Dominion/Free Agent Day Live Blog: Live from North Dakota

Posted by Kyle Kosior in Columns,Features,General NHL on July 1, 2009 — 32 Comments

Illegal Curve is proud to present a live-blog of the days events. Thankfully, we can post these updates via an actual computer and not a desktop. On the downside, we are no longer in Montreal, a town that seemingly has an unhealthy aversion to bras. Enjoy the day and have a cold one for all of Illegal Curve’s Canadians!

Ok that’s it for the 2009 Illegalcurve Free Agency Liveblog, which came to you live throughout the day from North Dakota, Manitoba and Michigan.  Thanks for tuning in and we will have plenty more analysis and reactions to today’s free agent signings so keep it tuned to illegalcurve.

  • 5:52pm: From Michael Russo “Agent Ron Salcer asking today for 10-year, $75 million deal for Gaborik”.
  • 5:22pm: Sammy Pahlsson goes to Columbus from Chicago.  Signs for 3 yrs @ $2.65 million per year.
  • 5:13pm: 2008/09 winner Bill Masterton winner Steve Sullivan re-signs with Nashville for 2 years at $3.75 million per season.
  • 5:09pm: Steve Begin goes from Dallas to Boston.  Signs for 1yr @ $850K.
  • 5:04pm: Wayne Gretzky is getting Canada’s highest honour — he’s being made a companion to the Order of Canada.
  • 5:03pm: Ted Nolan is taking over as vice president of hockey operations for the Rochester Americans.  I always liked him as a coach.  Glad to see he is getting back into it.
  • 4:56pm: Looks like the Leafs have signed Komisarek.  Bob McKenzie reports the deal is 5 years at $4.5 million.
  • 4:51pm: Dreger is reporting that Toronto has made a strong pitch for Mike Komisarek.   Bob McKenzie says two other teams are taking a hard run at Komisarek.
  • 4:49pmDarren Dreger with an update on the Kubina trade to Atlanta; Toronto gets Exelby and Colin Stewart, while the Thrashers get the rights to Tim Stapleton.
  • 4:48pm: Vernon Fiddler goes from Nashville to Phoenix.  Terms 2 yrs, $2.2 million.
  • 4:45pm: Greg Zanon goes from Nashville to Minnesota.  Terms 3 yrs, $5.2 million.
  • 4:43pm: Byron Bitz stays in Boston.  Terms not yet disclosed.
  • 4:41pm: Mike Cammalleri signed a five-year deal with the Montreal Canadiens, worth $30-million.
  • 4:32pm: Sounds like the Leafs have made a trade with the Thrashers.  The deal is apparently Pavel Kubina for Garnet Exelby.
  • 4:24pm: Word is that Montreal is putting the finishing touches on a 5 year deal for Cammalleri.
  • 4:22pm: A little Blue Jays news;  Ricky Romero pitched eight innings of four-hit ball, as the Toronto Blue Jays snapped the Tampa Bay Rays’ seven-game winning streak
  • 4:13pm: TSN reports that San Jose has re-signed Kent Huskins to a 2 yr for $3.4 million and David Koci leaves Tampa for Colorado for 1yr @ $575,000.
  • 4:12pm: Watching the Dale Tallon press conference.  He is saying bye bye to Marty Havlat.  Said they made the decision at 11:01.
  • 4:10pm: Dave taking over for Kyle (and even though I’m in the East I will continue using CST). 
  • 3:58pm: E Online reports that Mike Comrie and Hilary Duff like to fake tan.
  • 3:55pm: Did Michael Farber just call Brian Burke fat?
  • 3:54pm: A review of some blogs suggest Oiler fans are pissed, Vancouver and Chicago fans are pleased.
  • 3:47pm: TSN reports that Ian Laperriere has signed in Philadelphia, while it was the Rangers rather than the Oilers who offered Chris Neil a 4-year deal. Pierre McGuire thinks the Habs fans will quickly grow to hate Hal Gill.
  • 3:45pm: The Penguins have signed Mike Rupp, while the Canadiens have signed Hal Gill. A worthy replacement for Komisarek.
  • 3:44pm: The live blog was interrupted by a telemarketer, calling on behalf of the ND Police Association (or something). Caller: The ND Police Assoc. would appreciate your help. Kyle- No thanks. Caller: Well, the money goes to find missing kids. Kyle: Don’t look at me, I don’t have them. Caller: Well sir, we also do the Meth is Death campaign, can we count on you for $12? Kyle- No way, take it out of my speeding tickets. Caller: Thanks for your time…
  • 3:40pm: McGuire reports that the Panthers have also signed goaltender Jacob Markstrom.
  • 3:36pm: Bob McKenzie says that offers are not flooding in for Heatley, so it might be down to the Oilers and Sens for the enigmatic winger. Has the trade request backfired on the Heatley camp?
  • 3:35pm: Scott Clemmensen has signed with the Panthers and its believed that the Oilers have offered 4 years to Chris Neil, and the Leafs have offered 3 years.
  • 3:29pm: The panel feels that Toronto’s team toughness will keep the fans entertained until Burke can build a winner.
  • 3:22pm: Adam Pardy has re-signed with the Flames.
  • 3:17pm: TSN reports that the Flames have $21.7 million tied up in 4 defenders.
  • 3:11pm: The Khabiboulin deal is done, 4 years for $15 million.
  • 3:07pm: Who is the better speaker, Bouwmeester or Sutter?
  • 3:05pm: Is this the quietest presser ever?
  • 3:05pm: The guys are talking like the Khabiboulin deal is done, and they cut to the Bouwmeester press conference in Calgary. Sutter looks like he just jumped off the tractor to come in to town.
  • 3:01pm: McKenzie reports that Nikolai Khabiboulin is close to going to Edmonton.
  • 3:00pm: Pierre McGuire says that Jim Rutherford is a gentleman, and the rest of the guys weren’t sure why Cole wouldn’t sign before.
  • 2:55pm: Bob McKenzie reports that Erik Cole is close to re-signing a 2-year deal with Carolina.
  • 2:51pm: Just heard that Boucher has signed in Philly, and TSN reports that the Oilers have made an offer to Chris Neil (as have the Leafs).
  • 2:49pm: Bob McKenzie FINALLY has something. Jaro Spacek has signed with the Montreal Canadiens, as per the Boston Globe. A three year deal worth $11.5 million.
  • 2:47pm: In addition to pucks, I have no less than 15 hockey sticks in my basement, including one with a straight blade, signed by Jay Bouwmeester.
  • 2:46pm: Colton Orr is interviewed, giving a shout out to Winnipeg.
  • 2:38pm: Scott Niedermayer on the line, suggesting the Vancouver never really factored into the equation. He interviews like a consummate professional.
  • 2:34pm: Do the recent signings in the Northwest necessitate an overpay by the Oilers for a player? Should they pull the Heatley deal off the table?
  • 2:29pm: The inane banter is interesting for a while, but its tough to fill up a show AND be entertaining when nothing much is going down.
  • 2:24pm: I only have American beer on Canada Day. Will I be ex-communicated? Is this even allowed? Can I have it blessed by another Canadian? Thoughts?
  • 2:23pm: Is using your money to re-sign your core players a better idea than spending money on new guys?
  • 2:23pm: Dave Hodge notes that you never hear from the Sharks on free-agent day.
  • 2:22pm: The guys are talking about winning by losing, with reference to the large albatross type contracts out there right now.
  • 2:17pm: Joel Ward has re-signed in Nashville.
  • 2:16pm: Gino and Pierre were wondering how hurt Gaborik really was during his Minnesota days. Will their be a new injury protocol in town?
  • 2:11pm- I could really use a butler or assistant. The juice fridge is a loooooooong ways away.
  • 2:06pm- Aaron Rome agrees to a deal with the Canucks, and Bob McKenzie says he has nothing.
  • 2:05pm- Darren Dreger reports that Scott Niedermayer has agreed to a 1-year, $6 million dollar deal in Anaheim. What about Rob? What about Rob indeed…
  • 2:04pm: I don’t hang out in my basement that much (I attend hockey games in real life). I have a ton of pucks. Where the heck did I get them all?
