NHL Free Agency Open Thread 2011

Well, here we are. 2011 NHL Free Agency. At 11am CDT teams will start backing up trucks full of money onto agents lawns and trying to appease these men who are in a most enviable position as teams claw to get to the cap floor.

What will the Stars do? It's 20 minutes 'till and we still have no idea, but the smart money is on "not much" today. The Stars are not a piece or two away from the Stanley Cup. They might not even be a piece or two away from the playoffs. They don't want to give out any of these crazy 7-10 year deals, and they don't want to handicap themselves as the league moves toward a new CBA negotiation next summer at this time. We should be thankful for this attitude, not agitated by it.

Players are still being taken off the board even as I write this. Patience is the word of the day. Joe Nieuwendyk will probably be very, very patient. Keep in mind that while a defenseman and a top six forward might be your greatest interest today, Joe's might be a third or fourth line forward with a good attitude/work ethic.

Above all remember that they may not do anything today, and that's OK. It would not surprise me a single bit if the first signing we get today is a European no one has ever heard of playing in a Finnish league, and then we don't hear anything else until tomorrow afternoon.

Whatever the case, let's have fun and enjoy this last bastion of hockey nerd-dom before the long, hot summer takes effect and renders us all aching for mid September...

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