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

R. Stroz

July 1st, 2009
3:58 pm

Hokie – So, we give up our first round pick next year for Chicago’s first round pick, who happened to be the third pick overall in 2004.

Buzilla in CT

July 1st, 2009
3:58 pm

Yeah but I took over for my wife in the playoffs because Dancing with the stars or American Idol or some crap was going on…so techically I came in second….to a girl (no offense Sara)

Glovesave29

July 1st, 2009
4:01 pm

No chc4 – its been 11 years and 4 hours.

And Mike Bell is damn funny, listen whenever I can, which isn’t much lately…

GaVaHokie

July 1st, 2009
4:01 pm

Bulin Wall to Edmonton

Spud Webb

July 1st, 2009
4:02 pm

The frogs getting Spacek for almost 4 mill per season????????? Seems a little excessive to me.

Buzilla in CT

July 1st, 2009
4:02 pm

Bulin wall to Edmonton (not confirmed) Guess they don’t need to trade with us…Dudley Do RIGHT and Sign somebody

Buzilla in CT

July 1st, 2009
4:04 pm

Where the hell is Big Willy Tilly? Too busy on Hockeybuzz I guess

Rawhide

July 1st, 2009
4:05 pm

Zilla – Nope…right here.

chc4

July 1st, 2009
4:06 pm

Glovesave29 — clearly you don’t listen much otherwise you wouldn’t be able to stand it anymore. His schtick is so old and tired. We get it — he’s a drunk, sex starved loser that stays out til all hours of the night and shows up for work hung over. After 10 years you’d think his game would’ve evolved.

But to the point, these blockbuster first-hour megadeals rarely work out. Just read that Chicago may actually look to deal Brian Campbell sometime soon. The reality is we have ownership that won’t spend to the cap so we won’t be involved in this first wave. Blame the ASG for that. Waddell has done plenty of dumb things but I suspect he’s given a small pot of money w/ which to deal with.

Spud Webb

July 1st, 2009
4:06 pm

I remember this same feeling a year ago. Watching teams make moves & us trying, trying, trying, like the little engine that couldn’t, hahahaha.
Campbell gone, Boyle traded. Us sitting here and then over paying for Hainsey (who I happen to like). Oh well, I’m sure DW has a master plan and we’re sticking to it!!! ahhahahaha

GaVaHokie

July 1st, 2009
4:06 pm

Stroz… I’m fine with that. And actually it’s a 1st and 3rd pick for qualifying a player from $2-$3 million.

$3-4 million… 1st, 2nd and 3rd
$4-5 million… two 1sts, a 2nd and a 3rd.

World Be Free

July 1st, 2009
4:07 pm

Spacek getting 11.5 Mil tells me how stupid people can be on July 1. How is Gainey keeping his job?

Buzilla in CT

July 1st, 2009
4:07 pm

Bulin 4 yrs 15 mil (3.75 per)

That’s a lot of money for an old timer

Bob

July 1st, 2009
4:08 pm

“Could the combination of Waddell & Dudley be paralyzing the ability to make a deal? “I’d like to sign this, but I gotta check with the other guy first.”?”

Read the article that Chris posted today. Waddell says he’s going to wait for the tier ones to be signed and then try to steal somebody later on and the major move to be made later.

No one in their right mind is coming here as a UFA, our best hope is via trade.

MB

July 1st, 2009
4:08 pm

As slow as they both talk, I’m amazed Bouwmeester and Sutter were able to get the deal done before the start of the season. Sheesh…molasses flows faster.

Jared

July 1st, 2009
4:11 pm

Well… still waiting for something to go down…
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8LOLswfTkQ

Glovesave29

July 1st, 2009
4:13 pm

Yeah Bob, I am sure Kovy is just drooling to stick around based on that game plan. Ugh…

GaVaHokie

July 1st, 2009
4:14 pm

That was excruciating!

GaVaHokie

July 1st, 2009
4:17 pm

I wonder if Hossa is trying to retract his contract now! :)

Chicago just lost the Bulin Wall and you just signed for 12 years… sucker!

Buzilla in CT

July 1st, 2009
4:17 pm

Whats the record for most posts for you blog Bill?

Rawhide

July 1st, 2009
4:18 pm

Zillanator – The 4:14 pm comment by gavahokie was the 318th posted on this blog. That breaks the 317 posted last July 1 and sets a new all-time record for the Iceman blog!

Congrats guys….

Buzilla in CT

July 1st, 2009
4:21 pm

Did I inspire you to look that up or were you going to write about that anyway and I am just clairvoyant?

R. Stroz

July 1st, 2009
4:21 pm

I’m surprised Afinogenov’s name hasn’t shown up anywhere yet.

Chris

July 1st, 2009
4:22 pm

I’m not sure what’s worse–that press conference in Calgary or the complete lack of any relevant and current information about the Thrashers. All this talk about everybody else is mind-numbing.

Bogotown

July 1st, 2009
4:23 pm

Bill, anything new on Kubina?