  • 2:01pm- Pretty good action so far. Lots of interesting dynamics created with the signings. The TSN pity party for Edmonton continues, as does the speculation.
  • 1:57pm: Farhan Lalji reports that with the Sedins signing, the Luongo extension is likely imminent. He says to expect Pyatt, Schneider and Hansen to be moved.
  • 1:56pm: Donald Brashear has signed with the New York Rangers, likely a replacement for the departed Colton Orr.
  • 1:54pm: Mike Knuble has signed with the Washington Capitals. Pierre loves it. Big body presence!
  • 1:53pm: More talk on the shift of power in the North West. As an aside, what are people doing for Canada Day? Anyone sitting in their basement?
  • 1:46pm: TSN reports about $47 million committed so far. The panel also wonders if Edmonton will have interest in one of Chicago’s goalies? What about Clemmensen?
  • 1:45pm: An update from Edmonton, where Rishaug is reporting on player reaction to Roloson’s departure.
  • 1:45pm: Steve Montador has signed with Buffalo on a 2-year deal as TSN comes back from break.
  • 1:42pm: Watching, waiting and anticipating right now. Lots of speculation, but a small lull in the action. What does Edmonton do now? Who is running things in Toronto with Brian Burke in Sweden?
  • 1:37pm: I like the moves made by Tampa and Florida so far. Solid hockey moves that will improve their clubs, and to reasonable terms as well.
  • 1:35pm: Why will the TSN guys not drop the “Edmonton is a poisoned market” meme? Is Edmonton any worse than Calgary or Buffalo?
  • 1:32pm: Dwayne Roloson is on TSN, saying that Islanders had offered the two year deal that he wanted.
  • 1:31pm: Kyle is back, so I’m tossing the live blog back to him.  In the meantime, Neil put together a little sheet of the pre-free agency cap numbers. You can access them here.
  • 1:27pm: McGuire suggests Colby Armstrong would look good in Toronto–he is the player rumored to be going the other way in the Kubina deal. I’d really like that move if I was a Leafs fan.
  • 1:24pm: Tomas Kopecky also heads to Chicago, according to Craig CustanceWaiting on details.
  • 1:23pm: Why didn’t Edmonton make a pitch for Craig Anderson?
  • 1:22pm: Dwayne Roloson leaves Edmonton and signs on the Island.  It’s two-year deal, $5 million.  Says something about their confidence in DiPietro!!!!!!!! For over the next decade…
  • 1:18pm: Completely agree with Pierre McGuire on Saku Koivu.  He’s been disrespected and deserves better.
  • 1:12pm: Ty Conklin signs two-year deal, $2.6 million with Blues.
  • 1:11pm: The Canucks have made an offer for Scott Niedermayer.
  • 1:09pm: Cammalleri apparently coveted by Leafs, Sens and Rangers.
  • 1:05pm: Lightning sign Matt Walker to 4-year deal, $6.8 million.  Chicago will easily replace his services on the back-end.
  • 1:04pm: Why would Detroit have to answer?  Detroit’s fine.
  • 1:01pm: Darren Dreger says Hossa to Chicago for apparently 12 years!?!?!?!?!?!  Is this real? Even for the $5 million cap hit.  Can’t be true can it?
  • 12:57pm: Craig Anderson to Avs, confirmed by DaterAnaylsis is a little bit below.
  • 12:56pm: By the way, we are also twittering the day away.  Add us here.
  • 12:55pm: Waiting for details on the Hossa to Chicago deal.  Still nothing out yet…
  • 12:49pm: IllegalCurve.com Radio Show note.  Due to the Holiday Wednesday, we are on the air from 9pm-10pm Eastern Time.  So, instead of the usual two hour slot, we are only going an hour tonight.  No worries though, we are going to breakdown all the day’s signings and take your calls.  Read more about IllegalCurve.com Radio here.
  • 12:48pm: Hossa to Chicago a done deal?  Apparently so.  Don’t really get this signing but I’m waiting for term and cost.
  • 12:46pm: Booth gets $4.25 million average per season. Good deal for both sides.
