Sunday, July 1, 2012

The Cat's Meow: Free Agent Frenzy

Ah, July 1st. The day that many hockey fans are glued to their TVs and phones, anxiously awaiting news. The day that many fans cheer with glee because their favorite team signed a highly-touted free agent. Or in the other case, begin to cope with the fact that one of their favorite players has left for another team.

For the Florida Panthers, this year's Free Agent Frenzy was much calmer than last year; choosing to dip their toes into the free agent pool rather than make a huge splash.

  • (D) Filip Kuba (Ottawa Senators): Signed a two-year, $8 million contract. His arrival assures the expected departure of defenseman Jason Garrison, who is an unrestricted free agent. He scored six goals, 26 assists, and was a +26 in 73 games with Senators last season. Kuba, 35, was drafted by the Panthers in 1995 and played 18 games over two seasons before being traded to the Minnesota Wild. 
  • (RW) George Parros (Anaheim Ducks): Signed a two-year $1.85 million contract. He brings grit to the team, having been an enforcer with the Anaheim Ducks. Parros, 32, had one goal, three assists and 85 PIM in 46 games with with the Ducks last season.
  • (RW) Mikael Samuelsson (Detroit Red Wings): Signed a two-year, $6 million contract with the Detroit Red Wings. Samuelsson, 35, spent four seasons with the Red Wings and scored 67 goals during his time there. While with the Panthers, he scored 13 goals and collected 15 helpers in 46 games. 
  • (D) Jason Garrison (Vancouver Canucks): Signed a six-year, $27.6 million contract with the Vancouver Canucks. Garrison, 27, got a much-expected pay day. Highly touted this summer, he had 16 goals and 17 assists in 77 games last season. Despite showing some real spark this season, some experts say that the Canucks overpaid for a one-hit wonder defenseman.
  • (G) Scott Clemmensen: Signed a two-year contract. Financial terms of the contract are not available at the moment. Clemmensen, 34, went 14-6-6 in 30 games with a 2.57 GAA and one shutout. 

Other Notables
  • The Florida Panthers still seem to be in the hunt for (G) Roberto Luongo. After re-signing backup goalie Scott Clemmensen, there is still no logical reason to obtain Luongo. With the Canucks demanding one of the Panthers top prospects in exchange for Luongo, talks are still ongoing between the two camps. 
  • After deciding to test free agent waters, (G) Martin Brodeur is rumored to be in talks with the Panthers. As if re-signed backup Scott Clemmensen (two years), starter Jose Theodore (one year left) and up-and-coming goalie prospect Jacob Markstrom sitting in the minors is not enough in the crease. 
  • (D) Ryan Suter and (LW) Zach Parise still have not made their decisions. Parise was reportedly contacted by Sidney Crosby on behalf of the Pittsburgh Penguins, the two spending time at the famous Minnesota prep school, Shattucks St. Mary's. Reports surfaced that Suter and Parise are in talks for a "Big Three" type situation, as seen in the NBA with Lebron James, Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade. Parise is rumored to make his decision tomorrow. 
  • (RW) Rick Nash's name had been nonexistent in the rumor circle since earlier in the season. But now that reports are surfacing that Nash has been in talks with the Philadelphia Flyers, expect to hear more of his name. 
And we are left to wait it all out...

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