Waddell Ready To Test The Water In The UFA Talent Pool

The buzz surrounding last weekend’s entry draft has barely subsided, but Don Waddell and the rest of the NHL general managers are preparing to dive head-first into unrestricted free agent pool of talent today. Soon, after weeks of speculation and rumors, we’ll be able to see just how the Thrashers roster…and others… will take form for the upcoming 2009-10 NHL season.

As we did this time last summer, we gather poolside to watch and observe the events as each team attempts to procure that big-name player needed to help shape their lineups for this fall’s campaign. Our friend Five_Hole has agreed to DJ the pool party…playing an assortment of tunes from the Beach Boys, Jimmy Buffet, Bob Marley and others. And please feel free to stop by the open bar to partake of a wide assortment of adult beverages complete with little umbrellas as we take in the day’s festivities. Tending the bar is the lovely and talented Joyel from TJ’s Bar and Grill!

Hey…and it’s all on the AJC’s tab!

But before we begin…looking around scoldingly….I want to be very clear in the fact that I do NOT want another incident like the one that happened during last year’s UFA pool party happening again today. So I’ll thank everyone for keeping any and all Baby Ruth bars away from the pool…got it!

Oh…and Trixie has informed me that she has been adequitely covered in tanning lotion…so there will be no need for the long line of willing assistants this time.

Now then… as we begin our day, last night it seemed as though a deal as been worked out between the Senators and Oilers that would send former Thrasher…and soon-to-be former Senator…Dany Heatley from Ottawa to Edmonton. Heading back east would be Andrew Cogliano, Dustin Penner and Ladislov Smid. All Heater had to do is agree to waive his no-trade clause and he’d be able to once again force the team he’s under contract with to deal him elsewhere. But this morning…we find out he didn’t do it.

Also, one big name player who has been yanked from the pool recently is Jay Bouwmeester. Just yesterday Cal-GARY was successful in inking him to a 5-year contract worth $6.6 million per season. So he’ll be sunning himself from the deck today.

However, one player who’s been officially tossed into the pool is Nik Antropov… given the Rangers have conceded that they cannot afford the 5-years at $5.25 mil per season price tag he had placed upon himself. So…where does he eventually wind up?

And, who will come away with Marion Hossa? Will Detroit re-sign the winger? If not, where then might he end up?

Speaking of Detroit…don’t expect the Red Wings to make a big splash in the UFA pool this summer, per Ken Holland.

What about the Sedin twins? Are they going to stay in Vancouver or is there a team out there…say Toronto…that will be willing to invest in both of their services? Canucks GM Mike Gillis recently visited with them and left with an offer on the table.

Do the recent rumors surrounding Atlanta’s interest in Mike Cammalleri have any basis in reality and we will see the 27-year old playing on the top line with Ilya Kovalchuk?

What of the future destination Thrasher…or is that, former Thrasher…Eric Perrin?

Will Don Waddell actually be able to emerge from the waters with a big-name, top-four blueliner that will help anchor this defensive corps or highly coveted top-six forward to play alongside of Kovy…or will his swim trunks remain dry until the most coveted among them are already snatched up?

And, though I guess he’s not technically a UFA, The Monster will be making a decision on where he’ll be playing this fall sometime as well. teams like Dallas, Colorado, Toronto and San Jose are currently in the market for his services.

Many of these questions and issues will be answered over the course of the next several hours. So stick around…grab a drink and some sun tan lotion…it’s sure to be quite a day here at the UFA Pool Party!

UPDATE - 7/1 11:28 am: Sedins twins will stay in Vancouver…signing 5-year $6.1 million deals.

UPDATE – 7/1 12:52 pm: Kovalev re-signs with Habs $8.8 mil over 2 years per 990 AM in Montreal.

UPDATE – 7/1 2:12 pm: Hossa signs with Chicago. 12 years, $62.4 million. Holy crap…that will take him to the age of 42!

UPDATE – 7/1 2:32 pm: There is a buzz going around about the Thrashers trading for Kubina of the Maple Leafs. We would send Armstrong and a 2nd round pick to Toronto.

UPDATE – 7/1 2:59 pm: Per Craig Custance…”Colby Armstrong is not part of the Kubina deal. Thrashers not interested in trading Colby”.

UPDATE – 7/1 4:10 pm: The Oilers have signed goalie Nikulia Khabibulin to a 4-year, $15 mil. deal.

:!: UPDATE – 7/1 6:55 pm: ATLANTA TRADES GARNET EXELBY AND COLIN STUART TO TORONTO IN EXCHANGE FOR PAVEL KUBINA AND THE RIGHTS TO TIM STAPLETON!!!

