Afternoon Bantering Points: UFAs! RFAs! And Trades ... Oh My!

Some thoughts and musings on the opening of Free Agency to enjoy with your afternoon lunch break.

Ah the opening of the Free Agency the Siren's Song, no General Manager can escape the pull to sign really, really stupid contracts and boy did they deliver this year. Ryane Clowe got WHAT from the Devils? Steve Yzerman gave Valtteri Filppula HOW much money? And, as always, LOL Maple Leafs.

Hey, remember when all those old owners were crying about how "out of control" spending was and how contracts need to be reined in lest teams lose money and have suffer the indignity of being owned by the NHL -- hi Phoenix Arizona Coyotes. Guess what we're gonna be hearing eight years from now, guys? If you thought a shrinking cap was gonna save owners and general managers from themselves then you haven't been paying attention.

It hit me over the weekend the max contract length a team could give out was eight years for re-signing their own players and seven years for signing new players and the NHL has an out clause in the CBA after eight years. How crafty.

Let's not harp on the gloom and doom of NHL stupidity, there were some actual good moves made of the weekend and with that it's time for some random thoughts.

  • The Ottawa Senators got real smart with two very bold moves. First was letting long time captain Daniel Alfredsson walk to the Detroit Red Wings and while the fans may be hurt that move led to the Senators being able to acquire Bobby Ryan for Jakob Silfverberg, Sam Noensen and a 1st round pick in next year's draft. Bobby Ryan, a healthy Jason Spezza and Kyle Turris up front along with a possession machine in Clarke MacArthur. Man the Senators just climbed out of the "pretender" pile and forced themselves into the "contender" pile pretty quickly.
  • On the other hand...What are you doing Toronto? Buying out Mikhail Grabovski and then handing out a combined 12 years and $57,750,000 in Tyler Bozak and David Clarkson. Really?
  • It's nice that Glen Sather wasn't able to give out one of those contracts this year.
  • Speaking of Old Slats, masterstroke job this weekend building bottom six depth that the Rangers haven't had in almost a decade or more.
  • I have a very strong feeling that Alain Vigneault had a hand in who Sather targeted over the weekend. This is a very different team already from the last few years and I think it's for the better.
  • Welcome back Dominic Moore, and probably goodbye Brian Boyle. Sad, I think Boyle got unnecessarily criticized because he had one lucky year. These last few years he's really developed into the Rangers' best defensive forward.
  • So much for standing up for Christian Thomas, eh? Well, good luck to him in Montreal and hello Danny Kristo. More skill in the system is never a bad thing.
  • Ryan McDonagh got PAID. Good for him and the Rangers, gives both a sense of stability and will be relatively cheap as he enters his prime to post prime seasons.
  • Now Sather has to focus on Derek Stepan. The Rangers number one center is right in line for a nice little pay raise but Slats can't lose too much cap space because he still has two more big RFAs to sign.
  • I wanted to make a joke about Tyler Seguin, but I think that all parties involved mishandled this situation. Can't expect a 21-year-old with money to not act like a 21-year-old with money. On the other hand, c'mon Tyler, you gotta be a little smarter than that.
  • I guess that really ends the whole "Tayler vs Tyler" debate, no?

Alright guys, those some of my thoughts and musings on what's gone on in the NHL over the last few days, what are yours?