Of course we can’t fail to mention the Minnesota Wild, who made the biggest splash during the free agency period signing Zach Parise and Ryan Suter to identical 13-year 98 million dollar deals. However, here are some other NHL teams that injected hope into their fan bases or had their rosters decimated as the free agency dust cleared (at least for the most part).
Tampa Bay Lightning-
Although not a playoff contender last season, Tampa was able to make some major upgrades on the blue line by signing former Philadelphia Flyer all-star Matt Carle, as well as veteran Sami Salo and Matt Taormina. The Lightning also added some depth up front with Kyle Wilson and Benoit Pouliot. They also recently traded for former Blues defensemen BJ Crombeen, who will undoubtedly add a physical presence to a finesse team.
Although Dallas had to let go of some longtime Stars, including Steve Ott, Mike Ribeiro, and Adam Burish, it could be argued they got better up front by adding two 40+ year olds, Jaromir Jagr and Ray Whitney. The Stars also traded for Buffalo Sabre stand-out Derek Roy, as well as adding defensive depth with Aaron Rome.
By making some modest gains on the offensive end, adding veterans P.A. Parenteau and John Mitchell, while they replaced two-way center Jay McClement with Defensemen Greg Zanon.
The two most coveted FA’s this summer were also the two biggest loses, Parise for the New Jersey Devils and Suter to the Nashville Predators. Both teams got a lot worse by not retaining their star players, and it seems that it may have a ripple affect on their other top players, including Suter’s former line mate Shea Weber, who is yet to sign a long term deal with the Predators. But, an under-the-radar loser is below:
Although the Bruins have great talent and depth up front, the hiatus of Tim Thomas is a huge deal for a team that has had consistent problems on the back end, which will be further exploited with the losses of Joe Corvo and Zanon. Tuukka Rask is a capable young goaltender who will take over for Thomas, but because he is unproven and inexperienced, there may be some growing pains in Boston.
Also, Check out our Central Division Previews on Bleedin’Blue!
Tags: Benoit Pouliot BJ Crombeen Boston Bruins Colorado Avalanche Dallas Stars Derek Roy Greg Zanon Jaromir Jagr Joe Corvo Matt Carle Mike Ribeiro Minnesota WIld Nashville Predators New Jersey Devils P.A. Parenteau Philadelphia Flyers Ray Whitney Ryan Suter Sami Salo Steve Ott Tampa Bay Lightning Tim Thomas Tuukka Rask Zach Parise