Rawhide

July 1st, 2009
4:24 pm

Zilla – I was preparing to post it up when you asked…very timely indeed.

Bogotown – Nope…nuthin’ new as of yet.

Shawn@GSG

July 1st, 2009
4:25 pm

Chris – I completely agree with you. Every year I get all amped up for this day only to see Waddell either do nothing or totally eff up. Maybe he’s trying to talk Eric Lindros out of retirement……

Bogotown

July 1st, 2009
4:25 pm

Thanks Bill! Keep us informed!!

Buzilla in CT

July 1st, 2009
4:27 pm

Somebody start a rumor to get the ball rolling! I’ll start…I heard that the Thrash are really close to trading Thor’s right, X, Zhitnik, and Peter Buzek to Washington for Ovie and there 2 first round picks.

Once this deal goes through LAC and Sage buy authentic Thrashers jerseys with “Waddell” #69 on the backs.

Chris

July 1st, 2009
4:28 pm

Panthers just got Clemmensen for 3 years @ 1.2 a year. The 7 fans in Sunrise, Florida are besides themselves. In other news, I’m considering a lobotomy.

Rawhide

July 1st, 2009
4:28 pm

Zilla – Would that be classified as a (b5)?

Glovesave29

July 1st, 2009
4:33 pm

Clemmesen is a hechuva goalie, but he was also the backstop for the most defensively responsible team in the history of the planet. Let’s see how he does facing some serious rubber!

Buzilla in CT

July 1st, 2009
4:35 pm

I believe so

Riceowls8891

July 1st, 2009
4:36 pm

I don’t think Vokoun is just going to step aside for Clemmensen. He’s still under contract with the Panthers. Looks like back-up to back-up, to me.

Glovesave29

July 1st, 2009
4:39 pm

I thought about that – seems to me the Panthers are going to put Vokoun on the market

Buzilla in CT

July 1st, 2009
4:41 pm

Feel free to post my rumor on Hockeybuzz Willy. I can be anonymous if you like

Mark Sanford

July 1st, 2009
4:44 pm

Maybe Waddell is busy with his Argentinian mistress. “I love your tan lines”.

Riceowls8891

July 1st, 2009
4:45 pm

5.7 million is a big hit to try and trade.

Alan

July 1st, 2009
4:45 pm

Antropov and Cammalleri are still on the market. Amazingly enough.

Buzilla in CT

July 1st, 2009
4:45 pm

Thrash trade Lehts to Chicago for Hossa!!!

Chris

July 1st, 2009
4:46 pm

Hal Gil to Montreal.

five_hole

July 1st, 2009
4:46 pm

Laperriere to Flyers – 3 years – 3.5 million

Glovesave29

July 1st, 2009
4:48 pm

Hal Gill is now in Montreal and the Canes re-signed Erik Cole.

True that’s a hefty salary, but all the more reason the cheap Panthers will unload him. Colorado is still weak between the pipes, and Chicago has an opening (although I cannot imagine they can afford him – so perhaps a trade there)

five_hole

July 1st, 2009
4:54 pm

When you look at the salaries, players are signing for less than last year. The Sedins each average $6.1 mil. Bouwmeester gets $6.68 per. Niedermeyer got $6 mil. Hossa got $5.23 mil. Last year the players were signing for $7 million average (Campbell, et al).

Are they “lesser talents” than last year, or is the economy affecting teams abilities to sign players? Or, is it teams that spend the money are already “capped out”?

Buzilla in CT

July 1st, 2009
4:56 pm

anybody catch the Waddell swimming pool pick that Willy put up? Trixie must be versed on photoshop now

ranallo10 (in AT)

July 1st, 2009
4:56 pm

I’m glad Gill signed in Montreal…we don’t have to watch a defensive version of Holik getting poor penalties, outskated by guys half his size, and generally suck it up. I know I know, he played “great” in the playoffs according to the announcers, he still is a taller slower version of Andy Sutton.

Sara

July 1st, 2009
4:58 pm

five_hole – I think it’s a) the market this year and b) the fact that the cap did not go up, which means lots of teams don’t have much room for big contracts.

Essentially a lot of teams can’t get in on the bidding cause they don’t have cap space – without all those bidders, the prices don’t get driven up into the stratosphere.

Toby

July 1st, 2009
5:03 pm

Komisarek agrees on deal w/ Islanders [Waiting confirmation]…Not official yet

So Camm, Gabs, and Antro are still out there.

MB

July 1st, 2009
5:04 pm

Even though I want to hear some good news coming the Thrashers’ way, maybe the best thing the Wadd has done all day is not outbid those making the deals thus far.

Ohlund at $3.75 would have been fine, but not for seven years. Knuble would have been okay, but I’m not too torn up over not getting him. At least Donny hasn’t done anything stupid. Yet.

Chris

July 1st, 2009
5:04 pm

“HockeyLinks reporting Kubina to Atlanta done”

For a goalie?