Good Bye Daniel Alfredsson, hello Bobby Ryan – NHL Free Agency Day 1 by Joe Francis

Joe FrancisCFN – This is my first article here on CFN.  I hope to find a lot of opinionated and engaged commenters plus some new friends . I’ve always enjoyed writing but for me it really started with my blog and has led me to places like Cape Cod, MA and Danbury, CT on road trips to cover local hockey. I am honored to now be a part of the CFN team. Thanks in advance for reading and I look forward to some great conversations.

Lets start with Daniel Alfredsson. 18 year veteran and now former captain of the Ottawa Senators. The heart and soul of Ottawa. He walks away and signs with the Detroit Red Wings. The outrage is apparent surrounding Sens army with many fans cancelling season tickets. It’s clear it’s a fan base stunned. In the end though there are those who appreciate the captains contributions and understand his decision to take a shot elsewhere and in the end they are the fans who are right at the end of the day.

Ottawa signs Clarke MacArthur out of Toronto and sends a clear message to fans by trading for Anaheim power forward Bobby Ryan. Ryan is a solid acquisition and it’s clear that Bryan Murray wanted to make it up to Ottawa fans going forward and show that Ottawa is not going to roll over just because Alfie is gone. Ottawa ships Silfverberg who is a good young player with good hands but they also send Stefan Noeson who is a former 1st rounder in 09′ and their first round selection in in 2014. On the surface both teams win as Ottawa gets a big name to help people forget Alfie while Anaheim gets three good pieces for the future and in the long run it looks like the Ducks win this trade(Sorry Sens fans). Bobby Ryan has a chance to change that though and will likely be featured on the wing of All-Star Jason Spezza so stay tuned as the East just got a lot more interesting.

TSN touted David Clarkson as their top available free agent. A big gamble with guys like Jarome Iginla and Stephen Weiss floating around. For the first time in a long time Toronto has landed one of the big fish in the market. The Leafs are continuing to pile up on grit and toughness. Nearly a week ago they acquired Dave Bolland from Stanley Cup Champ Chicago and today added another Toronto native. A seven year deal at $5.25 million anually is a steep price to pay for a guy who will likely challenge for a second line spot but is more suited to the third line but a price Toronto was in good position to pay. His heart and toughness are what likely endeared him to Toronto brass and that grit will make him an automatic favorite for coach Randy Carlyle. Look for Clarkson and Bolland to likely play with Nik Kulemin in a shutdown role to take on opposing top lines.

Toronto also ended the Tyler Bozak stalemate. Five years around $4 million per season. Bozak is best friends with Phil Kessel and even lives with him so it’s clear that this move not only helps bridge the lack of top line center issue but also goes toward re-signing Phil Kessel. It’s clear Bozak is well liked and it’s no surprise that both sides were able to find common ground going forward despite Toronto management playing hardball in the early going.

Nathan Horton signs a 7 year pact with Columbus. A risky deal but if it pays off Jarmo Kekalanen is quicky becoming one the best GM’s in the league. Jarmo has been a revelation in Columbus and is making huge strides in improving this team in a short period and I would not be surprised if he lands GM of the year in the near future. Horton is yet to have offseason shoulder surgery though  and also has concussion history so barring any lingering effects he will be a great addition to a team that traditionally hasn’t scored a lot of goals.

The day isn’t over but let’s close for now with a trade from Montreal to add enforcer George Parros. Far from the biggest deal of the day but certainly a smart one. The Habs have long been a small team often bullied by teams like the Boston Bruins. By adding Parros they now carry a one-two punch(pun intended) of George Parros and Brandon Prust to protect what has been the smallest team in the league and now ensures that scenes like Colton Orr and Frazer McLaren bullying the Habs top line wont happen again.

Some big fish left include: Tim Thomas, Ilya Bryzgalov, Jarome Iginla to name a few

Are you happy with what your team has done? Discuss below

A die hard hockey fan whose first taste of hockey at age 4 was a combination of Sega’s NHL 94′ and the Cornwall Aces. Joe has been exposed to the sport for 20 years and it’s a bond that grows stronger every year. Joe can also be found at

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  1. Good article. Ryan and MacArthur should make the sens a much better team this season, not to mention a healthy EK.

  2. I agree. I think MacA will see more ice time and he’s good for 20 goals 45 points roughly. Maybe more considering he will be with either Kyle Turris or Mika Zibanejad. On a line with Kadri he was an asset so if you can get a good passer to feed him he will thrive in Ottawa.

    Michalek – Spezza – Ryan is going to be the new line everyone has to plan for in the East so it should be fun to watch

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