  • 12:45pm: Panthers have reportedly agreed to a six-year deal with David Booth.  I love David Booth’s game.  He’s lightning quick and has great hands.  The Panthers did well to lock him up long-term.  Will get the price posted when we find out.
  • 12:42pm: Craig Anderson is apparently close to two-year deal with Colorado.  If true, this is a great move for Colorado.  He’s a big upgrade over their tandem from last season and was one of the more underrated netminders in the NHL last season.  Whether he can shoulder the load, is another story, but we’ll soon see.
  • 12:41pm: Pavel Kubina has been traded to Atlanta.  No word on the return but, so long as they didn’t take much money back, the open cap space is a huge plus.
  • 12:35pm: Couple rumors. Craig Anderson to Colorado (Adrian Dater) and Pavel Kubina traded (Damien Cox).  We’re waiting to hear word on both.
  • 12:29pm: US team gets some face-time now.  This will be a good development year for Team USA, but they just aren’t talented enough, in my opinion, to compete with Canada, Russia and Sweden.
  • 12:27pm: Team Canada talk takes over for a while.  Nice change of analyzing actual superstars instead of the Ben Walter trade.
  • 12:17pm: Gino Reda smells nice according to Pierre.  On that note, I’ve met Gino before and don’t remember him smelling nice.
  • 12:16pm: Pierre finally makes some sense of the six minute analysis of the Colton Orr signing. Save me…
  • 12:12pm: TSN says that Colton Orr has signed a 4-year, $4 million deal with the Maple Leafs. Apparently he was coveted around the league, give Orr’s agent props for this one.  A four-year deal for a fighter is nice term.
  • 12:07pm: Reminder that the IllegalCurve.com Radio Show is tonight from 8pm-10pm Eastern time.  We are hoping to have Bob McKenzie on the show.
  • 12:04pm: Pierre calls for an NHL team back in Winnipeg. My day is now complete. Pierre, I heart you.
  • 12:03pm: If you missed it, Radek Dvorak re-signed with Florida for two years, $3.4 million.
  • 12:02pm: Richard here. I’m filling in for Kyle for the next 30 mins while he runs an errand.
  • 11:52am- Please hold briefly while I run to the office to let the cleaners in.
  • 11:51am- Ryan Rishaug notes that the Oilers priority is likely a goalie right now, as Roloson wanted 2 years, one more than the Oilers wanted. He also notes there isn’t much information coming out right now.
  • 11:43am- The panel wonders if Heatley is worth it? The bonus weighs heavy here, but the guys note that Heatley is not perceived as a winner.
  • 11:40am- Damn commercials. The panel is anticipating a flurry at 1pm EST.
  • 11:32am- The panel discusses the Oilers-Senators pending deal. The panel thinks Cogliano is a defensive forward, obviously never having seen him play. They also question Heatley’s conditioning and wondering if he is a good fit in the up temp style Edmonton wants to play.
  • 11:25am- John Lu asks if Francois Beauchemin could find his way back to Montreal? Or will they concentrate on a scoring winger first…
  • 11:24am- The TSN panel likes the deal, as it gives Hedman an excellent mentor. Offer kudos to Tampa for a smart hockey deal.
  • 11:23am- TSN reports that Marian Hossa is closing in on a deal with Chicago, and that Havlat is going out on the market.
  • 11:22am- Kevin Allen of USA Today reports that Mattias Ohlund has signed a 7-year deal in Tampa. The average is about $3.75 million per year, according to TSN. Good cap deal for Tampa, and actual NHL defender.
  • 11:15am- TSN reports that over the last 3 July 1sts, over a billion dollars has been committed.
  • 11:15am- Johnny Oduya re-signs with the Devils.
  • 11:15am- Jay Feaster doesn’t think Heatley will like playing for Tortorella.
  • 11:13am- Fedotenko will test the free agent market. I think he will garner some attention.
  • 11:12am- Ducks have re-signed Troy Bodie. The TSN panel is running down the signings, focusing on the Canadian teams.
