And what a frenzy it was. Here's some highlights to the whole event from Day One.
-Kevin Lowe was busy, but it wasn't with offer sheets. He acquired Lubomir Visnovsky, Gilbert Brule, and Erik Cole through trades while dumping salary in Jarret Stoll, Matt, Greene, Raffi Torres, and Joni Pitkanen. Brule could be a throw-away in Springfield, but the added depth in Visnovsky and Cole will help the Oilers get back to the playoffs.
-The Bolts' craziness continues. Not only did they get Ryan Malone and Gary Roberts before the frenzy, the also re-sign Vinny Prospal, signed Radim Vrbata to a 3-year/$9M deal, and got Olaf Kolzig. It seems they aren't done with rumors saying they are shopping Mike Smith, which could make room for a starter in the fold. I don't know about you, but the Bolts seem to be overpaying guys. I mean, Vrbata had a career-year at 56 points last year....not $3M a year material if you ask me. Plus, the deal they game to Malone could be a little high. It could pay off if they can sure up their defense and goaltending in the end.
-One team that could be in trouble is the Blackhawks. Right now, with the signing of Cristobal Huet and Brian Campbell, the Hawks are at about $59M bucks, which is $3M over the cap ceiling. Add to that, they have two goalies, along with Nikolai Khabibulin, who total to make about $11M. Needless to say, even though GM Dale Tallon said they're keeping Khabby-- they need to shop him.
-The Caps signed Jose Theodore to a two-year deal before Huet signed, which means that Huet was looking for too long a deal. Theodore was decent last season, but to be honest-- he seems more like the transitional guy the Caps are going after while Michal Neuvirth and Semen Varlamov get in NHL shape. That said, GM George McPhee and owner Ted Leonsis made a great move signing Mike Green to a four-year deal. Good thing about that is that Green will still be a RFA once this contract is up, which means the Caps will have his rights for a long term deal at the end of it.
-Ottawa have a decent back-up for Martin Gerber by signing Alex Auld. It may not seem like much, but Auld will allow the likes of Jeff Glass and Brian Elliott time to grow in Binghamton. Plus, Auld could push Gerber and take over the #1 spot if he can play well enough.
-In with the old was the New Jersey as they brought back Brian Rolston and Bobby Holik. Holik could be a throwaway deal only to get a grinder and veteran in the line-up, but Rolston can bulk up the power play for the Devils. Plus, Rolston is very versatile, which helps him mold into wherever he is needed to be.
-Across the river, the Rangers have gone insane, paying $6.5M a year for six years to Wade Redden. No disrespect to Redden's skills, but he has gone downhill for the past two seasons. For a team that has plenty of puck-moving defensemen, you have to wonder why they needed another one. The money may be right, but the length is what makes it insane.
-Is anyone surprised that the big names like Sundin, Hossa, and Jagr haven't been picked up yet?? Sundin got a supposed offer from Vancouver, Hossa is being courted by Edmonton, and Jagr....who knows. It's a good thing though, it's not like the GM shot their load all on the first day (well, depending the GM-- right Dale Tallon??) and it creates more buzz later in the week ahead.
Other moves saw Curtis Joseph go to Toronto, Andrew Raycroft and Darcy Tucker heading to Colorado, Mike Commodore shipping to Columbus, and Michael Ryder moving to Boston.
Still some out there to tackle, like Ray Emery, in addition to the three mentioned above. We should have an interesting look at things tomorrow.