Forget about summer, it’s free-agent signing season in the NHL. Over the past few days, rumors have been flying around about what market will land the big names out there like Jaromir Jagr and Mats Sundin.
Sundin was reportedly offered a 2-year, $20 million dollar contract from the Vancouver Canucks, a deal that would make him the leagues highest paid player.
“We put a major offer together to try and attract the player we felt was the best center iceman on the market,” said Canucks GM Mark Gillis. “It’s an indication we are prepared to do what it takes to attract the best players here.”
The big signing of today was by far the Detroit Red Wings landing Marian Hossa to a one-year deal worth reportedly $7.45 million dollars. The high-scoring wingman was one of the top players who propelled the Pittsburgh Penguins to the Stanley Cup finals, which they lost to Detroit in six games. Hossa is 29 years old.
The Chicago Blackhawks made two big signings landing probably the top defensemen on the market in Brian Campbell as well as goalie Cristobal Huet. Campbell signed an eight-year $57.12 million dollar deal and Huet inked a four-year contract worth $22.5 million.
The two other big defensemen to reach deals Tuesday were Michal Rozsival and Wade Redden, who both signed with the New York Rangers.
Rozsival re-signed with the Rangers for a four-year contract worth $20 million while Redden signs a six-year, $39 million dollar deal after skating with Ottawa last season.
Defensemen Jeff Finger, formerly of the Colorado Avalanche, signed a four-year $14 million dollar deal with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Dallas landed forward Sean Avery to a four-year, $15.5 million dollar deal.
“We are excited about the opportunity to add a player like Sean Avery to our group,” Stars co-general manager Brett Hull said. “His ability to play the game with skill and tenacity makes us a better team and is a great complement to the players we have here.”
The Washington Capitals will say goodbye to longtime goalie Olie Kolzig after he signed a one-year deal with the Tampa Bay Lightning after spending 16 seasons in Washington.
The New Jersey Devils got their hands in the mix of the free agent pool by signing Brian Rolston and Bobby Holik to contracts. Rolston agreed to a four-year, $20 million dollar deal while Holik signed a one-year contract worth $2.5 million dollars.
The New York Islanders made a little noise by singing Montreal’s former defensemen Mark Streit to a five-year $20.5 million dollar contract while the Boston Bruins also signed a former Canadien in Michael Ryder to a multi-year deal.
With the NHL salary cap rising up this season, teams have not been shy about dishing out the money to lure top free-agents to their squads. Over the next two weeks, look for almost every free agent out there to receive offers from teams trying to help the players find a new place they can call home.
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