Originally Posted by ihatedallas
So mike and shally, roughly 3 weeks following the beginning of free agency who do you guys think are the "winners" and "losers".
I like what Chicago did, Kopecky and Madden bring experience and intangibles, but I think ultimately they just chose Hossa for a decade over Kane. There's just no way that all of the kiddies are going to make it through the RFA next summer.
I think Montreal traded their mixed bag of inconsistent talent for another one. If Gomez and Gionta click, the smurfs as Shally alluded to, then they will be ok. I think their best pick up was Camm., if he keeps up the scoring. I still think they let way too many serviceable guys just walk away. Keeping Koivu or Kovalev would have rounded out the new acquisitions and made a solid top 6.
(BTW- for some reason, I really like the Kovalev to Ottawa signing. If Heatley settles down and gives up on being a nut case, that team is stacked offensively.)
I think New York went backwards, Gaborik could give them what they were missing in the scoring department, but bringing in Brashear gives them...2 enforcers? Orr is still there right? Thats a step backwards...
I like Havlat to Minny, if he puts together a similar campaign to this years, minny might claim a bottom 4 spot in the playoffs.
I haven't seen Pitt receive a ton of flak for their offseason, but didnt they just lose a whole defensive line, one that in particular saved the game for them in the finals and was largely responsible for slowing down Ovi?
Lastly, I like the Knuble signing, and the morrison signing, basically just got 2 players that mirror Kov and feds production...but give more defense/grit than either. Now if only they can put a dent in the glut of defensemen and turn it into one halfway decent one, I think they are much more set for a strong playoff run.
I agree with you about Chicago, mostly. I think you are right about either Kane or Hossa. I personally would rather have Kane though. Madden has been great, and as a Devil fan, it hurts to see him go.
Montreal is a huge question mark. Some of what they did, they had to do. Some of it, I just don't get. I suspect it could take well into the season, if ever, before they gel and develop any chemistry.
Ottawa is another mess. I am just glad I'm not a Sens fan. I don't know what is going to happen there.
With Burke in charge in Toronto, and big questions in Mtl and Ott, there is plenty of reason for Maple Leaf fans to be optimistic. Speaking of Toronto, Colton Orr is with them now, and not the Rangers. It was right after that move was announced that the Rags signed Brash.
Speaking of the Rangers, if they can get 65+ games out of Gabby, that will be a great signing. The problem is that is a big if. Maybe the surgery fixed his problems but until he shows it on the ice it will be a huge question mark.
The Wild basically replaced Gabby with Havlat. I personally think that is an upgrade. Both in terms of durability and in terms of two way play on the ice. The Wild have made a couple of other moves this offseason that I think will make for a better season coming up. (New GM, new Coach...)
I think the Knuble deal is one of the most important and underrated moves of the offseason. The Caps will be a much better team with him on the ice.