506 comments Add your comment

five_hole

July 1st, 2009
11:46 am

Tony C. I suppose “Soul Sacrifice” is applicable to today. I know I feel like I’m sacrificing my soul. And AMEN to Jimi doing the anthem. The neighbors are gonna complain, ’cause I’m cranking that sucker up.

“but Santana’s “Soul Sacrifice” is the joint.” – Given my ’60s reference, that takes on a whole other meaning to me. To that, I’d add Traffic doing “Either light up or leave me alone”.

Sara

July 1st, 2009
11:48 am

Wow you guys are really reaching back with the music…I’d enjoy it except I’ve been on an almost exclusive MJ bender since last Thursday (except my Pandora station, which is some MJ and some similar – like Marvin Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up” playing right now).

NASA Control

July 1st, 2009
11:50 am

Ten minutes to lift off.

Alan

July 1st, 2009
11:51 am

Christy, I noted that too. I was actually amused by the vitriol spewed in that article. I really enjoyed hearing Snyder’s family talk about it, and really reinforce that Atlanta went above and beyond for Heatley after the Ferrari-related tragedy.

Toby

July 1st, 2009
11:53 am

Sara…My guess is Koivu to Minni.

ranallo10 (in AT)

July 1st, 2009
11:55 am

Sara — I completely understand where people are coming from regarding Heatley’s way of requesting the trade, but that ill advised/immature statement has no bearing on his rights as outlined in his NTC. He complained once, and the stage was set for him to be traded…if he was declining trade after trade and continuing his complaint about playing in Ottawa, THEN I’d say people have a good reason to bash him.

Besides, we both know that hockey fans aren’t exactly logical, so of course you’re going to read the rantings of fans everywhere. These are the same types of people who log into a TSN story or AJC story and simply type “slow news day?” or “first”.

“And if it’s not one of Dany’s “preferred teams” that is willing to make a reasonable offer then that’s just too darn bad for him.”

Again (this can be directed towards Glovesave as well), his NTC as given to him by Ottawa says the exact opposite. If he was in dire need of leaving Ottawa then he would waive his NTC no matter who traded for him…but in this instance he chose Ottawa over Edmonton (who can blame him?).

I’m sure Heatley fully understands what could come about if he is not traded, and I bet you things will be patched up with coach if such a situation comes about, but right now he’s made his intentions known and is utilizing his NTC to allow himself to dictate the situation. He’s 100% within his rights by declining to waive the NTC for Edmonton. I’m surprised a person who is willing to read the CBA takes exception to Heatley exercising his rights. It doesn’t matter if he’s complained previously, he still has the NTC and that clause dictates all trade scenarios.

Remember though, GMs do the exact same thing to players…Fletcher FORCED McCabe out of town and the Toronto fans bashed McCabe unmercifully for NOT waiving his NTC. Nobody boos Fletcher though. We could also talk about Peter Zezel and the unceremonious end to his career, expedited by Burke.

The contract is 100% in tact at this point..he is allowed to voice displeasure, and if he sits out a certain amount of games he is subject to being fined by his team (I don’t know if his pay is withheld, but I’m sure there could be an argument made for it). His contract isn’t voided by his displeasure, and thus the NTC is still valid.

Remember though, I agree he went about requesting a trade completely the wrong way, but I don’t agree that he deserves to be subject to character assaults simply because he said “I want to be traded but not to Edmonton” (which as I said is within his rights under the CBA).

Alan — That story is just a frustrated writer venting, nothing more. Read the letter he’s talking about and I think you’ll see someone who is also frustrated that is attempting to defend Heatley. The masses now hate the kid, so of course such a letter of defense is going to look like “sniveling” or “braty”.

MB

July 1st, 2009
11:56 am

Five-Hole, enjoy the trip and the Haight…try Cha-Cha-Cha’s down the street toward GG Park (amazing park). But be forewarned, several years ago I was there and almost gagged when I saw a Gap at the corner of Haight and Ashbury.

B. Thenet

July 1st, 2009
11:58 am

Wow, that Ottawa hit piece on Dany was pretty tough. That is the harshest I have ever seen Mr. Snyder and the Thrashers org. towards him.

NASA Control

July 1st, 2009
11:59 am

T minus one and counting.

NASA Control

July 1st, 2009
12:00 pm

We have lift off.

Sara

July 1st, 2009
12:01 pm

ranallo I’m not questioning whether he has the *right* to decline the trade…I’m questioning his ethics and it’s a valid point. Now maybe if no other team makes as good an offer and Murray comes back and says it’s either stay here or go to Edmonton, then Heater changes his mind.

I’d expect that in the future that may become a change to the typical NTC – you ask to be traded, you automatically void your NTC.

Toby

July 1st, 2009
12:02 pm

In the words of a famous bad guy…

and..here..we…GO

Alan

July 1st, 2009
12:03 pm

That story is just a frustrated writer venting, nothing more.

