Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Pacific Division 2008 Free Agency Preview

As promised, here is the breakdown for what teams in the Pacific Division are looking at in regards to free agency come July 1st. This is the first in a six part (obviously) series that will run through next Thursday. We'll be starting on the West Coast and heading east. Lists are broken up into restricted free agents (RFA's) and unrestricted free agents (UFA's) with their 2007-08 salaries in parenthesis.

Anaheim Ducks
Pending UFA's:
  • Doug Weight ($3,500,000)
  • Teemu Selanne ($1,500,000)
  • Joe DiPenta ($700,000)
  • Mark Mowers ($475,000)
Pending RFA's:
  • Corey Perry ($494,000)
  • Brian Sutherby ($800,000)
  • Jonas Hiller ($850,000)
Cap $$$ Committed: $49.8 million
Notes: The Ducks are in pretty bad shape in regards to the salary cap. I have to believe there is a GM out there who is going to make a big run at signing Corey Perry, knowing that there won't be a lot of options for Anaheim to match. One other very interesting thing about the Anaheim roster, they have zero defensemen signed beyond next season. Brian Burke really has a mess on his hands in Anaheim.

Dallas Stars
Pending UFA's:
  • Stu Barnes ($900,000)
  • Antti Miettinen ($885,000)
  • Niklas Hagman ($675,000)
  • Brad Winchester ($475,000)
  • Johan Holmqvist ($1,000,000)
Pending RFA's:
  • Loui Eriksson ($650,000)
  • Francis Wathier ($475,000)
  • Brandon Crombeen ($675,000)
Cap $$$ Committed: $46.5 million
Notes: The Stars don't have a ton of cap space, but they already have most of their roster coming back for next season. One big hole to fill will be the recently retired Mattias Norstrom. They may want to explore their options in regards to finding a backup for Marty Turco as well. I think Stu Barnes will be back, but I wouldn't be surprised if Niklas Hagman left for a better offer as he has shown flashes of ability in Dallas.

Los Angeles Kings
Pending UFA's:
  • Rob Blake ($6,000,000)
  • Ladislav Nagy ($3,570,000)
  • Scott Thornton ($1,500,000)
  • Brian Willsie ($900,000)
  • Jon Klemm ($500,000)
  • Kevin Dallman ($490,000)
  • Jeff Giuliano ($475,000)
Pending RFA's:
  • Patrick O'Sullivan ($650,000)
  • Erik Ersberg ($575,000)
Cap $$$ Committed: $32 million
Notes: The Kings have plenty of cap space to spend, which should be a good thing for this perpetually rebuilding club. Patrick O'Sullivan should get a healthy raise and Rob Blake will probably be back, but beyond that is anyone's guess. Maybe they could be the club to make a run at cross town rival Anaheim's Corey Perry.

Phoenix Coyotes
Pending UFA's:
  • Radim Vrbata ($1,225,000)
  • Mike York ($1,000,000)
  • Niko Kapanen ($900,000)
  • Craig Weller ($475,000)
  • Mathias Tjarnqvist ($475,000)
Pending RFA's:
  • Marcel Hossa ($780,000)
  • Daniel Carcillo ($525,000)
  • Joel Perrault ($495,000)
  • Matt Jones ($522,000)
Cap $$$ Committed: $29.9 million
Notes: Much like the Kings, the Coyotes have a lot of cap space and nowhere to go in the standings but up. Unlike the Kings, Phoenix seems to have a better nucleus of players in place and thus more reason to be optimistic about the upcoming season. I would expect guys like Hossa and Vrbata to be back next season, but it will be real interesting to see how they deal with Daniel Carcillo. Wayne Gretzky seems to think Carcillo has a lot of potential in the NHL, but he has also been frustrated by his continuing lack of maturity. This team would probably do well to try to upgrade their blue line through free agency. If I were them I would probably throw a big contract at Brian Campbell and cross my fingers that he would take it.

San Jose Sharks
Pending UFA's:
  • Brian Campbell ($1,750,000)
  • Curtis Brown ($700,000)
  • Patrick Rissmiller ($595,000)
  • Jody Shelley ($650,000)
  • Alexei Semenov ($650,000)
  • Sandis Ozolinsh ($625,000)
  • Jeremy Roenick ($500,000)
  • Tomas Plihal ($500,000)
  • Brian Boucher ($490,000)
  • Brad Norton ($475,000)
Pending RFA's:
  • Christian Ehrhoff ($900,000)
  • Joe Pavelski ($810,000)
  • Marcel Goc ($800,000)
  • Ryan Clowe ($600,000)
Cap $$$ Committed: $38 million
Notes: The big name that jumps out here is obviously Brian Campbell. The Sharks gave up a lot to bring Campbell at the deadline and though he fit in right away during the regular season, Campbell had a disappointing playoff. The Sharks will undoubtedly try to keep Campbell, but they may have a tough time as they have a few talented youngsters (Pavelski, Rissmiller, and Clowe in particular) up for new contracts who will be looking for significant raises. I think the Sharks may have a fight on their hands to keep Campbell as there should be plenty of teams lining up to sign him. Especially since he came off at the trade deadline as a guy who is more interested in getting the biggest contract than anything else.

No comments: