What the Heck Just Happened? – Free Agency 2016

Free Agency has been frenzied so far. This is what has transpired to date.

The following list shows the state of the TSN top 50 free agents. For some reason, they had Jimmy Vesey on the list, when he isn’t actually a free agent until mid-August. They also had Stamkos on the list until he was signed late last week, so I’ve stuffed him back in at position zero.

PositionTSN
Rank
PlayerSigning
Team
Previous
Team
Notes
C0Steven StamkosTAMTAM
LW1Milan LucicEDMLAK
LW/RW2Loui ErikssonVANBOS
C3Frans NielsenDETNYI
RW4Kyle OkposoBUFNYI
LW5Andrew LaddNYICHI
LW/RW6Mikkel BoedkerSJCOL
C/RW7David BackesBOSSTL
D8Jason DemersFLADAL
RW9Troy BrouwerCGYSTL
D10Brian CampbellCHIFLA
LW11Jimmy VeseyBUFexclusive thru 8/15
LW12David PerronSTLANA
D13Kris RussellDAL
RW/LW14Jamie McGinnARIANA
D15Dan HamhuisDALVAN
G16James ReimerFLASJS
C/LW17Eric StaalMINNYR
W/C18Darren HelmDETDET
LW19Matt MartinTORNYI
RW20Dale WeisePHICHI
RW21Lee StempniakCARBOS
RW/LW22Jiri HudlerFLA
D23Luke SchennLAK
LW24Jason ChimeraNYIWSH
D25Justin SchultzPIT
RW26Radim VrbataVAN
RW/LW27Teddy PurcellLAKFLA
D28Ben LovejoyNJDPIT
D29Roman PolakTORSJS
RW/LW30Kris VersteegLAK
RW/LW31Thomas VanekDETMIN
RW32PA ParenteauNYITOR
LW/C33Shawn MatthiasWPGCOL
W/C34Sam GagnerPHI
LW/RW35Brandon PirriANA
G36Chad JohnsonCGYBUF
D37David SchlemkoSJSNJD
D38Matt BartkowskiVAN
D39Patrick WierciochCOLOTT
D40Jared CowenTORbought out
G41Jhonas EnrothLAK
D42Eric GrybaEDM
D43Kyle QuinceyDET
RW/LW44Chris StewartMINANA
G45Jeff ZatkoffLAKPIT
G46Al MontoyaMTLFLA
LW/RW47Michael GrabnerNYRTOR
C/LW48Nick SpalingSJS
G49Carter HuttonSTLNSH
RW/LW50Viktor StalbergCARNYR
DTorey KrugBOSBOS
DJohn-Michael LilesBOSBOS
W/CJoe ColbourneCOLCGY
GAnton KhudobinBOSANA
DChristian ErhoffCHI
C/LWVernon FiddlerNJDAL
RW/LWPatrick EavesDALDAL
DDavid WarsofskyPITNJD
LWHarry ZolnierczykNASANA
W/CKyle ChipchuraARI
DKevin ConnautonARIARI
DKlas Dahlbeck
RWBrett ConnollyWSHBOS
DTommy CrossBOSBOS
W/CLandon FerraroBOS
GJonas GustavssonEDMBOS
DMatt IrwinNASBOS
C/LWChris KellyBOS
CJoonas KemppainenEuropeBOS
RW/CRiley NashBOSCAR
RWTyler RandellBOSBOS
C/LWTim SchallerBOSBUF
DDennis SeidenbergBOSBuyout
CBen SextonBOS
GJeremy SmithCOLBOS
C/WMaxime TalbotEuropeBOS
DZach TrotmanLAKBOS
DJustin FalkBUFCBJ
DChad RuhwedelPITBUF
DFedor TyutinCOLCBJ
DMartin GematEuropeANA
LW/RWNathan GerbeNYRCAR
RW/CAndrew MillerCAREDM
DRasmus RissanenEuropeCAR
DJames WisniewskiCARBuyout
FAlexander RadulovMTLEurope
DNate GueninANACOLUFA
RWReilly SmithFLAFLAextension
CVincent TrocheckFLAFLARFA

Also, Alex Radulov is unexpectedly back from the KHL, signing with the Habs.
The Bruins have bought out the last 2 years of Dennis Seidenberg’s contract and signed Torey Krug for 4 more years.
Who’s left? Well, there’s a lot of players left, just noone we may care about. Here is what the folks at NHL.com have to say. (Note that Roman Polak has since been signed by the Maple Leafs and P-A Parenteau by the Isles).