It indeed is just a frustrated writer. That’s why I particularly enjoy the Snyder portion of the piece, leaving the op-ed bloviating aside. It just amuses me to see the Ottawa media throwing him under the bus. Not because it’s Dany Heatley, but because they now know how the majority of Atlanta fans feel.

Spud Webb

July 1st, 2009
12:06 pm

Alan & Christy, I love that article. It’s SPOT on in my opinion. They should feel cheated up there and MAD. Hey a spade is a spade.
Interesting to hear Snyds dad, poor guy.
Is it one way, probably not, I’m sure other things went on up there. But for Dany to reject that trade is ridiculous. Trade him to the Rangers, wait till those fans get a hold of him after a disaster of a game or year. He will wish he was back bad-mouthing Atlanta. LOSER.
I’m officially moving on from Dany Heatly, he’s taken enough of my time and energy.

Smoothie

July 1st, 2009
12:11 pm

My prediction is that we will sign Zanon for roughly $1.75 M per season and afford ourselves enough money to either trade for a Top tier RW or perhaps even sign Mike Knuble for 1 or 2 years at $2.5 – 3 M per season. We might even sign Knuble as a FA and still make a trade as Todd White has great value after his career year and of course our depth at goalie may allow us to get player from a salary cap strapped team. For now I’m going on record that we will sign Zanon and Knuble.

GaVaHokie

July 1st, 2009
12:15 pm

I’ll say Zanon and Sjostrom.

Haven’t heard much about Koistenen lately.

GaVaHokie

July 1st, 2009
12:16 pm

So, do we see a one-hour “grace period” where teams pretend like they haven’t been talking to players and agents over the last month? ;)

World Be Free

July 1st, 2009
12:17 pm

Smoothie, I have no issue with the 2 guys you have suggested.
Both would help the Thrashers from game 1.

RNN - Rawhide News Network

July 1st, 2009
12:17 pm

Ohlund to Tampa

Tony C.

July 1st, 2009
12:19 pm

Ohlund to Tampa? Unconfirmed.

Alan

July 1st, 2009
12:19 pm

TB just signed Ohlund.

Darkhorse

July 1st, 2009
12:22 pm

Ohlund to Tampa…………Damn damn

Per NHL Live and Kevin Allen

Wonder if he was even on our list?

GaVaHokie

July 1st, 2009
12:27 pm

Geez… 7-years… $3.75 million

I don’t know about that… he’s 32 years old. I’m glad we didn’t make that deal.

World Be Free

July 1st, 2009
12:28 pm

Defenseman to look for-tier 2 types:
Derek Morris, Steve Montador or Adrian Aucoin

Morris and Aucoin can play the power play and kill penalties.

Smoothie

July 1st, 2009
12:31 pm

Did Tampa overpay for Ohlund is the bigger question? I reckon they did.

Chris

July 1st, 2009
12:32 pm

Agree with Hokie and Smoothie…7 years? If that’s what he wanted, I’m glad we didn’t get him.

Darkhorse

July 1st, 2009
12:32 pm

I just want to see some guys here that can, and want to keep our crease clear, and our goalie protected.

No thanks on 7 years…

Smoothie

July 1st, 2009
12:34 pm

7 years!!! Wow, I hope we get to see Kovy score on Ohlund frequently over that stretch of time. These LT contracts are getting ridiculous…have these GMs not learned anything from DiPietro, Briere and Heatley?? At least Donnie is a lot smarter than the tools down in Tampa and on Long Island!!

Spud Webb

July 1st, 2009
12:40 pm

Tampa always overpays, it’s beautiful for sure.

GaVaHokie

July 1st, 2009
12:41 pm

Tampa REALLY needed a dependable defenseman though… should have kept Dan Boyle.

ranallo10 (in AT)

July 1st, 2009
12:42 pm

“I’d expect that in the future that may become a change to the typical NTC – you ask to be traded, you automatically void your NTC.”

Nah, I can’t see the players association ever agreeing to such a thing. They’re already screwed (relatively) due to the waiver system, in that a player like Miroslav Satan can be sent to the minors simply because their GM didn’t properly manage his cap space. He still gets his money (which is why I say relatively) but he’s playing IN THE AHL though he signed a one-way NHL contract.

So I’d say, from a players perspective, if it was agreed to void an NTC due to requesting/demanding a trade that a contract should be void when the GM places the player on waivers. In the end the GMs hold all the power regarding contracts, and NTCs are one of the only bits of ammunition a player has to control their NHL rights…I don’t see the player’s association ever bending on that topic.