  • 11:05am- Ryan Rishaug has the report live from Edmonton, where he reports that Heatley isn’t popular in Oiler land either. Reports that Roloson hasn’t signed yet and will test the market.
  • 11:04am- Brent Wallace live from Kanata right now. Very awkward…Where is his teleprompter?
  • 11:03am- Watching some classic World Junior Hockey now, 2004 Grand Forks edition!
  • 11:02am- Thanks for the comments! IC is aware of the time restrictions of Free Agency. I am just very impatient today and was anticipating some trades.
  • 11:01am- Blackbird problem solved for now.
  • 10:26am- Time to break out the air-soft on the blackbirds at my bird feeder.
  • 10:25am- I think the Canucks did very well to re-sign the twins. The term is manageable and the price is right for 82 point scorers. I can imagine this might start the bidding for other players, notably Gaborik and Hossa. I can see one of them going to Montreal and, if the Heatley deal fails, Edmonton will make a push for one of them too.
  • 10:20am- Finally some action. TSN is reporting that the Sedins have re-signed in Vancouver. The pair have apparently signed 5 year contracts averaging $6.1 million per season. Pretty decent deals if you ask me. No comment from Brian Burke as of yet.
  • 10:00am- Just showered. Still not much news.
  • 9:44am- The Sportsnet guys seem to think the Oilers offer is better, but that the Rangers will up the ante.
  • 9:30am- Oilers fans back to cheering madly for Glen Sather. Come on Slats, ring those phones!
  • 9:29am- The Lowetide blog is saying that the Oilers and Rangers are in a bidding war, with the Sens asking for Marc Staal from the Blueshirts and the Oilers looking to keep pace. This one is starting to smell. Is  (Oilers’ owner) Katz pushing for this?
  • 9:27am- McKenzie says that the Habs are still looking for a winger.
  • 9:24am- Hossa turns down a 10 year deal from Detroit?
  • 9:13am- I am a big TSN fan, but this Wimbledon tennis has to go on July 1st
  • 9:11am- McKenzie on TSN saying the Heatley deal is just on hold, rather than dead.
  • 9:07am- I have more toast now. What is an appropriate amount to drink on Canada Day if you are ex-pat? Can I pick my wife up from work on a bus?
  • 8:55am- Are the Rangers walking on Betts and Sjostrom? Sounds like it according to XM. Betts may be on his way to Edmonton to reunite with Tom Renney.
  • 8:45am- Saw Transformers last night. I thought it was terrible, even with the slow motion scenes of Megan Fox’s cans running. Has anyone ever seen a motorcycle mechanic pose like that? I think I saw her ovary.
  • 8:44am- Still nothing on TSN, have changed channels to the Score. Not much there either.
  • 8:35am- Steve Zippay of Newsday feels that Zherdev, Rosival and prospect is a better offer than Penner, Cogliano and Smid. I guess he doesn’t get out of the Eastern time zone.
  • 8:34am- Listened to XM Home Ice on the way to and from downtown. Lots of discussion on the Rangers-Habs trade.
  • 8:01am- Enjoy this brief interlude as I drive my wife to work.
  • 8:00am- Is July 1st going to be over by June 30th? My impatience grows.
  • 7:59am- Oilers fans wavering between elated and apoplectic over at the Lowetide blog. 571 comments and its not even a game day.
  • 7:57am- Ok. Seriously, I am totally ready to go here. Someone sign something. (I know its too early, I am just complaining)
  • 7:55am- Ok, am ready for action anytime. Coffee and toast are both made. I am sort of dressed (sorry ladies) and the cat is cowering in fear.
  • 7:41am- Anyone watching the football games tonight? Why not listen to the IC radio show? Big time guest tonight!
  • 7:40am- Woke up to find that the Dany Heatley has not waived his NTC. My God actually listens…
  • http://ndgoon.blogspot.com goon

