottawa Senators… who were then absolutely manhandled by the Ducks in just 5 short games allowing the California based team to become the champs for the 1st time in franchise history.

And so came time for free agency July 1st, teams and fans held their breath to see whether they would win or lose – high profile players don’t come on the market very often – and the caliber that was on show this year could mean Stanley or bust, even before the puck dropped for the new season beginning in October…

And so here’s the breakdown… I wont cover every single player – just the core players that have the possibility to help change a teams fortune or perhaps end a teams run.

  • DANIEL BRIERE with the Buffalo Sabres scored 32 goals and 63 assists and is off to the Philadelphia Flyers for the next 8 seasons for a bargain $52 million…
  • CHRIS DRURY, also from Buffalo was poached by the New York Rangers for $35.25 million over 5 years…
  • SCOTT GOMEZ was the most gifted offensive talent on a very defensive-minded Devils squad. He managed 13 goals and 47 assists in 72 games this year and was also persuaded to join the Rangers. His price tag a seven-year deal with the Rangers worth US$51.5 million – including $10 million next season…
  • RYAN SMYTH signed a five-year deal worth $31.25 million, leaving the New York Islanders and moving to Colorado…
  • RYAN SMYTH signed a five-year deal worth $31.25 million, leaving the New York Islanders and moving to Colorado…
  • MICHAEL NYLANDER left the Rangers and signed with the Washington Capitals and will give Russian superstar Alexander Ovechkin some much needed help. His deal was worth $19.5 million over 4 years.
  • SHELDON SOURAY signed a 5 year $27 million deal with the Edmonton Oilers. He scored 26 goals and 38 assists with Montreal last season…
  • DUSTIN PENNER is not a household name but in his rookie year was instrumental in the Ducks victory over the Senators in the Stanley Cup final. Edmonton’s offer of a five-year, $21.25-million deal was too rich for the tastes of Anaheim.

OTHER NOTABLE RE-SIGNINGS:

Buffalo Sabres – Derek Roy, Tippo Numminem

New York Rangers –  Sean Avery, Brendan Shanahan, Henrik Lundqvist, Marcel Hossa

Detroit Redwings – Dominik Hasek

Ottawa Senators – Ray Emery

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3 responses

4 08 2007
Miami Party Boats

Buffalo has usually performed better than their record would indicated in the playoffs, when it really counts. Which is more than I can say for my Flyers!

5 08 2007
Mark Logsdon

Breaks my heart to see Briere and Drury leave Buffalo – another case where a “small” market cannot compete economically with the handful of top-level teams. No different than European football, or SH rugby union players signing up with NH clubs after RWC, of course.

But for people who grew up playing hockey in little towns where it actually freezes during the winter, the inability to compete economically is pretty heart-breaking. [Of course, nobody growing up in Timmons (or places like it) ever planned to stay if they could play for the Leafs,or eventhe Red Wings.]

5 08 2007
zneakyp

Mark

It wasn`t really a case of economics it was just bad management, Briere stated earlier in the season that he would take a pay cut if it meant him and Chris would stay at the Sabres… Buffalo tabled an offer of $25 million just before the deadline but money talks and so of to Philly…

Thankfully Buffalo managed to keep Roy, Numminen and to a lesser extent Peters, Ryan & Paetsch…

Rangers fans will have much hope this year with the lineup they have…

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