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
1:56 pm

I like Kubina but not for Armstrong and especially not for Army & a 2nd. We’re thin enough on quality forwards as it is.

Chris

July 1st, 2009
1:56 pm

We could also be making a move for an additional winger as well, if this trade in fact does go through. Who knows. Why you’d want to replace a great character guy with somebody else is beyond me.

Tony C.

July 1st, 2009
1:56 pm

For Armstrong? yikes! I thought #17 specifically mentioned him as being “one of my guys”

Toby

July 1st, 2009
1:57 pm

Maybe Dub is certain he can get Antro.

B. Thenet

July 1st, 2009
1:57 pm

Army did not hide the fact he was not pleased with being on the team or in the town when he was interviewed on the road.

I have no doubt he was not interested in re-signing here.

Smoothie

July 1st, 2009
1:57 pm

Why are we even dealing with TOR?? We should be dealing from a position of strength with a team that is up against the Cap and needing to dump salary. If we trade Colby for Kubina, then I may never forgive Don Waddell. How do you trade one of your heart and soul guys for that big, goofy stiff??

Russ

July 1st, 2009
1:58 pm

If it’s Kubina for Army straight up I don’t like it. If Hossa is going to Chicago, they are probably going to be looking to clear some cap space. Maybe the Thrashers could acquire Seabrook as a salary dump. I’ve always liked his game.

FormerIslesFan

July 1st, 2009
1:59 pm

B. Thenet:

First I have heard of that. Do you have a source or a link to anything backing that up? The only interviews I’ve ever seen with Army have had him saying he wants to be part of the building here.

Toby

July 1st, 2009
1:59 pm

BOGOSIAN ENSTROM
HAINSEY KUBINA
SALMELA VALABIK/EXELBY

Sara

July 1st, 2009
1:59 pm

The only possible justification I can think of is if there is something going on behind the scenes as Thenet is alluding to, where Army wanted out and Don’s going to move him. But honest to god can’t we get better for him than *that*?!?!? Hell we should be getting the damn draft pick at least.

I’m going to be so pi$$ed if this trade is true.

TableHockey

July 1st, 2009
2:00 pm

hate to lose Army – wonder if another deal is in the works for a RW that can make 20 goals next season?

Bob

July 1st, 2009
2:01 pm

If Armstrong wanted out of here and turned down offers to sign long term, it makes sense. Also makes sense if they think they can sign a winger. D had to be improved, it’s our biggest weakness year in and year out, 2nd year Bogo and Kubina as the top pair, and Enstrom-Hainsey as 2nd pair makes us better on D

Chris

July 1st, 2009
2:01 pm

“Darrin Dreger twitters, “Kubina to Atl…not done yet”. Word is Toronto wants Colby Armstrong and 2nd round pick for the 32-year old defender w/ only 1-year left on contract. If true…I say somebody steal Waddell’s cell phone so he cannot make this deal!”

From Rawhide on Hockeybuzz….and I completely and totally agree.

Alan

July 1st, 2009
2:02 pm

Hossa is now a Blackhawk, according to TSN.

GaVaHokie

July 1st, 2009
2:03 pm

12 years $5 million for Hossa? What a slap in the face to Havlat.

RNN - Rawhide News Network

July 1st, 2009
2:03 pm

Hossa signs with Blackhawks for 12 years.

Viking

July 1st, 2009
2:04 pm

Alan, I do not know what is in Kovy’s head, but if he feels some connection outside hockey to Antropov, it may be on the thin side. Kovy is from Tver, not far from Moscow, Russia. Antropov is from Kamenogorsk Kazakhstan, not that far from China. I may not even speak the same language. (Russian/Kazakh).

Toby

July 1st, 2009
2:05 pm

Ewww….Kubina is making $5 mil next year. Maybe Colby indicated that he wanted to sign for too much??

Alan

July 1st, 2009
2:05 pm

Matt Walker to TB, 4yr, 6.8m/yr

Jarndyce

July 1st, 2009
2:05 pm

Jeezy Creezy. Hossa, 12 years at $5.2 per. They’ll be paying him until he’s 42-freakin-years-old!!!!!

Viking

July 1st, 2009
2:05 pm

Sorry, I do not speak neither Russian or Kazakh, I meant to write “They”.

Sara

July 1st, 2009
2:06 pm

OK Ben talked me down…coming back off the ledge…

RNN - Rawhide News Network

July 1st, 2009
2:06 pm

Anderson signs with Avs.

Tony C.

July 1st, 2009
2:06 pm

Custance tweets: CraigCustance: If it’s Colby Armstrong going back to Toronto for Kubina, he hasn’t been told yet.

