NHL Free Agency Tracker

Today marks Day 1 of the NHL's free agency period were FAs can officially sign with teams (but as we've seen, GMs and players have turned this into an NBA-like free agency period).

The Rangers don't project to be huge players today with limited cap space needed to sign their own RFAs (Stepan and McDonagh the 2 prominent names). However, with Glen Sather at the helm still, you never rule out any surprises. 

Similar to what Kevin likes to do on Trade Deadline day, we'll have a free agency tracker of all the big rumors and deals that go down throughout the day. It should be one heck of a day. Let's begin!

7:31PM:

…didn't Sather just say he wanted to leave some spots available for the young guys? Oh well. Guess he's trying to catch lightning in a bottle with a former 4th overall pick who never lived up to expectations.

Here's something Rangers fans might remember Pouliot for…

http://youtube.com/watch?v=f_zTostzXWc?rel=0

4:51PM:

- NYR gets Johnson on a one-year, $600k deal. Another depth signing for the defense. Just like in baseball with pitching, you can never have enough defenseman in hockey.

3:43PM:

…and it looks like Sather found a replacement for Powe. Big Moore fan from when he was with the Rangers first time around. Good to see him get back into the game after taking season off to deal with death of his wife.

3:10PM:

- The overpaying continues. Filppula is a nice No. 2-No. 3 option but by no means worth that kind of money. Questionable signing for Yzerman and the Bolts, who have bigger needs than at center. 

2:34PM:

Katie Strang at ESPN says Rangers weren't in on Hendricks because they didn't have any money.

…Henricks was a guy I know a lot of Rangers fans were interested in, so I'm sure this is a bummer for most. Team first guy who brings a lot of the intangibles the Rangers lost last season without Prust, Dubi, Mitchell and Anisimov.

2:18PM:

… after seeing all these numbers today, I'm almost expecting Hamrlik to get a five-year, $25 million offer. lol. I thought Rangers might have been able to get Weiss for $3million per. Guess not.

1:48PM:

Pension Plan Puppets has the details of Tyler Bozak's new five-year deal to stay in Toronto.

- It's a shade north of $4 million per season, which is reasonable. Leafs get Bozak back for less than what they were paying Mikhail Grabovski. Still, I'm not sold on Bozak as a No. 1 center. Good on faceoffs, maybe even a tad underrated but not an ideal No. 1. Not enough production. 

1:27PM:

- Can't wait for the megadeals these two are about to receive. Think Horton's deal was looney? Wait for Clarkson's.

1:01PM:

- What are the Blue Jackets thinking? Sign a 28-year-old, injury prone player to a huge, seven-year deal and he needs major shoulder surgery and expects to be out till December (if all goes well)? Huge mistake by the Blue Jackets. Huge.

12:58PM:

- Scuderi returns to the scene of his first Cup win. Nice signing and reasonable numbers. However, with eight FAs to sign and right up against the salary cap, I'd expect a move(s) coming from Ray Shero.

12:54PM:

- Do the Devils know Clowe suffered THREE concussions last season, which by the way was the amount of goals he scored, too. That's David Clarkson's replacement for sure, but a risky, risky signing for NJ. 

12:52PM:

- Head scratcher here. Jarmo Kekalainen's first mistake as Jackets GM. Seven years for a player with concussion issues is risky business. Horton is a good offensive player but now is heavily overpriced. 

12:51PM:

- Hate to say it, but I like this move for the Islanders. Bouchard has documented concussion issues but, if healthy, is a very shifty offensive player. Can play center or wing and, assuming Brad Boyes doesn't come back, would be an upgrade.

12:42PM: 

- I guess now that the Phoenix Coyotes  of Arizona are staying around for a while, why not throw some money around to improve the team? Ribeiro fills out their top-six and gives Shane Doan a legit playmaker to skate with. Solid move and reasonably priced compared to others.

12:24PM:

- Looks like Alfredsson's going for a shot at a Cup in the Motor City. Solid move for Detroit but that looks to spell the end of youngster Damien Brunner, who could get a solid deal for a team looking for a scoring winger.

12:14PM:

- Horton to Columbus sounds closer to becoming a reality. Adds some scoring and grit to their top-six. Biggest factor is him staying healthy. 

12:05PM:

Free Agency has officially begun. Anyone (that is a free agent) can sign anywhere now. Also, waivers were announced at noon, and as James Mirtle reports, everyone that was listed yesterday has cleared.

Meanwhile, Jim Cerny spoke to Alain Vigneault, who wants to add depth but with a preference for defensemen. 