Besides, it’s the GMs who are giving away the NTCs like they’re no big deal, they should learn from their own mistakes and not give away NTCs willy nilly. If a player who holds an NTC no longer wants to play for your organization, you’re basically screwed because you have an upset player which means a potentially explosive locker room, but the player has the advantage of choosing where they will play. So you either get pennies on the dollar or you get an unhappy locker room…all because you signed a player with an overly strict NTC.

Alan — I could definitely see how he’s trying to spin Mr. Snyder’s words to being bad for Heatley, but I would say I can agree with the way Mr. Snyder apparently does regarding this latest trade request…confused by Heatley’s actions. In Atlanta he had an obvious conundrum that facilitated the trade. There’s no comparison between that situation and him requesting a trade now, because though it’s the same person it’s a utterly different situation. It’s interesting to hear his opinion, but why does Dan Snyder’s dad have any bearing on the fact that Heatley apparently no longer enjoys playing in Ottawa? Had Heatley made a reference to his emotional state and that he “couldn’t bear playing in Ottawa due to the memories of Dan Snyder”, then Mr. Snyder’s comments are relevant…otherwise it’s just grasping for yet another voice to support your argument (I’m talking about the blogger), and honestly it makes little sense.

Tony C.

July 1st, 2009
12:43 pm

I dunno if I’d take Aucoin… maybe a 2-year deal?

ranallo10 (in AT)

July 1st, 2009
12:44 pm

Ohlund to Tampa Bay…damn.

Toby

July 1st, 2009
12:44 pm

It’s being reported on TSN (on TV) that Hossa is close to signing with Chicago

http://hfboards.com/showthread.php?t=657610

Alan

July 1st, 2009
12:46 pm

Dvorak re-signs in Florida. TSN says Booth may have also re-signed.

GaVaHokie

July 1st, 2009
12:46 pm

Hossa to Chicago?!… what a whore.

Chris

July 1st, 2009
12:48 pm

How can they afford to pay Hossa and Campbell big-time contracts when they have to negotiate new big-money deals with Kane and Toews (who have to be higher priorities) next year?

ranallo10 (in AT)

July 1st, 2009
12:49 pm

If Schneider helped mentor Bogosian to the player he’s becoming, and if Havelid helped mentor Enstrom to the player he’s becoming, Ohlund mentoring Hedman is going to be a helluva tandem. Both are Swedish so they have the language on their side, Ohlund is a well rounded All-Star defender still experiencing his good years, and Hedman will be learning from him every step of that contract.

It might be too much, but I think it’s a great pickup by Tampa. Schneider made more than Ohlund at that age, so relatively the contract dollars aren’t too exorbitant.

Jarndyce

July 1st, 2009
12:49 pm

Think about it like this: Player production for all but HofFame-type players approaches zero after age 34-35. So, consider Ohlund’s production to be valuable for say 3 years. That means year 4,5,6 and 7 of that contract will be approaching worthless to the Bolts. Discount that, even at a hefty 15%, and Tampa just literally gave away $7,000,000!!!

goose

July 1st, 2009
12:50 pm

Sedin’s re-sighed with Vancouver 6.1mill 5 years each

Toby

July 1st, 2009
12:50 pm

World Be Free

July 1st, 2009
12:51 pm

I say Aucoin if Ohlund was in play. I think we could get “Yo, Adrian” for 2-3 years at $4M / year. That’s what it will take to sign someone in the next 24 hours if you want to make a splash. He has a great shot from the point.

Ohlund for 7 years? He’s slow now, he’ll be a pylon in 2 years and a financial burden for 5. Did Glen Sather take over the Lightning?

What is Chicago going to give up get Mary Ann? I used to like the Hawks, now I will have to dislike them!

GaVaHokie

July 1st, 2009
12:52 pm

Perhaps Hossa is taking the 1-year offer that Havlat turned down.

Russian

July 1st, 2009
12:54 pm

Lot of news around NHL. Where are NEWS from ATlanta. Damn! What is he waiting for???? :-(

GaVaHokie

July 1st, 2009
12:55 pm

Roloson hit the free agent market… Edmonton needs a goalie.

World Be Free

July 1st, 2009
12:57 pm

Not sure I want to jump in this shark tank if today’s UFA contracts at as stupid as Ohlund’s.

That contract is a buyout in the making.

Chris

July 1st, 2009
12:58 pm

Kevin Allen just said on NHL Live he wasn’t expecting that many big deals to go down, but he wouldn’t be surprised to see Antropov end up here.

Hockey Biltong

July 1st, 2009
1:02 pm

Thrashers have just signed Brett Favre… 3 years for 2.3 mil per.

GaVaHokie

July 1st, 2009
1:06 pm

Sara

July 1st, 2009
1:07 pm

Custance tweeted the same Chris…ATL interested in Antropov