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NHL owners open their wallets and put good sense on hold

The collective bargaining agreement between NHL owners and the players association expires at the end of next season, and it already appears certain that absurdity is in the offing.

That much was made clear by events this weekend. It was touted as "free agent frenzy", which it decidedly wasn't, just as the NHL entry draft a week earlier was about as exciting as watching the Sedin twins throw themselves to the ice in faked agony every time they feel a breeze from a passing player. There was no frenzy, just more evidence (in large amounts) that the people who own hockey teams don't deserve to be protected from themselves, so blatant and repetitive are their acts of s...

Where can Phoenix go?

Hey guys, a good friend of mine had sent me a blog post that he thought would be a good discussion for The Checking Line. Victor creates some good argument points for why Phoenix can move into either Portland, Oregon or Seattle, Washington.

(Victor D’Alesio – Checking Line member and reader)

With all the fun and exciting news around the NHL this off-season, it is only fitting that someone projects where the Phoenix Coyotes will end up in the years to come.  While most of the hockey world was busy following #jagrwatch (I was hoping it would be #strakawatch), I was thinking about where Phoenix should go.  In doing a little bit of research, I came up with a ...

Salary Cap Inflates Prices

Ever wonder why there has been so many ridiculously huge salary cap hits being handed out all over the place?

I guess we only have the NHL to blame.

With the salary cap going up from last year about $5 million, teams have found that they can spend more than is needed. Even looking at the signings that have happened already, there have been some major overspending. Here are some contracts handed out that I thought were a bit much:

Over Spending on Free Agents (cap hit in millions)PLAYERTEAMCAP HIT YEARSWisniewski5.56Ehrhoff4.010Cole4.54Jovanovski4.14Ericsson3.253Souray1.651Hejda3.254Leino4.56Fleischmann4.54Kopecky3.04Montador2.754Laich4.56Pardy2.02Belanger1.753Fiddler1....

Introducing: Max Talbot

The changing of the guard in Philadelphia continued on Friday as the beginning of the free agent signing period began.  One of the four deals signed on Friday included the addition of former foe Maxime Talbot. Talbot is probably most famous in Philadelphia for his fight with Dan Carcillo in Game 6 of the 2009 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, which saw Carcillo beat Talbot to a pulp. Following the fight, Talbot rose to his feet, placed a finger to his lips, and attempted to quiet the crowd. Following the bout, the Flyers blew a 3-0 lead that saw them lose the game and the series.

Max Talbot is a 27-year-old forward from LeMoyne, Quebec. ...

All Quiet on the Western Front

After letting Raffi Torres and Christian Ehrhoff, two guys the Canucks wanted back, walk to other teams because of salary disputes, the Vancouver Canucks haven't exactly added significant pieces to replace them. You could argue that Marco Sturm, a vetern banger and crasher who has had nine career 20 goal seasons is the replacement for Torres, but with braces on both knees going into next season, is he really dependable for 82 games?

As for Ehrhoff there has been nada to replace him so far. Sami Salo reupped with the nucks for one year, but same deal as Sturm; Salo is made of glass. Can we expect 82 games from him, plus the long playoff run this team is hoping for?

Essentia...

Isles Get Reasonable, Sign Marty Reasoner to Two-Year Deal

I decided to wait until the latter portion of the evening before I posted anything about today's action for the New York Islanders with free agency having officially kicked off at 12 PM today. Granted, the Isles typically are not the most active team on July 1st, usually making their moves in the days that follow.

For example, Snow was able to swoop up Mark Streit with a five-year deal that arguably has been his best signing in his relatively short tenure as General Manager. Dwayne Roloson was another diamond in the rough signing that many were not expecting, making him a fan-favorite and possibly the most consistent player to wear an Islanders uniform in the past two seasons be...

TCL's Free Agent Frenzy Liveblog!

 

What does the NHL have in store for us this Canada Day? Hopefully, a slew of free agent signings, maybe a couple of trades, and plenty of rumors and excitement!

George Prax and the rest of the TCL staff will be with you ever step of the way, covering this year's Free Agent Frenzy! We will begin around 11AM , and run through the entire day until all the players are signed, until the Brad Richards...

After Rough Finish, Caps Not in a Free Agent Frenzy

By Scott Lowe

A wise man who happened to be a former boss of mine and a baseball hall of famer once provided me with a nugget of business and life advice that has served me well over the years (although I’m not always successful with the execution; kind of like the Capitals’ and their defensive system): Try to take the emotion out of everything you do.

At least attempting to follow that advice over the years has served me pretty well. I’m an extremely competitive person, so I’ve learned that when I’m embroiled in emotionally charged situations, a period of cooling off and analysis usually serves me well instead of a knee-jerk response. Over the ye...

Putting the Ericsson Signing in Perspective

I know that the re-signing by the Detroit Red Wings of defenseman Jonathon Ericsson has left many people scratching their heads or searching for their bottle of cyanide pills (Kyle), but it actually makes sense in how the organization operates.

Lets start off by looking at the contracts & cap hits of current Red Wing defensemen:

 

 

 

 

 

PlayerCap HitContract LengthYear Signed% of CapLidstrom$6.25M120119.72%*Rafalski$6.00M5200711.92%Stuart$3.75M420086.61%Ericsson$3.25M320115.05%Kronwall$3.00M520075.96%Kindl$0.88M320101.49%* Retired, but included as he was under contract for 2011-12

The percentage shown above r...

It was Free agency eve and all through the house...

Not a creature was stirring...

This years free agency frenzy could be on of the craziest ones in recent memory.  We can attribute that to the new salary cap rules for next season and the biggest change for most teams: the new salary cap floor.  While some teams are trying to find ways to get under the cap, others are actually being forced to spend money to hit the floor.  Colorado and Florida are a couple of teams in this very situation.  Both teams have quite the amount to make up and could sign several big contracts tomorrow.  This means free agents every where are rejoicing as bloated contra...