CFN – Today we are going to take a look at some of the final free agents who could make a difference for your team.
Tim Thomas. I know this guy is unlikely to land a gig but I can’t help but wonder. Known more lately as a political bull in the proverbial china shop. Primarily with his refusal to meet US President Barrack Obama after winning the cup. Made into a big deal by hockey media it spelled the beginning of events that would eventually lead Thomas to take a year off from hockey. His rights were traded to the Islanders though continued his hiatus..
Well Tim is a free agent and has stated he may make a return(However, whether or not there are suitors may dictate that). His presence in the market brings a sense of intrigue. He’s healthy, He has won a Stanley Cup, He was huge for the Bruins for years. His veteran leadership could go a long way for a team like Edmonton who have struggled defensively and between the pipes.
Where does he land? Montreal is somewhere he’s wanted to play for a while and the talk is out there so this one wont come as a surprise.
Mikhail Grabovski. His time with the Toronto Maple Leafs came to a screeching halt on July 4th(The day before his wedding, ouch) when the final four years of a five year contract were bought out. Grabovski went down swinging with a profanity filled tirade aimed at head coach Randy Carlyle which included criticism of the way he was used in the lockout shortened season and playoffs. He signed the $27.5 million dollar deal under former GM Brian Burke as a reward for a breakout year and Grabovski interestingly was quoted after the extension as saying “If you play well, it doesn’t matter who your coach is”. I wonder how he would respond if he were reminded of this statement now?
Some other mentions are Damien Brunner who showed he has a knack for scoring. The question is where does he land and can he produce without Zetterberg?
Dustin Penner is sure to be on a few teams wish lists. The 6’4 forward known more for a pancake story than his scoring over the last couple seasons has two Stanley Cup rings(Anaheim, Los Angeles). He’s a big body and will find work but can he start putting up points more regularly?
Douglas Murray while not the fastest player provides some grit and good play in his own end. Just about every team in the league can use a good defender and Murray isn’t a gamble.
Ilya Bryzgalov needs a fresh start and a defence first team to pick him up. He’s proved that he was reliant on Dave Tippett’s system in Phoenix when he went to Philly and quickly got run out of town. Decent goalie but doesn’t bring anything that most teams aren’t already getting from their goaltenders. Likely takes a backup gig to battle his way back up.
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 youcallthathockey.blogspot.ca To sponsor his column email firstname.lastname@example.org