- Arron Asham and Darroll Powe were among those listed yesterday, so they went unclaimed. Sather placed them on waivers conceivably with hopes that at least one would get claimed and give the Rangers some cap room to work with. Neither did, so unless Sather has something else up his sleeve he'll have to make due with what he has; not a lot. 

Staal, Girardi, McDonagh, Del Zotto, Moore, and Stralman is a perfectly fine top-six defense corps. However, injuries will happen (and we don't know Staal's condition). And for all we know one is involved in a trade that Sather has kept quiet. Justin falk was recently acquired but, if we learned anything last season, you can never have too many defensemen. 

11:50AM: 

TSN's Darren Dreger confirms that Ray Emery is expected to sign with the Philadelphia Flyers today on a 1-year deal.

- Not that any Rangers fans are complaining, but the Flyers never seem to learn. In an offseason where Schneider, Luongo, Halak, Miller, and a handful of other quality, long-term goaltenders have been ripe for the picking, Flyers GM Paul Holmgren instead puts the Flyers neck deep in the salary cap with an expensive deal with Vincent Lecavalier, a center. The Flyers finished 9th in goals for the past season but 23rd in goals against; you'd think keeping pucks out of their own net would be a bigger priority. Instead, it will be yet another season where the Flyers will have stopgap, mediocre options in net. 

11:35AM:

The Fourth Period's Dave Pagnotta believes that, unless something dramatic happens, Nathan Horton will be signing with the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Sportsnet reporter (and former Ranger) Nick Kypreos reports that Dan Cleary has received a nice offer from the Dallas Stars and now the Red Wings have to make a choice on whether they want to make a new bid to Cleary or move on.

The New York Daily News' Pat Leonard fully expects the Rangers and Ryan McDonagh to reach an agreement within the next two or so days.

- Horton reportedly wants to go to a non-traditional hockey market and the Blue Jackets are most certainly that. As always, contract figures matter but Horton is a nice fit for a young, emerging team in Columbus.

- Cleary is a nice depth player but Detroit would live without him. Kypreos cites Stephen Weiss as a player they could go after and if he is healed from all injuries then he surely would be an upgrade to a Detroit team that seems to be going all-in for a Stanley Cup run.

- I don't think anyone expects McDonagh to play anywhere else but in New York both next season and in the near future, but nothing is ever guaranteed. Again, the Rangers would match any contract another team offered to McDonagh unless it was absurdly expensive. Nonetheless, you'd prefer the Rangers and McDonagh do it on their own terms and get it over with.

11:15AM:

Looks like Alfredsson to the Red Wings is all but official. Free agents who weren't bought out can not officially sign until 12PM Eastern Time.

Meanwhile, The Star Ledger's Richard Chere spoke to someone affiliated with the Devils, who implies that the game is getting too quick for Ryane Clowe and that he might not be "the right fit" for the Devils.

- Hard to imagine Alfredsson anywhere but Ottawa, but if he is going elsewhere then Detroit makes plenty of sense. They're always in the mix for making noise in the playoffs and there are a number of fellow Swedes on the roster, including Henrik Zetterberg and Johan Franzen. 

- As for Clowe, it  sort of adds on to what we said earlier. Clowe is slowly wearing down and, while he still is a very good player now, he probably is not ging to be worth what he's earning after the first one or two years. Still, the Devils have been linked with Clowe by multiple people and we don't know how much say, if any, the person Chere spoke to has in any decisions.

11:06AM: 

Dreger reports on Ryane Clowe.

- If this is what Clowe was seeking from the Rangers (and again, I don't blame him for pursuing what he feels is best for himself) then it's best that he's not returning. He was a very good player for the Rangers after they acquired him and he's a great guy to have in the locker room. You hate that he probably won't be part of the team next season but Sather is showing restraint for all the right reasons. The later years of that contract would really muck things up financially. But good for Ryane if another team gives him the security that he clearly deems important.

10:45AM:

The first real stunning news of today comes with reports rom multiple people, including TSN's Darren Dreger, that Daniel Alfredsson has told the Senators he will not be returning. The Red Wings are linked as the favorites for Alfredsson right now.

- Wow. It makes sense that Alfredsson, soon the be 41, might want one last shot at the Stanley Cup. What doesn't make sense is why he stuck with Ottawa through multiple rebuilding years and is choosing to leave now, when Ottawa finally is on the rise again and made it to the second round of the playoffs last season. Maybe things soured between him and Paul McLean. Maybe he just wants a change. I also wouldn't rule out the possibility of this amounton to  Alfredsson's camp leaking these reports in an attempt to play hardball with the Senators and pressure them into giving Alfredsson what he is seeking. We'll see. 