Rumor has it that the Bruins are sniffing around Kris Russell.
The Bruins are a little thin at D (Having Chara, Liles, Krug, KevAn & McQuaid signed up, and having Colin Miller, Joe Morrow & Tommy Cross on the bubble).
Luke Schenn is available, as are Matt Bartkowski, Justin Schultz & Kyle Quincey.

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About IntentionallyWidenberg

Position: Power Forward. Occupation: I am the Egg Man. Contrary to popular belief, I am not the Walrus.
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phonymahoney
Editor
phonymahoney

My $.02 re: free agency:

  • My only complaint about the Backes signing is that his contract is too long. I can only assume he was brought on board to play the wing with Krejci or Bergeron, depending on the matchup. I know this annoys people and I don’t care – he is definitely a Bruin-type of player. It also gives us some flexibility if a center gets hurt.
  • I’m disappointed we couldn’t land Demers, but like I said, the situation in Florida is really good, so I can’t blame him.
  • What about trading for Orlov? Schultz?
  • Man, that Peter Chiarelli guy…
  • At least we have a whole crop of D that should be ready within two years, next year if we’re lucky, and this year if we strike gold.
  • Kind of annoyed that devcamp isn’t happening on the weekend anymore.
  • Long-Winded Striped Mofo
    Member
    Long-Winded Striped Mofo

    Morning all! Great weekend! Three days of paddling my ass off. Much progress. Rolling in moving water is improving. Also, stepped up in a big way – eddy hopping or breaking down Zoar Gap. The toughest rapid on the Fife Brook section of the Deerfield. Usually, people are happy to get through upright. In preparation for tougher rivers my goal was top break down Zoar Gap. Stop in all the eddies and hang out in the middle of the Gap. Mission accomplished. I did it in my boat Sunday and in my buddy’s playboat yesterday. It’s much tougher in the playboat as you have to work your ass off to make it move. It ended with a nasty swim yesterday, but I was really happy with my progress. Also, had great food, lots of laughs with friends. Still no booze, no big thing.

    Long-Winded Striped Mofo
    Member
    Long-Winded Striped Mofo

    Does Backes seem like a strange signing to anyone else? Umm, center is the Bs deepest position. Maybe Backes also plays D?

    Oh yeah, and Florida is loading up!!

    Satan81
    Admin
    Satan81

    Backes also plays right wing.

    Long-Winded Striped Mofo
    Member
    Long-Winded Striped Mofo

    A LW would be more helpful. Didn’t we have a pretty good one of those?

    The BOB
    Member
    The BOB

    In fairness, the Bergeron line does need a RW pretty desperately. I feel like they haven’t had a consistent one since Recchi retired.

    I agree that they might as well have spent on Loui if they were going to give that contract to Backes anyways.

    Satan81
    Admin
    Satan81

    Maybe the B’s offered 5 years to Loui but Loui wouldn’t budge on 6 years.

    (Wow it’s puzzling that Loui chose Vancouver)

    The BOB
    Member
    The BOB

    One rumor was Boston wouldn’t go above 4. Doesn’t make much sense in light of the Backes contract though.

    phonymahoney
    Editor
    phonymahoney

    That’s what I can’t figure out. I don’t give much credence to the concussion issues thing, either. Look what he did last season.

    The BOB
    Member
    The BOB

    I get the concern over concussions in that another one could end his career. But there is LTIR for that (I know it’s not ideal).

    We know Eriksson works in the system already. We have no idea how Backes will adapt. Eriksson is clearly the superior player AND is younger and his play style ages better.

    I don’t want either of the two for the term they wanted/got but if forced between them I’d go Loui every time.

    The BOB
    Member
    The BOB

    Entertaining?

    The BOB
    Member
    The BOB

    I’d rather see them win. Physicality is overrated, especially when it comes at the sacrifice of positioning as is so often the case.

    phonymahoney
    Editor
    phonymahoney

    I don’t think Backes is simply “winning through toughness”, as he’s defensively responsible and no slouch offensively, either.

    phonymahoney
    Editor
    phonymahoney

    (Wow it’s puzzling that Loui chose Vancouver)

    Swedish twins.
    http://oi46.tinypic.com/2r3uxw8.jpg

    Long-Winded Striped Mofo
    Member
    Long-Winded Striped Mofo

    Puzzle solved!

    phonymahoney
    Editor
    phonymahoney

    They haven’t.

    So the question is, Backes or Pastrnak?

    phonymahoney
    Editor
    phonymahoney

    Well, if you play him with Krejci, you get a kind f bash borthers thing going on, like we had with Looch/Horton and Looch/Iginla. Also, you can play him with Bergy and Marshy and shut people down. The contract is a tad long but I think it gives us a ton of flexibility.

