Top Line: Free-agent frenzy revisited; Alfredsson fallout in Ottawa; more links
By Allan Muir
An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:
• Forget all that other stuff. Here's the big news of the day: Jay Baruchel is ready to talk about "Goon 2." Two words for you, kid: More Belchior.
• A shrinking salary cap didn't stop NHL general managers from making it rain like Drake on free agency Friday.
• Tony Gallagher has some early thoughts on how Friday's early moves impacted the power structure in the Western Conference.
• Everything is happening in the Bob Cole Division. Someone out there really needs to make that line into a ringtone.
• Terry Koshan quick hits a busy first day of free agency.
• Bruce McCurdy takes a look at how the depth chart in Edmonton was affected by a flurry of moves on Friday.
• Calgary GM Jay Feaster kept busy on free-agent Friday but failed to get the big job done.
• A day later, this is still hard to digest: Daniel Alfredsson won't retire as an Ottawa Senator. Wayne Scanlon wonders how it got to this.
• Alfie chose to do what was best for him, not the team, for the first time in his career.
• Alfredsson's teammates were stunned to learn of his defection.
• Don Brennan argues that if Ottawa's fans are going to be angry with anyone, it has to be with Alfredsson.
• "It was the best hockey deal I could make," Anaheim GM Bob Murray said of the trade that sent Bobby Ryan to the Sens. Ducks fans may think they got a bag of pucks for the four-time 30-goal scorer, but Murray actually wrangled a pretty nice return.
• Apparently there were some Red Wings fans who had lost the faith in Ken Holland, but after those two quick strikes, it's clear Detroit's general manager hasn't lost his fastball after all. Hard to believe this guy has to prove anything in Motown...
• It's a good thing the B's managed to end the day on a high note after losing six players who dressed for them in the Stanley Cup Final.
• No, really, Ray Shero has a plan.
• A stabilized ownership situation allowed the Phoenix Coyotes, of all teams, to land one of the biggest names in free agency. When you come to think of all that's happened lately, has that franchise ever had a better month since moving to the desert?
• Not sure why no one is talking about the best seven-year signing of the day. It won't be long before this guy looks like one of the top bargains in hockey.
• The bottom six looks better in New York, but Glen Sather may have painted himself into a corner with a trio of depth signings. He doesn't have much space left under the cap to sign Group II free agents Ryan McDonagh, Derek Stepan, Carl Hagelin and Mats Zuccarello, and that leaves the Rangers exposed to a predatory offer sheet.
• Vancouver GM Mike Gillis helped clarify Roberto Luongo's options at a press conference on Friday afternoon: "Play or not play." • The story of Gerry Johannson might have gotten lost on a day like this, but this piece on the former Canadiens prospect/current player agent is worth a look.