More deals roll in. I won’t be here all afternoon, but once I leave, I’ll come back tonight or tomorrow with some broad reactions to whatever happens today.
2:28- The Islanders sign Dwayne Roloson to a two year contract. He could back-up Rick DiPietro or start if/when the U.S. National team starter has another injury. Also, the Blackhawks sign Tomas Kopecky from Detroit, to go along with Marian Hossa, and Ty Conklin leaves Detroit for St. Louis.
2:47- Reports from TSN and Puck Daddy that Steve Montador has signed with Buffalo. The Boston Globe’s round-up of early signings thinks it’s a case of Sabres coach Lindy Ruff believing Montador can improve his defensive game with better coaching. Having Ryan Miller in goal helps too…
2:55- The Rangers sign Donald Brashear away from Washington, while the Caps add Mike Knuble from the Flyers. Not a Brashear fan although he has developed into more than just a fighter. Apparently, Ranger fans now have to forgive him for crushing Blair Betts last season. Knuble should add some scoring depth to Washington’s forwards, taking the heat off the likes of Alex Ovechkin and Alex Semin. For two years and $2.8 million per, it could be a bargain. Coincidently, Brashear’s contract with the Rangers is virtually identical.
3:27- Nothing big right now, some relatively minor signings, although Scott Niedermayer has re-signed with Anaheim (which was virtually certain after they traded away Chris Pronger), while Philadelphia signs Brian Boucher for what will be his second stint with the Flyers. He’ll compete with Ray Emery for the starting job in goal. Not that this will give Flyer fans too much confidence.
4:03- Jaroslav Spacek signs with Montreal for three years and $11.5 million. Decent offensive defenseman, but might be overpaid at that rate. It probably means Mike Komisarek isn’t coming back.
4:19- Edmonton addresses their goaltending need by signing Nikolai Khabibulin to a four year deal. He’s 36, but was excellent last year (25-8-7, 2.33 GAA), winning away the Blackhawks’ goalie job from Cristobal Huet. Almost certainly an upgrade over Dwayne Roloson.
4:21- Erik Cole re-signs with Carolina for two years.
4:48- Puck Daddy’s live blog posts confirmations that Scott Clemmensen has signed with Florida. He did a great job in New Jersey filling in for the injured Martin Brodeur during the mid-part of last season, and while he will likely again be a back-up, this time to Tomas Vokoun, he apparently will also get a nice pay raise too. Further, Ian Laperriere leaves Colorado to join the Flyers. Both players signed for three year deals.
5:06- Hal Gill is headed to Montreal. Two years, $4.5 million. He did well for Pittsburgh during the playoffs last year, but don’t ask him to be a front-line defenseman. He tends to do a little better in the #2 or 3 pairing. Elliotte Friedman of CBC notes that Gill likes disciplined defensive systems, which could make him a good fit for Jacques Martin.
5:17- More from me later. Gotta run.