10:38AM:

Andrew Walker of The Fan 960 in Calgary reports on Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Cody Franson.


Meanwhile TSN's Bob McKenzie and Darren Dreger share thoughts regarding Restricted Free Agents.

- Franson, a Restricted Free Agent,  is quickly developing into a nice, young offensive defenseman. He had 29 points in last year's lockout-shortened season. Rangers are unlikely to be a landing spot since our defense is pretty set as is. Someone will benefit from adding him if he truly is leaving Toronto.

- As for McKenzie and Dreger, it's good to not see McDonagh, Stepan, or Hagelin's names linked… yet. We need to remember, though, that any marginally reasonable deal for any of those guys that another team offers can and almost certainly will be matched by the Rangers. 

10:25AM:

Pierre LeBrun at ESPN was apparently was the first to link the Devils to Ryane Clowe (Bob McKenzie sees the Devils as a favorite for Clowe). But LeBrun also claims the Habs were, but no longer are, in on Clowe.

"Speaking of Clowe, the Habs were willing to do a short-term deal with him but it’s believed the UFA power forward wants to get a bit more security, and who can blame him."

- Hard to blame Clowe for turning down any one or two year deals because someone surely is going to offer him a longer ranging deal. But if Clowe is outright refusing anything fewer than four years then it's probably for the best that Sather the Rangers are almost definitely moving on from him. Concussion issues aside, and those certainly should raise a bit of concern, Clowe will be 31 this season and he seems to be at the beginning of a decline. He's still going to be a very nice player to have for the next three or so seasons but the last thing the Rangers need is to have a banged up, 35-year-old Ryane Clowe on the books in a few years. 

10:01AM: 

Toronto Star writer Damien Cox has an update on Dominic Moore, who we cited previously as a potential target for the Rangers.

Meanwhile, Mike Russo at the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that center Matt Cullen won't be returning to the Wild. Cullen is a former New York Ranger.

- Cullen is most probably not a target for the Rangers since Stepan, Brassard, and (in theory) Richards all fill the role of finesse, offensive centers. Cullen will be 37 in Novermber but, with 27 points in 42 games last season, still has something left in the tank. Wouldn't be a bad depth signing for a contending team or a good veteran signing for a rebuilding team.

9:36AM:

Larry Brooks of the NY Post writes the Rangers have held dicussions with free-agent center Dominic Moore and nearly brought the former Blueshirt back last season before the lockout ended. Brooks also states the team could have interest in Maxim Lapierre.

- I wouldn't mind a second tour of duty for Moore albiet if his heart is truly in it. He's a solid fourth-line center and responsible defensively. Signing Moore would likely be the end of Brian Boyle, though.

- Lapierre makes more sense now because of Alain Vigneault being here. 

9:26AM:

Chalk this up as the biggest surprise of the day if it happens. Alfredsson has been the franchise and for him to leave would be a huge blow to the Senators. His curious comments about 'probably not' beating the Penguins in the playoffs come into play at all here? Perhaps he wants 1 legit shot at a Cup before retiring.

9:04AM:

- Here's your first NYR news of the morning. The team can't afford to bring Clowe back but to see him go to NJ would be tough. That is, until he suffers another concussion and becomes damaged goods for the Devils. Huge risk by them if they sign Clowe long term.

-Emery would be a solid option in net for the Flyers. Horton in Columbus would be very interesting.
 

9:02AM:

- HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. In all seriousness, Clarkson can play top-six minutes and score you 20-25 goals, but that's it. He doesn't kill penalties, is actually in the penalty box more often than not and is injury prone because of his style. That will be a future amnesty buyout.

9:02AM:

- Centers are the dominant position available this offseason. Lots of options for teams in the market. I'm sure whichever center the Capitals do sign, Adam Oates will complain about not getting enough calls in Games 6 and 7 against the Rangers.

8:56AM:

- There hasn't been much of a market for Iginla, but I think St. Louis would be a great fit. Would had great veteran leadership to a young team. 

8:54AM:

- A rumor came out earlier in the week Bozak's camp had an 8-year offer on the table for the Leafs to consider. I hope Dave Nonis laughed manically then ripped it up in front of their faces.

Follow on Twitter @TheWrage. E-mail: Jwrabel9@hotmail.com

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