Monday, July 02, 2007

Better . . .

Four years, $19.5 million. And now, the Yashin talk can stop . . . and Nicklas Backstrom need not bear the burden of being a rookie in a new league in a new country and being the center on the first line.

Old Habits...

Perusing the salary database at USA Today, The Peerless notes that in 2003-2004, the top four teams in total payroll (among those participating in Day 1 of the free agent signing period) were:

Detroit 77,856,109
NY Rangers 76,488,716
Philadelphia 68,175,247
Colorado 63,382,458

And yesterday, the top four teams in adding salary cap obligations were:

NY Rangers 14,407,143
Colorado 10,750,000
Philadelphia 6,500,000
Detroit 6,000,000

Coincidence? Or the return of the spends and spend-nots to the NHL?

Why ESPN is the Worldwide Leader in Bad Hockey Coverage

Scott Burnside really should market whatever he's smoking for this...

The Capitals quietly have built a tough, talented blue-line corps with last season's emergence of free-agent acquisition Brian Pothier. The Caps added to that mix Sunday by inking Tom Poti to a four-year deal worth $14 million.
That the Caps have upgraded their skill (Poti is pretty much the replacement for the departed Jamie Heward) is not in doubt. But "tough?" Poti and Pothier, "The Po-Po Boys?"* (the new pair pictured below).

I don't suspect there is a forward in the National Hockey League spending sleepless nights at the prospect of either of those two guys manning the crease in front of Olaf Kolzig.

* that's a New Orleans thing

Day 1:

Anaheim: Mathieu Schneider

Atlanta : Eric Perrin, Todd White

Boston: Shawn Thornton

Calgary: Cory Sarich

Carolina: Jeff Hamilton

Chicago: Yanic Perreault

Colorado: Ryan Smyth, Scott Hannan

Detroit: Brian Rafalski

Edmonton: Dick Transtrom, Denis Grebeshkov

Florida: Radek Dvorak, Richard Zednik, Brett McLean

NY Islanders: Jon Sim

NY Rangers: Chris Drury, Scott Gomez

Philadelphia: Daniel Briere

Pittsburgh: Petr Sykora, Darryl Sydor, Dany Sabourin

St. Louis: Paul Kariya

Tampa Bay: Michel Ouellet

Toronto: Jason Blake

Washington: Viktor Kozlov, Tom Poti

18 teams dipped their respective toes into the water on the first day. The big guys are pretty much gone, but if last year was an indicator, the effect these guys will have will be disappointing relative to the "wow" factor of the signing. But winners?...Losers? The Peerless thinks the winner for Day 1 was Colorado.