FAF: Update

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All is quiet on the FA front. And I’m surprised to say it could stay that way for a bit. In reading through some articles, OK Hockey was quoted saying that they are going to “tiptoe” into the market this time around. This greatly contrasts the Yankees approach- let’s buy everyone and hope it works out. Hopefully the owners have learned their lesson. Leave that type of manangement to the Steinbrenners- who can actually pull it off.

My favorite quote from the interview with GM Brian Lawton:

“A lot of guys have been calling us to let us know who they have available, an abnormal amount of calls, actually,” Lawton said. “They see Tampa Bay as a desirable place to play and people look at our team and the players we have and us being better than a 29th-place team, a team that they want to be a part of.”

Riiiight. Who wouldn’t want to play in front of the biggest bandwagon community in the US? The only calls I can see Lawton receiving were trade offers for Vinny, Marty and Malone. Attendance absolutely plummetted. We had been in the TOP 5 for the past few years. Perhaps players want to play here, but do the fans want to pay to see them play here? Has the front office received “an abnormal amount” of calls for season ticket renewals? I doubt it.

As I wrote yesterday, we need help on the blue line. And apparently a back up goalie. I wasn’t aware that Kari Ramo had skipped town to go play for the KHL in Russia. At least we still have his rights. Lightning beat writer for the Tampa Tribune Erik Erlendsson has put together a list of who the Bolts are looking at.

Goaltenders 

Ty Conklin, Detroit – Veteran journeyman has proven he’s capable of stepping in and winning games with Pittsburgh and Detroit the past two seasons. 2008-09 salary: $750,000

Scott Clemmensen, New Jersey – Saved the Devils’ season last year by winning 25 games when Martin Brodeur went down; looking for fair opportunity. 2008-09 salary: $500,000

Kevin Weekes, New Jersey – Former Lightning netminder is a reliable backup capable of stepping in should the need arise. 2008-09 salary: $700,000

Craig Anderson, Florida – Took over No. 1 role in Florida at times last season, but might be seeking a chance at a No. 1 job. 2008-09 salary: $525,000

Mathieu Garon, Pittsburgh – Has No. 1 experience despite playing just 19 games last season and was a shootout specialist for Edmonton two seasons ago. 2008-09 salary: $1 million

 

Defensemen

 

Rob Scuderi, Pittsburgh – Stock rose with strong playoffs as a stay-at-home defenseman. 2008-09 salary: $725,000

Mattias Ohlund, Vancouver – Consistent 25- to 30-point producer could be an ideal mentor for fellow Swede Victor Hedman. 2008-09 salary: $3.5 million

Steve Montador, Boston – Two-way 29-year-old also adds element of physicality to his game. 2008-09 salary: $800,000

Philippe Boucher, Pittsburgh – Injuries have limited the former All-Star the past two seasons, but he can still provide solid play; plus he’s a right-handed shot. 2008-09 salary: $2.5 million

Steve Eminger, Florida – Played well during his time with Lightning last season, but he couldn’t crack the lineup for the Panthers, who didn’t give him a qualifying offer. 2008-09 season: $1.2 million

Conklin is a solid goaltender, but for the sake of tradition, he needs to go play for either Philly or Boston so he can start in the Winter Classic. In all seriousness, he’s probably the best bet.

I’m skeptical of Kevin Weekes, just from when he played here in the past. Granted, those teams were God-awful, and he was ok. And well, Clemmenson did step it up this year. It must have been nice to actually have been noticed. I didn’t know Martin Brodeur had a back up… 😉

Anderson and Garon are average at best. I’d like us to take a run at Rolosson. I know, I’m all about Mike Smith. But still, we need someone to push him. I’ll be happy with Conklin.

That list of defensemen is spectacular. If we could afford Ohlund, that would be ideal, but Scuderi/ Montador would be quite acceptable. Boucher’s injuries concern me, but as noted, he was fantastic before.

We’ll see where the day and the upcoming weeks take us.

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One Response

  1. […] Originally posted here: FAF: Update « The Heap […]

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