I hope everyone enjoyed their holiday weekend and their Fourth of July. For fans, it was a crazy start to the NHL Free Agency period. We saw some teams go absolutely bananas with some of the contracts given out. Christian Erhoff signs for 10 years $40 million. James Wisniewski for 6 years $33 million. The Florida Panthers spent money like a rich 13-year old kid in an up-scale mall, basically buying half a team just to reach the cap floor. And, your New York Rangers, who swore they would not be swallowed in to a bidding war to get their man Brad Richards, ended up doing so, signing him to a 9-year, $60 million mega deal. After the dust settled, there are still some free agents to be had so expect to see signings throughout the summer.
Join me after the jump to find out why the NHL might be heading for another lockout, a Rangers blogger gets to hang with the latest Rangers’ acquisitions and more!
– Over the weekend, Jared Crozier from SenShot wrote an excellent article about why the free agent deals given out this weekend is an indicator the NHL is heading towards another work stoppage. In 04-05 the NHL needed to have their work stoppage in order to fix their sport & instill a salary cap for owners that wouldn’t help themselves. 7 years later, GM’s have figured out ways to get “creative’ with the structures of the contracts they give out to lessen cap hits while teams that don’t have the money
(Florida doesn’t strike me as a team with boatloads of money) have to spend it in order to reach the minimum cap floor. The system needs tweaking, but I think the NHL & NHLPA can get it done without sacrificing another season.
– Nick Montemagno of the Rangers Tribune had a great July 4th. Most of us can say “yeah, had a BBQ, saw some fireworks, no big deal.” Nick’s July 4th? Complete with a photo op with newly signed Brad Richards and re-signed Ruslan Fedotenko. Dude’s lucky. Check out the picture.
– Nice to see Rangers beat writer Rick Carpinello finally join Twitter. He tweeted something over the weekend that went a bit unnoticed. If Rick says it then he must be hearing things from within the organization. Here’s the tweet:
I am hearing Wolski and Christensen might be gone.
Most fans and bloggers feel now that Richards is here, Christensen has all but seen his last days with the Rangers. And there have been rumblings about Wolski not returning next season since last season ended. For me, its good riddance to Christensen. However, I’d like to see Wolski get a full season with the Rangers to learn Torts’ system and be given an honest chance to produce. He’s a UFA at the end of next season, anyway.
– Look for an interview from WFAN 660 AM & NHL Live on XM Radio producer Brian Monzo in the coming days, breaking down the Richards deal. Brian ws gracious enough to give me some time out of his busy schedule.
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