    Hey Kyle Awesome live blog. Maybe we will see some good stuff unfold soon. It’s too quite right now.

  • http://www.crashthecrease.com crashthecrease

    Officially teams can’t talk UFAs or sign them until after 12:00 PM EST

  • http://www.illegalcurve.com david

    great live blog so far Kyle (and rich for last 30). Hossa to Chicago. That would be kinda crazy.

    Current coverage of NHL free agency in Michigan: Zero on Comcast.

  • Calihockey

    great signing by Tampa. Ohlund will be a great mentor to Hedman. Brilliant. If the Lightning could just get a goalie they might have something.

  • http://ndgoon.blogspot.com goon

    Crash the Crease thanks for the update. That might explain lack of activity.

  • http://www.illegalcurve.com Richard

    Hossa to Chicago makes little sense. Unless it is short term.

  • http://www.illegalcurve.com david

    That’s what I figured Rich. Of course with Hossa’s luck, I guess this means the Wings are heading back to the Cup next year.

  • Calihockey

    Any reason we haven’t heard anything from L.A.??? Weren’t they supposed to make a splash in the free agent market.

  • icethepuck

    Hossa done deal. Hawks fans feeling like Oilers fans last night. Not sure how to react.

  • Benjamin Jamison

    12 yr deal. Insane. Does this mean Gaborik is off to LA?

  • http://www.illegalcurve.com Richard

    Gaborik could be off to LA. Montreal is other rumored team interested. I’m sure more will jump in too.

  • Missourimike

    I too saw Transformers. Good action. Stupid movie. Megan Fox is terrible. Other than looks what purpose does she serve?

    Back to hockey. Is Edmonton some sort of sinking ship?

  • http://www.illegalcurve.com david

    I thought Brian Burke’s phone was to be ringing off the hook.

  • bladesofsteel

    Canucks and Flames are going to be beasts. If Vancouver lands Niedermayer should be very, very interesting.

  • bladesofsteel

    Good thing that Niedermayer re-signed with Anaheim. Could you imagine if he tells the Ducks he is playing another year, they trade Pronger in anticipation of that, and then he leaves for Van city.

  • http://www.illegalcurve.com Kyle

    Lots of interesting moves here. I think the next one we see is an over pay for Havlat or Gaborik in the NW. I am looking at you Katz…

  • Cat

    Could someone please track Dale Tallon down and ask him wtf he was thinking? A 12 year contract to Hossa? Stunned barely begins to describe my reaction. This is a mistake, one that could be of epic proportions.

  • penguinsfan

    Kinda nice when your team doesn’t have to pull off any big moves to improve!! Pens repeat!!

  • breakaway

    if the rumors of the Oilers making an offer to Neil are true…thats quite the downgrade of the original Oilers/Senators trade.

  • thatswhatshesaid

    quite an upgrade for the Oilers in net.

  • akosior

    Please tell me you didn’t kill any blackbirds…or my cat.

  • http://www.illegalcurve.com david

    Interesting day so far. I like the Bullin Wall in net for the Oilers. I am most surprised by the fact that the Kings haven’t done anything to this point. I would have to imagine that Gaborik is deciding between L.A. and NY Rangers.

  • akosior

    Also, what’s an “unhealthy” aversion to a bra? Is that something that strikes a girl who isn’t interested in the IC Editor?

  • http://www.illegalcurve.com david

    So the big names still out there are;

    Forwards:
    Havlat, Gaborik, Cammalleri, Kovalev, Koivou, Tanguay, Gionta, Antropov

    Defence:
    Komisarek

  • Melanie B

    I too wonder what an unhealthy averion to a bra is. I am with david. I think Kings are getting ready to sign Gaborik. Or perhaps they are still trying to swing a deal for Vinny.

  • http://www.illegalcurve.com david

    Kyle – I’m shocked you didn’t give. For the record I gave to the Michigan Police Assoc.

  • Jen M

    Its like Christmas came early. Tons of deals. Like the moves by the Canucks and Florida. Can’t believe Slats isn’t making a bigger splash.

  • Slapshot

    I like the signing of cammelleri in Mtrl. Speed and scoring.

  • BrandonMartin

    Still nothing from L.A. Where was Dean Lombadri all day?

  • icethepuck

    Well done guys. Really enjoyed the blog today.

  • Calihockey

    Good stuff today. Lots of big time signings. Still surprised that Gaborik didnt sign.

  • Missourimike

    Great breakdowns and fast posting. appreciate the effort. looking forward to the radio show tonight. bobby mckenzie should be a greeat guest.