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A Good Fit For UFAs

from Allan Muir of Sports Illustrated,

With the July 5 free agent frenzy fast approaching, here’s a look at the game’s top free agents and their perfect landing spots.

Ilya Bryzgalov — Flames

Jay Feaster was clear. The Flames have to “win in free agency.” Good luck with that. Rebuilding teams rarely rank highly on the wish lists of top free agents, so Calgary might have to shop off the scratch ‘n’ dent shelf. Bryzgalov fits the profile — to many teams, he’s considered more trouble than he’s worth — and he would fill a glaring hole that’s expected to open up as soon as Miikka Kiprusoff makes his retirement official. Bryzgalov would not only stabilize the back end, he’d get the Flames back up over the salary cap floor of $44 million.

Stephen Weiss — Red Wings

A homecoming of sorts (he played his junior hockey in Plymouth, MI) might be exactly what Weiss needs to salvage a career that was circling the drain in Florida. The Wings are in need of a second-line center after cutting ties with Val Filppula, and Weiss brings the speed and defensive awareness that would allow him to fit smoothly into their system. He could play on both special teams, and maybe add a bit more pop to the offense than Filppula. And after a couple of lousy years, he might be a bargain.

Andrew Ference, Rob Scuderi — Hurricanes

GM Jim Rutherford was willing to trade his first rounder to add an NHL-proven defender to Carolina’s roster. He couldn’t find a partner at the draft, but he might yet solve his problem in free agency. Ference is smart, quick, low-key and a tremendous locker room presence. Scuderi is a rock steady, stay-at-home type. Both could step onto the second pair, chip in on special teams, and bring some stability to Carolina’s back end.

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SYF's avatar

Damien Brunner, Valtteri Filppula — Blue Jackets
The Jackets were looking to add a proven NHL scorer at the draft, but failed to find the right deal. It won’t be any easier in free agency. Columbus is a team on the rise, but not yet at the point where a premium free agent is going to commit long term. Brunner and Filppula make for viable options. Both have top-six skill with some upside, but they won’t be anyone’s Plan A, so they should be reasonably affordable.

Fils, ok.  Broooner, don’t think so.

But this summer is so frickin’ unbelievable already.  Anything can happen.

Posted by SYF from the team that re-signed KFQ and DFC by KFH on 07/03/13 at 01:32 PM ET

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Everyone puts Fil on BJs because their GM is a Fin.

Posted by George0211 on 07/03/13 at 01:36 PM ET

perfection's avatar

Stephen Weiss — Red Wings

A homecoming of sorts (he played his junior hockey in Plymouth, MI) might be exactly what Weiss needs to salvage a career that was circling the drain in Florida. The Wings are in need of a second-line center after cutting ties with Val Filppula, and Weiss brings the speed and defensive awareness that would allow him to fit smoothly into their system. He could play on both special teams, and maybe add a bit more pop to the offense than Filppula. And after a couple of lousy years, he might be a bargain.

while I’m not ecstatic about gambling on Stephen Weiss, this description does make it sound like it’s worth a try. He does sound a lot more like a quintessential Wing than Vinny Lecavlier in terms of strong two way play. I also am drawn to the word “bargain” because that’s what it’s all about. You’d definitely rather have an overachieving bargain in Weiss (best case scenario) over a market value Lecavlier (likely scenario) because it allows you to potentially upgrade somewhere else. It is a gamble though. Unlike Vinny, Weiss might sign a 3 or less year deal because he will be a bit of a reclamation project. This leaves us flexible in a few years as our kids enter UFA.

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 07/03/13 at 01:43 PM ET

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might be exactly what Weiss needs to salvage a career that was circling the drain in Florida.

Oh boy, can we sign him, can we please sign the guys whose career is circling the drain?!?!

Posted by Garth on 07/03/13 at 01:45 PM ET

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might be exactly what Weiss needs to salvage a career that was circling the drain in Florida.

Oh boy, can we sign him, can we please sign the guys whose career is circling the drain?!?!

Posted by Garth on 07/03/13 at 01:45 PM ET

Not only can we, we will also pay him the amount Fil wanted.

Posted by George0211 on 07/03/13 at 01:50 PM ET

Da lil Guy's avatar

Ribeiro to Ottawa makes no sense on any level.

Posted by Da lil Guy from Guelph, Ontario on 07/03/13 at 01:56 PM ET

perfection's avatar

Posted by Garth on 07/03/13 at 01:45 PM ET

from the Kahn article on Weiss…

in the “notables” category:

Was often referred to as “Weisserman’’ because of his similarities to former Red Wings captain Steve Yzerman.

i realize it means very little in reality, but emotionally speaking, from a Wings fan’s perspective it’s hard not to like that. And statistically, he didn’t do that bad even two seasons ago and was hurt most of this past season.

I do wonder if he’s an upgrade over Filps, but if he comes a million cheaper it’s helpful and he might even have more of an upside

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 07/03/13 at 02:09 PM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

from the Kahn article on Weiss…
in the “notables” category:
Was often referred to as “Weisserman’’ because of his similarities to former Red Wings captain Steve Yzerman.
i realize it means very little in reality, but emotionally speaking, from a Wings fan’s perspective it’s hard not to like that. And statistically, he didn’t do that bad even two seasons ago and was hurt most of this past season.
I do wonder if he’s an upgrade over Filps, but if he comes a million cheaper it’s helpful and he might even have more of an upside
Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 07/03/13 at 02:09 PM ET

Like I said earlier I will fight anyone who says this in my presence cool mad
If you’ve watched him play he was pretty good. “Was” being the operative word. And no he’s not feckin Weisserman. He’s not even Weisserman lite. What a joke….