Alan

July 1st, 2009
2:06 pm

ACK, Not 6.8m/yr, 6.8m total!!

Sara

July 1st, 2009
2:07 pm

per Custance – Army doesn’t know a damn thing

Toby

July 1st, 2009
2:08 pm

Ty Conklin has agreed to a 2 year deal with the St. Louis Blues. Average $1.3 for two years
Source: Andy Strickland

http://www.hockeybuzz.com.

LAC

July 1st, 2009
2:14 pm

Kubina, WHY ? We do NOT need this guy, he is NOT that good, maybe at hird round pick, but that’s IT. If waddell sends Armstrong for thisclown, it will prove again waddell is an IDIOT !

Rawhide

July 1st, 2009
2:16 pm

HOLY CRAP!!! Hossa to Chicago for 12 YEARS, $62.4 million?!?!? Twelve years will put him at 42-years old!

That would constitue as a “Big Splash”, I’d say…

Russian

July 1st, 2009
2:17 pm

Kovy and Antropov speak a same Language. Antropov can play Center and Winger.

Brian Burke

July 1st, 2009
2:18 pm

I’m going to screw Donny boy again. It’s great to have an idiot for a friend.

Toby

July 1st, 2009
2:18 pm

All seems quiet on the trade front…maybe this is dead? No deals for the goalies yet??

Darren Elliot

July 1st, 2009
2:18 pm

Russian

July 1st, 2009
2:18 pm

BlackHawks are crazy. 12 years are very too much :-)

Brian Burke

July 1st, 2009
2:19 pm

Donny, I’ve got some $hit for you.

Tony C.

July 1st, 2009
2:19 pm

Yeah, but let’s look at what TOR really really needs…and it’s not a grinder who’s got above-average-grinder hands…they need a goalie-that’s why Burkie is overseas wooing “The Monster” now.

Alan

July 1st, 2009
2:20 pm

For what it’s worth, the link I posted above re: Kubina has been removed from the Toronto Star website.

Toby

July 1st, 2009
2:20 pm

What some Leaf fans are saying…

“Bullet point-shot, great on the powerplay, solid defensively, and a proven, experienced winner that doesn’t shy away from physical play. I’d really miss this guy”

Brian Burke

July 1st, 2009
2:20 pm

Oh no, Dudley took Waddell’s phone and is beating the hell out of him.

Sara

July 1st, 2009
2:21 pm

yeah but Tony C. Army is generally the kind of tough, gritty, Canadian guy that Burke loves.
I just can’t believe Waddell would be that absolutely stupid…not after Coburn.

Jarndyce

July 1st, 2009
2:21 pm

The 12-year part is just a way to guarantee him money without hitting the cap too hard. Fine for now, but the Hawks will be hating this deal in five or six years. Oof. Granted, year 12’s contract is only worth about $1M, but come on.

GaVaHokie

July 1st, 2009
2:21 pm

Most Toronto fans want to keep Kubina and trade Kaberle.

Toby

July 1st, 2009
2:22 pm

“I was hoping we’d keep Kubina, sign him long term and name him captain. He’s a warrior, tough, 2way defenseman. He’s putting up 40pts, scoring goals, playing PP, PK, and playing against other team’s top lines”

Chris

July 1st, 2009
2:22 pm

LOL @ Brian Burke. So THATs why we hired Rick Dudley.

World Be Free

July 1st, 2009
2:22 pm

Kubina is not worth Colby, not unless Don/Duds have something up their sleeves with a replacement.

As for Hossa, with Chicago’s team, he now has 12 opportunities to disappear from the playoffs!

Sara

July 1st, 2009
2:23 pm

Alan – but the trading Kubina part is still in the main article text

Smoothie

July 1st, 2009
2:23 pm

I hope this is the Toronto tabloids spewing their normal garbage and not anywhere close to truth. Why waste this much time screwing around with Burke when there are great values to be had on the D-man UFA front?

Wouldn’t you rather have Zanon or Scuderi for 3-5 years at less than $3.5 M per season than an over-the-hill chump like Kubina for 1 year at $5 M???! The only way it makes sense is if he’s clearing space at RW for Havlat or Gaborik…I DO NOT WANT ANTROPOV…he is not worth the money he makes now!

GaVaHokie

July 1st, 2009
2:24 pm

Islanders sign Roloson… idiots.

GaVaHokie

July 1st, 2009
2:24 pm

Havlat looks to be going to LA

FormerIslesFan

July 1st, 2009
2:25 pm

FWIW, Rollie the Goalie to the Isles on a 2 year deal.