    Satan 81's Sister
    Editor
    Satan 81's Sister

    Morning all. A wasp has taken my bathroom hostage so I wasn’t able to shower this morning and now my whole day is ruined. Hoping I can get SatanDad to kill the fucker.

    The BOB
    Member
    The BOB

    I take it you’re allergic?

    Satan 81's Sister
    Editor
    Satan 81's Sister

    Yeah, so I don’t really want to take any chances.

    The BOB
    Member
    The BOB

    Understandable. The wife is as well so I get sent out to deal with yellowjackets when they nest in the area.

    UnstableElement
    Member
    UnstableElement

    I wish I had that reason. My wife hates bugs. I deal with all of them for nothing more than that reason.

    This includes something as harmless as the occasional stray ant.

    Satan 81's Sister
    Editor
    Satan 81's Sister

    I put a soda bottle trap in there yesterday but the asshole is content on just lurking on the shower rod.

    UnstableElement
    Member
    UnstableElement

    Sounds about par for a wasp. (I will never not post something like this):

    http://orig11.deviantart.net/5f0b/f/2010/128/c/e/this_is_a_fucking_wasp_by_helwan.jpg

    The Once and Future Bagel Bruin
    Member
    The Once and Future Bagel Bruin

    You should buy some wasp spray. Kills those suckers quickly

    phonymahoney
    Editor
    phonymahoney

    Satan siblings? Allergic to things? NO WAY!

    Satan 81's Sister
    Editor
    Satan 81's Sister

    We just have to be difficult!

    phonymahoney
    Editor
    phonymahoney

    Always!

    The Once and Future Bagel Bruin
    Member
    The Once and Future Bagel Bruin

    Hello

    carvinbass18
    Editor
    carvinbass18
    Editor
    carvinbass18

    So currently me and one other co-worker are sitting in a training room across the street waiting for our training class to start. Supposed to start at 9 and we’re waiting on the instructor + 2 other people….. no idea when they’re coming

    UnstableElement
    Member
    UnstableElement

    Take it this is today’s thread?

    Morning all. Weekend and wedding were excellent. Didn’t blow my hand off, so that’s good. T-3 days left at my current company.

    Satan81
    Admin
    Satan81

    Here is your sigh of relief for today:

    The #Oilers salary cap situation is more challenging than it seems: https://t.co/Ty6YjYqxCt | pic.twitter.com/R2NeCjiLLo— Mike Colligan (@MikeColligan) July 5, 2016

    phonymahoney
    Editor
    phonymahoney

    You know what I got out of this? That we should make a move for Reinhart.

    UnstableElement
    Member
    UnstableElement

    I’ve been playing too much Overwatch lately, because this was my first thought when you said Reinhart:

    comment image?version=ef1671e6601ed71a5071765f18a85317

    Although, that might sure up the D-line pretty well…..

    phonymahoney
    Editor
    phonymahoney

    Works for me!

    The BOB
    Member
    The BOB

    So has everyone accepted the reality that Boston is signing Russell? Have we all become resigned to our fate?

    carvinbass18
    Editor
    carvinbass18

    I refuse to accept it and will just rampage when it does

    The BOB
    Member
    The BOB

    Don’t forget that when he does inevitably sign, he is getting an NTC at the very least if not an NMC…

    carvinbass18
    Editor
    carvinbass18

    Refusing until
    comment image

    Satan81
    Admin
    Satan81

    We’re not signing Russell and we’re not trading Krejci (the other narrative I’m sick of).

    The BOB
    Member
    The BOB

    You know we are. This is Don we are talking about.

    The last two offseasons there have been three players that everyone joked about how badly they’d be overpaid and would then underplay the contract (Beleskey, Backes, Russell). Boston has now signed two of the three and is a rumored leader for the third.

    [And regardless of what you think of Beleskey, that WAS the chatter leading up to last July 1. He took less than projected/expected so the optics aren’t nearly as bad but it doesn’t change the fact that Boston signed the guy the whole analytics community was laughing over]

    UnstableElement
    Member
    UnstableElement

    Re: Beleskey

    Yes, people were chuckling. But you said yourself: he took less than projected. Beleskey was only supposed to be a laughing point because people thought he was gonna get PAID. The contract, I feel, shut most people up.

    The BOB
    Member
    The BOB

    Eh. The chatter was 5/25 and he got 5/19. Not THAT dramatic a difference.

