Ok, so I've been busy on holiday and now that I have returned, I am busy as hell at work and have been too lazy to update this thing. I am currently sitting on my porch in sunny California having a Marin Hefe Doppel Weizen enjoying the 80 degree weather and sun. Birds are chirping left and right and the I can hear the attractive female sun bathers at the pool talking about life.
Anyway, since the last time I posted, the Bulldogs have won a few hockey games. They are now up 3-0 in the conference finals against the Chicago Wolves. Barring a couple of catastrophes, the Bulldogs will face the Bears of Hershey, PA. Hershey is the defending Calder Cup Champions. I admit that I doubted management selecting Carey Price over Gilbert Brule in the draft a few years ago, but right now it seems like it wasn't an unreasonable pick. Price just stopped 35 of 36 shots in the latest victory.
Anyway, unrestricted free agency will be upon us in about 5-6 weeks. There are lots of Habs fans who want us to sign a UFA. Here is my response to that:
Ottawa is in the Cup Finals. They made 2 UFA acquisitions last year in Martin Gerber and Joe Corvo. We all know how well Gerber turned out.
Anaheim is also in the Cup finals. They signed Scott Neidermayer as a UFA a few years ago. They also re-signed Selanne at a "home-town" discount. Basically their entire team is home-grown.
Buffalo got a ton of slack for only signing Teppo Numinen a few years ago. They also signed Jaro Spacek in this past off-season. Spacek was benched in the playoffs. The rest of their team was basically home-grown or acquired in trades.
Detroit has the best GM in the league, so they will always be good. Many of the teams that have made the big free agent splashes the past couple of years have faltered. Look at Boston and Philly. St. Louis also spent a lot as did Pittsburgh.
Signing big name, high pirced UFAs is not necessarily the way to build a successful franchise. We need to let our highly rated prospects get some NHL ice time. $th line ice-time is no good. Komisarek struggled a lot when he first started, but we kept giving him ice time and he eventually gained confidence. He is now one of our stalwarts. We need to do the same with Kostitsyn and Grabovski.
We need to figure out our center situation. We have too many. Koivu, Plekanec, Lapierre, Grabovski, and Chipchura. One of them has to go or change positions. Lapierre is a good 4th liner. Chipchura seems like a good 3rd liner. If I'm Saku Koivu, I've seen the writing on the wall. This also explains his discontent with management that the team is perpetually rebuilding. As unpopular of a move it would be and as much as I love him, I think trading Koivu to a contender would probably be the best for him and this organization. He is coming off his best season yet, and I think he will fetch more value now than he will in the future.