All this waiting while the rumors circulate. He will be traded, he won't be traded, he should be drafted, he shouldn't be drafted, where will so-and-so end up, and if not there, why not here? There was the Ryan Kesler trade to keep us entertained before the Draft, the Draft itself, and a few noteworthy buyouts and failed contract negotiations. All leading up to this...
I envision a Looney Tunes style cloud of smoke and flying debris as free agency finally begins.
So... Who exactly is available? Shall we break it down? Here we've got the Top Forwards to Watch. Followed by the Top Defensemen to Watch, and of course, the Top Goaltenders to Watch. Or you could just lump them all together and go with the Top 40 Free Agents. Either way.
* * *
Mike Heika suggests the Stars will be sensible today. In other words, avoid making themselves the butt of future jokes about signing fails a few years from now. But that doesn't mean not to expect anything. [Sports Day DFW]
So... Thornton or Spezza? [Sports Day DFW]
You know what's weird? Six teams have expressed interest in acquiring Martin Brodeur. Six! I don't understand... [CBS Sports]
Meanwhile, an actually still decent goalie that's also on the market seems to have only the Canucks as suitors. Could Ryan Miller end up in Vancouver? [Nucks Misconduct]
Habs fans are praising a trade made by their team! P.A. Parenteau for Daniel Briere? Call it a good move... [Habs Eyes on the Prize]
Ryan Johansen is not impressed with the bridge contract offered by the Columbus Blue Jackets. [SB Nation]
The Nashville Predators were first rebuffed by Jason Spezza, and now a deal for Vincent Lecavalier has fallen through. Keep at it though guys. Perseverance! That's the key... [Pro Hockey Talk]
Nobody wants Ales Hemsky? Hmmm... [SB Nation]
So for a while there was only the 'Rights to Dan Boyle' -- '2015 5th-round pick' line on the ticker. Then we had a few moves, Hartnell for Umberger, interesting... then the Kesler deal. Excitement! Then a whole bunch of numbers changing hands between teams, but now it seems to be gathering steam. Anyway, the link is a good one to keep refreshing over the next few days. [NHL Trade Tracker]
The Dallas Stars' special teams last season? Completely neutral. Sum total=0. No idea what I'm talking about? Check this one out. [Pro Hockey Talk]
Anybody interested in how the salary cap gets set? No? Surely there are some number crunchers out there who find this fascinating? No? Wait, yes? Maybe? You at the back! Come on down! [The Globe and Mail]
The USA play today. Or the USMNT I suppose I should say. I think that's how the cool kids are saying it these days. Anyway, should you decide to watch it, and are in need of a guide to transitioning from hockey to soccer, Sean McIndoe has you covered. [Down Goes Brown]