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 07/03/13 at 02:27 PM ET

Hootinani's avatar

Was often referred to as “Weisserman’’ because of his similarities to former Red Wings captain Steve Yzerman.

Find me one person outside of Kahn who has ever said this before that article was written.

Yzerman put up as many points from the 3rd and 4th lines, on a bum knee, at the end of his career, as Weiss does playing top line minutes in his prime.  All that while playing Selke level d.

Smith is the second coming of Bobby Orr.  There, I said it once.  Does that make it true now?

Posted by Hootinani on 07/03/13 at 02:50 PM ET

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i realize it means very little in reality, but emotionally speaking, from a Wings fan’s perspective it’s hard not to like that.

That’s great.  I like to wear a Zetterberg jersey, maybe that means I’ll win the Conn Smythe one day…

Posted by Garth on 07/03/13 at 03:09 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

Smith is the second coming of Bobby Orr.  There, I said it once.  Does that make it true now?

Posted by Hootinani on 07/03/13 at 02:50 PM ET

That’s great.  I like to wear a Zetterberg jersey, maybe that means I’ll win the Conn Smythe one day…

Posted by Garth on 07/03/13 at 03:09 PM ET

If being cynical jerks makes dreams come true I’d say you both have a good shot.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 07/03/13 at 03:29 PM ET

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Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 07/03/13 at 03:29 PM ET

Boo hoo.

Posted by Garth on 07/03/13 at 03:39 PM ET

Speedy's avatar

Toronto Marlies hire Steve Spott as head coach.
Spott was the head coach and general manager of the Kitchener Rangers of the Ontario Hockey League in 2012-13. He served as head coach of the Rangers the three years before that and also coached Canada’s world junior team in 2013. Spott replaces Dallas Eakins, who left to become head coach of the NHL’s Oilers

Posted by Speedy on 07/03/13 at 03:41 PM ET

BC's avatar

Was often referred to as “Weisserman’’ because of his similarities to former Red Wings captain Steve Yzerman.

Blasphemer!

Posted by BC on 07/03/13 at 03:42 PM ET

Hootinani's avatar

If being cynical jerks makes dreams come true I’d say you both have a good shot.
Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 07/03/13 at 03:29 PM ET

Not the worst thing I’ve been called today

Anywho, just don’t like to be fed a line of obvious BS in an effort to sell me something.

Posted by Hootinani on 07/03/13 at 03:56 PM ET

perfection's avatar

sell YOU something?? you think Ken Holland gives a crap what you think about his roster decisions?

First off, we haven’t even signed the dude yet… but assuming we do, the shrewdness of the move will be decided on the ice. There are sure a lot of players out there who were being misused on teams due to their draft stock (Brad Stuart and Dan Cleary come immediately to mind) who came to the Wings and were put in the perfect role for them to succeed. People act like Babcock has no input on his roster. There’s a reason he’s always in the room when they are trying to lure free agents. And there’s a reason he roasts dudes publicly when he doesn’t feel they are playing up to par. If he didn’t think he had a role for Weiss, they wouldn’t sign him. If they though Filps at a million more dollars was worth it, they’d re-sign him. Obviously, assuming they do sign Weiss, they see a potential you guys don’t. I for one stand in the camp of not predetermining the result and am excited to see how it plays out. Maybe Weiss is the perfect fit for what we need? Maybe not. But finding out is part of the fun of sports.

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 07/03/13 at 04:14 PM ET

Hootinani's avatar

Who said anything about Holland?

Posted by Hootinani on 07/03/13 at 04:23 PM ET

Nathan's avatar

Sure, Weiss is a good fit for something in the neighborhood of his just expired cap number ($3.1 million) or less.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 07/03/13 at 04:23 PM ET

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There is no more Red Wings discount, even guys like Cleary are not going to give it to them.  So unless Holland realizes that ufa’s are no longer going to find the Wings an attractive option unless they at least consider paying market prices they might as well so the charade of actually getting fans hopes up.  It drives me crazy that Cleary will get above market value but the Wings can’t participate in the bidding of other free agents.  They just continue to over value their own players, and undervalue players on other teams.  That has to change.

Posted by bababooey on 07/03/13 at 04:49 PM ET

42jeff's avatar

Smith is the second coming of Bobby Orr.  There, I said it once.  Does that make it true now?

Posted by Hootinani on 07/03/13 at 02:50 PM ET

It’s on the internet now…it MUST be true!

Posted by 42jeff from The greater Howard City, MI metroplex on 07/03/13 at 04:57 PM ET

calquake's avatar

If being cynical jerks makes dreams come true I’d say you both have a good shot.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 07/03/13 at 03:29 PM ET

There’s a reason Paul gave us the “ignore” button.  People can say whatever they want.  We can choose not to listen to it or we can engage in “swordfights” with people who will never see anything but their negative world view.  I will not allow their negativity to waste my time any longer.

Posted by calquake on 07/03/13 at 05:00 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

Posted by calquake on 07/03/13 at 05:00 PM ET

There can be only one!

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 07/03/13 at 06:36 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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