    Fact still stands that Boston has signed the two biggest bugaboo UFAs the last two seasons…

    UnstableElement
    Member
    UnstableElement

    Two thoughts: 1) That’s $1.2mil/yr difference. I’d call that a pretty good difference. That’s the difference between signing a key role/young player or letting them walk. 2) Given the fair deal and the fact that (regardless of what the score sheet says) Beleskey played well, so far I have a hard time calling him a bugaboo. Had we signed him 5/25 or higher and he was the bust everyone expected, I’d be singing a different tune.

    phonymahoney
    Editor
    phonymahoney

    He’s been one of our most consistent forwards – he’s looked great out there.

    The BOB
    Member
    The BOB

    Man, you fucking love your Beleskey!

    phonymahoney
    Editor
    phonymahoney

    I love good hockey, he plays good hockey. I would love it if he showed up on the scoresheet more, but it’s not for lack of trying. If you’re watching the games, you’re seeing him make a difference out there on the regular.

    The BOB
    Member
    The BOB

    Yay! He tries hard! Let’s give him a participation trophy now!

    When the best praise you can give someone is that he tries hard it is not a good sign…

    I expect a bit more for 3.8 than making a difference out there but not on the scoresheet… last I checked that is how games are ultimately won.

    UnstableElement
    Member
    UnstableElement

    Normally I try not to get into the middle of these, but you’re going to criticize Beleskey but also claim the Smith trade was a mistake?

    Not only did Smith disappear from the score sheet for great lengths at a time. He basically became a ghost. At least you actually know Beleskey is there. And starting next year, Beleskey is cheaper!

    I’m not saying you have to like him. And you can sure as hell disagree with signing him. I don’t actually care about that. I’m just pointing out that you are panning one player while raising another with similar/worse issues.

    The BOB
    Member
    The BOB

    My biggest complaint was people criticizing Smith as being overpaid while he outproduced the higher paid Beleskey who is deemed worth his pay. Just doesn’t make sense.

    Smith has superior production while also having superior Corsi/Fenwick (both absolute and relative). But he was overpaid and Beleskey is not.

    The BOB
    Member
    The BOB

    The funny bit is, Smith’s bad final year in Boston was still better than Beleskey’s first year in Boston…

    phonymahoney
    Editor
    phonymahoney

    He tries hard AND IS EFFECTIVE. That’s the difference. He creates room for his linemates and he wins battles. That’s important.

    The BOB
    Member
    The BOB

    Stats say otherwise. His two most common linemates were Krejci and Spooner.

    GF60/GA60/CF%
    Spooner with him: 2.49/2.93/46.3
    Spooner w/o him: 2.43/1.67/47.5

    Krejci with him: 2.74/2.10/47.9
    Krejci w/o him: 2.90/2.02/52.4

    Not looking to good for Beleskey there when both of his centers perform better with him on the bench!

    phonymahoney
    Editor
    phonymahoney

    OK buddy, sure. You hate the guy, I get it, but enough is enough – we’re just going to have to agree to disagree and not bring it up every other day.

    The BOB
    Member
    The BOB

    So the numbers lie now? You’re welcome to run them yourself… taken directly from https://puckalytics.com/superwowy.html

    You know if the numbers went the other way you’d be heavily relying on them right now…

    The BOB
    Member
    The BOB

    The same site shows both Kesler and Getzlaf performing better away from Beleskey than with him, though their TOI figures from 14-15 conflict with what BehindtheNet gives.

    phonymahoney
    Editor
    phonymahoney

    I don’t recall saying the numbers lie. I’m just tired of discussing it – you said below that you’re entitled to your opinion – so is everyone else.

    The BOB
    Member
    The BOB

    So long as you recognize that the facts don’t support your opinion (creating room for linemates, being effective)…

    phonymahoney
    Editor
    phonymahoney

    Here’s the thing: numbers don’t lie, but numbers don’t tell the whole story, either. You can’t just cling to stats and expect that I’m going to throw my arms up and concede. There’s a reason both stats and the eye test are necessary.

    The BOB
    Member
    The BOB

    And vice versa.

    However, I trust numbers over eye test every time.

    phonymahoney
    Editor
    phonymahoney

    I trust both. And I certainly have pointed out that I would like to see more points out of him. That doesn’t necessarily mean that I have to be disappointed with him as a player.

