Ask a Toronto Maple Leafs fan today how much it costs to fill his gas tank and he won't tell you an arm and a leg.
He'll probably say a Finger.
We can't say there won't be a more shocking contract offered than the one signed on Tuesday by no-name defenseman
Four years, $14 million. That's what the Leafs, surely bidding only against themselves, offered a 28-year-old former ECHLer with one NHL season to his credit.
Oh, and this was a player deemed so valuable by his former employers, the Colorado Avalanche, that he was relegated to the press box for five of the team's 10 postseason games.
I just double-checked the calendar and can confirm that yesterday was July 1, not April 1.
That's worth keeping in mind when you listen to the mastermind behind the deal -- Toronto GM
While you're mulling that over, consider Fletcher's statement that he's looking to sign a veteran defensemen out of Europe to fill the roster. At this point, you can't rule out a five-year, $25 million offer for
A look at some other noteworthy activity in the first 24 hours of free agency:
This deal might be more important in terms of perception than talent. By inking the consensus best defenseman available, the Hawks finally are back in the big time. They're now a legitimate franchise after years of aimlessly wandering through the wilderness. Campbell brings mobility and elite transition skills to a rapidly maturing, and improving, defensive corps. The deal might not go to full term, but he'll play a crucial role as the Hawks move into contention over the next five years.
The restricted free agent signed an offer sheet with the Canucks, the first to be offered this season. The Blues matched in a matter of hours -- no surprise considering the compensation, had they passed, would have been a second- rounder. It was a half-hearted attempt on the part of Vancouver, given that another $200,000 per year would have upped the value of the compensation to a first- and a third-rounder and at least given St. Louis something to consider.
A much better signing by Fletcher, although no one should expect a repeat of Hagman's 27-goal output from last season. He's a solid two-way player, an elite grinder. He can get hot, but he's also prone to long stretches where his hands desert him. It's one thing to do that in Dallas or Miami, towns that are largely indifferent to the foibles of its hockey teams. In Toronto, the pressures will rise considerably. It'll be interesting to see how he responds.
Bruins fans who were counting on seeing
Playing with either
The Rangers have to hope they bought six years of the pre-2006 Redden, a player who could fill the void in their transition game and add some punch to their power play. If they get the Redden of the past two seasons, they'll be stuck with a second-pairing defender whose passion for the game appears to have ebbed. The Rangers have to believe that a change of scenery may cure what's ailed him, or this deal might look nearly as bad as the Finger signing in short order.
No one will mistake Streit for a defensive stalwart, but his offensive abilities should provide a boost to a power play that ranked 29th last season.
Another savvy deal by
Apparently the Avs have found other avenues to spend money than on a competent pro scouting department.
Nearly four million per over five years for a guy best suited for third-pairing duty? This speaks as much to the Blue Jackets' need to hit the salary cap floor as it does Commodore's desirability on the open market.