Saturday, June 30, 2007

17 Hours and Counting

With the clock winding down on teams to make their last ditch efforts to secure their free agents and prevent the 32-team free for all that will be the next 48 hours, I'm left wondering who of the big free agents I'd go after first. Obviously it's about grabbing the right guy for your system and the player that best fills your need. For example, Pittsburgh really doesn't need another center with Jordan Staal, Evgeni Malkin and Crosby all commanding solid chunks of ice time. The best forward for them could be someone like Dainius Zubrus who could play the wing with Crosby and add the grit that they so desperately needed in the playoffs from anyone who's name isn't Gary Roberts. Though they would actually benefit more from someone like Bryan Rafalski but that's another topic entirely.

As for my pick of the top free agent, I'd say that Daniel Briere is my number one guy. Frankly, I'm surprised that Buffalo is letting him escape. I think they are going to find that their offense is very different next year without this guy and whoever grabs him and his enormous salary will most certainly reap the benefits of Buffalo's debacle. They had an opportunity to sign him last season to a deal that would have cost them roughly 2-3 million dollars LESS per year but their policy of never negotiating contracts during the season has ensured that he'll now line up on the opposite side of the ice. A real shame for Buffalo fans.

However, if you can get the Buffalo fans to silence their weeping for a moment you might hear Simone Gagne falling to his knees and sending prayer after prayer to the hockey gods asking them to help the Flyers land Briere. He's somewhat like a faster, slightly smaller, less physical, functional-foot having Peter Forsberg and we all know what that did for Gagne's point total. Speaking of Forsberg, he's one step closer to bionic feet after having another round of surgery.

No comments: