UPDATE: 3:20 PM
As we hit 4:00 PM on the East Coast, the fires of the Free Agent Frenzy seemed to have cooled. There still are a few decent names available, including three names on my original list, Johnny Oduya, Matt Beleskey and Justin Williams.
If anything significant becomes known, or there is something I come across involving Nashville/Milwaukee, I will try to get the news out ASAP and add it to the blog, but for now, I’m signing off for the afternoon. Apparently I was wrong about Preds G.M., who snagged Hodgson, an aging Jackman, but most importantly re-signed Ribeiro. All-in-all, not a bad collection of players, but it looks like a few less spots up in Nashville, which has to be frustrating for the current crop of Milwaukee Admirals.
How it all plays out will be determined in the next few days and of course at training camp. I, for one, can’t wait!
UPDATE: 3:15 PM
There was another move by Nashville, as the Predators acquired forward Max Reinhart from Calgary in exchange for a conditional fourth-round draft pick in 2016. The 23-year-old Reinhart has 23 games of NHL experience, and 203 games under his belt at the AHL level, scoring 125 points.
UPDATE: 2:45 PM
UPDATE: 1:50 PM
UPDATE: 1:45 PM
Recapping the last hour, Montreal traded forward Brandon Prust to Vancouver for Zack Kassian. Former Milwaukee Admiral/Nashville Predator forward Zack Stortini signed a two-way deal with Ottawa. Recently bought out forward P.A. Parenteau signed in Toronto.
UPDATE: 12:55 PM
Maybe the biggest news today has nothing to do with any trades, except in a round about way. Looks like New York Rangers General Manager Glen Sather, one of the best ever to occupy that position, is giving up the reigns to assistant Jeff Gorton. He will stay on team President. Perhaps it was Gorton who was responsible for just signing Raphael Diaz.
UPDATE: 12:45 PM
Forward Steve Downie is going to Arizona, while probably the biggest prize among forwards, Matt Beleskey is still checking his options. Former Senators forward Erik Condra looks to be signing with Tampa Bay.
UPDATE: 12:30 PM
UPDATE: 12:15 PM
TSN’s Darren Dreger is reporting that the pick Pittsburgh is trading to Toronto is a 1st, but the Penguins are getting a 2nd round pick back. Also, former Admirals/Predators forward Nick Spaling could be on his way to the Maple Leafs. Leafs are eating a chunk of Kessel’s contract.
UPDATE: 12:05 PM
UPDATE: 12:00 PM
UPDATE: 11:55 AM
UPDATE: 11:50 AM
UPDATE: 11:45 AM
There is a Twitter rumor going around right now involving the Nashville Predators being in on the Phil Kessel sweepstakes. As weird as that might sound at first, it actually makes some sense. G.M. David Poile has tried to get Kessel before, the Predators have enough Salary Cap room, and also have plenty of young assets to send the other direction which Toronto craves. I’m curious to see where this leads.
UPDATE: 11:30 AM
No surprise here, but it looks Edmonton is about to make as big a splash as teams could make today by signing a pair of players. TSN’s Aaron Ward reports they are close on Mark Letestu and defenseman Andrej Sekera.
With the deal for Ribeiro done, the Predators expect to be quiet today.
UPDATE: 11:20 AM
The first big name is off the board as Ducks veteran defenseman Francois Beauchemin signed with Colorado on a 3-year deal. Pittsburgh backup netminder Tomas Greiss is off to Brooklyn on a two-year deal.
UPDATE: 11:01 AM
UPDATE 11:00 AM
Here we go folks, the FREE AGENT FRENZY has begun!
UPDATE 10:40 AM
Under a half hour to go now, with lots of chatter floating around on Twitter. Two of the biggest RFAs available, Brandon Saad and Vladimir Tarasenko, and likely untouchables, but that doesn’t mean another team won’t try to steal them with a huge contract. Speaking of RFAs, Dougie Hamilton, who was traded to Calgary, peculiarly signed with the Flames for about the same price as he was being offer with Boston.
If the dominos fall early today, it will likely be on the blue line. Despite the lack of great forward options available, there are lots of serviceable, if likely overpriced, options are available for a blue line, like Mike Green, Andrej Sekera, Cody Franson and Francois Beauchemin.
I’m curious about all of the Phil Kessel trade talk that out there. Though I thought there was a possibility that either he or Dion Phaneuf would be traded today, I thought new coach Mike Babcock might like to see what he has in both players first. Guess not.
UPDATE 10:00AM Central Time
It’s official, the NHL’s Free Agent Frenzy, aka Canada Day for our friends to the north, which is a national holiday. For NHL fans like myself, today’s an unofficial holiday, much like trade deadline day.
In just one short hour NHL contracts with either UFA and RFA tags officially expire, though with different outcomes. Any player who is an Unrestricted Free Agent (UFA) could potentially sign with any other team, no strings attached. Restricted Free Agents (RFAs) can also sign with other teams, but their current club has the opportunity to either match the contract and keep the player, or receive compensation based on the value of the contract.
Yesterday I made a short list of the best players available without having to give up compensation, and they are: Mike Green, Johnny Oduya, Matt Beleskey, Justin Williams, Karri Rämö, and Michal Neuvirth.
And the big news is that Mike Ribeiro is back with Nashville, at a tasty price of $3.5 million for two-years per according to TSN’s Aaron Ward. Looks like Predators G.M. David Poile isn’t scared off by any potential off-ice issues concerning the center.
Here is TSN’s list of the top players available.
So Roundtable . . . Which NHL Free Agents, if any, pique your curiosity? Are there any pieces you would like to see Nashville add. Are the any next level down veterans you would like to see the Predators/Admirals take a chance on with a two-way deal? Which Nashville RFAs/UFAs would you like to see back in the fold?