    The BOB
    Member
    The BOB

    Even though the stats indicate his ‘creating space’ is a myth? I’m not even talking his points, I’m talking team points.

    phonymahoney
    Editor
    phonymahoney

    He’s a borderline first line player, for under $4 million. That’s pretty good,

    Story Title

    The BOB
    Member
    The BOB

    Carried by his centers, both of whom fared better without him than with him. He dragged down Eriksson the same way he did Spooner and Krejci.

    Hell, the man dragged down HAYES! That’s how bad Beleskey was… when Hayes got away from him he was actually 50% GF (2.13/2.13 compared to 1.94/3.11 with him!)

    Satan81
    Admin
    Satan81

    Once more, with feeling: the offense wasn’t the problem last season.

    As for Donny signing Russell long-term…we have 2 significant RFAs and a significant UFA looming. Russell doesn’t fit into any plan beyond 1 season. And again, we’re in the mix for Vesey.

    If we’re looking to add another d-man, I say try for Tobias Enstrom, with Winnipeg retaining some salary.

    The BOB
    Member
    The BOB

    When did I say the offense was a problem? Hell, when did I even imply it?

    Satan81
    Admin
    Satan81

    I’ve inferred it from your persistent harping on Beleskey. If I am in error, my apologies.

    The BOB
    Member
    The BOB

    I don’t think he’s worth the contract, no. I think they’d have been better off keeping Smith (which I thought was a bad trade at the time).

    Doesn’t mean I think the offense is the problem though, that clearly rests with the porous D. However, just because offense isn’t a problem it doesn’t mean some of the forwards can’t be problems in themselves.

    phonymahoney
    Editor
    phonymahoney

    Smith plays RW. Beleskey plays LW. Not the same. Also, Smith is being overpaid starting next season, maybe over a million more than Beleskey.

    phonymahoney
    Editor
    phonymahoney

    [And regardless of what you think of Beleskey, that WAS the chatter leading up to last July 1. He took less than projected/expected so the optics aren’t nearly as bad but it doesn’t change the fact that Boston signed the guy the whole analytics community was laughing over]

    Here’s the thing:
    The issue about signing Beleskey was that people thought he would be overpaid, not that he was a bad player.He’s being paid like a third liner, and he can play on any line we ice, and doesn’t look remotely out of place. He’s not overpaid, and it was a GOOD move. Shitting on Sweeney for the sake of shitting Sweeney at this point.

    The BOB
    Member
    The BOB

    Just because you think it was a good move doesn’t make it fact. I am welcome to my own opinion after all…

    phonymahoney
    Editor
    phonymahoney

    Of course you are, and we’re welcome to ours.

    carvinbass18
    Editor
    carvinbass18

    I know you and I have been back & forth on the Krejci speculation quite a bit, but I do want to clarify that I advocate it in the terms of improving the defense. I know that pulling off said trade will be incredibly difficult with the contract, NMC and injury, and it’s more like 95% chance of not happening anyway. But it’s an option Sweeney should be exploring and significantly. Should it not happen, a center line of Krejci, Bergeron, Backes, Spooner will be absolutely BANGING

    The BOB
    Member
    The BOB

    I don’t see that happening. You can’t have 6M Backes playing 3rd line minutes and you can’t waste Spooner’s offense on a 4th line with limited talent. It just makes no sense. Stunts Spooner’s growth and value while wasting Backes.

    Backes should be on the wing while Spooner stays on the third line.

    carvinbass18
    Editor
    carvinbass18

    It won’t be all season like that, Backes’s contract has a lot to do with the versatility he brings

    Satan81
    Admin
    Satan81

    I don’t like the idea of trading Krejci because:
    – we don’t have a problem at center
    – not only that, we have excellent players at center
    – trading Krejci creates a problem at center
    – fixing a problem at center is notoriously difficult
    – we have a wave of young defensemen coming in 2017 anyway

    The BOB
    Member
    The BOB

    Does it create a problem at center? They’d just go from Krejci/Bergeron/Spooner to Bergeron/Backes/Spooner. If anything, trading Krejci creates a problem on the wing, not at center.

    Satan81
    Admin
    Satan81

    It certainly a downgrade at center, and one that presumably gets even worse as Backes suffers from age-related decline and injury trouble. And yeah, if Backes moves to C then we have an RW problem again.

    But Krejci has a full NMC through 2019 so we can stop talking about it. smile

    The BOB
    Member
    The BOB

    In fairness, Krejci is due for the same age-related decline. His play style does age better but he is still exiting his prime.

    Satan81
    Admin
    Satan81

    True, though he’s 2 years younger than Backes.

    The BOB
    Member
    The BOB

    Yes, but only ~50 fewer NHL games on his body and has had far more injuries over the course of his career.